Online Shorelink Week 25

We were plunged into autumn this week, going from almost tropical heat and wilting greenery to torrential rain and howling winds. No wonder we British get so obsessed with our weather, it is impossible not to let it, probably disproportionately, influence us. We certainly had some quite chilly pieces inspired by this week’s theme, which was A Moment in Time.

However, I shall begin with the more upbeat ones. Who could not love the story of the (nearly) domesticated squirrel, especially as it arrived with coloured photos, and included a paean of praise for the way such pictures capture moments in time? We are indeed lucky with our easy access to such technology.

A beautiful and philosophical poem underlined the randomness of our special moments in time, and another evocatively catches the leap from panic to joy of a lost child when found. We were treated to a perfectly delightful memory of being on site when a Roman shoe was uncovered at Hadrian’s Wall and being allowed to be the first person to hold it for many centuries. What a privilege! And another one of us was present at the very first English performance of Waiting for Godot.

A story about a copper, who suffered from vertigo, braving a roof top to (successfully) talk down a would be suicide was riveting, as was the one which had two tourists in Spain go through a time warp into two quite different experiences. And while we are in the realm sci-fi the Zombie Moose, spotted in silhouette by the light of the moon, engage once more in bitter battle. There was also an enigmatic poem on aliens visiting earth for…? Yes, their reasons are shrouded in secrecy and known only to the poet!

Dee’s foray into her commune becomes creepier and creepier (more of this, soon please!) and Alice’s adventures continue apace. We had the second part of the story of the badly burned WW2 pilot, which was very moving, but were then cheered up with news of a jolly animal picnic. There were some unsettling suggestions of a MacDonald’s operating in our woodland, however – more of a nightmare, than a dream, I reckon. The piece which so cleverly punned on serving ‘an omelette in thyme’ made me laugh out loud, and a short and thoughtful submission ordered us to seize and relish small moments. A brilliant reworking of The Seven Ages of Man captured the eternal questions of our mortality, as did the strange but haunting poem searching for an affirmation of self in the face of pain and despair. And another disturbing poem prophesied chaos when global warning finally plunges the planet into darkness.  

And now to the last two quite extraordinary poems. A long and vividly imagined exposition of the myth of Pandora was chilling and picturesque simultaneously, and another, which referenced a 19th century wassailing custom, originating in South Wales, was intriguing. Happily the writer sent me a link to the history of this and I was fascinated to learn that it involved a hooded hobby horse being carried from house to house by singers, asking for entry and reward in much the same way as do carol singers. I shall do some more homework on this!

My goodness, your stories and poems are an education as well as a joy – once again, thank you all. Hopefully we shall eventually emerge from this lockdown even more erudite than before. Next week’s theme is from Alan’s list again and it is: The Good Old Days. Enjoy!  


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