Tunes (and puppets!) for a Monday morning
What comes from silence

Roll up! Roll up!

(Watch in full screen mode for best effect.)

Last night was the great unveiling of the crowdfunding campaign for Hedgespoken: a magical new project created by artists/writers/performers Rima Staines and Tom Hirons.

A few weeks ago, they called for a Vagabond Tribe of friends and neighbors to gather 'round: raggle-taggle musicians and circus magicians; gypsy dancers, moonspinners, and fortune tellers; jugglers and clowns and children and crows; a faery harpist and gentle fey folk who arrived riding ribbon-bedecked ponies.

While we ate, drank, and made merry, filmmaker Annabel Allison gentle but firmly corralled us into the footage that would be used for Tom & Rima's Indiegogo campaign: music, dance, songs and laughter to summon the Little Gods of Luck, Travel, Coin, and Story. If the magic has worked, then you shall find yourself entirely unable to resist supporting their magnificent scheme for a Mythic Arts centre on wheels.

Vagabond 1

Vagabond 2

"With its drop-down stage, fancy awning and proscenium arch," Tom & Rima say, "Hedgespoken will serve as a stage wherever it goes. Whether it’s us telling tales and making mischief with handmade puppet shows, or it’s other actors, musicians or sword-swallowers using the stage-space as part of a Hedgespoken Travelling Show, our aim is to spread a little old magic by doing what we love.

"Hedgespoken has the wherewithal to act as a mini-theatre, a cabaret stage or acoustic music venue, anywhere. Perhaps your village green, or that disused urban space, wayside or park – Hedgespoken arrives, makes magic, plants seeds of imagination, and then leaves, in the tradition of wandering bards, travelling storytellers and itinerant puppet theatres and circuses that are so much part of our heritage."

Hedgespoken painting by Rima

Vagabond 3

Howard and I participated on the beautiful day of filming near Stone Lane Gardens, during which I snapped the photos here....

Vagabond 4

Vagabond 5

Vagabonds 6

Vagabond 7

Vagabond 8a


Vagabond 9

Vagabond 10

Vagabond 11

Vagabond 12

Vagabond 13

Vagabond 14

Vagabond 15

Vagabond 16

Vagabond 17

Truck plan, side view

Vagabond 18

To help all this become reality, please put on your best motley clothes and head over to the brand new Hedgespoken website ... where you can learn more about what makes it so special, and how to contribute to the dream.

I'm biased, I confess, because I love Rima and Tom, and also because my husband has done puppet work with them and is likely to be involved with their theatre-on-wheels in the future. But biased or not, Hedgespoken is an extraordinary project, created by extraordinarily lovely people ... so I hope that all you Mythic Art fans out there will dig deep to contribute if you're able. Or, conversely, if your pockets are empty, please give Tom & Rima your blessing and help them by spreading the word.

Even Tilly is doing her bit.

Vagabonds at home

Puppet by RimaMore photos here on the Hedgespoken blog.


Ooh! How marvellous!

This is just so much wonderfulness! Makes my heart sing.
(Completely agree with you about men and lace, too.)

And weren't we all good about keeping these goings-on a secret until the Public Unveiling of the campaign? Tom & Rima are much loved around here.

Yes! Nobody spilled the beans though you all must have been full-to-bursting with the news.

Tom and Rima are very special indeed. I'm looking forward to following their journey. Wonderful that Howard will be working with them.

Watching the video and seeing your post here show just how special your whole community is - I'm always astonished, though never surprised. :)

How wonderful, Magical, enthralling!
I wish the venture every success.
Blessed Be!

Such a wonderful project, so exciting. How you all keep quiet about it I will never know. I shall look forward to the day we are able to sit and watch the magic happening on their wonderous stage!

Wonderful, wonderful!! such a gorgeous community of creatives you have! I shall be following their stories with much excitement..and hopefully one day get over there to see the magic myself ;)

Thank you so much for this beautiful post, Terri! Great photos, too - it was a wonderful day, wasn't it - let's have more like it...

And thanks too for your kind comments, folks - it's going well so far: I think we may have tapped into some kind of wild circus vein of longing in the mountains of Grey...

We can't wait to be performing on the waysides and commons with Howard and co and creative friends as yet unmet and unknown!

Bless you all!
Heady days :)

Dearest Terri, I am at Viable Paradise for the week and awoke early this morning, my head aswirl with bits of story, so I took the opportunity to catch up with your beautiful posts on my phone. So much to ponder and sit with, and wonderful as always! Your community is amazing, and I so hope to belong to something similar one day.

Now to begin my day filled with Myth and Moor enchantment. ❤️

It looks fabulous!

Can't wait to see Rima and Tom take off on their dream... I just wish there was a land bridge to get them here!

Thank you so much for spreading the word about Rima and Tom's grand adventure. I owe, gladly, many thanks to Rima for the encouraging images and words we shared when I began a traveller's life and needed the Magic rekindled. I have shared HEDGESPOKEN on my blog with blessings and encouragement to my readers to support imagination on wheels.

Something similar was attempted several years ago on the website == and while that project never achieved fruition, I have high hopes for this one.

Oh wow, this is SO cool! I can't wait to see more!

Fantastic, excited to follow their adventures!

Very exciting. I wondered if you, and yours, were delightfully involved with this wonderful future. Thank you for bringing more imagery, more connection.
While attending a three day fair this past July, admiring, enjoying the various artisans under their tents, I wondered why writers aren't participating in festivals. Why can't there be a stall of handmade books, sheeted poems, envelopes of short stories? Why don't we have less formal access to storytelling, more intimate, closer?
Perhaps these thoughts grew from the tales written by Sylvia Victor Linsteadt arriving by post.
I am enthralled by the path Rima and Tom are taking.
Again thank you.

