Oh, How It Hurt

Oh, how it hurt
That refusal
That rebuff
Cut and wounded
I withdrew
Licked my wounds
Plastered my sores
Bandaged my cuts
My bruises cold-iced

My shame . . .
Yes, in truth,
Perhaps it was
More shame
Than a broken heart

 Pride undermined
Ego squashed
That doesn’t help
Because
There is more shame
In it being shame.

 I see that now …
And am ashamed.

William Blake … ‘Mired in Sin and Shame – Original Sin’
Wm. Blake Pic from:  http://theprisma.co.uk/2012/10/21/mired-in-sin-and-shame/

Thoughts on a Dead Leaf

It fell
Green life
Extinguished
Time passed
Slowly
It diminished
To its scaffolding
Intact beauty still
New life
Surviving
In the skeleton
Beneath the skin
Revealing the grace
Which had upheld
Its existence
Its structure
Naked now
Spine-bold
Ram-rod straight
Not dead now
Nor even dying
Instead
Skin shed
A statement
Of creation’s power
Holding its tendrils
Steady
In firm formation
Awaiting its
Next chapter

Not yet shredded
Not yet dust
This tomography
Call it a CAT scan
Delving into
Nature’s
secret world
Revealing
The truth
Of whence
Its green strength
Derived

Thus
As our own surface
Erodes
Do we achieve
The same beauty?
Do we secrete
Analogous
New life
Beneath the old?
We leaves
Fallen from life’s tree
Shrivelled
Our essence revealed
In our skeletal remains
Proud-structured
Until
The next stage
And eventual
Severance
From what we have been
Transmogrified
To further service
In replenishing
New life forms
Our fruition in
The new spring’s bloom
Blossom and leaves

There has to be beauty
In death
As in life
Decay
Does not doom us to death
Rather
There is a beauty in death
The leaf ceased to be
A leaf
But became
Something else
And its beauty remained
It merely
Continued
Into a transmuted life
Its fate
As our own
To be
Continued existence

For death is but a metaphor
For new life

All photographs . . .  by WHB – 2016

A Swarm of Bees Worth Hiving

I have a book, passed down to my wife from her father and his father before him, with the title of ‘ILLUSTRATED ANECDOTES and PITHY PIECES’.  It was published in 1874 and which, of course, contains just what the title describes – well, the Victorian idea of such things!

I am reproducing a scanned image of one of the entries which plays with words in rhyming couplets, as I often like to do in my own verses.  (Not sure about the attempt to rhyme ‘faith’ with ‘death’ though!). Amusing and educational aphorisms, life-enhancing even, and very PITHY !!!

The THREE HARES

The’ Three Hares’ Motif … Marker Pen – WHB – 2017

The THREE HARES

Three hares, three ears, How can that be?
Look at the picture you will see.

And yet I know that they have two,
So look again … and so they do.

Chasing each other in a circle,
A never ending race eternal.

This ancient image can be seen
In many places you’ll have been.

In Devon churches they are found,        
You only have to look around.

Germany too has these three hares,  
You may come across them unawares.    

Window at Paderborn Cathedral, Germany

All over Europe and in France
You’ll see them do their threesome dance.

They’re found in China and Japan,
And even in Turkmenistan.

In synagogues and Buddhist caves,
New Age revels and Gothic raves.

In Devon where the tin miner inhabits
They  oft are called the Tinner’s Rabbits.

From east to west and west to east,
Along the Silk Road as trade increased.

Iran – On The Silk Road

They travelled wide in many guises,
Large and small, in varied sizes.

Yet no one seems precisely sure;
Why they are there is still obscure.

What does it mean to have three hares
Cavorting with six ears in pairs?

Yet only three that we can see,
It seems an oddity to me.

They can be seen as an illusion,
Which often leads to much confusion.

Or is it just they are a puzzle,
Certain to test your thinking muscle?

Some say they have a great affinity
With the Christian symbol of the Trinity.

Or they the three realms do unite
Earth, Sea and Sky together aright.

Others say they pledge fertility,
And that does have some credibility.

Certainly they are mysterious rarities,
Perhaps these hares were ancient deities.

I don’t suppose we’ll ever know,
It’s a mystery of long ago.

A puzzle with no attribution,
No context and no resolution.

But most of us will think, “Who cares?
Let’s not end up splitting hares!”

