Archive for April 11, 2018

How Wet is Wet? Why Rain Matters by S.A. Leavesley

This piece on Riggwelter a meeting point of my many current interests/concerns: poetry, mental health, exercise, nature, climate change, environmental action and eco-protection


  1. Photo-poem ‘From each tiny twig’ published as an Elbow Room postcard in 2017.

1-44 My glasses need windscreen wipers, my clothes are sopping wet and I’m dripping puddles across the kitchen lino, yet I’ve never seen more clearly or felt more energised than returning from a 25-mile cycle through the rain and Worcestershire countryside.

I’ve always loved the water and swimming but when I took up cycling as a sport in 2015, I never expected to fall in love with pedalling through rain. The buzz I get when battling against hard weather on my bike makes me feel alive, and closer to nature and my surroundings. There’s something vivid and invigorating too about the wet on my skin, the rush of air past my face and coming across badgers, herons and other wildlife for the first time.
Looking back with this new love of the natural world and weather, much…

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Wednesday Reflections/Pied

Reflections/poem biography for Pied
pied smaller
“Night digs at the sun, buries its dirt
in her nails. The music’s bruise turns…”

One of the few good things about diabetes is that it has made me wary of drugs. Low blood sugars (hypos) are unpleasant enough without the worry of substances that might bring on a hypo, make the experience worse or mask the important symptoms of a dangerously low blood sugar level.

That said, I’ve been to Amsterdam, have had my fair share of alcohol over-indulgence, watched ‘Trainspotting’ and also read articles and real life accounts of sex trafficking/exploitation. A drug-toxic abusive, squat-set relationship seemed perfect, therefore, for a contemporary poetry version of the Pied Piper tale.

Outside of the poem with its bleak antecedent, I’m almost sure that the heroine eventually escapes, though inevitably not without the experience leaving its traces on her character and outlook on life. I have great admiration for all the individuals, human rights campaigners and charities that offer practical help to those in such situations.

Electric Questions - lit version smallerDiscussion Point

Does using myth/folklore as a framing backdrop for this contemporary scenario add depth and weight? Does referencing this fictional element distract from the gritty reality or add a necessary protective/distancing layer for anyone reading it who has experienced something similar?

Inspiration/Writing Prompt

Take a traditional fairytale/myth/urban legend and create your own modern real-life version. For an extra layer/twist, consider giving the main role to a character who only plays a minor part in the original.

plentyfish cover (1)At poetry readings, I often enjoy hearing about the background to a particular poem. ‘Wednesday Reflections/Sometimes I smile’ is my attempt to share the inspiration, frustrations, pain, philosophies and thoughts that lie behind my poetry collection ‘plenty-fish’. Each Wednesday, this blog will contain one of these ‘poem biographies’, as well as points for potential reader discussion and also writers’ prompts. My collection ‘plenty-fish’ may be bought from Nine Arches Press, here, or my website, here. More Wednesday Reflections on other poems in the collection can also be found here.

April 11, 2018






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