I'm in a traveling actor troupe, on distant roads,
I went through forests with monsters, highwaymen
To do our show in villages and palaces, then
On on to stranger places, fairies and real toads.

We brought out minstrels, comedians and
Lent our laughs to village actors, clericals
Bible tales, Noah, Adam and Eve, miracles
With laughs and pratfalls, money in our hand.

We went to Italy to learn some spicy lines
With masks and fancy costumes, fans
In our hands. Fake weddings, ah man's
Failing, as clowns and yet, wit's designs.

We wandered continents, centuries, time
Forgotten except in whispering trees,
The travelers camp, we came to please.
Our songs, our voices, that faint chime...

Even that Bard, you know him, Shakes
Caught on with clowns and wit
In the meandering line, we never quit,
Villains, heroes. heroines, snakes.

I see our wagon drifting through
Centuries and tomorrows. Dance,
Sing, bring drama, joy, romance
Remember us. We remember you.

Entranced, and contributing. Thank you!

Blessings, Laurel

Okay--I'm taking a lottery ticket this week in your name....wish me luck. i would so love to see this project succeed!

What a wonder-full community. It gives heart to me, in a quiet country far away, that there is such joyous magic amongst people there.

Yes, Howard and I were indeed involved -- as were other folks in the Mythic Arts community, including Marja Lee, Virginia Lee, Elizabeth-Jane Baldry, David Wyatt and Danielle Barlow. (Brian & Wendy Froud had hoped to be there as well, but the filming date conflicted with a book signing commitment in London, alas.)

I'm hard to spot in the film, but there's a glimpse of me in this picture on the Hedgespoken blog (on the ground by the truck, behind the dancing children and Marja Lee with her harp. Just look for long blonde hair underneath a maroon cap):

I very much agree with you about the lack of writers at festivals (except festivals completely focused on literature, which have a different kind of audience). Hedgespoken, with it's mix of art forms, is a good step in that direction, as is Sylvia's beautiful work. Martin Shaw, at the West Country School of Myth& Story, also does a lot to bring writing and story back to the fireside:

All these lovely people give me hope ... and inspiration.

My pleasure, dear Tom. I look forward to watching performances on that stage, and nights by a fire afterwards, under the stars....

Rima has converted and lived in a truck before, in an earlier phase of her life, so I have no doubts that she will successfully do so again, particularly with the addition of Tom's skill and vision. They are a formidable pair, well versed in turning dreams into reality. :)

I hope Tom & Rima stop by to read this, Phyllis!

May the joy of one small community on Dartmoor inspire others to make magic in many places all around the world.

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.” - Wendell Berry

Sending love to you from Dartmoor, Shveta.

Thank you for supporting Tom & Rima, Laurel. You're certainly a person who knows a thing or two about turning dreams into reality!

Good luck, Michelle. xoxo

Yes indeed, Howard looks wonderful in lace! If only my own husband could be persuaded...

I also love your dress, Terri!

Thanks for all your enthusiasm, poetry, lottery-ticket-buying, good wishes and word-spreading, you lovely folk! Today, the work really begins in earnest with this funding bid, so please keep checking into the website and sharing from the Indiegogo site ! Bless you all!

Oh, here too, Valerianna!

Marvelous! For about the millionth time, I wish I lived THERE! All the best luck of travellers and vagabonds to you both for bringing a little bit of oh-so-very-much-needed magic back into our world.

Done! And yes, I agree with so many... wish I could be there to celebrate and witness the magick!

A beautiful post Terri, and how wonderful that you get to be a part of such a marvellous project! I blogged about it from afar ( ) and will have to be content tagging along behind the wagon all the way from Australia. Related: all the green in your photos makes me very wistful for the Devon landscape, a place that very much feels like my mythical home.

Thank you, Terri. Bright thoughts on a grey days, and love to you and all your house!
xo Laurel

Thank you. I am a long time fan of traveling theaters, as you might imagine. Once in the
late 1960's and early 1970's my husband then, our three children and friends became
for six week, the Green Grocers of Norwich. We did Miracle and Mystery plays. I had a lot of fun dusting off plays a"Free Wales," to the queen and really dirty fights, yelling,:Mud, garbage, swill to each other. My youngest son, now a fine actor, at about 6 years old loved being the saint who cured people and the blind and crippled men tried to avoid him, as begging was their only job. Oftentimes, we felt transferred to a magic land.

Between "Dusting off plays," and "Free Wales," something was left out. I think it was that when we were offstage we were scroungy scrappers, yelling "Free Wales," to the Queen.

Thank you! My mother-in-law made it.

That sounds wonderful!

Howard traveled all around the British Isles and Europe with his Commedia dell'Arte troupe for 16 years, and his tales of life on the road are extraordinary...and hilarious.

The Traveler's Wagon Speaks

The road is long, but hope is longer.
My people speak to the purple thrusts
of Willowherb in the crackling verges.
Wild ponies follow in my ridged tracks.

The road is long, but laughter longer.
Each performance children howl back
at the puppets, their parents smirking
behind wrinkled, smoke-stained hands.

The road is long, but faith is longer.
The traveler's wife worships at the crossroads,
leaves floral offerings at stone boundaries,
acorns in leaf baskets at the foot of trees.

The road is long but love is longer.
The traveler sings by the fire to his wife.
Their child dreams in his cot of moontide,
mornings, the treasures of the road.

©2014 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

I forgot to mention this was at the original Renaissance Faire.

What a rich poem. The road and all the wonders....I can see all this, very visual and

What a fantastic project...I will definitely promote...thanks to Jane Yolen to alerting me to the project...and your posting.......oh that I could hop the ocean and travel along!...Is that Elizabeth playing the harp, I presume?? Peace and onward, Wendy

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