Tuesday, October 28, 2008

21st Century Scribe


This is my first attempt in QR Code poetry...I think it is rather cool...download the reader for your mobile phone at:


Monday, September 15, 2008


A very quick but beautiful poem film from the common people

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Django sleeps for a moment. The sun shines. I take valuable sleep time to write poems. Ah well, that is the way...

here is today's offering. Number 157 in my growing collection...

Poem 157

I have stood to the line and said

For this I will die.

I will rip myself apart to give you life.

I will give more than I knew

my heart contained only hours ago.

For this, I will give and give and give:

The strange dawn peace of your face

as sleep steals you, takes you to the land

of dreams you have yet to discover,

cloud-racing across your eyelids;

your fists as they ball and let go;

your barely audible breath of life

that I shouted into you.

You took my heart in that first bloodied kiss

when I cried out with exhaustion:

I did this – my god, I did this.

(c. Victoria Bennett, 2008)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Well, there is little time for poetry, less time for sleep and meals tend to be cooked and eaten one handed and in record speed. Life is unrecognisable but through my gorgeous son I am learning by demand to live in the moment. For most of the last 6 weeks I have felt like there is not enough time to do the basic things of life, let alone the 'other stuff' (though I do class creativity as basic!) but then, one day it dawned on me as I spent 2 hours lying on the bed next to Django burbling and smiling in response to his chatting away, and about 12 hours breastfeeding and a good few hours rocking and bouncing him and a few more washing and soaking poo and changing nappies - well, it occurred to me that in each action, there was completeness, in each act, a root of love - and in that moment, I realised that he was teaching me how to live in the moment and how to live in that moment completely held in the hand of love. And if that sounds mother-loved up, well...can you blame me with this lovely soul to share my hours with?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coincidental creativity

As seen on Gill's blog

Here is what you do...

Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)

Open the book to page 123

Find the 5th Sentence.

Post the next 3 sentences.

Here is what I got...

"For 6 weeks, write a haiku each day. This neatly circumscribed task induces the required concentration and presence, but any form of poetry will suffice..."

One Continuous Mistake by Gail Sher

Okey dokey...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

By the seaside...

Adam has written below about our experience of the HG10 camera this month. I have to say it won me over for ease of use and general gorgeousness of shot quality - even I could use it one handed whilst jiggling baby - but didn't have much chance to, to be honest. However, I did live with the camera present every moment just about - which, as Adam says below, caused a few annoyed comments from me when tired!

Anyway - this little film captures the joy of the last week when, with a surprise week of free time in Adam's full diary, we got to enjoy time as a family in this glorious and unusual Spring weather. This film is of an outing to Morecambe Bay. The three of us went last week after Django had to go to the Maxillo Facial Unit to have his tongue tie 'released' - a very upsetting affair for me as we had to leave him to the surgeon. But in the end, he is happier for it and able to eat more. Which is how this little film ends - me feeding him, sitting in the fading sun of Morecambe Bay...blissfool.

When Django is older he will wonder why it was only the first month of his is life was recorded with such beautiful image quality...

now - if someone somewhere has a car they would like us to try out as a family...do send it along!

Here is what Adam has to say...bit more technical...

Our months trial of the HG10 is finally up and I have hardly posted a fraction of the footage we have ... The Semanal Project thankfully gives me the perfect excuse to try and put the footage together ... So with my son sleeping in one arm and using a pen and tablet to edit iMovie08 in the other I have put together a little walk about we had along Morecambe beach.

The great thing we liked about the HG10 - especially for what I do - is its super fast focus and zoom- it is great for capturing that visual moment - Vik did tell me off because I have been glued to the view finder ... whispering "nice" and "Yes" sad and I can imagine annoying. Still we got some excellent shots that I will be sharing with you in the next few weeks (yes the hard drive is packed) Which reminds me if you do get this camera .. and I am saving for one right now ... get a 1TB external firewire drive too ... you will need it.

