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Tag Archives: Maya Angelou

Today, Berries and A Poem

 

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Two Days to Note and Spring Flowers

I’m marking two special days today, World Down Syndrome Day  and International Poetry Day with a poem about the Human Family from a poet I admire greatly, Maya Angelou. You’ll find more of her poems here if you put her name in the search bar. This post and poem are for my friends, R,T and their wonderful little boy, A. You can read more about them here.

Human Family by Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

There are Primroses everywhere in Cornwall in Spring and the Violets are just beginning to show.

For my cousin, Wendy

 

 

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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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My Wish For You

For all my Dear Readers, words from Maya Angelou, My Wish for You

CONTINUE – By Maya Angelou

My wish for you
Is that you continue

Continue

To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness

Continue

To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart

Continue

In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter

Continue

To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined

Continue

To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you

Continue

To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely

Continue

To put the mantel of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless

Continue

To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise

Continue

To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected

Continue

To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good

Continue

To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit

Continue

To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing

Continue

To float
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name

Continue

And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue
Eternally

Wonderful thoughts.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Today, Bangles and A Corner

Another LiveWire filled day!

Friends at choir give me bits of jewellery for my glass work with instructions to give away any pieces that I cannot use so this morning we shared out the pretty bangles and that pleased the LiveWires greatly.

There is a rather grotty corner near our Co-op delivery area that someone has brightened with some planting.

 

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The Ceremony of the Pasty, Tea Tent and Today’s Poem

What a cracker of a morning taking part in The Ceremony of the Pasty! If you’d like to see it and hear us singing, here is the link  https://www.periscope.tv/battersea_arts/1BRKjMLjPQVxw  The whole event was live-streamed by Battersea Arts. To find out more about the Ceremony, do watch the video. I love the seagulls joining in with us. The little dog you can see within the choir is Brea, a little beauty.

The Lord High Chancellor of the Pasty presenting the enormous pasty to Emma to be taken up to Battersea

The Lord High Chancellor of the Pasty presenting the enormous pasty to Emma to be taken up to Battersea

The Lord High Chancellor with the High Tidings recording of sea sounds and Cornish stories, also going up to London on the train as soon as the Ceremony is finished

The Lord High Chancellor with the High Tidings recording of sea sounds and Cornish stories, also going up to London on the train as soon as the Ceremony is finished

Brea

Brea

In the tea tent

In the tea tent on Lemon Quay at the Truro Festival

In the tea tent

In the tea tent

It is Maya Angelou’s birthday today and here is one of my favourite poems, Still I Rise, for women everywhere.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

 

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Maya Angelou, Knitted Staircase and Yorkshire Stone

1    Maya Angelou died today. As a spokesperson for her family said, “She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace.”
She was a wonderful woman and a role model for us all. I loved her writings and especially her poem ‘Still I Rise’ which you will find at the end of today’s post. I loved her philosophy and these words that she left us – “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

2    I have joined just five of our knitted pieces together and they fill our staircase! I have eight more here and there are at least five more almost completed by friends. I’ll need the garden to lay them all out!  Imagine SEVEN MILES of peaceful protest knitting  stretched between Atomic Weapons Establishment sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, Berkshire, where nuclear weapons are made.

Some of our knitting for Wool Against Weapons

Some of our knitting for Wool Against Weapons

3   Another job I have enjoyed doing today is the annual power washing of the Yorkshire stones of the patio. It always delights me afresh to see how pretty the stones are and to re-discover the fern patterns in them.

Feathery markings

Feathery markings

 

Still I Rise          Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

 

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