‘The Reason’ – by Stevie Smith

(Poem No.47 of my favourite short poems)

The Reason

The Reason – Poem by Stevie Smith

 

My life is vile
I hate it so
I’ll wait awhile
And then I’ll go.

Why wait at all?
Hope springs alive,
Good may befall
I yet may thrive.

It is because I can’t make up my mind
If God is good, impotent or unkind.

Stevie Smith

 

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Il Dolce Far Niente

‘Il Dolce Far Niente’ translates as ‘Sweet Idleness’, ‘The sweetness of doing nothing’, or perhaps the feeling that doing nothing can be a positive rather than a negative ‘activity’.  The concept is Italian and appears to derive its meaning from the languor of life in those countries which enjoy a Mediterranean climate.

In view of the demands made upon us all in our modern world of hectic activity, where, for many, Facebook and Twitter command more attention than making face-to-face conversation, it seems appropriate for us all on occasion to take time out, to halt life’s frantic pace, to pause every now and again to enjoy our surroundings and our fellow human beings.

The concept matches well with the thoughts of W.H.Davies expressed in his famous poem   ‘Leisure’  (q.v.).   The idea has also long been a favourite subject of both poets and pictorial artists, particularly during the 19th Century.

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‘Dolce Far Niente’ by John Singer Sargent – 1907 (Brooklyn Museum, New York)

IL DOLCE FAR NIENTE

how mellow is the stillness
of a moment’s rest
the tranquility of a pause
to catch one’s breath

 merely to sit
and let life’s gladness in
to squander time
bask in the quietude
embrace serenity
and savour solitude

such dulcet times
are gifted to us
as blessings
to counter
life’s feverish pace
how pleasant to give in
let the world go 
without a fight
relax and let time pass
submit to lethargy
such rest is
cathartic
curative

in the moment
seek stillness
let life lapse
take time out from caring
to sit and look
relax and watch
unbend
allow the strain
to become becalmed

be still
in the silence of the day
give thoughts
the space to bloom
and eyes the time
to gaze

empower the present
and let it be enjoyed
for what it is
not for what will follow
for in the present
the past is severed
and be sure
the future
will have its day

look to the now
the sun, the moon
the stars, the sea
the wind, the rain
the warmth, the chill
ponder upon them
and upon life

or ponder not
just accept them
be glad
and be still

dolce far niente 1880 john william waterhouse

 ‘Dolce Far Niente’ by John William Waterhouse – … 1880  (Kirkcaldy Galleries)

Nature’s Evensong

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©  Photograph … ‘Sunset’ – courtesy of Canadian artist, Alma Kerr

 

Sunset

and the soulful sound

of the sea

seduce my senses

in the calm

of this still summer’s eve

ripples roll gently towards me

from the red sun-kissed sea

silhouette sails

hug the horizon

purposeful gulls

tread the foreshore

forever watchful

while I

a silent spectator

scan the scene

evening’s tableau

serene

and yet wholly alive

entranced and awed

mesmerised

beyond beauty

by Nature’s evensong

its benediction

on a desperate world

wave-pattern

 

 

 

 

Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Sun

Ross-on-Wye

‘Good Morning Ross’ … Wash – WHB – 2001

Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Sun

 

Say ‘Good morning’ to the sun
‘Good evening’ to the moon

The stars deserve more than a glance
Give them a nod
Say ‘How do you do’

And what of the clouds scurrying by?
Wave and send a greeting

Bless the rain that follows
Cries and wets your cheek
Bless its cooling frankness
Salute its welcome return
Say ‘Call again soon please
And whet my appetite’

And what of the wind?
It deserves a bow
Bluster and puffery
Merit some deference
If only to accompany
That boisterous demeanour
Which presage storm and tempest

Give resounding
reverberating thunder
Its rightful stature
And bless its presence
Not with terror
But with bold acceptance
As a welcome component
Of Nature’s benison.

Blessings too
to all four seasons
each in turn
bringing its delights
enthralling us
with its unique personality

In summary
Let us be glad
Let us respect
Let us prize and revere
All the moods
All the humours
Of creation

For Nature
Rules our lives
And deserves
All the credit
For our successes

Our failures are man-made.

 

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Oscar Wilde – ‘Tread lightly, she is near’

 (Poem No.45 of my favourite short poems)

WoT Churchyard

REQUIESCAT

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.

Peace, peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

 

by: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

 

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The Birth Of A Poem

[ Prompted by Davy D’s recent question on the GoDogGo Cafe website, entitled . . .    ‘Are You A Poet?’  ]

 

Poetry Breathe Life

THE BIRTH OF A POEM

 

Generated from the furnace
Of a fervent mind
A poem defines itself
As a jewel
Precisely cut
Precious and lustrous
Poised above a ring of gold
Encircling thoughts
And reflecting
In its faceted faces
Feelings and emotions
Otherwise ill-expressed

The poet
The visionary
Frames the template
Bringing life to contemplation
Substance to inspiration
A peasant in the fields of the imagination
Cultivating conceits
Ideas and concepts
Labouring at the word-face
Crafting thoughts into expressed truths
Weaving feelings into reasoned words
Bringing all to fruition in
The gemstone of creativity

 

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A Lifetime Away

A Lifetime Away

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Photo … Priory East Window – © WHB

 

Three hundred miles
and a lifetime away
from the place where I was born 
the memories are vivid
burned into my soul
heightened by distance
by time past

Ghosts of my past
inhabit my dreams
chances gone begging
opportunities missed
loving and leaving
a heritage of hope
bringing certitude
where doubt once held sway.

