Where Gleams Our Sun

Scotland – Western Isles … Watercolour WHB 2025 . .

What we once had before we split
I never will regret one bit.
It was a joy I can’t repeat;
It was my fault, I do admit.

Regrets do not a prison make
But time will ever keep awake
That spark of love, which, withered now,
I watched with horror envy take.

Your gain, my loss, I can agree;
Despite your vow to cherish me,
I lost you when I gave you space;
I knew I had to set you free.

It helps to keep my life on track,
To plaster over that cruel crack;
To be with you in dreamland now
I’d give up all to have you back.

You fill so many of my dreams
And memory runs amok it seems.
Tonight I take you with me, there,
Where gleam our sun and our moonbeams.

A Bit Of NONSENSE

Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?“ 
“I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head.
But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” 
― ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ 1865  … Lewis Carroll

A BIT OF NONSENSE

NONSENSE VERSES  . . .  Just playing with words & triple rhymes

A very  long song is quite wrong 
But a terse little verse is worse 
So why try to cry, ‘cos
You know I’ll feel low when you go.

It would seem that I scream when I dream
So why can’t I try to be shy
It’s unkind when I find you don’t mind
You will know it is so when I go.

It is sad when a lad turns out bad
But a joy for a boy to annoy;
Why disguise all those lies I despise,
Tell me why you don’t try to comply?

Please desist and don’t twist my wrist
You can kill my goodwill with that pill
I can tell you’re not well when you yell
Lose your head, you’ll be dead, it is said.

Try to recall your fall in the hall,
I could tell you weren’t well when you fell.
Don’t sigh, that is why, by and by
If you’re kind you will find I won’t mind.

The cop had to pop to the shop
To get runny honey for money;
But today he’s away at a play,
So tomorrow, in sorrow, he’ll borrow.

The girl with the twirl and the curl
Denied she had tried not to hide,
But the boy full of joy with the toy
Asked to play, if he may,every day.

When the man with a can saw the fan
I know he gave a slow blow
He looked swell till he fell in a well;
He’s unwell I can tell by the smell.

It is fun to run in the sun,
If you try to fly you’ll see why.
But begin to sin, you won’t win;
No, you shouldn’t, you wouldn’t , you couldn’t ,

Bliss in a kiss will not go amiss
It serves and deserves, to comfort the nerves.
But let me repeat, you’ll meet with  defeat
When time and chime no longer rhyme. 

It’s absurd when a bird can’t be heard
It’s a sin when an inn won’t serve gin.
It’s a pity this ditty‘s not witty
I endeavour to be clever however.

MORNING

‘Morning’ . . . Watercolour: WHB – 2-15

As the seductive sun appears
Dispensing its joy in generous rays
The air I breathe is warm yet fresh
And the world awakes from its malaise.

Content to soak up all the warmth,
The earth, the grass, the trees are still,
Suffused with morning’s cooling  calm
Sharing a taste of earth’s goodwill.

The elfin stream is placid too
Reflecting back the sunlight’s heat
Tending the water’s life below
Coaxing us all the sun to greet.

Oh, make the most of this fair day
Before it melts and drifts away
.

I composed this sonnet inspired by an early morning scene in The New Forest, Southern England,  which is also the subject of my pen and wash sketch above.

A RIVER REMEMBERS

Lynmouth, North Devon … Pen and Wash … WHB – 1997

From the high moor
cries a river

Long lingering Lyn
stretches her arms
from the  east
and from the west
faltering
before then
slowly
gathering the courage
to continue

Until at last
separately
these fledgling rivers
tumble
less tentative now
more fluent
and sure
almost impetuous
towards each other
through their sovereign gorges

Plummeting now
to where their destined
waters meet
in conscious confluence

A stillness then returns
caution again prevailing
tentative once more,
remembering,
regretting,
still grieved
by distant memory

But now able
with measured movement
to veer past
 the lighthouse
by the river’s mouth
and to slip softly
 into the welcoming sea.

