Mary Irvine, aged 76. Mary is one of Autumn Voices’ most regular contributors. Tell us 4 important facts about yourself: I drifted into a career in education rather than planning to. I became Head of Compensatory Education in Senior High and then moved to teach A-Level English and oversee S.E.N. in a Sixth Form College. … Continue reading Quick & Quirky Questions with Mary Irvine
Born in the Midlands, educated in Yorkshire, worked in Glasgow as a publisher and journalist, Simon has also lived in Sicily and Cyprus. Now spends most of his time in the Highlands wandering around knocking on doors as an interviewer.
hollow, ribbed tubes
Ingrid’s writing recently has been sporadic. She can write nothing for two years and then write two dozen poems in two months. She has no idea what turns the tap on and off. Her poetry has been published online by Ink Sweat and Tears and Open Mouse, in print in New Writing Scotland and been shortlisted for the Jane Martin Prize (pre age-restriction). In 2015 she collaborated with then Edinburgh Makar, Christine de Luca, on the poem ‘A Month on the Mile’. Ingrid won the 2020 Autumn Voices Poetry Competition with ‘Digitalis Purpurea’.
bridge to beyond’s unknowable yonder beguiles, beckons
Finola Scott’s poetry and short stories have appeared in anthologies and journals including Gutter, New Writing Scotland, The Fenland Reed, Lighthouse, RAUM and The Ofi Press. Her work has won and been placed in UK competitions. She is also a prize-winning performance poet and was the 2020 Federation of Writers (Scotland) Makar, as well as the 2020 Autumn Voices Poetry Competition judge.
Alex Hill, aged 66, is a meteorology and aviation forecasting expert and was formerly the Met Office chief Advisor for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Many of my haiku moments are experienced visually and are expressed by me through photography rather than words. Journal 8 is devoted entirely to haiku photos. In this case they all relate to walks taken along the beach in Helensburgh during the time of Covid lockdown.
There’s a movement in Tai-Chi called ‘Behold the Moon.’ You slowly turn your torso and extend both arms sideways at an angle of 45% with lower hand palm upwards and upper hand palm downwards.
Most of my haiku moments occur in nature and the outdoors, but here’s one from an antique shop in Helensburgh.
Autumn is the time of year when flowers and leaves fall into my garden pond. They drift in constantly shifting patterns and juxtapositions of colour – amazingly beautiful natural happenings – each one a haiku moment.
There has always been an unresolved tension in gardening between the extent to which we feel the garden belongs to nature and the extent to which we feel it belongs to us: whether it is an expression of nature or of human artistic aspirations.
Most of my haiku moments involve nature. But recently I was watching a recording of the cricket match between England and Pakistan. A young batsman by the name of Zak Crawley was making his début appearance for England. The grace, timing and balance of his flowing stroke-play produced in me the same kind of joy as might watching my cat’s supple, acrobatic leaps.
The shadow of a berberis bush projected on my upturned kayak. The white hull and the black, angular shadows are like an ancient Chinese ink wash painting.
I was doing Tai-chi on the lawn at 6.30 on a fresh sunny morning when a cloud, a flock of birds (which I think were sparrows) rose above a bush, followed its contours, swooped down and then rose again following the outline of the next bush.