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'noli me tangere'

By Gruff Kennedy
Illustrations by Isabel Mitchelson
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I was watching a video yesterday

About endangered caterpillars

Living in the Lake District

They feed on balsam.




The balsam is rare, and their only food source.

Its curious name derives from a

Mechanism it employs.

When touched, its seed pods

Burst; the seeds



The caterpillar has no warning of this.

Heedless of danger they awkwardly

Crawl along the balsam stems

And feed. Sometimes they,

Too early,


'Image poem#1'

By Gruff Kennedy
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There's something discomfiting about being away from

The ebb and flow of the sea.

There's something incredibly calming about

The hiss of the gulls

The shriek of the tide.

My own work is self-labelled as documentary photography, out of a lack of a better title. By carrying a camera daily, I aim to embody the spirit of the Brownie in making the means to photography ready to me at every moment, without obstruction – by doing so, I can take a photograph of anything that captures my eye and interests me enough to preserve. Any of us can do this these days, with a camera readily available in our pockets around the clock – and many of us do so without even thinking about it. Next time you take your phone out to take a photograph, whether it is of your friends or of something that caught your eye, think about how you are participating in the act of documenting your life through photography. Make prints of your favourites, display them on your walls, share them with your friends and family. Follow the tradition of those who came before you and took their own snapshots documenting their lives. Everyone is a documentary photographer today, and this is a good thing.

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