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Category Archives: poetry

A Poem For You Dear Readers

I couldn’t resist posting this for my readers and friends who are poets and for those of you who love poems as much as I do, even though it isn’t Monday and even though I am taking a break.  For Kim and Kari in particular.

Monday – Billy Collins

The birds are in their trees,
the toast is in the toaster,
and the poets are at their windows.

They are at their windows
in every section of the tangerine of earth-
the Chinese poets looking up at the moon,
the American poets gazing out
at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.

The clerks are at their desks,
the miners are down in their mines,
and the poets are looking out their windows
maybe with a cigarette, a cup of tea,
and maybe a flannel shirt or bathrobe is involved.

The proofreaders are playing the ping-pong
game of proofreading,
glancing back and forth from page to page,
the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes,
and the poets are at their windows
because it is their job for which
they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

Which window it hardly seems to matter
though many have a favorite,
for there is always something to see-
a bird grasping a thin branch,
the headlight of a taxi rounding a corner,
those two boys in wool caps angling across the street.

The fishermen bob in their boats,
the linemen climb their round poles,
the barbers wait by their mirrors and chairs,
and the poets continue to stareat the cracked birdbath or a limb knocked down by the wind.

By now, it should go without saying
that what the oven is to the baker
and the berry-stained blouse to the dry cleaner,
so the window is to the poet.

Just think-
before the invention of the window,
the poets would have had to put on a jacket
and a winter hat to go outside
or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,
I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper
and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,
the wall of the medieval sonnet,
the original woman’s heart of stone,
the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2019 in poetry, Uncategorized

 

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Poem, John Clare and Blue Bloom

Here’s a poem by John Clare that resonates with me.

Nature Has a Feeling

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

John Clare, photo  by Natalie Doig, sent to me some time ago.

And a little bit of nature from our garden……

 

Dahlia, Bees and A Poem

The head fell off one of our Dahlias so we have it indoors in one of my Mum’s green glass pieces.

We did pretty well planting for bees this year, ten of these plus Aliums  and Crinodendron which  the bees  just  love.

Posted with the permission of Claire Jones www.TheGardenDiaries.blog.

I read the following poem this morning and it touched me. It was written by the Palestinian poet Fady Joudah after the signing of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

by Fady Joudah

 

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Mobile, Poem and A Calendar

Our nephew’s wife, our niece-in-law, is an artist with words, otherwise know as a poet, whose work thrills me. She has given me permission to share this one here.  In honour of her poem, Pisces Public Apology, here is a photo of a mobile that my Dad brought me from Mevagissey when I was five years old.  I have treasured them for many, many years.

Pisces in pottery

 

Pisces Public Apology

I’m not a rock, I’m water.
I will never be still, try to understand that.
There will always be a ripple beneath the surface of my clouds

There will always be a reaper in my waves.

I am the child they called Powder Puff,
crying eyes caricature
doggy paddling the riptide
squinting for a dwelling place
in the oasis of my own peace but at the moment,
that pebble
is somewhere downstream.

Try to swallow the fact that I
ingest my surroundings and
spit them out in distillate form and
that could be a shower or
hold on to your hats cos
it could just as well be a storm.

I know that you want me to stop dissecting the particles in search of a source babe,
but isn’t that the definition of
precipitate?

Can you relate to the water cycle,
from pool to vapor to ice and then bled
out by gravity over and over and over again-
Have you ever danced in the rain?
Have you ever tasted water from a glacial stream?

This is a public apology.
Don’t get too close to me.
When you see the water rising,
get to shore or I’ll pull you down.

Try to understand that I am not
an empty threat,
you will get wet.

Your nostrils will burn with the flush of salt.

The sun setting in coral tones behind me
says that the only way to make it is to float.

The moon never says anything,
a conductor in silhouette.

It’s just the way of the sea,
the rage is under the surface
and rises up like Neptune –
Is my tongue a wave or is it a blade?

The sun has seen me sleep serene
beneath his rising,
like a mirror in the dark.

He knows I will show you
the red and aubergine vessels,
I will pull on the pumps in
your own heart and you will drown
in love for the rawest remnant of yourself.

I am a teal tyrant to be sure
and yet,
in the summer months all of the earth’s children delight in my mischief.

They say you haven’t lived
if you haven’t at least dipped your feet or
turned your grinning face skyward in the rain.

I am not a rock but I’m a home for
beings too small to even see,
predatory beasts with bloody teeth,
creatures too foreign to even believe.

I’m not a rock, but
anyone will tell you,
I am the blue blanket on this
big round boulder,
the source of life for every form and
the finest refinery of every stone.

A Dear Friend from choir who knows my Suffragette history has given me a Suffragette calendar. The following are July’s picture and caption.

 

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A Bargain, A Project and A Poem

We met a friend at the Car-boot sale on Sunday. She is just the best bargain hunter and had discovered this delightful panel for £2. It is destined to become cupboard doors.  Isn’t it delightful?

Day Lilies in the foreground with Agapanthus and our new sculpture behind, along with the old pot sink that is to become a miniature pond and the wheelbarrow with some of the soil from the newly dug hole.

Kindness is what we all need and what we should all share as in this poem by Danusha Lameris.

Small Kindnesses

 

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Take a Side, Pride and A Poem

We live in very uncertain times and many of us feel worried.  At choir we are learning several songs of strength and resistance written by our leader and I always leave choir feeling stronger and more determined.   One of our songs (and I will share them after their debut concert in July) is about standing up in the face of injustice and defending those less able to do so for themselves. I was reminded of these words of Desmond Tutu:

  “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

On Sunday, in Saltash, we waited for the Cornwall Pride Bus and the parade. It was brilliant and very well supported. One of our songs is about being who you want to be and loving who you want to love and I will share that one later too.

I have a friend who is a poet and he has recently had an event where he gave away A Poem on a Paper Bag – a delightful idea. He visited Cornwall last week but we have family here so couldn’t meet up. However, he has sent me my very own Poem on a Paper Bag and here it is, in his very own handwriting. Thank you so much, Kim. I love it – Jackdaws caught to perfection!

Kak-Kak by Kim Ridgeon

 

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Beach Sign, Bullfinch and A Poem

We need one of these on every beach.

The bird feeder has been busy. Look carefully at the second photo to see the departing Goldfinch.

The following poem, “I am very bothered” by Simon Armitage was one much enjoyed by the teenagers I used to teach. It touched something in them.  I was pleased to hear that he is our new Poet Laureate.

I am very bothered when I think
of the bad things I have done in my life.
Not least that time in the chemistry lab
when I held a pair of scissors by the blades
and played the handles
in the naked lilac flame of the Bunsen burner;
then called your name, and handed them over.

O the unrivalled stench of branded skin
as you slipped your thumb and middle finger in,
then couldn’t shake off the two burning rings. Marked,
the doctor said, for eternity.

Don’t believe me, please, if I say
that was just my butterfingered way, at thirteen,
of asking you if you would marry me.

 
 

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