Poetry has become my religion My faith lies in belief Belief that my words convey my feelings Express my thoughts In a way that my actions are unable to do And while I write While I construct my idolatrous icons I am worshipping at the altar of my muse And offering penance for my frailties.
Poetry bestrides the boundary Between certainty and supposition Between what I know to be true And what I know not For imagination conducts me into new worlds Lands of hope Of surmise and conjecture Where speculation surmounts reality Where inference and suggestion rule And life is vibrant and ever vital
I weep my truths in poetry And from my unconscious mind In the borderlands there Where the finite And the incomprehensible meet My secrets are torn Crying to be freed To be revealed In poured out singing words Shed in images Subtle revelatory pictures My art telling of those wondrous places Secreted within my core Which for good or ill I never will Access in any other way Than through my weeping soul
An introspective week, during which I inspect the reasons and beliefs which govern my poetry.
I have recently been made to look more closely at my understanding of these on giving consideration to the words of that controversial Canadian academic, clinical psychologist, and considerable YouTube presence, Jordan Peterson. In particular I have been led to consider a statement of his regarding his assertion of what poetry is and what the poet is attempting to do.
“We live in the finite and comprehensible but are surrounded by the infinite and incomprehensible and there has to be a border between those…like a mediating border… That’s poetry and art, that’s narrative and religion.” Jordan Peterson.
The background to his thinking on this and on related topics can be better understood by listening to a College Q and A on the subject of ‘Free Speech, Racism, & Religion’and published on YouTube – (or see below . . . )
The particular view which Peterson expressed , which I quote above, can be found at approximately 17.00 minutes in. It has given me cause to consider my own impetus and purposes in writing poetry, some thoughts on which I will try to present on ‘Roland’s Ragbag’ throughout this week.
The Grand Western Canal provides wonderful level walks and bike rides along its nature-adorned tow paths. It extends for eleven and a quarter miles from the basin in Tiverton, East Devon, through quaint and charming villages to Lowdwells, near the Somerset border.
Perhaps the greatest attraction on the Canal is the much-loved horse-drawn barge based at the start of the canal in Tiverton. It is a beautiful wide beam, 75-seater horse-drawn barge and the same boat has been taking passengers for trips along the canal since 1974. The Devon section of the GW Canal is now a designated country park.
My photographs below were taken on a beautiful summer afternoon when I undertook a trip on the ‘Tivertonian’.
I have covered some of this information before on one of my blogs, which can be viewed by clicking on: ‘The Canal Horse’
The video below was made by The BBC, ‘One of the Last Horse Drawn Barges in the UK’ was filmed on the Grand Western Canal in Devon UK.
To counterbalance my poem ‘On Ageing Disgracefully’, re-published last Wednesday, I now re-present my upbeat version of old age, previously posted by me on
‘Old Age & Youth’ … Pen and ink – WHB. 2017
ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY
Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away; But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday. But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.
For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine; I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline. I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone, So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.
And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now; I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow, ‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door. At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.
My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic; It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic. I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease; Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.
My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly. My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli; The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose, But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.
My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb. I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become; So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels; My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.
My lumbar corset gives me an efficient spinal brace. My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace. I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be, Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.
The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life; No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife. I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed, Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?
They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill; Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill. I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again, No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.
They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee Of touring round my city all the splendid sites to see Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.
A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough, I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough; Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free, And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.
My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth; I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath. I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well, That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.