poetry

Contents:

  • friend– to celebrate the life of a very special lady
  • autumn’s daughter- seasons ritual
  • dwelling in possibility– thoughts on the effect of mindfulness
  • walking in the shoes of the Green Man – a tribute to the local poet John Clare written for the John Clare cottage website
  • fear you mad dog– written as a contribution to a booklet by the poet Peter Cox after a workshop
  • changing seasons– thoughts inspired by dog walks

 

 

The poems:

 

Friend  In memory of a very dear lady I was privellidged to share part of life’s journey with. You will always be in my heart dear friend.

March2017

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Friend

They say it is time for you to go
To banish the pain you bravely bare
But know before you leave us here
The love you spread upon this world
Will stay and blossom on.

Dear friend, you taught me much along the way
Care, respect and humour twinkled ever in your eyes
Passionate, proud love for your family always on your heart
And quietly but with the greatest loyalty and strength
you held the hands of those who now feel so privileged
to name you as a friend.

Your enchantment has captured all whose life you have touched
Your love and warmth has been ingrained
on the hearts of we who shed a tear for you today.
So, yes now it may be time to go dear friend.But I wish I could give you one last hug
and say how much you will be missed.

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AUTUMN’S DAUGHTER
A recent picture of a mother and child inspired a thought about the ritual and relationship of ever turning seasons.

October 2016


You smile, after summer’s heat you cast your spell.                                                         Ancient alchemy to turn sweet,green, sappy leaves to gold.
To every tree a breathtaking autumnal gown you gave.
Shimmering, glistening in gentle fresh falling rain.
Flaming, stunning, dazzling leaves

Stop now and stare. Look carefully before this beauty goes.
I beg you pass it not without a care.
Cherish it, inhale the scent of it’s beauty.
Hold it tight, life’s best treasure to nurture in your heart.
Flaming, stunning, dazzling leaves

Time moves on and tired leaves, as they must, will tumble slowly down.
Snatched by winds whoes horny hand will toss and whip and spin them round
Their faded glory -into ever shifting piles fall – as troubled dreams they ebb and flow
Restless on a white bed of twisted icy spoil
Flaming,stunning dazzling leaves.

Autumn looks with motherly love upon her special child.Winter lies cradled in her arms.
Adorned in robes of red and trimmed in softest downy fur
New season’s work her babe must do. Laughing loud and travelling fast
To cover o’er her mother’s precious gold.
Flaming, stunning, dazzling leaves- slumber under a quilt of finest powdered snow.
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One of the most beautiful things about creating or reading prose is that we have the opportunity to build our own internal world around the work – and nothing is right or wrong!  This is mine!

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dwelling in possibility*

July 2015

Come close child and look… at the beauty of my ancient and perfect form

Reach into the canopy and touch …my soft underbelly  home to insect and bird alike

Press your ear to my body and listen… to the soft laughter of the breeze ticketing my old wooden hands

Taste …his hot sweet breath as he glides through me telling exotic tales of lands where my static limbs can never walk

Inhale … breathe in deep the perfume of my many delicate blooms tossed in the wind- enticed to travel far from this their home

But you my child have come back to rest for now with me, Sleep…secure in the arms of the one who loves and protects you

Dream… deeply in the bosom of my dark crackled bark

Circle … ride in the  great patterned mandala** of life as it flows through me

Drink … in the knowledge that I have drunk first from His hand
Swim … in the sea of rain as it pours through my branches
Ground… yourself in truth as it gushes back to the soil and dear Mother Earth

Wait …with me and feel my strength- for I have stood so long
Brood …with the storm rattling my soul, stripping me back to my core
Smile… with the warmth giving sun and revive in her healing glow
Have faith…. in what you truly believe and courage to go with it
Love … what your heart tells you has always been right
Feel …. at one with nature as the  seasons’ circle goes round and

Know…  that all you will ever need is within you

Be…mindful as I have done  since time began..

Live …simply just to be and you will truly feel alive

*title borrowed from a quote by Emily Dickinson.
**mandala is a translation from Sanskrit meaning circle. It is used by many cultures and faiths to illustrate wholeness and the circle of life. The artist places an object of significance to them in the heart of the circle to convey their own special message. However, like all art, what is interpreted by and hopefully becomes reality for the viewer may be a truth totally different but equally meaningful to them. This is the magic and beauty of creativity. I invite you to enter the world of my life tree mandala and hope that it brings something of importance to you too.

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This is the painting that I was ask to make for a local charity – this is the poem I wrote to describe it.


 

 

Walking in the shoes of the Green Man

August 2016

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Generations change and your countryside more
But your words live on as I walk the same shaded summer lanes
As you did then, slowly time fades taking me back to how it was before
And I marvel at the beauty in your life, and the pains.

Over by the fields to Glinton I imagine you at school, there when you could
On days devoid of labour even as a child you lay in grasses deep and watched larks soar
By the crumbling stone bridge I felt longing and a shadow where you and faithful Mary stood
Both of you young and unaware that generations change and your countryside more.

They closed it in and broke your heart gentle man – money over nature as it is now
You would laugh at the hedgerow endangered now while insect and flower still remains
People looked at you in scorn with more mouths to feed than just writing would allow
But your words live on as I walk the same shaded summer lanes.

