The Beauty of Flatness

we wake each day in a flat landscape
earth and sky extend to the horizon
the only line breaks in this epic poem
are corrugations of ridges and furrows
ditches choked with waterweed
and marsh woundwort’s stout pink heads
birds smudge the milky welkin
as they slip low over marsh and field
spooked by the fading ghost of the moon
mirroring our flat landscape

Kim M. Russell, 6th September

The Beauty of Flatness 2

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Toni’s Challenge: Step into the Void, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

This Thursday, Toni tells us about Japanese aesthetics, in particular the ‘Enso’ or circle, which represents both the finiteness and the infinity of our lives. She says that the centre of the circle is empty and yet full – of possibilities, joy, sorrow, life, death, darkness and light. It is the centre or void that she wants us to step into. The void is also known as the ‘ma’ and has different dimensions. For this prompt, we are writing poems inspired by the first three.

One-dimensional space, flat space, with no depth of field; often the light from the full moon gives the landscape a flat, one dimensional look. Toni suggests writing an imaginative piece about the moon, a one-sided argument or love affair.

Two-dimensional space, our own house or a house that means a great deal to us in some way, or a library, a school, a happy marriage or relationship.

Three-dimensional space is empty, for example a desert, the ocean or outer space.

Toni says to let our imagination occupy one or more of these spaces and identify the space we are writing about.

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57 thoughts on “The Beauty of Flatness

  1. Lovely lonely moments spent appreciating flatness to the horizon, something our own Southwest offers us in abundance. Your piece is rife with words that I’m not familiar with, yet you make me right at home by your side.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. I live the flat lands in the US..
    The dessert, parts if the prairie, the areas close to the ocean. I especially like the birds being spooked by the appearance of the moon and the pink flower heads in the furrows. This whole poem is a celebration if your part of England.

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  3. I love how the flat landscape in the last line mirrors the first and I remember the ‘corrugations of ridges and furrows ditches choked with waterweed’ from my younger days in the Netherlands – a beautiful write Kim :o) xxx

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    1. Thank you, Xenia. Norfolk has a lot in common with the Netherlands. Indeed, Norwich and our neighbouring village Worstead have close connections with the Dutch and Flemish weavers.Through to the 18th century Norwich was the second city of England. It was a busy cultural capital, heavily settled by those who had come over the North Sea, including the Dutch and Huguenots escaping religious persecution. They helped create many of Norfolk’s trades, its arts, its printing achievements and its painting traditions. Although the Dutch and Walloon ‘Strangers’ invited to Norwich in 1565 by Queen Elizabeth I are the best-known of the Low Countries immigrants, the first Flemings were invited to Norfolk in 1338.
      In the fifteenth century, protectionist tariffs, taxation and wars promoted domestic cloth-making – assisted in the 1560s by refugee Flemish weavers fleeing the Inquisition in the Spanish Netherlands, who brought with them their now-famous Canaries, remembered today in the nickname of Norwich City Football Club. Dutch architecture, such as gable ends, can be found across Norfolk, but particularly in Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn.

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      1. Wow, that is so interesting Kim! I did not realise the first Flemings were invited to Norfolk in 1338 and the connection with the canaries! I have never been to Norfolk and when I see glimpses in your photographs I can imagine that the Dutch and Flemish who settled there would immediately feel at home in the landscape 🙂💖 xxx

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    1. The Norfolk Broads are definitely watery! Even our coastline is quite flat but I love that. On the other hand, I enjoy the beauty of hills and mountains – a bit of cragginess is good for the soul. 😉

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  4. Being a child of the prairie, growing up in the middle U.S. where regimented rows of crops stretch to the horizon, I felt a sense of nostalgia as I read your words. To this day, the concrete canyons of big cities give me claustrophobia! Your words are wonderfully descriptive, Kim. Well said.

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    1. I’ve been up here twenty six years now and, although I miss some aspects of London, I don’t miss that closed in feeling. I love being able to look at the sky and see stars, to be able to breathe clean air, and not see humans if I don’t want to!

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  5. Totally yummy write Kim, love it.
    I will be thinking of you tomorrow re the extraction. I don’t know if you are like me, I really hate the dentists and only go when I really really have to, usually of an abscess or toothache that won’t go away…
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Anna! I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m terrified of the dentist and especially extractions. I’m trembling at the thought of it and, for the first time in ages, I couldn’t get out of bed this morning! I’m catching up on reading and commenting to distract myself. 😦

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    1. Thank you for reading, Susan. My daughter lives very close to Pewley Downs in Guildford and I love the curvaceous beauty of hills too. I would love to live nearer but we can’t afford the house prices down there and I know I’d miss Norfolk if we did move.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoyed reading and learning the classification of those dimensions in the Japanese way, it gave perspective to some things I have been going through lately. your poem on the flatness of sky and land are like a mirror of each other, the line break a clear one almost a tangible barricade

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