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World Poetry Day – Autumn and Two Birthdays

Today I bring you three poems to mark the day – a favourite “Poem in October” by Dylan Thomas, a beautiful ode to Autumn from Elizabeth Jennings  followed by the lyrics of a song that never fails to move me to tears, “Voice of Change” by Jaime Lock.

It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
Priested shore
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
That second
In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-
Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my name
Above the farms and the white horses
And I rose
In rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
Summery
On the hill’s shoulder,
Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly
Come in the morning where I wandered and listened
To the rain wringing
Wind blow cold
In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour
And over the sea wet church the size of a snail
With its horns through mist and the castle
Brown as owls
But all the gardens
Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall tales
Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.
There could I marvel
My birthday
Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country
And down the other air and the blue altered sky
Streamed again a wonder of summer
With apples
Pears and red currants
And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s
Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother
Through the parables
Of sun light
And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy
That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart moved in mine.
These were the woods the river and sea
Where a boy
In the listening
Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his joy
To the trees and the stones and the fish in the tide.
And the mystery
Sang alive
Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday
Away but the weather turned around. And the true
Joy of the long dead child sang burning
In the sun.
It was my thirtieth
Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon
Though the town below lay leaved with October blood.
O may my heart’s truth
Still be sung
On this high hill in a year’s turning.

“Leaved with October blood”

Song at the Beginning of Autumn – Elizabeth Jennings

Now watch this autumn that arrives
In smells. All looks like summer still;
Colours are quite unchanged, the air
On green and white serenely thrives.
Heavy the trees with growth and full
The fields. Flowers flourish everywhere.

Proust who collected time within
A child’s cake would understand
The ambiguity of this –
Summer still raging while a thin
Column of smoke stirs from the land
Proving that autumn gropes for us.

But every season is a kind
Of rich nostalgia. We give names –
Autumn and summer, winter, spring –
As though to unfasten from the mind
Our moods and give them outward forms.
We want the certain, solid thing.

But I am carried back against
My will into a childhood where
Autumn is bonfires, marble, smoke;
I lean against my window fenced
From evocations in the air.
When I said autumn, autumn broke

Fungi flourish in Autumn

 

Voice of Change – by Jaime Lock and music by Claire Ingleheart

 

I won’t, let the sea at my shore

Be a home, for our waste, no not anymore

I won’t let, the trees green and tall

Be cut down, for profit, I won’t watch them fall.

 

I won’t, let the air that I breathe

Be so full of, pollution, from all the industry

For we need, to work side by side

We can’t tell, our children, that we have not tried.

 

I won’t, let the earth where we stand

Be disrupted, corrupted, by our human hand

You can’t run, nor can you hide away

Don’t wait for, tomorrow, we’re needed today.

 

For it’s time, be the voice of change

Come together, stand together, here we will remain

Put the earth first, like they did long before

For my soul and your soul, live deep in her core.

For my soul and your soul, live deep in her core.

For my soul and your soul, live deep in her core.

 

Commissioned by Dreadnought South West

This was sung at Ti’s 100th birthday on the beach where she held a Climate Protest Party and asked for trees to be planted in her name rather than have any personal gifts. Here she is being interviewed by local press.

Ti’s birthday party

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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