‘CAGED’ – William Blake … 1757-1827

‘Caged Beauty’ … Pen&Ink – WHB – 1981

FROM: ‘ Auguries of Innocence’

BY . . . William Blake

“ . . . A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear . . . ”

William Blake … Poet & Artist  … 1757-1827

LANGUOR

Bruton, Somerset . . .  Pen & Wash – WHB – 2016

Contentment suffuses the scene
And peace lies softly on the land
Life languishes in its grip
Labour held in thrall to lassitude
Neglectful now of endeavour.

In the calm
Of the midday sun
The farm sleeps on
Parading its contentment
Revealing its accord
With its heritage
By just being there
Seemingly throughout time
Amid the rolling fields
Savouring
The languor of a lazy day
The serenity
Of a sublime summer

The quiet joy of existence
Tells more of peace
Than a thousand pacts
Life lived
In alliance with nature
Endowing us with serenity.

FOUR HAIKU – ONE STORY

The sun’s open arms 
Embrace the emerging day
Seeking lost sunbeams

Clutching at ripe fruit
Ever hoping to regain
Spent and mislaid strength

Hopeless task to set
Once spent never recovered
Now feeding our homes

Caught by our panels
Sustained by the human race
Lost to Mother Earth

The pen & wash sketches are by WHB  (aka Roland).  In order they are of …


Top:  South Bishop Lighthouse, Pembrokeshire, Wales (1993);
Centre:  An English Dawn . . . (1991)
Bottom:  Lamlash and Holy Isle, Isle of Arran, Firth of Clyde, Scotland … (2001)

The Applegarth

Guisborough Priory, N.Yorkshire

The APPLEGARTH

When morning
meets my melancholy
I must refocus
dispel my clouds
and reconnect to nature
through her glory

The garth gate invites
pledges enchantment
such memories harboured here
once the cloister garden
of my medieval monastery
now still the repository
of the priory’s peace
ancient orchard
now transformed
but still a place
to rejuvenate the soul
to touch
feel and taste
nature’s serenity

   The morning mist
lingered low
over the once fallow fields
then no longer virgin earth
but become thick with apple trees
and those
long gone
and autumn dormant now
awaiting its wheat-carpeted
summer season

The morning advances
only half-appreciated
until the
the priory arch
proud against the sky
bursts through the mist
into the weak sun’s gaze
the veiled sky
allowing
the gathering sunlight
slowly
to prove its strength
and bring clarity
to a waiting world

And The pathway
its ancient course
 piercing its length
into the shrouded distance
remembrancer now
of those Augustinian brothers
traversing
this ancient orchard

who with such care
tended nature’s gifts
now bare of fruit
but never fruitless
no longer cosseted
by priestly presence
and full of nuanced context still

For me …

The Applegarth
my own memory
of this sanctified place
sings of golden corn
bordering that arrowed path
where also was
the winning post
the last gasp
of those long-past
teenage
distance running races
marking my triumphs
measuring my success
against the countless strides
I had wrenched
from my straining body
to accomplish
to lead the race
the end of endeavours
signifying my own
my personal
accomplishment.

The Applegarth,
a trope
my metaphor
for my life.

Photographs by WHB . . . 2016



 

Telling FIBS

Search for ‘Pine Cones & the Fibonacciri Sequence’

TELLING  FIBS

This
Life
Is short
Remember
Honest and modest
You’re not in a beauty contest.

So
When
I’m gone
Do not pray
For my godliness
Just remember my gentleness.

If
I
Survive
To be old
One hundred and five
I hope it’s worth being alive.

But
It
Only
Merits it
If you are still there
To continue our love affair.

I am grateful to M.Zane McClellan who in his January 2016 poem  ‘Repeating Pattern’  on The Poetry Channel, introduced me to The format of the Fibonacci Poem. He also gave in his blog the reference to the article on the ‘Poetry Foundation’ website, which gives the history of this fascinating verse format:  What’s a Fib? Math plus poetry.

Essentially the ‘Fib’, as it’s creator, Gregory K. Pincus, calls it, will have 20 syllables in total, with the syllables in each of the 6 lines increasing in the Fibonacci sequence familiar in Mathematics and in Nature, that is: 1,1,2,3,5,8…  ,

In my first attempt at this format, I have attempted to write a poem of 4 connected verses, with the added feature of making the last two lines in each verse rhyme.

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.

The Lily Pond

Lily Pond at Hestercombe House, Taunton, Somerset . . .   Watercolour  -WHB  c.2003

No murmur breaks the silence
the afternoon is still
the pool reflects the calmness
which hovers in the air

The colours
and the scent of flowers
speak only of serenity
and peace
the splendour of the garden
throbs with Nature’s pride
a statement of the passion
and the pleasures of creation

Tall distinguished Iris
goddess of the rainbow
clutch the water’s edge
radiating their vibrant heritage
stealing the sun’s power
to enhance their golden presence
their stature
their boldness
speaking their nobility
and proudly defining
their cool distinction

Whilst languid water lilies
blanket the pool’s surface
coveting recognition of their worth
their foot pads
watery meniscus
a haven for the diffident carp
shading all the pool’s life
from the sun’s keen scrutiny

And then recalling
their antique role
in baiting
that languorous youth Narcissus
by encouraging the pool’s mirror
to reflect his admiration
bolstering his vanity
and tempting him
to his destruction

The WATERFALL

Canonteign Falls, Dartmoor, Devon . . .  Pen & Wash by WHB

THE  WATERFALL

Humble in its origin
on the heather moor
rolling gently down towards
the valley’s deep green floor

Suddenly the land gives way 
beneath its watery tread
and  leads it down the rocky face
towards the river bed

Down the limestone outcrop
over mossy stones
beside the yellowing bracken
it bubbles sighs and moans

Until at last its downward race
is given a pause for rest
before it has to carry  on
with renewed force and zest.

SUNRISE

‘Golden Sunrise’ . . . Watercolour: WHB – 2013

The morning threatens to burst its carapace
And I await the beginning of a new day

And as the sun cracks the horizon’s shell
And pours its yolk into today’s cup
The world comes alive
Spreads its panoply of colours
Displaying its wanton nature
In bright yet consoling shades
Of golden yellow
Straining to give back to Helios
Due recompense for his diurnal toils

On such a day as this
Is Nature disposed to display
Its plenitude
To boast shamelessly
Of its joy in bringing
Light and Life
To a sad world