This time of year, when the rains give way to sunny days, in my mind I  always hear e.e. cumming’s poem  in just spring. Those of you who’ve studied poetry remember cummings. He never capitalized his name or the titles of his poems which I could never get away with in English class! Here he is reading the poem:

In California a break in the rain this time of year brings this urgency to all gardeners: Quick: Pull the weeds while they’re young and tender and the ground is mudluscious!!!  

weedsSure they’re cute in their infancy.  So many brilliant shades of green particularly after four years of drought, it seems a shame to try to uproot them but if you don’t, they will grow like – well – weeds.  And once the ground starts to dry your best chance to get rid of weeds is with a jack hammer.

Which brings me back to mud.  I don’t view mud as icky. Especially when my mud is rife with worms.



Isn’t this a lovely shot of mud?

It will dry out quickly if the California sun continues to shine.

And then my battle will be hard. But today was a mudluscious day.
i wore my garden hat.
i listened
to the birds

and the boy practicing basketball
thump… thump… thump


and the creek, dry for years roaring to life.

and i said oh what the heck and started my day
in the lower case.
with the worms and the mud.

oh please wordpress – don’t ruin my mudlicious day by insisting i capitalize everything!

(although clearly I’m no e.e. cummings)

Now, the theory of proper blogging etiquette dictates that I end this blog with a question, thus encouraging comments, but the question “what do you think about mud?” really seems a bit daft, don’t you think?

The Passionate and Whimsical Poet of Penzance

This week, before I go on a wireless vacation, I’m delighted to showcase the talents of a gentleman known OwainGlyn.128.348405to thousands of devoted fans as Owain Glyn.  Not only is he one of the most prolific poets I’ve ever run across but his work spans the emotional spectrum from romantic sonnets to whimsy and scathing diatribes against politicians to anything that “fits in a sock drawer” (a collection he calls Miss Sellanious).  Although he is revered on Wattpad (the free-read site where I first ran into him) and could easily rest on his laurels, he still finds the time to read and comment on literally hundreds of poems and stories of all genres every day! One of his poetry collections, Windswept, has just been published by Outer Banks. Here are some early reviews:

Windswept Front CoverWelsh writer Owain Glyn has brought us a collection of poetry worthy of his homeland Windswept is exquisite, you will want to keep it by your bedside for years to come. – V.L. Sloan
Windswept is awash with words that appear simple but work like magic. This is poetry that Tom, Dick, and Harriet (And I) can read, and enjoy. It connects with us, and has the power to transform us. – Colm Herron
Owain Glyn’s Windswept brings to mind the great romantic poetry of the nineteenth century. It’s nuances eloquently displayed through the shifting winds that have swept through heart of this wonderful poet. – Lisa Cole Allen

And now meet Glyn Hockey!

JTT:  Greetings my friend! Congratulations on the publication of Windswept!  I’m looking forward to soaking in a bubbly bath, drinking champagne and reading your beautiful poems by candlelight.  (And then maybe a little hanky panky later with the hubby) Here is one of my favorites:

What would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
You know,
The one without a bow
That I play in the metro
Surrounded by funnel web spiders.
I don’t stay,
Because they say
It’s illegal,
And anyway
I can’t play.
This is nonsense
Of course,
Just like
The pantomime horse
On my bedroom wall.
All I really want to say,
Is what would you do
If I turned up on your doorstep
At two in the morning
Dressed only in my violin?
Would you send me away?
Because I can’t play?

The thing I love about your poems is they never seem stretched, you know what I mean?  It’s as though you just sat down, held a pen in your hand and the words arranged themselves brilliantly on the page.  No effort, no sweat. 

7879977-100-k473391GH: Ah, I only wish it were that simple. I start with an idea that I hand write, I leave it to settle for a few days before I return to it. if I still think it has merit I will produce a word document that I can edit and play with. A few days later I will return to it again, only if I am still happy, will I post it.

