Tag Archives: photography

INKSPILL 2018 Picture Prompts



This morning’s picture prompts have been gathered under Creative Commons license from Wikimedia Commons.

Choose a picture and start writing – see where it takes you.

A view of the interior of Nasir ol Molk Mosque located in Shiraz, Iran. The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade that makes beautiful colors when light is passed through it and is reflected on the carpets.
Three Parisian women watching the solar eclipse of 8 April 1921 on the Cour du Havre, next to the gare Saint-Lazare.



“Airborne” by Christopher Klein, an art installation representing a gas molecule. Built in 2008 for The Linde Group’s headquarters, the Angerhof, in Munich.



High diver Beatrice Kyle, standing by the wheel of fire engine, in high driving outfit, holding a pickle, between acts at the Society Circus at Fort Myer, Virginia; for the benefit of the Army Relief Fund; Apr. 25, 1924.

Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room


Sometimes your mind is just in the right place, or the room has the perfect mix of people or the atmosphere is calm and pleasing… whatever it was last night – a combination of all three perhaps, Poetry Lounge was magic!

I was excited to hear the featured poets Angela France and Andrew Fusek Peters and was delighted they were both on the bill together. I also had a pre-booked open mic spot (although I changed my mind on the set I delivered once I got to the venue). I shared some of my Maya Angelou poems, as well as a political one and a natural world and Restless Bones poem, gave the anthology a plug too.

Jean Atkin hosted the event this evening on her own and Jean’s calm presence and knowing the order of readers helped evoke the atmosphere beyond friendly, into homely territory, it felt like a very special night to be a part of.

It was also lovely to see the Shropshire poets again. Definitely worth the drive – although I wish I felt more like Angela about night drives.

sitting room

I love learning about the real lives of poets, with the same awe as children discovering us teachers don’t live in our stock cupboards and that we have a mum and dad too! Touched by new knowledge I wanted to buy one of Andrew’s older publications, ‘May the Angels be With Us’, now out of print, it wasn’t one of the titles he had brought with him to sell, but he sold me the copy he had read from. I know that I could have bought a second hand copy cheaper, but I am all for supporting poets – as I hope to be in the book selling position in the future and would rather see the (small) profit, there was a made-up statistic on TV about only being 10 people in the world making a living from being a poet, I reckon there are a few more, not many though, every little helps.

I enjoyed a great evening of poetry and came home with a scribbled palm of ideas, I do usually pack my notebook for when ideas strike, as they often do listening to poetry. I hadn’t even got my own pen!

It was a great mix of people and work and as a big fan of both Angela and Andrew (can you tell – gush) it was bound to be a fantastic night.

Claire Leavey’s performance was as exceptional as the last one I saw, it was great catching up with her again. I was delighted to meet and discover the poetry of Ted Eames, listen to Steve Griffiths again, both of whom also had books on sale (oh, to be a millionaire…. said the poet)! Martha was a bonus, she had turned up with a book and a notebook of her paternal grandfather and her husband’s grandfather and poetry from the war. As Jean said it was incredible to hear their words 100 years later.

Andrew was so relaxed he performed from the sofa! He was using his photography in slides throughout his performance and didn’t want to stand in front of the images. What wonderful images they were too. He is currently absorbed by the natural world and is discovering new talents. I had no idea he had only been shooting for a year or so, (I just figured, as with myself and many Creatives, he had fingers in many artistic pies), I think this makes his work even more spectacular. He is also entered for a National Award and treated us to that image too.

I guess it comes from his training as a poet – he is incredibly capable of catching the exact moment – akin to choosing the specific word, rather than those that will do. Andrew drew an analogy between poetry verse and a single moment caught in a shot. It was such a touching set.

He peppered it with older poems from his former life writing for children and talked about his brother. The years he was talking about were right back at the beginning of my poetry odyssey, I don’t think I had stepped up to a mic back then, although I was published (and still in school).

Angela France was equally a pleasure to hear / watch again, I have bought her books at previous events already, but there is nothing to beat a poet reading their own poem. She told her story about Laurie Lee and I love that by chance meeting that she had. Being told stories and holding them in her head for years before she could get them down on paper, in a poem. It was lovely to see Angela again, she always inspires me, her writing is so tight, so perfectly fixed together, seamless. I look forward to reading her collections again. She ended with her wonderful poem about night driving and although I understand all the imagery and drove home thinking up her words, I sadly have to admit that the glaring headlights and sharp, fast bends of my own lane journey home, were not so welcomed by me.

I was very tired and trying to concentrate hard with a head full of poetry and ideas is hard work!