On 15 and 16 August 1952, a storm of tropical intensity broke over south-west England, depositing 9 inches of rain within 24 hours on the already saturated soil of Exmoor, North Devon.  The East and West Lyn rivers, which drop down from Exmoor, were swollen even before the storm.   Debris-laden flood waters cascaded down the northern escarpment of the moor, much of it converging upon the village of Lynmouth in particular.   In the upper West Lyn valley, a dam was formed by fallen trees, etc., but in due course this gave way, sending a huge wave of water and debris down the river.

Overnight, more than 100 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged along with 28 of the 31 bridges, and 38 cars were washed out to sea. In total, 34 people died, with a further 420 made homeless. The seawall and lighthouse survived the main flood, but were seriously undermined. The lighthouse collapsed into the river the next day.

Love’s True End

When hearts meet and lips touch

And soft and supple bodies blend,

When in joy you give me your all,

Then will I sing of love’s true end.

WHB . . . 1956

Pictures by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833 – 1898) . . . ‘The Heart of the Rose’
Tapestry design, inspired by Chaucer’s adaptation of the medieval French
‘Le Romaunt de la Rose’

Westminster Chorus – Oh Love, That Will Not Let Me Go

Today . . . a plug for my favourite choir – the Westminster Chorus – with their moving rendering of ‘Oh Love that will not let me go’  . . .

The Westminster Chorus, singing a David Phelps arrangement of the George Matheson Hymn, “Oh Love, That Will Not Let Me Go” in the Petrikirche, a Protestant church (start of construction 1322) in Dortmund, Germany. The church is famous for the huge carved altar (known as “Golden Miracle of Dortmund”), from 1521. It consists of 633 gilt carved oak figures depicting 30 scenes about Easter.

 

 

 

I AM NOT MOSES

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … Singing Angels (‘Honesty’) Tapestry 1898 (detail)

Do I just pretend to be open
am I a charlatan at heart
how sincere 
how honest 
when push 
comes to shove 
when the chips are down 
what remains
that is true to my intent

Have I forsaken my promise 
my desire to be me
openly faithful 
truly chaste 
a compassionate soul
struggling for honesty
and resolved to lead
into the Promised Land

My poems are 
imagination’s creatures
but still
slave to whim 

to make-believe 
and the pre-determined end
does this condemn me to 
reach a bargain
to fudge the truth

If so then
has that truth 
become another lie 
or does it just allow me
a latitude
a breadth of narrative 
which covers up 
the shallowness of my intent

I compromise surely
make accommodations to reality

inhibited by
thoughts of entitlement 
feelings of worth
desire to please 
to purchase credibility
a mercenary versifier
forever regretting
that this facade 

must be negotiated
with my better judgement
not wanting to hurt 
protecting decorum and 
further weakening honesty 
effectively
dissolving the truth

And yet 
rather this 
than face the rejection 
that surely would follow 
as always 
the truth that 
no – I am no wunderkind
not tomorrow’s success
nor Destiny’s child
just waiting
to be found

Moses Discovered In The Bulrush  

Bosham (West Sussex) in Paint

Bosham, West Sussex . . . Watercolour – WHB: 2000

Bosham is a delightful village situated on an arm of Chichester Harbour (West Sussex). Bosham has a long history; it is thought that it was one of the first sites in Sussex were the Saxon St Wilfrid preached, around the year 681 AD. Three centuries later, it was at Bosham that King Canute, tongue in cheek, ordered the waves to cease their movement. Canute’s daughter is buried at Holy Trinity parish church, which features a superb 11th century chancel arch and a Saxon tower.

One of Canute’s successors, Harold, set sail from Bosham in 1064 on the voyage which was to eventually cost him his kingdom, after a storm cast him into the hands of William of Normandy.

Today, Bosham remains a popular boating centre, and it retains many charming 17th and 18th century buildings in the narrow, winding streets and alleys that lead to the harbour. The manor of Bosham House, which may stand on the site of a Saxon house built for Canute, was the home of Henry Hamblin, the popular writer and spiritualist known as the ‘Saint of Sussex’.

From: http://www.britainexpress.com/attractions.htm?attraction=3123

Two more watercolours of Bosham Harbour . . . WHB c.2000