I loved and love
those dark purple hills
outcrops and the Nab
towering over the town
Cass Rock
where Sisyphus finally capitulated

Beyond these,
just rolling
heather clad moor
soft dales 
grey-green heathland,
burnt golden yellow gorse
and swaying bracken

And on the scarp slope
the detritus of iron mines
defunct air shafts
ancient workings
the ruins of hard labour
and alongside these
pyramids of shale and slag
creating their own foothills
bracken spores now binding
their surfaces
reconstructing life
nature reclaiming its own

And the view which nurtured me
from my school room
of graveyard and priory
its arched east window
tracery shattered
configuring my sky

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‘Priory and Applegarth . . . Pen & Wash – WHB

The ancient stone dovecote
now sheltering jackdaws
ravens, blackbirds.
the Norman arched gateway
still standing adrift
isolated from the remnants
of its dismantled
castellated walls
whose dispersed masonry
now furnishes
so many of the town’s dwellings

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Norman Arch &Dovecote … Photo ©WHB

The mill pond stocked still
by the descendants of those
pre-dissolution carp
the Augustinians first introduced
fed and nurtured

The monk’s walk
cloistered
by beech and birch
sheltering silent contemplation
which
even now
as I tread in their footsteps
I replicate
in awe and reverence

And in the Apple Garth
where now the wheat
is harvested
still a silent windswept
arbour
now lovers
not penitents
linger
embrace
exchange kisses
and vows.

Thus am I now
beholden to the past
nurturer of my present
promise of my future

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Hills on the north scarp of the North Yorkshire Moors

 

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Creative Sparks

Pattern, Shape, Texture and Inspiration

BergenMotif 

Tell-a-tale Patterns on a wall
Shape and Texture all enthral

tell it all

I speak to myself
of myself

as I write
the blueprints of rules
should guide
not govern
flair and skill
for good or ill
let inspiration be found
in the scope
of my vision
natural occurrences
instances
of the imagination
mind’s saturation
sculpted by sea feather
weather-assisted
twisted
by time

Orkneys (22)

stones
worn and
moulded
bruised and folded
by the breeze
these
speak to me in telling verse
ideas diverse
intersperse
my thoughts
broaching themes
word streams
new memes

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this tree
disguised
surprised
anthropomorphised
attributes
of patterned roots
suits my style
brindled
dappled
nature’s offshoots
veinlike
skein-like

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And then
the shortfall
inspiration stalls
until that wall
enthralls
recalls
my pitfalls
windfalls
then my palette
revives
thrives again
and in its archives
My muse is revived

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Thus
this new view
a breakthrough
the connective tissue
come to rescue
my mind-block’s
black box
and to resuscitate
my failing powers
of inventiveness

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meaningless
yet meaningful
but tension taut
and overwrought
linked by thought chains
succoured by mind games
built into high rise blocks
of language fodder
ever odder

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eroded
exploded
colour coded

Scotland07 171 Seil--Innish-PetrolColours

oil-spoiled
and rainbow-coated
wordless surface
followed now with purpose
and augmented clues from

(ThamesDitton-CrackInWallPlaster

such as this
plaster-disaster
a certain
crack in the curtain
a remix, fix
new tricks
new script suggested

Devon-June2017 (44)

dream instances
silent witnesses
to my imagination’s
flights
those dizzy heights
of know-my-rights
endeavour
hinting at the next
text

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the creative process
to which I’ll succumb
and produce this
my next pennyless
poetic income

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Lanturnes
rictameter
diamonds and pyramids
drape
and shape
my poems
mechanical poetry
composed to formula
but adding
when it comes to the crunch
a knockout punch
not all about pattern
because convention
needs to be coloured
by considered thought
wrought
from life
wrenched
from strife
moulded
by meaning
seen and felt
through my muse’s lens
into gems
of terse
verse

elmgrovewall (2)

nothing worse
than the curse
of banality
pattern
controlled by reason
liberated by
inspiration
Calliope’s lifeblood

Nature’s example
Of how Creation
Life
Followed by Death
Followed by Re-birth
is accomplished

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© Photographs copyright – all by WHB in various locations – Orkneys, Argyll (Scotland), Devon, Essex, Surrey, Sussex (England),  Stavanger (Norway). 

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Seven Against the World

Seven Against the World – The Robot’s Revenge

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Photo … In a shop window – WHB – 2017

Seven against the world
lined up to face the unknown …

What is it with you robots
you are the fruit that man has sown
and when your time has come
as it will
you’ll boot up and become
our lords
our masters
takeover bid sealed
role reversal accomplished

Now become
foremen of our outmoded skills
reducing us to caricatures of yourselves
giving to us the menial jobs
we once gave you.

Our breeding
the continuation of our species
controlled by your own
perceived needs
as once we controlled your destinies

Fate comes full circle
the maker
made to serve
the servants
 God subsumed by his creations
emasculated by his foundlings
victim of consequence
slave now to his own oeuvre 

The self corrosive  imperative
of progress
the self-fulfilling rationale
behind mankind’s striving for perfection
now turned turtle

Unable to correct his miscalculation
his magnum opus
flawed to self destruction
subservience
and eventual annihilation

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Six Lanturnes

Japanese-Lantern

Six Lanturnes

The LANTURNE is a traditional poetic form which has a five-line verse, normally without rhyme, supposedly in the shape of a Japanese lantern.
It has a syllabic pattern of one, two, three, four, one.
Below ,I have composed six loosely connected verses in this form . . .

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  Raise
 your voice
 make it ring
don’t let it die
   sing

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 Vows
last long
when new but
promises  soon
   die

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  Love
  yields hope
 but time tells
and soon it dies
    hurt

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    Life
 brings joy
But  sorrow
Intrudes too soon
    … Damn!

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 I
alas
will die soon
leaving this life
  hurts

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   Cry
and ask
this fool world
to  forgive  your
    tears

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