Angela france

Here is Jean Atkin summing up the evening;

Just back from a great night of poetry at The Poetry Lounge! Guest poets Angela France and Andrew Fusek Peters gave us great sets, with names for herons, 18th century women who gave birth to small furry souterkins, the pursuit of buzzards and reward of hares, and the benedictions of country lanes at night. Also great readings from our open mic slots – Steve Griffiths, Nina Lewis, Claire Leavey, Ted Eames and Martha, who read the poetry of her pacifist grandfather who wrote about WWI, 100 years ago.

Diverse Dancers Exhibition – Najma Hush – Performance Event



Diverse Dancers Part I:   An Exhibition for Exhibitionists, with Art, Poetry and Music.

I had a great night at the Diverse Dancers Exhibition/ opening night at The Ort in Birmingham.

I found out about this event in January and excitedly signed up. Najma was looking for artists and performers to come to the opening of the event (although the gallery exhibit opened on 19th February), it was such a lovely gesture to get the wider community involved and there were plenty of audience there tonight too.

Diverse Dancers

^^^ See Najma’s photography!

The exhibition is there until the 4th March.

It gave me an opportunity to meet and watch new (to me) talent and I always love events at the Ort because it is such a hippy vibe place to be that I feel totally at home in the café.

1 birm ort

A superb night, I really enjoy having the opportunity to share my poetry in events other than Open Mic nights, there is something rather special about performing for other reasons. Plus I love the challenge of writing for specific reasons/ events/ venues…. I may not think this when I get commissions.

Najma is a fantastically talented photographer who captures moments of dance through her magic lens. Being an ex-dancer I LOVE her work and feel so much when I look at the images she has shot. Her work speaks to me on a personal level, tonight she passed comment that my poetry spoke to her in the same way. Great synchronicity!

I adore the way (in this 3D crazed world) that she can captured such movement in a 2D form. It was a delight to write poetry especially for this event. It was in my writing diary as a task to do mid-February, a week ago, a bit like last minute homework assignments, I ended up writing two of them at 4:30 am after my Hit the Ode gig and then another one around 3pm which I hurriedly emailed to Mr G for printing! My final poem in the set was written for one of the challenges and appears in some form somewhere on this blog, I will try to find it and link it up here. I don’t tend to ‘publish’ my work on this blog as I am hoping it will appear elsewhere.

Here’s the link – cannot believe it has been a year since I wrote it – retitled –

The Fourth Wall

Writing these poems brought all sorts of memories back to me, from Martha Graham to learning Labanotation, from being taught choreography by a Japanese speaker to the pain of pointe shoes and all of it was wrapped up in a neat bundle of 3 new poems.

Rather like Thursday night, when I got back from the city – I am now working the adrenaline out of my system. Honestly tonight was soooooooooo good it may take a while to come down!

It was lovely to receive such positive feedback after my set – especially after last night’s fiasco and it has helped boost my confidence again. The thing is my set may not be as dramatic or as well presented / polished as people who have been doing it for the past 6-10 years… but I am nearly 5 months in and my poetry can speak for itself, there is a lot of meat on my words, people can already enjoy a feast – and one day maybe silver service!

I shouldn’t beat myself up less and need to stop comparing myself to other artists. We are all unique and talented in our own ways and how I feel, what I think is not what the audience experiences. I can compare myself to myself and each time there is a good night – keep that one and know that being human involves making mistakes sometimes. At least I can’t hurt myself with mistakes, not like athletes or medics or something, nothing catastrophic will happen as a result.

Najma Hush Najma Hush

The night started with the wonderfully talented Andrew Clayton playing music on the keyboard, he also accompanied Carys Matic Jones later in the second half with improvised music which worked fabulously alongside her words.

