Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

How gloriously windy it’s been here today in Hay. I have the tendency to think about life according to music–songs I love, hate, or that were playing during key moments. As I sat in bed this morning with a cuppa, I listened to the window shade blowing against the open window frame and the venerable song by The Association popped into my head, where it’s been playing on an endless loop all day long.

It’s spit rain off and on all day as well, and because of that I chose to mostly stay inside, taking the opportunity to work on some poems. I feel inspired here, dwelling within this landscape and among all these books and book binders and thoughts. It’s been a good long while since I’ve felt the urge to really create or innovate or simply play. Maybe it means that I’m finally finding a way to move on from the disappointment and what I’ve seen as limitations regarding my diagnosis. Initially I thought that it was all about getting back to where I was before, before the pain and limited mobility took away my ease of movement, but I’ve come to understand that’s not it: it’s about finding ways to move forward with what I have now, who I am now. How can I get myself out into the forest now, despite how my hips and lower back seize up and despite my achy-wobbly knees? How do I continue to write despite the brain fog and flagging energy? This time in Hay is all about coming to terms with this and beginning to forge the path forward.

I walked around town yesterday with my iPhone snapping bits that interested me and captured my imagination, that delighted me. The store displays here are wonderful, and I’m looking forward to doing some gift shopping for friends and family tomorrow as more rain arrives.


To remember
and feel this body healthy:
that would be rare and unusual— like a porcupine
walking through snow
on a Manhattan sidewalk during August.
This illness is a thief and a sneak who
snuffed out those memoried sensations
in the blink of an eye replacing them
with pain’s electric shimmy
up and down my spine
marking this collection of bones,
obliterating and claiming.

If only it was a matter of boldness or
will to overcome
the failings of my imagination.

How did it feel to climb 150 year-old branches?
Drag trees out of the forest?
Haul earth?
Remembering my arms and legs
in that vigorous movement
would be as precious as a tulip
whose colored stayed brilliant
beyond five days.

I’ve not managed to get the whimsy out of this poem that I’ve been working on for a few months and the line breaks still are not right, but perhaps something will click while I’m here in Wild Wales, the country of infinitesimal sounds. Tonight I went out into the wind to take a few photographs with the PEN-F, and picked up some fish and chips on the way back. The fish and chips were unremarkable; walking in the wind = utter deliciousness.


  1. Remembering my arms and legs
    in that vigorous movement
    would be as precious as a tulip
    whose colored stayed brilliant

    Amy, this is lovely.

    I visited the Wye ages ago while on a trip to Tintern Abbey. You have brought it fallback to me. I sat for a minute trying to figure out what the silver contraption was, gave up only to scroll down a learn it was a sexy pencil sharpener. Ah, this Brits! Girgeous countryside. Bet you don’t miss The Donald.


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