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Category Archives: poetry

Silver Wings, A Sketch and Micere Githae Mugo

Sometimes a photograph you have just taken sings back at you with its beauty. Such is this one of a bee gathering nectar. I love how its wings are shimmering and even more, I love the shadow cast by that delicacy. Zoom in – it’s gorgeous!

Silver wings and a shadow

Still sorting! In fact it is a mammoth task as I am a bit of a sentimental hoarder, but it, too, is throwing up gems. In an old sketch book that I thought was empty, the sketches having been taken out, I found this by my Dad of some engine houses. Sadly I don’t know which ones.

Charcoal sketch by my Dad, David Wiseman

More serendipity when I decide to find a new poem to share with you, dear Reader. In Wendy Cope’s collection, Is That the New Moon, which I have had for many years, I found this one by Micere Githae Mugo.

DAUGHTER OF MY PEOPLE, SING!

sing daughter sing
make a song
and sing
beat out your own rhythms
the rhythms of your life
but make the song soulful
and make life
sing

Take the advice! Make life sing!

 

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Story Writing, Raymond Carver and Old Notebooks

We were shopping for children’s books today, for six months old to nine years old and found some beauties with which to entertain the LiveWires later this month. While we in the bookshop there was an author event going on, Craig Green writing a story with young customers. It was a delight to hear the contributions for their 26 words story and his lovely way of using their suggestions.

Story writing with Craig Green

Today’s poem in Poem for the Day is this little beauty from Raymond Carver who died on this day in1988. To love and be loved really is all that matters.

Late Fragment by Raymond Carver

Big, big sorting today on another rain-filled day – this time through all my writings from when our son was very ill soon after being born. My notes take us from Day 11 of his little life, his three heart operations, (though today, reading just the first two was enough), my poems, the little things I have kept from those days. We have both cried this afternoon, reading and remembering, but the beautiful thing is that, despite the odds, 50/50; then 60/40  and again 60/40 against his survival, he and his twin sister are almost 40 and he is himself the Father of twins. One day soon, I shall write up the whole experience, the horrors and the delights, the successes and the mistakes, the lovely things that were said and some of the shocking thoughtless words said by people who should have known better.

Here is a photo of the garden a few moments ago when the sun came out after a day of rain reminding us of how the sun shone in our lives as our lovely boy and his three lovely siblings grew to be such wonderful, thoughtful, kind and much loved adults.

Sunshine after rain

 

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Sunflower, Magpies and A Poem

We were given a lovely bunch of Sunflowers on Sunday and they are still gorgeous though dropping their bright yellow pollen.

We have a family of Magpies in the garden but they are very skittish and I cannot get a photo of them all together. I’ll keep trying! There are six altogether, two parents and four very demanding youngsters. Six is good as the old nursery rhyme tells us:

One for Sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told
Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten a surprise you should be careful not to miss
Eleven for health
Twelve for wealth
Thirteen beware it’s the devil himself.

A good friend sent me the following poem a couple of days ago. It is a gentle evocation of a beautiful place, written by Edwin Waugh in 1864.

‘Tis sweet in pleasant Silverdale,
All in the blossom-tide,
To watch the hardy fishers sail
O’er the blue waters glide.

There, changeful ocean’s
Murmuring waves
Sing in the smiling lea;
A paradise upon the land,
And wonders in the sea.

Edwin Waugh (1864)

I looked him up as his work is new to me and found the following on Wikipedia. There is more to be found here.

“The son of a shoemaker, Waugh was born in RochdaleLancashire, England and, after some schooling, was apprenticed to a printer, Thomas Holden, at the age of 12. While still a young man he worked as a journeyman printer, travelling all over Britain, but eventually returned to his old job in Rochdale.[1]

Waugh read eagerly, and in 1847 became assistant secretary to the Lancashire Public School Association and went to work in Manchester. By 1860 he was able to become a full-time writer; but in 1881 he was in poor health and was granted a Civil List pension of £90 p.a.”

 

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Raindrops, Perun and Poem by Merrit Malloy

Heavy rain this morning left just-about-to-drip-off raindrops on the Agapanthus buds.

Agapanthus

Perun, the 6 m high Slavic Thunder God next door, is being dismantled for his journey to Slovakia. I love how his hair is flowing in the wind! You can read more about him here.

Perun, Slavic God of Thunder

The Party

This beautiful poem came my way today. Thank you Silver Tenters.

When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old men that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give to them
What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.

Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live in your eyes
And not on your mind.

You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands
By letting
Bodies touch bodies
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away

Merrit Malloy

 

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Low Tide, Swans and Louis MacNeice

I have never seen the Penryn  River mud looking so green at low tide.

The Penryn River at very low tide on a very hot morning

After singing I saw two swans with their cygnets, eight of them! I shall look forward to seeing them all on the river at some point.

family of swans

Swan family

I was looking in one of my favourite collections of poetry for one for today, Poem for the Day Two and there found, for yesterday, a poem that I used to teach and that I found very moving, Louis MacNeice’s ‘Prayer Before Birth’ which, it is speculated, was written as a father’s reaction to bring a child into a world at war. His daughter, Brigid Corinna, was born on 5th July 1943.

Prayer Before Birth

I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born, console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.

 
 

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Rear Window Box, Frida Kahlo and Sophie Hannah

Walking through Penryn this afternoon, I happened upon a treat – two window boxes on the back of a car! I smiled all the rest of the way to get my hair cut.

Lobelia and Primroses

Two window boxes

Here is another window from Studio 10 where the Frida Kahlo Exhibition opens on Sunday.

Studio 10, Bond Street, Redruth

Frida Kahlo

It is always hard to leave a place you love but more than that, it is the leaving behind of the people that you love. Sophie Hannah says that she wrote this poem when she was leaving Manchester for Cambridge and wanted to reassure a friend that her decision to leave did not mean that she no longer cared for them. The poem has a lovely rhythm about it and is easy to read aloud, giving me the feeling that she is speaking directly and in person to the one she is leaving.  The poem also makes me think of times when we are left by someone and it was not their intention at all……

Leaving and Leaving You

When I leave your postcode and your commuting station,
When I left undone all the things we planned to do
You may feel you have been left by association
But there is leaving and leaving you.

When I leave your town and the club that you belong to,
When I leave without much warning or much regret,
Remember, there’s doing wrong and there’s doing wrong to
You, which I’ll never do and I haven’t yet,

And when I have gone, remember that in weighing
Everything up, from love to a cheaper rent,
You were all the reasons I thought of staying,
And none of the reasons why I went

And although I leave your sight and I leave your setting,
And our separation is soon to be a fact,
Though you stand beside what I’m leaving and forgetting,
I’m not leaving you, not if motive makes the act.

 
 

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Pinks , Purples and A Spanish Poem

Our garden has lots of pinks and purples at the moment and the contrast of orange here and there.

The Moon Comes Forth
By Federico García Lorca
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

When the moon is out
The bells die away
And impenetrable
Paths come to the fore.

When the moon is out
Water covers land
And the heart feels itself
An island in infinity.

No one eats oranges
Under the full moon.
It is right to eat
Green, chilled fruit.

When the moon is out
With a hundred faces all the same,
Coins of silver
Start sobbing in the pocket.

The Original:

La Luna Asoma

Cuando sale la luna
se pierden las campanas
y aparecen las sendas
impenetrables.

Cuando sale la luna,
el mar cubre la tierra
y el corazón se siente
isla en el infinito.

Nadie come naranjas
bajo la luna llena.
Es preciso comer,
fruta verde y helada.

Cuando sale la luna
de cien rostros iguales,
la moneda de plata
solloza en el bolsillo.

 

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