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Category Archives: poetry

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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Cactus, Octopus and A Poem

Our Christmas cactus is already in flower.

This beautiful creature was photographed in Falmouth Bay by a scuba diver. This report was in Cornwall Live:  “A Cornish scuba diver has spoken of his delight after capturing a remarkable image shot under water in Falmouth Bay. John Blackwell, who is 72 today (October 24), from Illogan, was diving south west of Pendennis Point with Atlantic SCUBA when he captured the staggering image of a curled octopus.”

Thanks to John Blackwell

Another poem for you from Mary Oliver, one which touched me deeply.  I might write my own version, a pastiche, with  different  items but the same philosophy and feeling.

 

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Rose, Hydrangea and A Poem

We have yet another bloom on our Golden Wedding bush and two more buds if they survive the storms.

I tried to take a photo of a lovely blue hydrangea for a reader that I know loves them but the wind was wild! I took a short video instead.

Daughter No 3 sent me this beautiful poem thinking it might qualify as a “beautiful thing.” It most certainly does. My photo is of the moon rising over St Agnes Beacon,  three weeks or so ago.

“If the Moon Came Out Only Once a Month” by Cathy Ross

If the moon came out only once a month
people would appreciate it more. They’d mark it
in their datebooks, take a walk by moonlight, notice
how their bedroom window framed its silver smile.

And if the moon came out just once a year,
it would be a holiday, with tinsel streamers
tied to lampposts, stores closing early
so no one has to work on lunar eve,
travelers rushing to get home by moon-night,
celebrations with champagne and cheese.
Folks would stay awake ’til dawn
to watch it turn transparent and slowly fade away.

And if the moon came out randomly,
the world would be on wide alert, never knowing
when it might appear, spotters scanning empty skies,
weathermen on TV giving odds—“a 10% chance
of moon tonight”—and when it suddenly began to rise,

everyone would cry “the moon is out,” crowds
would fill the streets, jostling and pointing,
night events would be canceled,
moon-closure signs posted on the doors.

And if the moon rose but once a century,
ascending luminous and lush on a long-awaited night,
all humans on the planet would gather
in huddled, whispering groups
to stare in awe, dazzled by its brilliance,
enchanted by its spell. Years later,
they would tell their children, “Yes, I saw it once.
Maybe you will live to see it too.”

But the moon is always with us,
an old familiar face, like the mantel clock,
so no one pays it much attention.

Tonight
why not go outside and gaze up in wonder,
as if you’d never seen it before,
as if it were a miracle,
as if you had been waiting
all your life.

“If the Moon Came Out Only Once a Month” by Cathy Ross, from If the Moon Came Out Only Once a Month. © Forsythia Press, 2012.

I have tried to track down the poet but cannot find any contact to ask her permission to post it. L found it on another blog and I have contacted the blog writer who doesn’t know how to get in touch with Cathy Ross. If anyone out there can help, please do.

 

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Apples, Happiness and Help

A couple of days ago, the friends we met at the drive-in gave us some apples from their tree, Russets which are my favourites. There aren’t this many left now!

Thanks M&J who know how much I love this variety.

These words work for me.

In the words of William Blake, today “I told my wrath.”  I wrote to WordPress expressing my frustration and irritation at the Block editor and the circles I was going around trying to follow the instructions from kind blogger friends to re-establish Classic. One of their Happiness Engineers (!) helped me get Classic back and now I am much happier than I was last night! It’s been interesting to read of the same feelings expressed by so many other bloggers. Thanks, Mike!

 

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National Poetry Day, A Walk, A Poem and Optimism

It’s National Poetry Day today and you can read and hear our Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage’s  new poem written for today, an uplifting one about communication in the time of Covid – Something Clicked

We followed a new walk this morning through woods and lanes, leaves, streams and livestock! Join us along the way. Click on any photo in the gallery for the bigger version. Underneath is another poetry gem for you, reflecting on the changing season. It seemed right for today to go with our walk.  Thanks, Kim.

From ‘Uncovering’ 2013 by Kim Ridgeon

It’s October 1st and here is this month’s help chart from Action for Happiness. Print it out and be optimistic! Optimists have more fun!

There’s the first full moon of this month tonight but, sadly,  it is hiding behind the clouds.

 

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Town Twinning, Breakfast and A Poem

YesterdayI learned  from a friend that our town, Redruth, is twinned with Mineral Point in Wisconsin, USA! We knew that many Cornish hard rock miners emigrated to the states to take their much needed skills and I did a lot of research into that when I was part of the Perthi Kov team putting together our stories from St Euny graveyard for Until the Day Break. I think Wisconsin will have to be on our next US trip, whenever that can be. I wonder if any of my dear Readers are in Wisconsin. That would be really cool!

Our supermarket delivery came tonight. We have croissants for tomorrow’s breakfast!

I am not alone among my friends in having the odd wobble emotionally during this strange period in all our lives and I send my love out there to any of my readers also feeling the strangeness.  The following poem of Mary Oliver’s captures the essence of what we all need to do. Go out and sing!

I Worried by Mary Oliver

 
 

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A Poem, The Trellis and WildWorks

The following poem by Maya Angelou came my way today in remembrance and honour of Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died two days ago. She will be so greatly missed.

 

When Great Trees Fall – Maya Angelou 

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.



When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.



When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,

examines,

gnaws on kind words

unsaid,

promised walks

never taken.


Great souls die and

our reality, bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their

nurture,

now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their

radiance, 
fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
 of
dark, cold

caves.



And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us:
They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

We have finished the painting and have put the trellis back in place. Next comes the planting after  we have replaced all the soil.

We had tickets tonight for the latest WildWorks show, Meet me at  the Edge, to be played out, socially distanced at Botallack. Sadly, it was cancelled on Friday as new Covid rules came into play that the National Trust have to abide by. Instead, the whole wonderful thing was live-streamed and we watched from home. It was so moving and beautifully done.  You can watch if you’d like to. I recommend it if you can find an hour.

 

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