Thursday photo prompt: Glimmer #writephoto

#writephoto

Every Thursday at noon GMT, I publish one of my photos as a writing prompt.  If you know where the photo was taken, please keep it to yourself until the challenge is closed and I usually share something about the place during the round-up.

Throughout the week I will feature as many of the responses here on the Daily Echo as space allows and (more or less) in the order in which they come in. Every Thursday at 10 a.m. GMT, a full round-up of posts will be published linking back to the original posts of contributors.

You can find all last week’s entries in the weekly round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers. I will feature as many contributions as I can on the blog during the week.

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 24th October and link back to this post with a pingback to be included in the round-up.  There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

All posts will be featured in the round-up on Thursday!

If you are unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here.

Pingbacks need to be manually approved, so either check back to make sure that the pingback has appeared or simply copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work. Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

Meanwhile, I would like to invite all writephoto regulars to come and introduce themselves on the blog as my  guest!

Click here for details

Have fun!

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

France and Vincent… Finding Don and Wen

img_3570

Photograph by Helen Jones

It served me right for kidnapping a genius with one foot in several other worlds and eyes fixed firmly beyond any horizon I had ever seen. And I only kidnapped him a little bit. And he didn’t seem to mind too much….

We knew each other anyway, through the Work, but had never really had much time to talk so the meeting was just asking for trouble, really. We spent almost the entire night, wine in hand, talking about almost everything under the sun and then moved the conversation outside to watch the stars.

When the meeting had concluded next day, I offered to run him to the station… we never got there, but did have a wonderful day exploring the Yorkshire Dales, cold as it was. It had snowed a little and in spite of the sunshine, small patches remained on the low ground while the hills were capped with white in places. It was, as always, beautiful. It is, for me, the landscape of home.

We still hadn’t stopped talking, about weird and wonderful ideas, symbols, meanings, philosophies and rituals. We even appropriated an entire stretch of the waterfalls at Aysgarth for our future ritual use. It was a lovely day and after the kidnapping was over I dropped him at a different station, in a town some distance away from his original destination.

But that madcap adventure paved the way for more to come as the friendship grew. Over the past few years his tangential vision has melded beautifully with my own skewed way of looking at things and we have had a huge amount of fun playing out in the landscape. We have explored ancient churches and sacred sites, dissected myths and legends from across the world and through the course of history.

We’ve laughed a lot too as we discovered most of the village inns in the area…and chased red kites across the countryside allowing ourselves to be guided by the birds and intuition.

It became apparent, probably at some wine-fuelled moment of further lunacy, that we should write about it. I’m not even sure how that came up…. But it did. So, following the convoluted trail we had been guided down, “The Initiate” came into being.

It is, we have decided, the ‘second best book ever written’… the best being whichever we are currently working on. We may be just a touch biased… but the writing partnership of Stuart France and Sue Vincent is too much fun to stop now….

Continue reading at France and Vincent

Posted in france and vincent | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo prompt round-up: Bone #writephoto

*

The land remembers
Abandoned bones bleached by time
Seeing the future
Greed and need ignore the signs
The earth weeps for her children

*

The photo for this week’s prompt was taken at Barbrook III stone circle, one of the most difficult circles we have managed to locate. We had walked miles in search of it, and would have missed it yet again, had the bleached bones of a skull not marked its centre.

Barbrook is a very special site, and it is not limited to this discrete circle, but is spread across a wide swathe of moorland, just above the city of Sheffield. The site consists of a necropolis of over fifty cairns, one of which has been partially reconstructed, two true stone circles… Barbrook I and Barbrook III, where the prompt photo was taken, and the enigmatic Barbrook II, which seems to contain all the elements of cairn and burial place, the small standing stones of a circle and the form of a roundhouse.  There are earthworks, alignments both geographical and stellar, and an ancient settlement across the stream that separates the lands of the living from the realm of the ancestors.

*

Thank you so much to everyone who took part this week! Once again, there were too many reblog all of the posts, but they are all listed below, so please click on the links to read them and leave a comment for the author! Thank you too, to everyone who reblogged the prompt, round up and the individual resposes!

Pingbacks do not always come through… and I can miss things too, so if you have written a post for this challenge and it does not appear in the round-up, please leave a link to your post in the comments and I will add it to the list.

A new prompt will be published later today. I will reblog as many contributions as space and time allows, as they come in… and all of them will be featured in the round-up on Thursday.

As there are usually too many contributions to reblog all of them every week, and so that we can get to know their writers, I would like to invite all writephoto regulars to come and introduce themselves on the blog as my  guest!

