Category Archives: poetry

Haiku, Bird and Owls

A young friend of mine is writing a Haiku a Day for January. I loved this one that she posted this morning and have her permission to share it with you. I love the alliteration and the mind picture of the birds tugging the dawn awake – delightful. Thank you, N and for the photo.

Early morning mauve
sky brightens; tugged alert by
boisterous beaks of birds

Bird on a branch Photo taken by Natalie Doig

More birds – some lovely owls on a tin that came at Christmas full of delicious biscuits, now, sadly, all gone! Thanks, S.

Biscuit tin



Spaceship, Door and Sanskrit Wisdom

My Monday choir rehearses in a Primary School and this evening, I was treated to two things to make me smile (as well as our singing, of course) One, in the hall, a paper Spaceship for a lantern parade and on our way out, one of the classroom doors which must delight the pupils.


Classroom door

The following piece of ancient Sanskrit writing, I found when our tiny baby son was undergoing heart surgery where the surgeons gave him odds of 60:40 against his survival. It helped me then and has taken me through other difficult times and, though I am not in need of it right now, I have a number of friends who are and it is for them that I post this here today. If it works for you, then it is for you too, with love.


Look to this day
For it is life,
The very life of life.
In its brief course lie all
The realities and truths of existence –
The joy of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of beauty.
For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived
Makes every yesterday a memory of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope



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Decorating, A Pie and A Poem

We’ve had a lovely day catching up, as we have been away, on decorating for Christmas, starting with the tree and later baking mince pies.

Our birch tree

My fairy near the top of the tree

Later I used the leftovers trimmings to top a pie for our supper.

Chicken and mushroom pie

A favourite poem popped into my head this afternoon – He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats. I have loved  it  for many years and I hope you like it too.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 


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Pylons, Sunset and The Copse

Today we drove home and once again on this journey from London to Cornwall through the English countryside, I was struck by the electricity pylons “striding” across the fields and reminded of this poem by Stanley Snaith in 1933 when these things were new in the landscape.

  • Over the tree’d upland evenly striding,
  • One after one they lift their serious shapes
  • That ring with light. The statement of their steel
  • Contradicts nature’s softer architecture.
  • Earth will not accept them as it accepts
  • A wall, a plough, a church so coloured of earth
  • It might be some experiment of the soil’s.
  • Yet are they outposts of the trekking future.
  • Into the thatch-hung consciousness of hamlets
  • They blaze new thoughts, new habits.
  • Traditions
  • Are being trod down like flowers dropped by children.
  • Already that farm boy striding and throwing seed
  • In the shoulder-hinged half-circle Millet knew,
  • Looks grey with antiquity as his dead forbears,
  • A half familiar figure out of the Georgics,
  • Unheeded by these new-world, rational towers.
 Stanley Snaith, “Pylons,” in The Silver Scythe (London: Blythenhale Press, 1933)

Pylons in the landscape

Driving West we are often lucky enough to catch a lovely sunset.


Everyone coming home to Cornwall along the A30 knows that they are almost home when they see this copse at Cookworthy Knapp, a few miles before the Cornish border.

Cookworthy Knapp

My photos were all taken with my phone today, from the moving car.


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Wedding Photo, Recipe and Robert Frost

I conducted a Humanist Wedding Ceremony earlier in the summer and today received an email with some beautiful photos. This one shows the lovely moment near the end when I was signalling to the music man that now is the moment! The delightfully happy event was held at Charlie’s Boathouse and this was taken on the terrace with the sea as backdrop.

Charlestown wedding

Yesterday I showed you the glowing pots of Seville Orange marmalade that I had made in the afternoon. Ark asked for the recipe so I have put it on my Recipe pages. Here is the link to Seville Orange Marmalade

Robert Frost is one of my favourite poets.  Here is Moon Compasses for you.

Moon Compasses

I stole forth dimly in the dripping pause 
Between two downpours to see what there was. 
And a masked moon had spread down compass rays 
To a cone mountain in the midnight haze, 
As if the final estimate were hers, 
And as it measured in her calipers, 
The mountain stood exalted in its place. 
So love will take between the hands a face . . . 

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Scarf, Fireworks and Siegfried Sassoon

It has been a very grey day today and I have finished my scarf!

Scarf finished

There are fireworks going off tonight, a little odd for Armistice day I feel, but fun to watch if not to listen to. I took the photo through our bedroom window.

British Legion fireworks – this photo is for V in honour of her Mum and mine.

I was a teenager when my Uncle Norman, my Dad’s older brother, gave me a volume of Siegfried Sassoon’s poems.

My present from Uncle Norman

I found them very moving, clear to understand and perhaps they helped form my pacifist outlook. One of my favourites was

Everyone Sang

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.
Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

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Penryn, Trimmings and A Poem

Singing in Penryn was busy today. We are getting to grips with a very beautiful and haunting piece called, “When the Winter Melts” composed by a local musician, Jim Carey. It is hard to learn but as the four harmonies come together, it is giving us the shivers, it is so lovely.


Sometime in the early Spring, I must have left my very special scarf somewhere. It was made for me about fifteen years ago, by Daughter No3, in the Suffragette colours of purple, white and green and until I wanted to wear it a week ago, I was unaware that I had lost it and I feel very sad about it.  For the last week I have been knitting  to replace it (though in fact, of course, it cannot truly be replaced)  I keep hoping that if I make a new one, it will turn up, the way things sometimes do…….  Today, I have been sewing in the ends where each stripe starts and this is the little pile of trimmings left over.  I will show you the scarf when it is finished.

Purple, white and green

I hope you enjoy today’s poem by Kenneth Koch, both a love song and a delight to any lover of language.

Permanently – Kenneth Koch

One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing – for example,

“Although it was a dark rainy day when the Adjective walked by,
I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face
until the day I perish from the green, effective earth.”

Or, “Will you please close the window, Andrew?”

Or, for example, “Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on
the window sill has changed color recently to a light
yellow, due to the heat from the boiler factory which
exists nearby.”

In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, “And! But!”
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat –
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.


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