Hygge Feature #18 Objects of Happiness

Many thanks to Angela Topping for including one of my poems in her beautiful, interesting, hygge-inspired series of blog posts.

Angela Topping

Most people have some small possessions of little monetary value, but great joy is attached to them, either because they please the senses or because they are associated with a happy memory or a loved person. Using and touching these things enables the owner to enjoy a sense of living in the moment, which is a key aspect of hygge.


I, who’ve inherited nothing, except
this nose more arched than a harp,
these hips made to cradle a life,
find in these old things enough
to still my quivering beak, which
pricks in every direction of a map;
enough to soothe the soup of my belly,
which craves to feed to lips of a babe.

Be still. These delicate, finely-wrought
treasures live in a cupboard that’s cradle-
sized. My eyes sip at them daily,
when making tea, or slipping the coats
from potatoes. Two cruets, as white as

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Voices on the Bridge – Looking Forward!


What a lineup! Not to be missed!

Mab Jones is a “unique talent” (The Times), who has read her poems all over the UK, in the US, Ireland, France, and Japan. She is the author of Poor Queen (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and take your experience and peel it (Indigo Dreams, 2016), which won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. She has also won the John Tripp Spoken Poetry Audience Award, the Word Factory Neil Gaiman Short Story comp, and the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, amongst others. In 2015 she was the recipient of a Creative Wales Award. Currently, she teaches a creative writing class at Cardiff University, coordinates International Dylan Thomas Day, and is a freelance contributor to the New York Times. She recently presented a poetry programme on BBC Radio 4. www.mabjones.com

Josh Evans is a 23 year old, Rhondda based Singer/Songwriter. His music…

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Writer spotlight: meet Mab Jones

Mab Jones arrived at the writing party relatively late, at the age of 29, but has really made the most of it since.

The 39-year-old poet, writer, journalist, event organiser and teacher aspired to be a writer and artist from a young age, and finally started putting her goals into practice just before turning 30. One reason, she said, for not starting sooner was: “I felt very lacking in confidence, and I didn’t know how to get into writing.”

Everything changed for Mab, however, when she discovered Literature Wales’s bursaries for new writers. The Cardiff native decided to put some words together and submit them for consideration, and actually went on to be awarded a grant of £3,000 to keep writing.

“I quit my crappy job,” the writer says now. “I had to get another crappy job afterwards, mind, but I had three months free to write. I wrote a…

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Hygge Feature #4

I’m really enjoying these hygge-inspired poems on poet Angela Topping’s website. I believe the project is currently open to submissions, too, so do take a look. Some wonderful poems up here so far.

Angela Topping

Today it’s all about food, and it won’t be the only one with that angle! Home-made food is all about being cosy, sharing, and being in the present moment.

Making Bread

Pungent baking smells fill the house.
Three loaves cool on wire racks.
A sharp knife separates a half inch slice,
speckled with oval sunflower sections.
A happy sigh ; the family is home.

First, a warm kitchen,
Tough brown bags of organic, wholemeal,
Stone-ground grains ; wheat, barley, rye.
Warm water, salt crystals, pearls of yeast
(Using the simplest and best, only the best.)
My hands that fold the warm trembling flesh,
Pat flour off my apron’s belly, into my hair.
The oven clicks, starts its rise with the bread.

Blue poppy seeds, sesame and buckwheat shards
Stretch apart on the swelling surface.
A good rise comes from the heart,
warmth inside and out ; the family is…

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Voices on the Bridge


In the land of the bards! Voices on the Bridge Pontypridd Museum 7 until 10pm 27th January 2017 – Poetry, Song, Music. Gerhard Kress Rhian Elizabeth Des MannayMab JonesRob CullenSuzanne MarieMike JenkinsJulia Lewis Rhys Milsom Ellen DaviesJosh EvansCara Cullen plus open mic. What a lineup!

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Poetry Film Advent Calendar

I’ve been very busy recently, touting my book about, and teaching at Cardiff Uni, but the travel and the tutoring are all finished for the holidays, now. So, I thought I’d write my first blog post in a while, and let you know about poet Claire Trévien‘s excellent poem film project, in which she creates an original poetry film for each advent calendar countdown day of the month.

So far, the project has included wonderful poets such as Wendy PrattZoë Brigley Thompson, and Catherine Ayres, as well as myself. Today’s poem film, with poetry by Kallie Rose, and film by Claire, made my heart feel as if it was about to pop! All of them are really unique and interesting, of course, with all sorts of thoughts and emotions arising as a result…

Take a look at Claire’s YouTube page to watch some of the wonderful things. And, make sure to follow if you want to keep up with the advent calendar in its countdown towards Chrimbo. There are many more lovely ones to come, before then, of course. It’s better than chocolate! Promise… 😉

FREE WRITE@CHAPTER CWTCH 10.00-13.00 November 25 2016

willdeanford's Blog

Nearly the last Friday of the Month, which means nearly time for


Probably the last FREE WRITE of 2016, so come along, muse on what the writing year has brought you, and what you hope to be doing with the days of 2017!

