Views and News

Canadian astronomer, Rebecca Elson's, sense of wonder and perspective is conveyed vividly:

Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:

To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.

A poem for these times, written in the 1950s by Pablo Neruda:

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about...

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

What a lovely, uplifting surprise: thank you to two young people for sharing their wonderful creative responses to their natural environment, using the Explorer's Pack for Spell Songs:

Blue tit song, recorded at by Ted and his mum.

Blue-tit-inspired rhythm, played on the drums by Ted:

Chiff-chaff song, recorded aby Sam and his mum.

Original chiff-chaff-inspired music, composed and played by Sam:

  • Find out about other musicians who have integrated bird song into their compositions.
  • Go outside and listen to birdsong.
  • Create your own musical notation for what you hear, eg. spiky/smooth, high/low.
  • Experiment with instruments to see how you can interpret the symbols.
  • Or: Find audio files of birdsong and compose your own short segment to reflect this. You could whistle, sing, create different vocal effects, use a keyboard, percussion, Garage Band. Devise notation, so that you can remember how to perform it.

This links well with The Day War Came by Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb

A poem which perfectly captures the feeling of the moment:

Tuesday 4th February 2020

New ⁦@CBACoordinator⁩ testing books, shared at our ⁦@OpenUni_RfP⁩ meeting. Interesting to see how some publishers add a special something to promote books. We liked the map wrapping paper.



20 January 2020

Some News from Robert Macfarlane on Twitter

Some news: @JackieMorrisArt & I have been quietly working away on a sequel to The Lost Words. It's called The Lost Spells & it's out in Oct. 21 new spells & a new form. Red Fox, Barn Owl, Curlew, Jackdaw, Silver Birch, Jay, Oak... #TheLostSpells

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