Sea, Sun, and Hills

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THREE  HAIKU

 

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The Sea

The sea in its strength
Thrusts its breakers to the shore
Stressing my weakness

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The Sun

The morning sun rose
Feeding life into darkness
Renewing with hope

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The Hills

The hills are my strength
Confirming Nature’s promise
That tomorrow lives

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I Remember

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I REMEMBER

 

 So well I remember, 
Can I forget 
Those long summer days 
When you and I met? 

The moors were in heather 
And I was in haste; 
My heart it was yearning
Your lips to taste.

But you were indifferent,
Your eyes were elsewhere,
Oblivious to me
And life wasn’t fair.

So I buried my pride,
Gave in to sorrow. 
I’d learnt a hard lesson,
There was always tomorrow. 

Now that day it has come 
And we’ve met up again. 
You express your regret 
For the ache, for the pain. 

But I can’t now rekindle 
Those feelings I had. 
Time has taken its toll,
Our story is sad. 

 

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Kurt Vonnegut – ‘Two Little Good Girls’

[  # 86 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.

I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently.  Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend.  It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.

 

Two little good girls
Watchful and wise —
Clever little hands
And big kind eyes —
Look for signs that the world is good,
Comport themselves as good folk should.
They wonder at a father
Who is sad and funny strong,
And they wonder at a mother
Like a childhood song.
And what, and what
Do the two think of?
Of the sun
And the moon
And the earth
And love.

 

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A Dream Enriched

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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones: ‘The Love Song’

A DREAM ENRICHED

 She came to me
A dream enriched
When I was most in need.
Long summers passed
And she was there
She held my hand
Until with time
My troubles did recede

 And then
When age had bitten back
She gave her love to me
Without a qualm
She took my arm
For she was Spring
As Autumn came
And I was home at last.

 

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A Glimpse in Time

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A Glimpse in Time

 

A video plays in my head

as my body drags itself 

from the long night’s dream. 

 

The images continue 

holding me

their plangent grip

hurting but healing 

as the dream itself 

fades from memory.

 

Because it was of you

I let the screen run on

seeking to retain

its fast fading force 

Visions of a possible future 

wherein I wake each day

to your warmth

Live in the  shade 

of your love 

Gaining strength from your fortitude

Resolution from our nearness. 

 

As the images disappear 

I attempt to grasp their dying light  

urging their resurrection 

to heal my fading hopes.

 

But all now is lost

and I am left 

Defeated by a glimpse 

of what might have been. 

 

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‘I wish I loved the Human Race’

[  # 85 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Image from Wikipedia

Not to be confused with his more famous namesake who played such an important role in the early colonisation of North America, (1582 – 1618), Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861 – 1922) was an English scholar, poet, and author.  He was born in London, the fifth child and only son of a local Congregation minister.   Raleigh is buried in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Lawrence at North Hinksey, near Oxford.  His son Hilary edited his light prose, verse, and plays in ‘Laughter from a Cloud (1923).  He is probably best known for the poem “Wishes of an Elderly Man, Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914”.

It is this poem, bitter-sweet and with its pessimistic view of mankind, but not without its wry humour, which I have chosen to remind my readers of today . . .

 

I wish I loved the Human Race

I wish I loved the Human Race;
I wish I loved its silly face;
I wish I liked the way it walks;
I wish I liked the way it talks;
And when I’m introduced to one,
I wish I thought ‘What Jolly Fun’.

 

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Summer Sand

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SUMMER SAND

( multum in parvo )

 

My hand thrust deep into the sand
held there to enjoy the warmth
then slowly
cupped fingers
rose to the surface

Captured universes
Stellar galaxies
emerging into the salty air
The slightest shift
in Creation’s framework
Reconfigured
to my design

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And as I straightened
fingers
to a flat palm
And then gently spread
those same fingers
The sand
water-fell
to return to its kind
Just a residue
of grains
still adhering
to my warmth

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But
however small
I had disturbed the Earth
Re-designed The natural world
Left my mark on creation
Forever in its debt

 

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[  © WHB . . . With my grateful thanks to Canadian artist, Alma Kerr,
for the inspiration and the original photographs ]

The Lark Ascending

The Lark Ascending

THE LARK ASCENDING

 

As the morning lark ascends 

So my spirits fly,

Replaying my life. 

The memories spill

Across the cloudless sky,

And I consider time well spent 

Because it was spent with you.

And what the future has in store 

Holds no fears for me. 

The past was rich; 

We caught the wind,

Soared with each new gust,

Through dips and dives

We stayed alive.

Fruition came anew.

With each new swoop,

Each twist and turn,

A new path was revealed.

We that were two

Are now as one,

Our destinies are sealed.

 

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A poem written to keep in my memory the thoughts engendered by the music played at my wife’s funeral eight weeks ago today.  Composed by Vaughan Williams, ‘The Lark Ascending’ was very much her favourite piece of classical music.  The version used was played on the violin by the Scottish violinist, Nicola Benedetti, and can be heard on YouTube at: ‘The Lark Ascending’

 

 

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The Borderlands of POETRY – 4

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POETRY AS DREAM

 

Poetry is my life revealed,
For there, in depth of thought,
Lie all my hopes, my dreams expressed
In words intense and tightly wrought.

Exploring what I hardly know,
Seeking as though dreaming,
I struggle to define my life,
Grasping for more meaning.

The confines of experience
I venture to pursue,
Defining life and love and death,
Their meaning to construe.

And when I’ve sifted every thought,
Mined the deepest seams,
I feel I’ve drained my Muse’s well,
Finding only dreams.

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The Borderlands of POETRY – 2

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PART THE SECOND

 

My Weeping Soul

 

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

 

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