Writing as essential maintenance and repair


Today was one of those days where something goes askew in the brain or elsewhere in the body and I felt inexplicably miserable. What brought me out of it, after a little musical and literary sympathy from Mssrs Oberst and Tan, was writing myself into the place I felt I needed to be – in this case, the gorgeous hills and vineyards, just to the North-East of Melbourne (remembering them at about this time of year, incidentally).

This approach, of writing as both a way of working through things and of connecting with the world, is the beautiful kernel of Writing Our Way Home and A River Of Stones. The latter in particular draws on some of the observational traditions we see in Japanese poetry, using writing as a way of developing a better sense of connection with the world around us; the former aims to foster a sense of community in such writings. Whether you join the community or not (after all, the writing and observing are more important than more time on-line!), these sites and their related books are a good reminder of how brilliant writing can be for exploration and a spot of mental repair, and also offer abundant inspiration if you need a little push to get started.

You might also care to pop by A Handful of Stones, which is a “small stone” blogzine with a broader scope, including fiction. There are some gorgeous pieces there – only bite-sized and yet often completely satisfying.


30 Days of Poems


Erstwhile Berlin poet, educator and collage artist, Michael Haeflinger, has started up a blog for this, the USA’s National Poetry Month, upon which he will feature a poet and/or poem a day – poems and poets who have influenced him and resonated with him. Will definitely be worth following, because those influences have led to Mike whipping up some mighty fine words of his own. Go have a look. He starts with a solid bit of Lawrence Ferlinghetti.