Click here for details

Come and join in!

#writephoto

Many thanks to this weeks contributors:

dnspectre

Bobby Fairfield

Deborah’s Deliberations

Adele at Notes to Women

Eluminora Creations

Kelley Farrell at authoranonblog

Anurag Bakhshi at Jagahdilmein

Sight at Journey

A Heart for Africa

Jan Malique at Strange Goings on in the Shed

Lady Nightwave

Eric Pone at Backyard Knowledge

Geoff Le Pard at Tangental

Jordy’s Streamings

Frank J. Tassone

Roberta Eaton at Roberta Writes

Anita from Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

stoneronarollercoaster

Kim M. Russell at Writing in North Norfolk

Dr. Lim Keng Hua at wonkywizard

Hélène Vaillant at Willow Poetry

Dorinda Duclos at Night Owl Poetry

Willow Willers at willowdot21

Christine Bolton at Poetry for Healing

Bladud Fleas at The Moon is Rising

Craig Towsley

Gina at Singledust

Debbie Roth at Forgiving Connects

Marilyn Armstrong at Serendipity

Michael at Morpeth Road

Fandango at This, That and the Other

Hayley R. Hardman at The Story Files

Ritu Bhathal at But I Smile Anyway

Di at pensitivity101

Kyt Wright

Sisyphus at Of Glass and Paper

Trent P. McDonald at Trent’s World

James Pyles at Powered by Robots

Iain Kelly

Alethea Kehas at Not Tomatoes

Janette Bendle at What She Wrote

True George

Jai’s Writing Retreat

Kerfe at methodtwomadness

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

North-easterly: In face of history

We could hardly spend so much time in the churchyard at Rudston without visiting the church. While the Monolith alone was worth the long detour from our route home,  we were quite interested to see what kind of place had been built a mere twelve feet from the tallest standing stone in the United Kingdom.

All Saints’, Rudston, looked like a good church. It has an air of being older than it appears and, given that it was built on an ancient sacred site, we would have expected it to be so;  few opportunities were lost when it came to appropriating the ancient places of reverence and claiming them for the Christian faith.

Unless some obscure reference to such a building remains, or the archaeologists turn up something remarkable, there is no way of knowing if there was an earlier chapel on the site, but the present church was built around 1100 by William Peverel, who held the manorial lands. Peverel’s father, also called William, had built the castle at Castleton in Derbyshire, a place we know well, and was reputed to be an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror. Little of the original church now remains, apart from the base of the tower and the font.

Both inside and out there are details worthy of note, including a plethora of heads… some relatively modern, others showing their medieval origins. There are also patched repairs made with red tiles and a mason’s mark carved discretely on a wall near the porch.

The font is the first thing that you see when you open the door. Nine hundred years old and with its carving still fresh and sharp, it has seen the baptism of all who have embraced the Church and its faith for centuries and miles around. It is carved with a lattice of saltire crosses and circles, for redemption and eternity, and around the rim is a decoration of narrow arches. While the cover is modern, you can still see the medieval fittings for an earlier cover, when the font would be kept locked to prevent witches stealing the holy water for use in their spells.

Behind the font is a memorial plaque commemorating the life of author Winifred Holtby, best know for her novel, South Riding, and for her friendship with Vera Brittain, who wrote Testament of Youth, and whose Testament of Friendship tells much of the two women’s lives during and after the First World War. Holtby was born just yards from the church and is now buried in the churchyard at Rudston.

Tucked away behind the font is a thirteenth century grave slab with a stepped key design that bears the evidence of having ben used as a whet stone by the villagers. Beside the font, and beneath a lace-topped table whose demure skirts I was obliged to raise, is a twelfth century holy water stoup.

The church itself is bright and airy, in spite of  a number of stained glass windows, mostly modern and designed by  Hardman, as the old glass was destroyed by a land mine during WWII.  The windows are large and the pale stone and whitewash reflects every scrap of a light warmed by the presence of old polished wood.

Under normal circumstances, I can imagine it being a peaceful place, quietly serene, but we had arrived on  day when the organ was being repaired, and blasts of wholly ungodly noise were interspersed with short passages of music. The organ was made by Wordsworth of Leeds and given to the church by Sir Alexander Macdonald of the Isles.

Sir Alexander was organist and choirmaster at Rudston for nearly 50 years, and above the organ console is a memorial window, made in 1915 by Arthur Ward. The lower part of the design shows the choirmaster at work.