Devon – South Tawton Church roof boss – medieval wood carving

A  SIGN TOO FAR

Street in a Surrey, England .  . .  Photo – WHB 2017

A  SIGN  TOO  FAR

 I was walking down the road the other day
When they met me coming up the other way

I knew not what to do
Not an inkling, not a clue

Should I walk on and ignore them
Should I beg them and implore them

Not to shriek at me so loudly
Not to chastise me so soundly

Just to get out of my way
Let me get on with my day

I really do not wish to buy
I was only passing by

#     #     #

Nor do I feel the urge to hire
A sander or electric fire

Nor will I get an instant thrill
If I just hire a power drill

I surely do not need a sign
To advertise what’s still is mine

I’ve already got more than a few
So they will really have to do

Nor do I need to learn to drive
I’d rather walk and stay alive

I’ll not describe the fine details
But I don’t need polish for my nails

I reckon I’m a beauty too
Stick your cosmetics down the loo

My laundry is for private use
I don’t subject it to abuse

And as for washing all my smalls
I’d rather use Niagara Falls

My house is not for sale just yet
Say any more – I’ll get upset

And as for gas, my need’s not great
My house is all electric, mate

#     #     #

To be attacked by signs is bad
It leaves me feeling very sad
That my main street has reached the stage
When just to earn a living wage
These shops must now our street deface
By planting signs in every place
Leaving me so little space
I think I’m in an obstacle race

The REAL WORLD

‘Planet Earth’ . . .  Watercolour – WHB – 1956

THE REAL WORLD

An Attempted Discourse

You do annoy me at times

And why is that?

Because I think you are losing touch with reality

What makes you think that?

Because the things you do and say do not make sense

To you, maybe, but then I don’t think you are living in the real world yourself

What do you mean ‘the real world’?

‘Reality’

Is that where you live then?

Well, it’s much more real than yours

How do you know that?

Because I use my reason and all my senses.  You don’t.

And how do you know that I don’t?

Because what you do does not make sense

But that’s what I just said to you

Well, I’m saying it now – to you.

But you can’t do that – I started this argument

What argument?

The one we’re having now

No, we aren’t

You see – that’s just what I mean.  You are not being real

Well, I think I am

I just don’t think so

Well, you’d be wrong

Why should you be right and me wrong?

Because you aren’t living in the real world.

Oh . . .   Get real!

Stay With Me … A VILLANELLE

‘The Heart Of The Rose’ … Edward Coley Burne-Jones … Oil on canvas – 1889

A  VILLANELLE

Stay with me to the end of time
Relive with me those joys now past
I want you always to be mine

To be together is no crime
It’s not for nothing I have asked
Stay with me to the end of time

You are my life’s eternal sunshine
To you I will remain steadfast
I want you always to be mine

This poetry for you I rhyme
With you alone I’m not downcast
Stay with me to the end of time

For you alone I give a lifetime
Our love will life itself outlast
I want you always to be mine

To heights of wonder we will climb
And when we reach the top I ask
Stay with me to the end of time
I want you always to be mine

VILLANELLE

A Villanelle is a nineteen-line poem consisting of a very specific rhyming scheme:
 aba      aba      aba      aba      aba      abaa.

The poem’s format is also strictly regulated.  The first and the third lines in the first stanza are repeated in alternating order throughout the poem, and appear together in the last couplet (last two lines).    

One of the most famous Villanelles is “Do not go Gentle into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

Notes quoted from:  ‘SHADOW POETRY’ @ . . .   SHADOW POETRY

CUPID’S Post Office

At the Rye Automaton Museum, E.Sussex … Photo: WHB-  2005

CUPID’S POST OFFICE

Cupid’s Post Office,
Just one in the land.
Love letters to order
Don’t write it by hand.

From my bottom drawer
You can read it and smile,
Knowing full well she’ll love it,
Her heart you’ll beguile.

Try out my wisdom.
My best epithets
Can be had for one penny.
You’ll have no regrets.

When she gets this missive,
I do guarantee,
You’ll have no complaints,
She’ll be ecstatic, you’ll see.

Your own billet doux
Wouldn’t be half as good.
Try mine for a change Sir,
And show your manhood.

Just imagine the pleasure
Your beloved will take,
And so, just for a penny,
You can end your heart ache.

Thy mirror shews thee
Not more true
Than my fond heart
Reflecteth you.

The 2 images above are of From Victorian Valentine Cards – Photographs: WHB – 1999