Meeting once a month, with no fixed agenda, FREE WRITE brings together poets, storytellers,spoken word performers, novelists, comedians, creators of words in whatever form, meet up to connect, chat, share experiences, successes, cautionary tales relating in any way to writing, the process, the results, the joys, the pain, the paths and the pitfalls of  the word based life

NOVEMBER 25th MEETING: 10am to 1pm in The Cwtch, Chapter Arts Centre

No two Free Write sessions are the same, you may use the session to focus on getting some words down by yourself, or join the discussion, maybe a prompt will arise during the event and those who…

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Poem On October

In the final week of October, I was Resident Writer at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse. This project, ‘Poem in October‘, saw a number of different writers running events and engaging with visitors in the beautiful museum and tea rooms. I was the last of these, and my week, which I called ‘Poem ON October’, saw me collating, collecting, and encouraging poems from people visiting the Boathouse who had travelled, in some cases, not just from other towns and cities but from other countries, as well.

I collected over 200 poems on October, autumn, the Boathouse, and the stunning estuary views, and put these together into a grand group poem, which you can read below. I used at least one line or phrase from each poem received – no mean feat!! I managed to include something from every poem, apart from two. This one:

I found a pumpkin

It had a lump in

its mouth. I found it

in a forest,

I named it Boris.

Um… Hard to fit this one in! And another, rhyming poem, which told, in brief, the story of the life of Dylan Thomas. It was too hard to include that, when I had asked everyone else to write about autumn / October / the views! So, sorry if these are your poems. I don’t think Dylan would have minded! The poem below is thematically more sound with these exclusions. And, well, Boris is indeed a pumpkin, but politics are not for this project, really, either…

Many thanks to all who took time to write with me at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse, in any case. It was fun! And I think the end result is very interesting. I hope you enjoy it.


Poem On October

by Visitors to the Boathouse, 25th – 30th October 2016

compiled by Mab Jones



October is the time of change.

Autumn has begun.

Autumn it is dawning.

The hillside ripples with Autumn greens.

Leaves as red as fire.

Trees of gold and green.

Low lying light.

The flurry of the Autumn wind.

Apples falling,

falling down,

dancing off the trees,

dancing in the air,

tumble and skitter

in our pathway,

under feet, where

a blanket of leaves

lie. They love tumbling

down, orange

red and brown.

Brown, yellow, green.

Crunching, rustling,

a kaleidoscope of burnished memories

in this breezy, hidden forest where

roots raucously roam.



There is nothing about the autumn

that I wouldn’t like to repeat next year.


A pot of Earl Grey and

Welsh rarebit.

The woodburner’s glow.

Smells from bonfires.

Eating biscuits.

Thick jumpers

and fluffy socks,

the donning of scarves.

Hot chocolate, fireworks,

murmured conversation and

roaming dogs.

Paw prints along the path.

Big castles.

The wind blows in your face.

Cosy in bed.

To walk on the hill’s shoulder.

Still autumn views.

Ride your bike as leaves fall.

We can run in the leaves.

Autumn is the best,

especially in the West.

The month of my birth,

and yours.


Bonkers, conkers, muddy shoes

leaving crisp, gentle footprints.

Put some big socks on.


Apple and cinnamon,

pumpkin and sage,

the tastes and smells of October,

when the grass is jewelled.

hedgehogs, squirrels

munching on acorns,

conkers, horse chestnuts,

stunning sun rises,

the misty mornings,

smoke curling up the chimney,

swirling sweetness,

October of our lives.



October winds growing stronger,

October waves growing bolder,

The wind is howling,

an explosion of crows.

Autumn leaves are falling.

October grey sun.

Seeds holding the promise of fruit.

My heart, made of leaves.


Birds squealing with delight

at dusk, and at dawn.

Plain at noon.

Sun dazzled beaks.

The seagulls swoop,

the curlews cry.

Lapping water.

Boats splashing on the sea.

Thigh-wadered fisherman.

The glistening river as it flows.

An atmosphere of calm.

Streaks of silvery light.

Lonely boat on sandy bank.

The choppy sea is flowing.


Ebb…. and flow.

The clouds roll in.

The sea rolls out.



Summer’s grave, autumn’s gate.

Halfway back from nowhere.

Wide brooding, dull and greying, skies.

Animals start going into hibernation.

No more heat, no more sun.

A little auk drifting in on the tide,

sloe-black eyes staring blindly.

A scary orange pumpkin

that has no mouth or nose,

a hollow stare,

cackles creepily.

Pumpkins lighting up like torches.

A bird as black as coal, fast as the wind.

The fall of giants.

The skeletons of the trees,

the spider-like branches.

Fingers of mist.

Chilly fingers scaling your face.

Spooky ghosts.

Hijacked / ambushed.

The days go cold.

The trees sway.

Decaying leaves.

Muted shades.

Beaches deserted,

sun retreating.

Winter is knocking

round the corner.

Winter comes soon.

Then it’s snowing.

The day ends quickly,

rattling across the years.



Memories made,

Never to be forgotten.

An October birthday.

The view is beautiful.

Under silk moods.

Whiskey to the heart.

Full of peace, being playful.

We will be fellow adventurers together,

each year will be a new year we’ve grown.

In fondo mi sento fortunato.

Today I take home a

poet’s song.