JTT:  I think I’ve forgotten how to write by hand! Aside from the fact that you live in Penzance on the coast of Cornwall and have a grandson named Jack who you’re urging on to naughtiness, all I know about you is from Tag it A-Z:

  • You’re allergic to royalty, politicians and tax collectors so you only eat them sparingly on rare occasions.
  • You love cake so much that you plan to be buried in a large chocolate eclair.
  • Apparently you wear underwear only when you expect to be run over by a bus.

Any other revealing things we should know about you?

GH: I guess my sense of humour reflects my interest in life, it is also a defence mechanism that helps me to see that not all is as bad as it may appear. I am an animal lover, (being Welsh that sheepmeans a strong emphasis on sheep) and a follower of Rugby Union, (Welsh Rugby Union)  I consider all the years spent residing in England as missionary work.

JTT:   I guess it was a sacrifice you had to make! I enjoyed England although I never want to drive there again.  For readers who know little (or nothing) about Wattpad, it’s very common on that site for writers to work together on collections – sometimes romantic, sometimes silly, sometimes holiday themed.  You’ve participated in a couple, my favorite being9502915-80-k283346 your The Whole Cole collaboration with a writer known as @knightwriter.    It’s a tit-for-tat between Old King Cole and his homicidal wife Alice. When you were working on it did you ask your wife and beloved mother-in-law (about whom you speak so sweetly) to act out scenes?  (you know – to get inspired…)

GH:  I had considered my mother-in- law for role play but she was far too busy teaching Ghengis Khan some basic manners.

JTT:  Glad to hear she’s keeping busy! From the silly to the very very serious, three of your collections, Armageddon, Marta, and the World According to Owain, address the many injustices in the world, leading you in one poem to ask:

“So, my question,
if man is forged in the image of God,
is he or she as perverse as we?” 

In other poems (War, for example) you expose a deep contempt for government institutions :

“I am war,
the whore of your government,
I ride my black steed among you,
at their invitation.”

Do you think there’s any hope for this world of ours? 

GH: There is much darkness in this world of ours, but there are shafts of light too. Conflicts are not caused by the many, but by the few. If we all learn the meaning of a few words; tolerance, compassion, empathy, we have a chance. We need to celebrate our differences, not use them as barriers.

JTT:  Sigh.  You’re so right.  I really wish we could go on forever but I know you’re busy with the release so let’s conclude with a final question about Wattpad.  The openness of 7235951-80-k466149the site has led people to post just about anything, which has resulted in toes being stepped on, gripes about the software they’re using, and the airing of personal health issues which can be difficult to “vote” on.  As a former “ambassador” (community advisor) you’ve tried to remind people to be civil and to remember that it is a free site. Do you think eventually they will begin monitoring content more closely than they currently do?  For those people who are not familiar with Wattpad, what would you like to say about your experience?

GH: Wattpad has the capacity to be a wonderful place, it allows writers of all levels of competency to interact. None of us becomes a master overnight, it takes practice, and encouragement. Wattpad, and its users are a microcosm of wider humanity. Yes, there are glitches more than I would like, but with a platform this size some problems are inevitable.

JTT:  I’m always amazed by the generosity of other writers on that site.  You’re absolutely right – despite a few problems, it’s a great place to mingle.  

Thanks again for taking the time to be here with me. I really appreciate it.  Releasing a book can be an extremely trying time. I had to hire a caretaker to strap me into a straight jacket (which made for a very interesting release party!) Then, as the reviews came in, post release anxieties descended on me like evil flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz!   “Did I release too early? Too late?”  To save you from such a fate, I’d like to point you to the best advice I’ve come across regarding life in general and fame in particular:

“If you compare yourself to others, never look upwards, you will get dizzy and invariably disappointed.  Always look downwards, that way you can make sure your feet are firmly on the ground and pointed in the right direction.”  – Owain Glyn, Advice to My Sons

My friends, I have only touched on the depth of this man’s talents.  You can read some of his poems on Wattpad for free but maybe not for long! OwainGlyn on Wattpad

For a limited time you can order a copy  directly from the publisher for $9.99 click Windswept – Poems of Love. Bring some love into your life!

See you all in a week!