The Keypad Thieves

Normally I send poems out to magazines and websites, before I put them on here, hoping an editor will take them, so it’s not only me who thinks there’s something in them. With this one, I have no idea where I’d send it, or what chance it would have – perhaps it would be seen…

A blog post that may take you somewhere else

I was recently asked by online literary journal Mono if I’d like to write a guest post for them on finding inspiration in the mundane. Regular readers of Richly Evocative can make up their own minds about why they might ask me to do such a thing… If you’re interested in reading the resulting short…

Suddenly, a mini urban meadow

It’s easy to forget sometimes that “nature” isn’t always, or only, to be found somewhere else.  I was reminded of this with a visual jolt from a poppy this morning. On a road about five minutes’ walk away from mine, between the foot of the iron railings of a factory (makers of corrosion prevention and…

Where we going now?

At times I’ve found the last year reminiscent of my teenage years. All those extended periods of longing for something to happen, for life to get going, to have stuff to look forward to. All combined with often intense feelings of boredom and frustration; alleviated to various degrees through reading, listening to music or simply…

Amplified voices

Every Tuesday on Twitter, poetry publisher Black Bough, run by writer and poet Matthew M C Smith, hosts an all day sharing event called Top Tweet Tuesday. Using the hashtag #toptweettuesday, poets of all ages and backgrounds, from across the globe, are invited to tweet poems they’ve written, or boost those written by others. Each…

Please don’t call it a blogiversary: lessons from a decade of blogging

If I could travel back in time to visit the me of ten years ago, when I started writing this blog, to tell myself that he/I would still be doing it a decade later, I doubt I would have been believed. That I would be writing this anniversary piece under the shadow of a global coronavirus pandemic, as the UK entered its third national lockdown in a year, would have been a greater surprise than the fact Richly Evocative was still going – but only slightly.

Making a mountain of Solsbury Hill

For a lover of hills, this small region of the country offers quite the range: steep hills, lone hills, round hills, hills with views of the sea, hills buzzed by kestrels, or patrolled by buzzards, internationally renowned hills with ruined churches on top, hills crowned by stands of trees, hills once topped by hill-forts, hills with winds that land a flurry of blows near the summit and hills disguised as city streets, with houses and shops groaning up and down their slopes.

Handles

I never considered handles before this,  never wondered who’d held my borrowed basket last filled it, gripped it tight, placed it back neat or abandoned by checkout,  unsettling us in its eerie. Didn’t ask, didn’t wonder what those hands did, who they touched waved slapped caressed, ever so tender. Did they stare at the milk…

Australia in a time of fire.

Always there was something to take pleasure in seeing, always the ongoing news of fires, along with smoke haze and smells of distant burning, gave a constant reminder that nothing could be taken for granted. I’d notice something and point it out to the children, then privately wonder whether that species of bird, or fish, or plant would still be here if, one day in the future, the boys ever came back. Every sighting might be a farewell.

Un coup d’oeil: a lucky walk by a mill

Going down to the mill is something we do every time we come here. It’s a short distance downhill from Rue de la Roche, where my parents-in-law live, to the town’s second river. When the water is low, as it usually is in August, the visit also includes a walk across the stepping stones and…

Edging into Kent

I started to wonder how far I should go, without a map or much water, but a trail leading out of town and into the fields is always hard to resist. After all, as Richard Jeffries notes in in Nature Near London, one should “Never omit to explore a footpath, for never was there a footpath yet which did not pass something of interest.”

Dream dapples, Pied-beams and Tantalights

As the beam touches you, it has a near instant effect, quickly drawing your thoughts out through the window and filling you with a desire to be out there, on the other side of the glass, walking in the sunlight, exploring the city streets, or escaping over the horizon, (I like to think of this particular effect as a positive variety of Corpse-light or Willow-the-wisp, but without the danger of being drawn into some terrible dark and boggy end).