Thursday, October 15, 2020

In Memoriam: Victoria Tarrani

Apologies for the lack of photos in this post but blogger seems not to want to load any at present.

 I was quite sad to hear that Victoria Tarrani had passed away in October 2020. I first came into contact with her around 1997 when she and I were both members of Cyberscribers. Cyberscribers described itself as an International Writers' Forum. It ran as an egroup on OneList and had a site on Geocities - see an archived page on the Wayback Machine. For some reason or another that fizzled out and she started up Wordwizards on yahoogroups. It was a lively group for many years. Members included Salena Ford, Shanna Baldwin, Terrie Relf, Maureen Weldon, Alison Williams, Yvonne LaRose and many others. Group conversations dwindled in recent years as some people left and others turned more to Facebook, Twitter and other spaces for social interaction. Now it seems the plug is about to be pulled on all yahoogroups.

 In November 1999 to celebrate my wife's 55th birthday we decided to visit Los Angeles taking flights from Manchester via Amsterdam on KLM. Viki (as she is known to her friends) and her husband Mike invited us to stay with them at their house in Orange County.  A brief account of our visit to California can be found on this blogpost

 Following a wonderful visit to Catalina Island, the next day we ventured out to Palm Springs.  I went to look at the tramway. Viki and Mike went off to photograph the rocks. I returned to find Christine in the back of the car in agony. In crossing the road, her ankle had caved in underneath. At Palm Springs Hospital we waited nearly three hours to see a nurse and the first thing they asked us was "Why didn't you put some ice on it?" Just where two strangers to the country were expected to find that ice seemed not to enter their heads. In due course they took X-rays, strapped it up and sent us back to L.A. Viki and Mike looked after us splendidly until we got our flight home. 

 You'll find only a handful of things if you search for Victoria on the internet. I came across this cinquain she wrote (using her pseudonym "zephyr" in the archives of the World Haiku Review:

scattered diamonds 
shimmer across the sky 
galactic nucleus sparkles 

  In our memory she will always be shimmering.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Steve Sneyd (1941 - 2018): In Memoriam

Photograph © 2001, Gerald England.

people who have vanished
pressed into poems in small defunct magazines
still breath sometimes athwart my dreams

so wrote Steve Sneyd in Tributary Fractions which I published in The Hallamshire & Osgoldcross Poetry Express back in 1973.

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

Last week I said goodbye to him as he was buried at the Rose Hill Burial Ground,
a non-denominational site for natural burials at Birkby above Huddersfield. His family, local friends and various people from the small press world including Andy Darlington, John Francis Haines, J C Hartley, Pete Presford and Chris Reed, gathered under the shade of a large tree in the grounds. We heard about his life, his work and his achievements, listened to some of his poetry and paid our respects.

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

I first knew Steve when he was publishing Ludd's Mill and I had started Headland. We both contributed to a large number of the so-called "little magazines" that proliferated in the small press world of the 1970s and into the millennium.. In the pre-internet era they became a network through which poets communicated with each other. We met up at conventions around the country in Liverpool, Dartford, Norwich, Corby, Middlesbrough, Hastings, Newcastle and elsewhere. The photograph at the top of the page was taken at the Purple Patch convention hosted by Geoff Stevens in Sandwell. There Steve gave a talk on The Inclusion Of Poetry In Novels.

I've published numerous poems by Steve Sneyd over the years and in 1992 his collection A Mile Beyond The Bus. which was illustrated by Ian M Emberson (1936 - 2013).

Photograph © 2018, Gerald England.

Despite have a huge interest in science fiction he was something of a luddite when it came to the internet. However he was a regular contributor to Comopoetry coordinated by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe from Romania. His contribution to their Through the Light anthology was:

Fall of Ariel
this high brightness coming fast
to free Caliban



from the comet’s shadow
pod voice back so long
"I’m still really yours"

-by Steve Sneyd (UK, laureate of the Peterson Trophy, director of Hilltop Press, editor of Data Dump)

Learn more about Steve and his work in the International Times.

He will not be forgotten.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Bees are buzzing in Manchester

This mural of a bee on Mason Street was created in December 2016 by street artist Bubek. I spotted it the day after the city had been rocked and shocked by the atrocity at the Manchester Arena. Roads around the area were closed off but this is not far away. During the Industrial Revolution, Manchester adopted the worker bee as a motif for its city. Seven bees are included in the crest of the city’s arms which were granted to the Borough of Manchester in 1842. Following the tragedy of May 22nd the bee has become a symbol of remembrance and hope.

Last Saturday I was on Oldham Street and saw this new mural being painted on the gable end of the Koffee Pot. It is a work in progress. When completed it will feature 22 bees representing the 22 people who died in the Arena bombing.

A contribution to Monday Murals.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flowers for Manchester

photograph © Gerald England, 2017.

On the afternoon following the tragedy at Manchester Arena, a woman has placed a bunch of flowers below the information display at Piccadilly Gardens and is now taking a photograph. The display says "We love Manchester" and gives out the emergency contact number for the police. Doubtless more flowers will be laid here and around the city as the day goes on.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Hindu Temple

The latest issue of the online anthology Cosmopetry is entitled "BET ON PLANETS or THE SMALL OLYMPICOSMPOETRIADA OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM" by SARM Cosmpoetry Master Club and Friends .

It starts with photographs of the moon and Jupiter by Valentin Grigore over Targoviste in Romania. It is followed by numerous photographic contributions from around the world of heavenly bodies including, nebulae, eclipses, Saturns rings, the transit of Mercury, the Perseids, the Aurora Borealis as well as poems on astronomical themes.

My own contribution is an astro-photo-tanka from March 2001 in Singapore.

the Hindu temple
through the open doorway
people at prayer
over them in a dark sky
sickle moon and Jupiter

© Gerald England

Other photos show the similarities between Teide Volcano, Tenerife and Mount Fuji, Japan. Catalin Beldea displays a lovely sequence showing the total solar eclipse of March 8th 2016 over Indonesia. Adrian Bruno Sonka writes about Asteroids with Satellites. The whole collection was coordinated by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe and designed by Florin Alexandru Stancu on behalf of the Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy.

See the whole thing at Cosmopetry.

Also visit Skywatch Friday.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Strathearn Gardens Mural

The inside of the perimeter wall on the north side of Strathearn Gardens in Royal Leamington Spa has been painted as one long mural.

The apartments in the background are on Stamford Gardens and were built by the local authority in the 1960s.

The mural was painted by local artist Izumi Segawa in 2013/14 when the gardens were renovated and renamed from Stamford Gardens to Strathearn Gardens.

The gardens link Rugby Road to Clarendon Crescent and contain various pieces of children's play equipment.

Photos of the work in progress can be found on the artist's blog.

A contribution to Monday Murals.