‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus


Image . . . Pinterest

‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus



The heavens opened 
On my hopes for sun and warmth
Leaving me bereft


As the waters rose
So my spirits with them sank
I thought love lay lost


But I was quite wrong
For Nature wove its magic
Showing me the truth


Look upon the rain
As summers need to renew
And keep love alive




North Yorkshire Coast #1

[ Photo Gallery # 78 ]

After my three Photo Galleries displaying the delights of Whitby, my next two galleries will cover some of the delights of the Yorkshire coast further north, now named the ‘North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast’.

01 NY Heritage Coast

‘Heritage Coast’ sign at Sandsend

02 HawskerChurch

A sea mist masks the church and gravestones of the coastal village of Hawsker

03 sandsend

Evening view to the north from the beach at Sandsend

04 sandsend

Rough sea looking south towards Whitby from Sandsend.

05 sandsend-westbek

Misty morning beside Westbek at Sandsend

06 RunswickBay

The picturesque artists’ village of Runswick Bay

06a Runswick

High tide in the bay at Runswick

06b Runswick

Further view of Runswick Bay

07 Skinningrove

The old mining village of Skinningrove where the Kilton Beck meets the North Sea and still runs red with the iron deposits carried down from the surrounding hills .  Known as ‘Britain’s Iron Valley’.

Kilton Culvert

Kilton Culvert (N.B. not one of my own photographs)


Three views of the ‘Repus’ Cobble, an old Skinningrove fishing boat now positioned looking out to the North Sea from the beach at Skinningrove.

10 Skinningrove

It is not clear why this cobble has been named ‘Repus’, but it has been pointed out that the name spells ‘Super’ backwords!

11 Skinningrove

Manning the prow of the ‘Repus’ Cobble


Three Cinquains

cinquain is a five-line poem, normally without rhyme, but with a specific syllable count of 2-4-6-8-2.  The form was invented by Adelaide Crapsey, an American poet who took her inspiration from Japanese haiku and tanka.  As with most other poetic forms, the cinquaine has since been developed to encompass a variety of ways, whilst always holding to Crapsey’s basic formula.

The following amplification is taken from: ‘The Cinquain’ ByDeborah Kolodii, as published on the  ‘Shadow Poetry’  website …

The ideal cinquain for Crapsey was one that worked up to a turn or climax, and then fell back. Similar to the “twist” that often occurs in the final couplet of a sonnet, a cinquain’s “turn” usually occurs during the final, shorter fifth line or immediately before it. Thus, the momentum of a cinquain grows with each subsequent line as another two syllables, … (are) added bringing the poem to a climax at the fourth line, falling back to a two syllable “punch line”.


Adelaide Crapsey

n another of my occasional attempts at structuring my poetic thoughts into a (to me) new poetic form, I give below three of my own examples of the CINQUAINE.



My life
Lives in my work
Searching for the right words
Seeking to make them tell the truth


Are not for me
Rather, let the past rest
Whilst I live on in the present
With hope


Ends as the Spring
Advances with new life
Bringing hope and joy to us all


TREE-mendous FUN

Devon-aug 085a

Photo : ‘… in Devon ‘ – WHB

TREE-mendous FUN

“I love you”, said ELM to HAZEL,

“Shall I comPEAR you to a summer’s day?
rough winds, they shake the darling buds of MAY,
and summer’s LEAVES have far too short a DATE;

but my FIR will keep YEW warm in winter;
then let us produce HAZE-ELM-lets,
or, if you preFIR,
maybe we’ll make ELM-HAZEL-ets together.”

“But I am PLANE”, HAZEL said,
“and you are SPRUCE,
and I PINE for a HOLLY-day,
For the BEECHES of my youth;
… so, before I become
just ASHes in a BOX
I will be, AS-PEN to paper,
and I WILL-OWe you this one poem.”

“OAK – HAY”, Elm said

So the PEAR of them
and BRANCHED off to WOODstock,
where they lived APPLE-y ever after.


[  with apologies to Mr. W. Shakespeare for bowdlerising his Sonnet # 18   ]


‘As When …’ – Three Haiku

RoundBritain (9)FarneIsles

‘Farne Islands’ Northumbria … Photo: WHB – 2012

As When . . .



As when the waves rage
So does my turbulent life
Beat upon my shore

As when the sky weeps
So do my eyes shed their tears
For those friends now gone

As when the wind gusts
So does my discontent rage
For those without love




The Meaning Of Life 


The Meaning Of Life

Author Unknown


I must determine for myself what my life means and must seek to bring it to fruition



The friend I lost today,
the ant I trod on yesterday,
both no longer quick
but now sharing death.

How similar
yet how different.
‘How sad the world without them’
says God
‘How disparate’, say I,
if I care to say anything at all.

God and Nature, merge their significance,
their world view equalising loss,
while I, bereft, forlorn,
am led to grieve for one
but not the other.

Significance holds prominence,
for Nature must consider all loss notable
but necessary,
living in different time scales,
our individual lives
serve only our own time frame,
our personal connections
pointing to meaning
and giving resonance
and substance
to each separate life.

As the axe I take to the log,
the knife to my steak,
my boot to the beetle’s innocence,
and as I pluck yet another rose,
so ends my hold on life,
for ever compromised.

So I am left with
how, in nature’s sight,
meaning lies only with
the recurring cycle,

but in my heart
my hurt is not diminished,
my mourning
is just mine to feel.



West Cornwall #3

[  Photo Blog # 74  ]

Below is a further selection of the many photographs I took on my visits to South-West Cornwall and the Lizard Peninsular between 2006 and 2008.

