Chaos, Storms and Plague.

Challenging times. The chaos of Brexit, the recent ravages of Ciara, Dennis and Jorge and now, many of us are in self-enforced isolation to try and avoid the potentially lethal Covid-19. Optimism is in rather short supply, it would seem.

However, I recently had a conversation with someone who has faced more than her fair share of life’s tragedies and turbulence and emerged broken, but not beaten, from the fray. She claims that what saved her in the face of the worst of times, was a simple philosophy. Every day she tried to find something of beauty to marvel at in the natural world. Thus, on the day of her young husband’s funeral, she caught sight of some newborn lambs in a field and it gave her a momentary lift from the heaviness of grief and despair. It doesn’t change the situation, but it does allow a chink of light into the dark and restores some optimism.

So, this morning, as I type, although it’s pouring (again!) and any number of events we were looking forward to have been cancelled and, worse, we aren’t sure when we’ll next be able to see our family, there’s a Great Spotted Woodpecker swinging on the peanut holder, right outside the kitchen window. He (or she) is so close, and completely unperturbed by my presence behind the glass, that I have been able to watch the comings and goings freely for at least ten minutes. Beside the woodpecker, flocks of blue-tits are jostling around the fat balls and two tiny, long-tailed tits are nipping delicately in and around the melee, pecking at morsels indiscriminately. It’s a small thing, but a welcome diversion.

The other thing you could do, to alleviate the boredom and lift the spirits, is read poetry and, as such, 4Word are delighted to announce that we are getting ready to publish our eleventh pamphlet on the first of April.

House of Bread by Andie Lewenstein is an exceptional collection and a thing of real beauty, which and will leave you spellbound.  It is available for pre-order (£5.99 plus p&p) from and is a pamphlet which you will want to come back to again and again.

(Cover designed by Claire  Jefferson)

And remember – The Renaissance took place in chaos and plague (Shive Ayyadurai) Take care all.

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