Welcome to my poetry blog, & thank you for visiting! Hello! My name is Debbie Jones, and I write original poems and post my own accompanying photographs under the name of Gloria Smud..a play on the words for “Glorious Mud.”
I hope you’ll enjoy walking with me to experience some of the sights, & my inspirations from the beautiful, Welsh countryside in & around the village of Llangunllo, in Powys, where I live, with my husband, Trev.
The 11th November 2017 turned out to be the start of a very memorable journey indeed! After living in Birmingham for the whole of my 56 years, up until then, it was time for a change, a huge one! On that Armistice Day, with the help & support of family, I finally relocated to Llangunllo, in Powys, Wales, along with husband, Trev & all our worldly goods.
We only had an inkling for what was in store. Urban city life is fast; bustling, busy, hectic, and noisy. We were used to that hubbub. Eventually, you don’t hear the constant hum of vehicles, passing a few metres from your house. You don’t notice the changes, slowly happening in the familiar streets of your neighbourhood.
All amenities are close by, or easily accessible…the list goes on. Llangunllo was the polar opposite, we knew, & craved that difference from city living, after Trev’s recent retirement. So, here we were, in this quiet, small village that we’d never heard of only a few months ago.
Photography & first poetic inspirations
I’d been interested in photography since I was a young girl, after receiving the gift of a camera from my cousin. Over the years, the types of camera I owned progressed, as did my curiosity for many photographic subjects. Latterly, I became especially interested in capturing different aspects of the urban areas of the city; architecture, street art, street photography etc. However, every time I found myself surrounded by nature; in a park or more often, in the large, old cemetery close to where we lived; emotions & words stirred within me, & I’d form poems in my head.
Rarely, did I write them down. I’d often added verses to greetings & sympathy cards, flowers, etc for friends & loved ones, in order to add that personal touch. I did start to jot the occasional poem down, the first one, strangely enough, on Armistice Day 2011. The jottings were few & far between, and the book remained, mostly, at the back of a drawer.
It didn’t take long, and we soon settled into our new, & beautiful, rural Welsh location.
It was time to start exploring, taking my camera out & about in the local area, and discovering the fauna & flora it had to offer. I decided to start walking regularly, along the mile and a half route, on the lanes of the village, known as “the triangle” I quickly fell in love with everything about this new wonder location, watching the seasons change, whatever the weather.
The Beast From The East
We had to contend with some of the heaviest snowfall in years, as “The Beast from the East” visited the UK, that Winter. To make up for it, we enjoyed the weeks of wonderful sunshine that arrived during the Summer of 2018. Armed with my camera, or using the camera on my phone, & adding a macro lens, I became fascinated with capturing the emerging growth, & decay of the vegetation, seeing the mini-beasts in close-up, and trying to befriend the local sheep & cows. The effects of the changing weather & conditions on the landscape & cloud formations also made their mark, and all became immersive & totally inspirational.
Once again, I found myself composing poems in my head, but not committing them to paper. It was time to change, as the words were spilling out & filling my mind, and it seemed ridiculous to fight this creativity, that was being ignored.
It was kick-started by a short rhyme I wrote, in September 2018, in remembrance of a dear friend, on the 1st anniversary of her passing. That was the key that opened the door. It became easy to type all my thoughts, ideas & fully formed poems into the notes on my phone, and use it to take photos of the particular thing that inspired them, on my walks. Poetry was still, “my secret” but my collection was growing. On October 4th 2018, I retrieved my little book from the back of the drawer. It was National Poetry Day, so I dared to post a poem on Facebook that I’d written in 2013 for National Poetry Day that year. I was taken aback by the positive comments & surprise that I’d written poetry. After sharing, with family, a more recent verse & inspired photos, they encouraged me to start publishing them.
To start with, I decided It would be easy to post on Instagram. I wanted a separate poetry page from my other photography account, so decided to use a different name. “Glorious Mud” came to mind, mud being something you see everywhere, without noticing its qualities, unless you look a little closer. Like a lot of nature, we see it but don’t always really look! Unfortunately that name was already in use. Realising I could make a name from the words, it fitted perfectly, & there wasn’t anyone with the name Gloria Smud..success! Now I’ve unlocked that door, the ideas keep flooding out, as I walk & soak up what I experience, in detail..and hopefully, will continue to do so. Thank you for reading.