I have added some photos of the evening taken by Bernard Davis © 2014

Adele kicked off the poetry – Stage name Ddotti Bluebell, she hosts Word Up at Yorks Bakery, where I will be performing next week, it was great to meet her and hear her lively and amusing set.
Adam Laws was extremely brave, his first approach to the Open Mic and unless he had said, I don’t think many of us would have guessed, he was nervous and still gave a stellar performance! I hope he will do more now, I encouraged him to keep going and I am sure others did too!
adam bernard davis
Al Barz, who runs Purple Penumbra which I went to before Christmas amazed me with his dance poem, complete with backing music and audience participation dance moves, a great warm up for performers in the first half and fun too! Al Barz - bernard davis
Jude Ashworth, who I met a few times last year, at Jane Commane’s workshop and Jan Watts – Books to the Future festival – Phenomenal Women event read two poems which had depth and vision.
Andrea Shorrick was brilliant! A Cinderella who certainly managed to go to her ball – what a performance! Drama, monologue, a Fairy Godmother tick list, a broom, a ‘brave’ (I say gorgeous) dress and a poem! A real treat. Andrea bernard Davis
Ian Henery, Walsall’s first ever Poet Laureate in (2011), performed his poetry and likened the talent of the first half to that beyond the Nation’s favourite, Kipling!
Olufemi Abidogun  femi
Fami mesmerised me with his words, a gentle, fantastic poet, who I regret I ran out of time to talk to, I tried as much mingling as I could manage.
Tessa Lowe, who hosts Poets with Passion events and when she is not writing, performing or being lovely, travels. Was brilliant as always and described how completely happy she is about her decision to relocate to this part of the city, with vibrant descriptions of the location and obvious love for the event itself, her words carried us all to the interval.
1 birm ort1
Carys Matic Jones kicked off the 2nd half and she ‘kicked’ it, performing poetry and have an impromptu improv. with Andrew Clayton, before producing her new toy and drumming us right up to my set, she was dynamic and the injection of music livened up the atmosphere!
carys andy
  • I nervously took to the mic and had a moment of clarity when I suddenly realised my words stand up for themselves! nina
Kate Walton katewalton bernard davis was absolutely amazing, I really enjoyed talking to her afterwards as well, known as the ‘Storytramp’ and a nominee for some amazing storyteller award, kw she wowed us with her physical and spoken performance – the sheer joy was obvious in her face and was infectious!
Lorna Meehan, one quarter of the Decadent Divas, recently back from her 1st Poetry Tour under Apple and Snakes and someone who I have seen 3 times in 2 weeks performing at the same events was amazing as always. Her poise and performance ability blow me away!
Simon Pitt – Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 1999- 2000 performed a random set it has to be said, amusing though his outbursts were, he also treated us to the first poem he ever declared in public!
Najma Hush treated us to two poems, her second poem spoke to me and was a treat of words.
Max Jalil M performed a great poem and really had no need to be nervous, it was a supportive atmosphere and his poem stood up for itself.
Then I was treated to the artful jazzwork of Roy Mcfarlane, Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2010- 2011 a brilliant poet from what I heard this evening and a dreamy, narrative, sometimes baritone voice which leant itself to the content of his poem too. A timeline through Jazz, politics, rights and history. A joy to listen to.
frugal cafe creative commons champers
I hope I have not missed anyone out, the whole night is whirling around in my head! Some of the performers sadly couldn’t make it and some people had to leave after the 1st half. This did not dampen the atmosphere of the evening, wonderfully relaxed and all taking place with the inspirational backdrop of Najma Hush’s Exhibition ‘Diverse Dancers’.
And the best bit is there are 2 more events on the horizon in April and May. Can’t wait to write for them – hopefully not at 4a.m this time!

Diverse Dancers: I


I am performing (alongside many other local talents) tomorrow at the opening of this Gallery event – writing the poems at the moment… it will be my 2nd gallery opening and I am looking forward to it!

Photogiraffe Live Art

Najma Hush’s, Diverse Dancers is the title given to a  large and ever expanding compilation of photographs, primarily concerned with the multiplicity of varying dance traditions, unique to a variety of different cultures and subcultures.

This collection has been produced with a keen interest in the grace of dancer’s movements and seeks to reveal the eloquence of each pose, jump, spin and lift.  As this project expands and develops, Hush seeks to come closer to interpreting and presenting the exceptional language of bodies that never lie.

Diverse Dancers Part I:   An Exhibition for Exhibitionists, with Art, Poetry and Music. Diverse Dancers Part I:
An Exhibition for Exhibitionists, with Art, Poetry and Music.

Presently, a small and miscellaneous selection from this collection is exhibiting at ORT Cafe, Birmingham, UK (19th Feb-5th Mar 2014).

Look out for the next post on Diverse Dancers, where you can view the photographs from the open exhibition night and get better acquainted with all the amazing performers who will come…

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Blogtember – The Best Bits of the Missed Bits


I thought I would manage a post a day for Jenni’s Blogtember challenge, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I have decided as I missed so much of last week and the first few days of this week I will dip in and chose those that appeal to me and make a montage of Blogtember The Missed Bits.


Wednesday, September 18: Only photos – I tried this one and couldn’t find the right snaps…
Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!
Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.
Monday, September 23: A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!
Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.
Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up – a mistake you made.
Looking at this list of wonderful prompts I am not sure I can combine any… so look out for more Blogtember posts throughout the day.
Wednesday, September 18: Only photos
DSC04396DSC04244DSC03855DSC04062DSC04388DSC02994DSC02935DSC026062012 brighton 6552012 brighton 5322012 brighton 4102012 brighton 625
2012 brighton 1592012 brighton 2062012 brighton 6502012 brighton 5822012 brighton 009
A Snapshot of My Life

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Texture



This is something I wanted to touch…

It has been a long time since I joined in with Cee’s Photo Challenges, I’m sure she would love you to check out the others.