Author Archives: Elizabeth

April in the Territory of Rain

This is not really a typical month, as it has certainly not been the territory of rain. There hasn’t been any serious rain all month, and not much in March. The pond is low and I’m already watering things that I wouldn’t usually need to worry about until June. On the other hand, until last… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – the Indications

Now these nine herbs * prevail against nine demons, against nine poisons * and nine epidemics, against the red plague * against the foul plague, against the white plague * against the blue plague, against the yellow plague * against the green plague, against the brown plague * against the lingering plague, against the harm… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs 8 and 9 Thyme and Fennel

Two for the price of one this time.     Thyme and fennel, * all-powerful both The Lord wisely * shaped these herbs Holy in heaven * where he hung Established and sent them * into the seven kingdoms To heal the rich * and the poor alike They will stand against pain, * they… Read More »

Burnedthumb Spreading its Wings

There are a few opportunities to catch me in action coming up. First of all, there was the interview on Pulse Radio, which you can now hear on Mixcloud at Then I have just received notice that InterlitQ, a wonderful on-line resource  based in Argentina, has published five of my poems, including the title poem… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs 7 Crab apple

I live in a village which keeps the last remnants of ancient monastic orchards, and we still have a lot of fruit trees. When I first came here, ‘plundering’  was a regular amusement for boys from across the river, and you would find dropped apples on the bridge wherever some irate gardener had chased them.… Read More »

Burnedthumb on the Radio

I’ve had a very exciting week. Tuesday saw the launch of Jim Carruth’s Black Cart, published by Freight Books. Jim read several of the poems, dealing with farming and rural  life in Ayrshire. They are knowledgeable and unsentimental, and later in the year, when I hope to get back to thinking about Grounded Poetics, I’ll… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – 6 Chamomile

Remember now chamomile * what you made known what you ordained * at Alford That no-one should ever * lose his life because of infection if he had chamomile * with his food.   I’ve struggled a bit with this one, as I can’t imagine cooking with chamomile, but chamomile tea is a great digestive… Read More »

The Charm of Nine Herbs – 5 Burdock

A burdock plant photographed in June on the island of Seil. Put to evil to flight, now burdock,* let the great be diminished  the lesser be increased * until both are healed. This, I admit, is a weird one, a flight of fancy, perhaps, but not without some thought and information behind it. I had… Read More »