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Category Archives: poetry

Toadstools, First Bluebell and A Poem

Found in the garden of some lovely friends…..

Primroses and Toadstools

Leaving their place, I spotted my first Bluebell of the year, just about to open, beside the stream in the village.

First Bluebell by a stream

We thought Spring had arrived but, as is the nature of April, today has been full of showers (and a bitter wind.) Spring really is coming, see above. Here is a poem, by Sara Teasdale, that sums up April rather well.

April – Sara Teasdale

The roofs are shining from the rain.
The sparrows tritter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the back-yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree–
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me.

 

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Peace, Plate and Peppers

In these troubled times, Lao Tzu’s words, written two and a half thousand years ago, can still point the way for us all:

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbours.
If there is to be peace between neighbours,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

We have a beautiful plate that we bought in Atlanta on our first visit to America about 40 years ago. It shows Stone Mountain, Georgia and we love it. It takes a central position on our kitchen dresser. The potter is named on the back as Chappelle and, looking them up (as you do!) I discover that they are still around! If you look at their gallery, you will see a similarity with our plate so I think, and hope, that I have found the right people.     http://chappellegallery.com/pottery/

Stone Mountain plate

I have stuffed two peppers with mushrooms, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped Brazil nuts, pretzel crumbs and Halloumi cubes for our supper tonight. It looks good so I hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Stuffed Peppers

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2018 in America, art, Beauty, Food, Peace, poetry, Postaday2018

 

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White Primrose, Narcissi and John Keats

We have some lovely white Primroses in the front garden. They have arrived all of their own accord.

White Primroses with the more common pale yellow ones for contrast.

In all our garden work, a Narcissus became broken so I brought it in where we can appreciate its beauty close up.

Anyone know the name of this beauty?

John Keats dated his poem, Endymion,  April10th 1818,  200 years ago today. Here is a short extract which sums up my blog’s purpose.

 

From Endymion, Book 1

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
Its lovliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. 
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing 
A flowery band to bind us to the earth, 
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth 
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days, 
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways 
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all, 
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall 
From our dark spirits.

John Keats

 

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Scarf, Maya Angelou and Martin Luther King

I needed to have a golden yellow scarf for today for the funeral of our choir member who died in March. He was a staunch Cornishman and wanted us to wear black and golden yellow, Cornish colours, and yesterday I found this beauty, yellow gold with purple, white and green – just perfect. It was a beautiful Ceremony, full of singing  and joy as well as some tears, a real celebration of a life well lived.

My new scarf for Paul’s Ceremony

Maya Angelou was born on this day in 1928 and as I may not still be writing my blog in 10 years to celebrate her Centenary, here I give you another of her beauties, ‘Come, and be my Baby.’ You can find her wonderful ‘Still I Rise’ poem here.
Come, and be my Baby
The highway is full of big cars
going nowhere fast
And folks is smoking anything that’ll burn
Some people wrap their lies around a cocktail glass
And you sit wondering
where you’re going to turn
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.
 
Some prophets say the world is gonna end tomorrow
But others say we’ve got a week or two
The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror
And you sit wondering
What you’re gonna do.
I got it.
Come. And be my baby.
It is 50 years ago on this date that Martin Luther king was assassinated. To mark this occasion, the 5pm news programme on BBC Radio 4 played part of his I have a Dream speech that I had never heard before. MLK explains, in wonderful rhetoric, what would have happened or not happened if he had sneezed after being stabbed some years before. Do have a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfpbkTP-XaY
 

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An Elastic Band, A Poem and A Country Lane

Walking back from a lovely singing session with The Suitcases Singers, I spotted a heart on the pavement. I sometimes think passers-by must think I am crazy, taking the oddest of photos!

Heart from an elastic band

Spring seems to be arriving as the softness of light has today replaced the winter grey

Early Spring  by Rainer Maria Rilke

Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows’ wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees.

And a Cornish lane for you, albeit with some winter grey about it. I’ll find a sunny one as soon as I can!

A lane on my way home

 

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First Day of Spring and International Day of Happiness

Today is officially the First Day of Spring. Here are some Primroses and a SnowBaby for you to enjoy that I spotted on my walk back from town this morning.

The BBC is playing poems to celebrate Spring throughout the day. This one by Stevie Smith is  a delight.

Black March.

I have a friend
At the end
Of the world.
His name is a breath

Of fresh air.
He is dressed in
Grey chiffon. At least
I think it is chiffon.
It has a
Peculiar look, like smoke.

It wraps him round
It blows out of place
It conceals him
I have not seen his face.

But I have seen his eyes, they are
As pretty and bright
As raindrops on black twigs
In March, and heard him say:

I am a breath
Of fresh air for you, a change
By and by.

Black March I call him
Because of his eyes
Being like March raindrops
On black twigs.

(Such a pretty time when the sky
Behind black twigs can be seen
Stretched out in one
Uninterrupted
Cambridge blue as cold as snow.)

But this friend
Whatever new names I give him
Is an old friend. He says:

Whatever names you give me
I am
A breath of fresh air,
A change for you.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” ~ Desmond Tutu

I have added the Roasted Cauliflower with Lentils recipe to my Recipes (Savoury). Click on the red link to find the recipe.

 

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Mother’s Day UK, Sylvia Plath and A Blackbird

It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK and as well as yesterday’s flowers and having No 1 Daughter here for breakfast, a special treat, there were cards and  phone calls. I am a very lucky Mum.

I wanted to give you a poem today, for all  Mums, with us or not and whom we honour with our gratitude and our love. This poem by Sylvia Plath is a reminder of the early days of Motherhood and I love its opening line –
” Love set you going like a fat gold watch”, the sense of “moth breath” which so catches the delicacy of a new-born’s breathing and the way the baby’s voice has “clear vowels” which “rise like balloons,”  reminiscent for me of all four of ours.

Here is Morning Song by Sylvia Plath.

Love set you going like a fat gold watch.
The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry   
Took its place among the elements.
Our voices echo, magnifying your arrival. New statue.
In a drafty museum, your nakedness
Shadows our safety. We stand round blankly as walls.
I’m no more your mother
Than the cloud that distills a mirror to reflect its own slow
Effacement at the wind’s hand.
All night your moth-breath
Flickers among the flat pink roses. I wake to listen:
A far sea moves in my ear.
One cry, and I stumble from bed, cow-heavy and floral
In my Victorian nightgown.
Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s. The window square
Whitens and swallows its dull stars. And now you try
Your handful of notes;
The clear vowels rise like balloons.

 

The Blackbirds have now eaten all the seedy pastry I put out for them. I need to make some more.

Blackbird in the feeding house

Here is my link to Soulful Sunday . Thank you Mindful Gardener for the meme.

 
 

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