When words are all we have...

Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti

I have always felt that the power of poetry lies in its ability to span generations, continents, cultures, societies and find a way of connecting the individual voice across these divides. Because it speaks from the heart, it reached into the heart.

Recently, I have received the details of the Cruse (Tyneside) Poetry Competition, inviting people to submit poems on the subject of Loss and Bereavement. This competition is to raise money for the services of Cruse, who offer free counselling and support for those affected by grief and loss. The judge of the competition is Linda France, a beautiful poet and wonderful woman, from whom I received the invaluable benefit of mentoring in the very early stages of my journey as a 'professional poet'.

I first found out about the competition when I wrote to Linda to tell her about the loss of my sister and to share with her my own difficulties in putting into words the feelings of grief that overwhelm at such times. Her reply was, as always, gentle and guiding.

Over the last few months since my sister died, I have tried to find the words for my own loss and feelings of confusion. At first, all I could write was "Sue is dead" over and over, as if by writing this bold statement, I would come to understand why. It is still a statement that runs through my head every day when I wake and throughout the day, even in this busy time with Django.

I didn't write with the intention of writing poetry, but with the need to try and find meaning and sense in the journey. Now I find myself re-reading these words and finding poems in them - in itself an important part of the healing process.

So, for those of you who are interested, do visit Linda France's website and download a form for the competition. Publication is the prize, no cash value but your entrance fee supports the valuable work that this group does, and the poems that are included in the final publication will hopefully help others to feel less alone with their own loss, to feel as though their own very individual and lonely journey of grief is, at least, shared in some way.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sunday Afternoon with Django

Thanks to Holly at Canon Camera Buzz we get to play with a Canon HG10 for a month.

Well - Adam does...

anyway, here is Django's first commonpeople vlog, filmed at Simon's one wintery afternoon... Awwww...

(Music "I can't give you anything but love" by his namesake, Django Reinhardt)

Discovering the heart

Nourishing new life - Django - minutes old...

Django is 1 month old today and just as it snowed the night before he was born, it snowed again yesterday. This last month as gone so quickly, and yet it also seems as though our life as parents has been forever. Django has a strong personality and plenty to say. He is curious and gentle and wonderful and demanding. It has been a strange few weeks, in which I have come to terms with the fact that everything has changed in my life. My body, my perception of myself, my lifestyle, my communications...at first this felt like a grief but slowly I am coming to get to know this new woman (though I am finding it hard to appreciate the burning nipples that come with breastfeeding).

Poem 132

I stand midpoint along the mother-line,
held by the whispering thread.

The sun continues to shine.

Time slips by and in between

I breathe the life that connects

this mother-daughter-mother bind.

(C. Victoria Bennett, from The Eternal Note)

I am very tired and sometimes, all I feel like doing is running away and hiding in a very quiet space but then, I look at Django and he looks so beautiful and perfect and open. He trusts me to make his world safe. I know sadly from experience that you can't always protect your children and I know that sometimes terrible and tragic things happen and we lose them. But the desire to protect him, to comfort and reassure and keep his world soft and calm and warm for as long as possible - well, that wins the conflict every time.

I think perhaps that this is the most exhausting part of it. Not the sleepless nights or the breastfeeding every hour, nor the bounce bounce bounce of night-time winding...but the constant sense of giving of myself, of my heart and love, as well as of my own body, because even when I am tired, he still needs that love. And even though, if I do my role right, he will feel safe to explore the world and reach for new horizons where I can't protect him, my job is to help him to find that security within himself to feel safe, wherever he is, safe enough to dream and to adventure. Not by hiding my feelings, but by discovering just how deep and wide and wonderful the heart is. And occasionally, by finding the strength to get up and love, even when I am weary and sad.

It reminds me of the line from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer...

"...It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children..."

So far, I can do it. And in that, I discover new horizons within my heart.