The chancel arch is around eight hundred years old and dates from the enlargement of the church, when the north and south aisles were added. Above the chancel, the ceiling, supported by carved watchers, is painted with stars that arch above the altar.

The sanctuary holds a treasure or two. The fourteenth century sedilia provides three narrow stone seats for the officiants, sheltered by ornate arches. Beside it is a piscina, carved in the likeness of a head crowned with foliage. Some say that this Green Man  too is fourteenth century, others claim that it is Roman and depicts the head of Medusa. I suppose it is perfectly possible for a church to mistake the serpent-haired Gorgon for a symbol of resurrection, but there may be another explanation… though, if so, it raises more questions than it answers…

As I did not have a decent photo of this piscina, I went hunting and found one online. I came across a suitable picture on the website of artist, Dav White, whose paintings include work inspired by the ancient and sacred places of the land and are well worth a look. He had presented the foliate head beside a map of Rudston, and the similarities are a bit too striking to be coincidental…

Behind the altar are Minton tiles set into arched panels. Encaustic decorations were found beneath the whitewash in 1970 during restoration work, and fragments of earlier stencils are now hidden by the organ. Above the altar, the east window holds a collection of saints, including Cuthbert, Chad, Ethelburga and the Venerable  Bede, all of whom have wandered through our work for the past few years. It also includes a portrait of William Wilberforce, MP for Hull and later Yorkshire, whose work helped bring about the abolition of slavery.

The north aisle would once have held a chapel. There are an abandoned piscina and the remains of a squint, a small tunnel through the walls, set at an oblique angle, through which the raising of the Host at the main altar could be seen.

Today the chapel is a history corner, with informative boards sharing information about the church,the village and its history. It shows some of the finds from the Roman Villa with its fabulous astrological mosaic, with Venus at its centre, wearing little more than a crescent moon on her brow. It also has a 3D display, showing how the archaeological landscape converges on what is now the site of the church.

In spite of the organ repairs, this was a beauty of a church, and with a very open feel. If a ‘new’ religion were going to move into an area, the sacred centre of the landscape would be the place to build and here, their presence firmly established on an ancient site that has seen many faiths come and go, there seems to be no conflict and all are quietly acknowledged.

It is as if the dynamic presence of the standing stone and the Roman goddess of love are unobtrusively echoed in the symbolism of the church… the essence of Creation portrayed by a different iconography, but recognising a single Source. I can go with that…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in adventure, albion, Ancient sites, Churches, clues, England, History, Landscape, Mythology, Photography, Stuart France and Sue Vincent | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Foregone Conclusion… Stuart France

Ilkwknd 182

*

There are approximately one hundred billion stars in our galaxy.
There are approximately one hundred billion galaxies in our universe.

How many stars?
Too many to count…

Continue reading at Stuart France

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dancing #midnighthaiku

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Bones ~ Roberta Eaton #writephoto

Image result for Black Shuck

Black Shuck weathervane in the town of Bungay

Sean sat at the scarred wooden table drinking his pint and reading the paper. He looked up with mild displeasure as Harry bounded over. “Did you read about it?” Harry boomed.

“Read about what?”

“Some archaeology team found the bones of the Black Shuck at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk.”

“The Black Shuck! Do you mean the ghostly black dog with one huge, fiery eye in the middle of his head, which is rumoured to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia. The one which superstitious people believe will bring you bad luck, even death, if you see it.”

Continue reading at Roberta Writes

Posted in photo prompt, Photography | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bone ~ Anita Dawes #writephoto

skull.jpg

Image:  scvincent.com

 

Bones 

Bones whisper, from the desert sand

They whisper from the ground we walk.

We dig them up, their stories told

Graveyards planted, bones of white

Long lost souls lay still at night.

Continue reading at Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Quicksilver Tide ~ Steve Tanham


Vast and swirling force, below
How silently you flow round truth
When hearts and minds let drift
The shallow link of living life
Between the tides of love and loathing
⦿
No fanfare; charge of war
But grey and ancient mud, which
Turning molten silver, deadly,
Quicker than truth half-shaped
Can lie its way to heaven
⦿

Continue reading at Sun in Gemini

Posted in reblog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

If Silence Was A Person ~ stoneronarollercoaster #writephoto

I wish silence was a person
It had voice
And a language
I would shun my own
And adopt hers
I would renounce my all
To talk to her once
I would ask her
Why did she grip me
Grip me so hard
That it turned me white
Bloodless

Continue reading at stoneronarollercoaster

Posted in photo prompt, Photography, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment