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Category Archives: poetry

The Causeway, Active April and A Poem

I enjoyed this that turned up this morning:

“In readiness for the Easter holidays and an influx of visitors, St Michael’s Mount has implemented radical new social distancing measures.Creating a one way system for those visiting the attraction, the ‘Coming Back Causeway’ has been built to ease congestion, and opens to the public today, Thursday April 1st.
Speaking at the opening ceremony this morning, Marizion parish councillor Mike Mount praised Cormac, saying: “The Coming Back Causeway, which looks almost identical to the original causeway, has been built with such efficiency that hardly anyone saw it happening.”  Mr Mount added: “A one-way system on the original causeway was trialed last summer, but was later abandoned after it emerged that visitors could not return from the island.”

Photo by Photojournalist Greg Martin

I like to pass on the Action for Happiness calendar each month. You can find more details here.

A kind friend dropped in some poems for me this afternoon. Here is one of them, new to me but by one of my favourite poets, Billy Collins, an American poet we once saw live in South Yorkshire. It is just one sentence  and I love it. I hope you do too.  Thank you very much, M.

Today

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze
that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house
and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,
a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies
seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking
a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,
releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage
so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting
into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.
We threw open the windows this morning while having breakfast and listened to the bird song instead of the radio. Bliss.
 

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Two Days to Note and Spring Flowers

I’m marking two special days today, World Down Syndrome Day  and International Poetry Day with a poem about the Human Family from a poet I admire greatly, Maya Angelou. You’ll find more of her poems here if you put her name in the search bar. This post and poem are for my friends, R,T and their wonderful little boy, A. You can read more about them here.

Human Family by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

There are Primroses everywhere in Cornwall in Spring and the Violets are just beginning to show.

For my cousin, Wendy

 

 

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Friendship, Books and A Covid Poem

A friend called by today to return a book I lent her recently, The Binding by Bridget Collins, such an intriguing tale which had captured H’s imagination as it did mine.   It is so lovely to see a real person at the door, especially another Book Lover,  and to exchange both some chat and another couple of books. 

One of my American Blogger friends, Nancy, posted the following poem and so much of it rang true for me and maybe for you too. Just to say, my friend, Ute, is feeling much better so thank you for keeping her in your hearts.

COVID IS RAGING . . . MY LIFE IS A MESS
I LIVE IN PAJAMAS AND DON’T HAVE TO DRESS

I’M IN ISOLATION, JUST STAYING AT HOME
AND WOULD GIVE MY LAST DOLLAR TO BE FREE TO ROAM

I’M SERIOUSLY AT RISK (OR THAT’S WHAT THEY SAY)
TELLING ME TO STAY IN AND NOT GO OUT EACH DAY

IN MY HEAD I’M SO YOUNG THOUGH MY LICENSE REVEALS
I’M A 70-PLUS SENIOR (BUT THAT’S NOT HOW IT FEELS!)

WHEN I RUN OUT OF FOOD AND DELIVERIES ARE LATE
I HAVE TO BUY GROCERIES BETWEEN 7 AND 8

SO EARLY MORNING I HEAD OUT TO RESTOCK
AND DISCOVER A LINE WINDING ‘ROUND THE BLOCK

SOCIAL DISTANCING SENIORS ALL 6 FEET APART
MAKE ME WONDER WHEN I BECAME AN OLD FART

MY LATEST NEW OUTFIT IS GLOVES AND A MASK
AND I’M STARTING TO WONDER IF I’M UP TO THIS TASK

I WASH ALL MY GROCERIES ALL FRUIT, MEAT AND VEG
WILL THIS ADDITIONAL PRECAUTION TIP ME OVER THE EDGE?

MY BEAUTIFUL BROWN HAIR HAS WIDE ROOTS OF GREY
NO HAIRDRESSERS AROUND TO HELP WASH THEM AWAY

I’VE BEEN TALKING TO MYSELF & ANSWERING BACK
IS IT MONDAY OR FRIDAY? I’VE REALLY LOST TRACK

I’VE STOPPED KEEPING HOUSE
IT’S WEEKS SINCE I’VE DUSTED
AND I KNOW WITHOUT VISITORS
I’LL NEVER GET BUSTED

I FACETIME FRIENDS OR GROUP CHAT ON ZOOM
AND TRY TO PRETEND WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME ROOM

THANK GOD LIQUOR STORES ARE CONSIDERED ‘ESSENTIAL’
WITHOUT DAILY DRINKS THIS WOULD DRIVE US ALL MENTAL

EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE IT IS GOOD TO REFLECT
ON WHAT THIS ALL MEANS AND WHAT WE CAN EXPECT

IT’S A TIME TO BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT WE’VE GOT
LIKE A WARM HOUSE AND FOOD THAT OTHERS HAVE NOT

THE BOTTOM LINE HERE
BY THE TIME THIS ALL ENDS
IS THAT WE’LL GET THROUGH IT
WITH OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2021 in friendship, Humour, poetry, Postaday2021

 

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A Painting, A Poem, and More Pebbles

I love it when beautiful things come my way out of the blue. This poem by Nicolette Sowder and its lovely art work by Lucy Campbell turned up yesterday.
May we raise children
who love the unloved
things – the dandelion, the
worms & spiderlings.
Children who sense
the rose needs the thorn
& run into rainswept days
the same way they
turn towards sun…
And when they’re grown &
someone has to speak for those
who have no voice
may they draw upon that
wilder bond, those days of
tending tender things
and be the ones.
~ Nicolette Sowder
A couple of my dear readers commented on the beautiful and enormous pebbles on Penzance Promenade and I thought that they, and you, might like another picture where a different set of the sculptured pebbles, have been joined by real pebbles and seaweed thrown up by the last crazy storm.
 
 

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Lowering Sky, Eccles Cakes and A Poem

Our walk was short and brisk dodging hailstorms. The sky over Carn Brea was threatening of more to come.

The lovely Mr S is very fond of Eccles Cakes as was my Dad, a Lancashire man. Dad liked them with a hunk of Lancashire cheese. I have never made them before and am delighted with today’s efforts!

While I was baking, I was listening to Poetry Please on BBC radio 4. The final poem by Murray Lachlan Young, ‘Negative Thoughts’ feels just perfect for these times as many people are struggling with their mental health.  As the poet says, this poem  is  “An antidote to allowing things to spiral in the wrong direction.” The whole programme is worth listening to but you can find the poem  at about 27 minutes using the link above. I found it very useful.

Murray Lachlan Young

 

 

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Dew Drops, Curls and Reading

Walking this morning, I spotted some wool, I think, in the hedge. It must be from a wooly dog as sheep don’t come along this way! I loved the way the drops of dew had gathered in the strands.

In a conversation with Judy of Newenglandgardenandthread this afternoon, I found myself quoting words (referring to technology rather than a little girl) that were spoken to me many times as a child when I was being less than my lovely smiley self!  I looked them up and found this little poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (American poet, 1807-1882)

There was a little girl, who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead,
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

She stood on her head, on her little trundle bed,
With nobody by for to hinder;
She screamed and she squalled, she yelled and she bawled,
And drummed her little heels against the winder.

Her mother heard the noise, and thought it was the boys
Playing in the empty attic,
She rushed upstairs, and caught her unawares,
And spanked her, most emphatic.

I only remember the first verse being used and I used to join in with the reprimand finding it amusing and a bit of a challenge!

This afternoon I have finished my Jolabokaflod book, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Oh, what a story, what beautiful writing, what evocative descriptions! I was sorry to come to the end and can wholly recommend it – just have a box of tissues nearby. Being the mother of twins myself, there were parts I found completely heartbreaking.

 

 

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A Treat, A Stone and A Poem

A treat arrived in the post ready for tomorrow, a chocolate filled Advent Calendar for grown-ups.

On my rainy walk up from town, the wetness had shown up all the colours of the stones in the Cornish hedge.

A friend shared the following poem the other day and I thought you, my readers, would like it too. I found the last stanza particularly poignant.

On a Pebbly Beach

When our family was young
and the children took off over the stones like little dogs
as we followed in our different conversation
and the game was, to come back with the Best

it struck me that grownups tend to select
those that the sea had spent her centuries of energy
smoothing and buffing
from rock until perfectly formal, the ovoid, the oval
while our youngsters go for the grotesque,
the knobbly ones with fractured faces and funny holes
that can have fingers poked in and out of them
or look like puppies or gulls

and now that I sleep diagonally
and walk alone on this beach
it is truly hard to decide
whose preference was the more mature.

John Birtwhistle.

 
 

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A Poem, The Sea and Some Sky

My poet friend, Kim, posted this evocative poem today and has given me permission to share it with you, dear Readers. I remember that longing for the Cornish sea when we lived far away from home. Also, the last verse  rings particularly true as today I walked by the sea with a lovely friend where I felt, ‘Blessed by the sea and its motion,’ as well as by the warmth of a special friendship.

Godrevy Lighthouse

As we left the allotment this afternoon, the sky was peachy and beautiful.

 

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Steely Sea, Posters and A Poem

We decided that our walk today need to be by the sea but when we got there the sun had gone in, the wind was wild and cold and damp, the sea was grey and we didn’t stay long.

Along the path to the beach is a very pleasing timeline of protest. Today I give you the first few….

I subscribe to Poem-a-Day and today this beautiful lullaby arrived in my inbox. Many of the poems that arrive are not in the public domain and are still in copyright so I can’t share them with you but this one is available so here you are. I think it’s very lovely.

A Mojave Lullaby by Bertrand N. O. Walker

Sleep, my little man-child,
Dream-time to you has come.In the closely matted branches
Of the mesquite tree,
The mother-bird has nestled
Her little ones; see
From the ghost-hills of your fathers,
Purpling shadows eastward crawl,
While beyond the western sky-tints pale
As twilight spreads its pall.

The eastern hills are lighted,
See their sharp peaks burn and glow,
With the colors the Great Sky-Chief
Gave your father for his bow.
Hush my man-child; be not frighted,
‘Tis the father’s step draws nigh.
O’er the trail along the river,
Where the arrow-weeds reach high
Above his dark head, see
He parts them with his strong hands,
As he steps forth into view.
He is coming home to mother,
Home to mother and to you.

Sleep my little man-child,
Daylight has gone.
There’s no twitter in the branches,
Dream-time has come.

 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 15, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

 

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A Poem, Kindness and Hope

I promised you a poem that I was sent recently. Here it is, another by Mary Oliver.  Kindness is so very important, at all times, but especially now in these very uncertain times. I send love and peace to you all along with this lovely poem.

Why I Wake Early – Mary Oliver

Hello sun in my face,
Hello you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –

 

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light

 

good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

There was a wonderful interview on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning with a 100 year old man, Eddie Jaku, who had kindness in his soul, who had been in concentration camps and come out with the thought that he must counteract all cruelty with kindness. If you would like to listen to the whole interview , here is the link https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08y82p9

There were words of his that I scribbled down at the point of listening, that I wanted to keep for ever.

“One flower is my garden
One good friend is my world”

“Three H – hope, health and happiness – happiness is the only thing that doubles when you share it. ”

What a wonderful man!  Do listen if you can.

I’ve been ‘resting’ all day as I was allowed to have the steroid injection in my hip yesterday and was told to rest for 48 hours to get the best benefit. I have spent the whole glorious day embroidering the panels that I am making for two of our LiveWires for Christmas. I don’t understand why I can have multiple injections. in my hip and only three in my ankles but I am not going to question it! I can’t show you the panels yet so here is a lovely photo of one of our planters in the Spring to give us all hope for the next Spring to come.

 

 

 

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