Fleetingly your poems were quaint but the city didn’t see Green man’s rural sense as wealth
Their life took your eye off home awhile despite Keats’ scoff at your unromantic Nymph-less lore
You returned to obscurity and loss of your home so little wonder followed decline and ill health
Sadly I inhale the green man’s view as you did then, slowly time taking me back to how it was before

Past bulging fields with daises, wild heads held high contrasted drooping petaled poppies bleeding red
Gently singing clock a clay as your big skys cloud, day darkens and summons summer rains
I grieve for your sensitivity and that time was short, with open path often not yours to tread
But still in the wet and cold your words remain and I marvel at the beauty in your life, and the pains.
Notes
John Clare background information sourced from
Bate, Jonathan, John Clare: A Biography, Picador, 2003.
‘Green Man’ was perhaps a rather unkind nickname for Clare used by society to indicate his peasant status and realistic descriptions of the harsh rural life and its struggles. This contrasted sharply with the romantic view popularised by established poets like Keats.

I was introduced to the magic of poetry while reading JC ‘s fantastically inciteful work ‘I am’ while at school. So I am  deeply honoured that this has been added to the website for his cottage and work.Follow the link to inspirational work by JC and some wonderful modern poets.http://www.clarecottage.org/pages/New-Poems

Clare cottage and surrounding bridal path walks are perfect creative inspiration.

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Fear You mad dog

July 2015

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Fear …you mad dog howling and piercing my brain with your raging scream
See … your flaming, crazed blooded eyes cutting deep into mine
Feel …your sour warm breath creeping stealthily across my skin
Shiver… as your icy wet nose seeks me out and chases me down.
Fear does not run with the pack. No, it is a lone hunter, more deadly than the rest.Sniffing out vulnerability, selecting victims. Night after night taunting the chosen ones
Run…fast forI know who is coming, flee breathing hard and shallow
Gasp… as my lungs burn tight with effort and escape is a far away dream
Freeze…turned to lead in your vice like merciless grip
Fear… You mad dog howling and piercing my brain with your raging scream

Hide…when you drop me meaning to tease, throw and catch me anew
Lie still…in the long tangled grass my shelter, quivering as prey
Know…time is up as your shadow grow over me looming wolf
See…your flaming, crazed blooded eyes cutting deep into mine

Remember…the pain as you reach and twist at my soul again
Panic… as the toothy cavern of your head moves close to mine
Wretch…as your stinking foul grin mocks my submission and all that I am
Feel …your sour warm breath creeping across my skin

Wake… tossed by the nightmare hound down through the years of my life
Flinch…confused and uneasy at this sudden release?Why do you own me Fear?
Resolve…to stare you down, deny and loosen your grip. So I am free till dusk
Shiver…as your icy, wet nose seeks me out and chases me down. Again it begins.

Fear …you mad dog howling and piercing my brain with your raging scream
See … your flaming, crazed blooded eyes cutting deep into mine
Feel …your sour warm breath creeping stealthily across my skin
Shiver… as your icy wet nose seeks me out and chases me down.

This one was created after a fantastic workshop with the poet Peter Cox.  Workshops may seem daunting as they require participation. However with a sensitive facilitator they can create a wonderfully supportive environment to experiment.

 

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Can you feel it coming?

Changing seasons- Autumn glory

September 2015

“Look”,he cries. “ Now look again! And I promise you will see treasures most precious of all.
Breathe deep. Inhale the richness and live awhile in the sharpness of dewy mornings crisp and bright.
Be alert and travel on the breeze with the cool rippling wind. Let it tingle expectantly on your tongue.
Throw down the blinkers of life’s busy day -discard its cares a minute to watch
and you my friend, will know the one true magic of it all ”

A single butterfly shimmers reflecting last rays of a watery sun.
Aware of my gaze her wings snap shut hiding her fading powdery beauty away.
She is Cinderella after the clock has struck! One tired blossom to the next she flits on.
Mourning the fluorescent pink and yellow of abundant blooms on endless sunhazed days.
But still she remains to labour alone, reluctant to abandon this summer’s sinking ship.

Near me Robin lands, suddenly startling us both as he loses himself momentarily
in the yellow brown and russet red of drying leaves that crunch as he reappears.
Then proud for his new found camouflage he surely winks for me to see.
Jolting my thought free from lazy summer hammock dreams I watch him prepare to sing.
He puffs his chest, glad to be first to tell the news of Autumn’s glory swiftly on it’s way.

“Look with me at the great secret of the hedgerow.Rich, resplendent beacons of shining delight.
Groaning branches bend bearing sumptuous fresh berries to temp hungry beak and human hand alike.
Close your eyes,concentrate as the moist juice lingers on the lip and a tipsy aroma hangs heavy in the air.
Conjure childhood memories: sweet stolen pleasure and foraging parties laughter in the air.
Morning mist clings to glistening bushes studded with dew drop jewels atop lacey spider web.”

“When the rain falls fast throw back your hood. Allow the cold thick drops to connect you to nature’s refreshing bliss.
Notice the wind rise as it stirs in the trees and whips at the leaves to hurry them down.
Follow the slow twisting dance as the first sycamore propellers dive to the ground.
Glory in sunsets that kiss goodnight and wonder at the rise of the tangerine harvest moon.
Turn up your collar.Head out once more to meet me and smile for you will have seen it too.”

“Look”, Robin cries. “ Now look again! And I promise you will see treasures most precious of all.
Breathe deep. Inhale the richness and live awhile in the sharpness of dewy mornings crisp and bright.
Be alert and travel on the breeze with the cool rippling wind. Let it tingle expectantly on your tongue.
Throw down the blinkers of life’s busy day -discard it’s cares a minute to watch
and you my friend, will know the one true magic of it all. ”

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