CornwallSep06 StIves01

Beach at St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves4

A good day for yachting at St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves08

Will You Marry Me’  (No question mark!).  I trust Julie was pleased.

CornwallSep06 StIves09

Porthgwidden Beach, St.Ives

CornwallSep06 StIves12-Tate

The view from Tate St. Ives Art Gallery

CornwallSep06 StJustInRoseland1

View from the Church of St Just in Roseland

CornwallSep06 Trebah2

View from Trebah Gardens over to the Helford River

CornwallSep06 Trebah3

View from Trebah Gardens out to the English Channel

CornwallSep06 Trebah6

Another View from Trebah Gardens

CornwallSep06 Trelissick05

A Tree (species unknown to me) in Trelissick Gardens

CornwallSep06 Trelissick08

View from Trelissick Gardens towards the River Fal

Sea  Light

Katie Sarra-Seascape (1)




As the swell of the sea reaches the shore
Waves wilfully break on the beckoning beach;
Light catches the colours riding the crests,
Blushing in red, in pink and in peach.

While above as we watch in reverence and awe,
The marmalade sky sugars the view,
Embracing the split twixt heaven and earth,
Splitting the vibrant view into two.

In such scenes as this all life gains a meaning,
For life and desire reside in the sea;
The beauty of nature is here embodied,
Bringing contentment and stillness to me.

Katie Sarra-Seascape (2)



My poem originates from a consideration of the oil paintings of Devon artist, Katie Sarra.  Many of Katie’s paintings present visions of the sea in its many different moods, still, turbulent, calm , moody.   Many of these seascapes are displayed in her gallery facing the River Daw as it runs through the Devonshire seaside town of Dawlish.  Her gallery is named ‘SEA LIGHT’.   It is a great joy to spend time in this beautiful gallery which doubles as a thriving cafe and tea rooms.  Two photographs of the gallery front below . . .



Western Cornwall #1

[  Photo Blog # 72  ]

Cornwall Map

I visited the western and the southernmost extremities of Cornwall on several summertime occasions between 2006 and 2008.  For the next three Thursdays I will offer some of the many photographs I took on these journeys.   The weather was not always bright and sunny!

01 Glendurgan

Glendurgan Gardens – owned by the National Trust

02 Glendurgan

The beach at Glendurgan on the Helford River

03 Glendurgan

Glendurgan – The Beach

04 KingHarryFerry

On the King Harry Ferry

05 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsular

06 KynanceCove

Kynance Cove

07 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove on the Penwith peninsula approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Penzance

08 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

09 LamornaCove

Lamorna Cove

10 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

11 LizardLighthouse

The Lizard – Lighthouse

12 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion

13 Marazion-StMichaelsMt

St. Michael’s Mount – from Marazion

The (Very) Outer Hebrides

From time to time I intend to reproduce, usually with minor changes, a few of my earliest WordPress posts from ‘Roland’s Ragbag’.  These will be ones which were, and are still, of particular import to me and which most of my current followers and readers will not have seen or read before.  For those of you who may have come across the earlier versions, I do hope you will consider them to be worthy of a second airing.


ON . . .  Flannan Isle, St.Kilda, and ‘Coffin Road’


The Outer Hebrides – showing Flannan Isle


In 2012, on a Round Britain cruise, I passed close to the Flannan Isles and to St.Kilda.  This was, for me, meant to be the highlight of the cruise, as I had in the past read much about both these remote places – the outermost islands of the Outer Hebrides – St.Kilda in fact being the furthest west point of the whole British Isles.  Unfortunately, the weather, as is often the case in those parts, was not good.  The sea was rough and the islands shrouded in mist.  I did manage a few photographs of St.Kilda, covered in mist and seabirds, but that was it. . .



St.Kilda in the mist … Photos by WHB – 2012

Flannan Isle is in fact a small archipelago of seven rocks, sometimes known as ‘The Seven Hunters’.  It has held great interest for me ever since, way back in my school days, just about my first introduction to narrative poetry was through the re-telling, by Wilfred Wilson Gibson, of the story of the three missing lighthouse men in his poem  ‘Flannan Isle’ (q.v.).  The story, for those not familiar with it, has echoes of the story of the missing crew of the ‘Mary Celeste’.

The Flannan Isle lighthouse was constructed in 1899 by David and Charles Stevenson.  Just a year later, when investigating why the light was not lit, 3 men landed on the isle but could find no trace of the 3 lighthouse keepers.  Although the table in the lighthouse was set with food, and although the rules of procedure insisted that one man should always remain in the lighthouse, no trace of any of them was ever found.   The full story is recounted in Gibson’s poem.  I have always remembered in particular the emotive last verse:

‘We seem’d to stand for an endless while,  Though still no word was said,
Three men alive on Flannan Isle,  Who thought on three men dead.’


The whole story was brought vividly back to me when I recently read Peter May‘s 2016 book, ‘Coffin Road’.   Gripping from the very beginning, It is a top-quality read – the best book I have read for a long long time.

‘A man is washed up on a deserted beach on the Hebridean Isle of Harris, barely alive. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. The only clue to his identity is a map tracing a track called the Coffin Road.’

Flannan Isle itself, and the story of the three lighthouse men, are central to the story. There is a very strong plot and, as well as being a first-class thriller, the story has a cogent environmental message concerning the dangers of science being exploited for profit unrestrained by ethics.  As in others of his books, Peter May brings the Hebridean landscape to vivid life in all its rugged beauty, as well as realistically conveying the wildness of both the Hebridean sea and its weather.

I also learnt a lot about Bees from ‘The Coffin Road’ !!!   I thoroughly recommend it.