A Dream Enriched

Burne-Jones-The Love Song

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.

 

bar1

Advertisements

Maldon & the Thames Sailing Barge

[ Photo Gallery # 91 ]

Thames Sailing Barges

Maldon is a town on the Blackwater estuary in Essex, England.   Cruises can now be undertaken from here on the traditional Thames Sailing Barges.  During the 17th and 18th centuries Thames Sailing Barges played an important role in ferrying cargo to and from ships to the London wharves. The very first barges were different from those we see today and lacked the distinctive sails which were introduced over time. Such craft  came in a variety of sizes that could carry from 100 tonnes, (river barges) to 300 tonnes (large coasters) to suit a range of needs.

The flat-bottomed barges with a shallow draught were perfectly adapted to the Thames Estuary, with its shallow waters and narrow tributary rivers. The larger barges were seaworthy vessels, and were the largest sailing vessel that could be handled by just two men.

The cargoes carried by these boats varied enormously – bricks, cement, rubbish, hay, coal, sand, grain and gunpowder. Timber, bricks and hay were stacked on the deck, while cement and grain was carried loose in the hold. They could sail low in the water, even with their gunwales beneath the surface.

They sailed the Medway and Thames in a ponderous way for two-hundred years; then in the 1860s a series of barge races were started, and the barges’ design improved as vessels were built with better lines in order to win. The Thames barge races are the world’s second oldest sailing competition, second to the America’s Cup.  At the time of World War 2 these Thames Sailing Barges played a vital part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk, their shallow-bottoms proving excellent for this purpose.

 

 

The Thames Sailing Barge Trust, which owns such boats, operates some of their boats from Maldon and offers the opportunity to sail to various locations around the Thames Estuary,  and also to take part in competition with other barges in the various barge matches arranged throughout the sailing season.

The photographs below, except the first and the last, were taken by me on a visit to Maldon in 2005.

[  My notes above are based on information from a variety of sources ]

Maldon-01

Map of the Thames estuary and the Essex coastline

Maldon02 (1)

Maldon02 (2)

Maldon02 (3)

Maldon02 (4)Maldon02 (5)Maldon02 (6)

Maldon02 (7)

full sail

Thames Sailing Barge in full sail

 

banner2b

A Bag For Life

bag for life

A Bag For Life

Standing in the queue
at the checkout just last week
I chanced to hear the cashier
to a dear old lady speak,

“Well, my dear, I wonder
if you’d welcome one of these.
It’s called a ‘Bag For Life’,
and will take your goods with ease.”

To which that lady brightly,
with her tongue stuck in her cheek,
Says, “No thank you dear, you see
I’m only here one week.”

 

bar-yellow

A Glimpse in Time

pexels-photo-1172101a

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. 

 

31-1113tm-vector2-3463

 

‘I wish I loved the Human Race’

[  # 85 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Sir_Walter_Alexander_Raleigh,_Julian_Ottoline_Vinogradoff_and_unknown_boy_by_Lady_Ottoline_Morre

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’.

 

bar1

JUNE – A Nonet

nonet

As regular readers of Roland’s Ragbag will know, from time to time, I attempt a poem in a form which I have not previously tried.  Today I publish below my attempt at a NONET . . .

A NONET –  has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc … until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.  Sometimes printed as a -right angled triangle , at other times as a Pyramid – as below.

See:   Shadow Poetry  on the Nonet.


[ N.B.  Wikipedia gives the spelling as ‘Nonnet’.  Both forms seem to be acceptable ] 

bar-yellow

June

 

Five months of the year have been and gone 

More of my life has now passed on

Pinch punch the first of the month

And June is here with smiles

Time for summer styles

For life and love

Here on earth

Rebirth

Worth

bar-yellow

 

RYE, East Sussex, England

[ Photo Gallery # 90 ]

RYE is an English town near the coast in East Sussex.  It was one of the original Cinque Ports and parts of the original walls and town gates, once built to guard against invasions from the French, still remain.  Over the centuries, however, the sea has receded leaving Rye Harbour and the coast of the English Channel about 2 miles (3.2 km) downriver from the town.  In the town centre, cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street still exist lined with medieval, half-timbered houses. The redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. Nearby, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church overlooks the town. 

Rye Apr05 001

Low tide on the River Rother at Rye

Rye Apr05 003

Ancient Rye Mill, reconstructed in 1932 after a fire destroyed much of the superstructure

Rye Apr05 009

Fascinating weather-worn textures in part of the ancient town walls

Rye Apr05 014

Looking uphill along the cobbled Mermaid Street to Lamb House at the top right

Rye Apr05 018

View across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

Rye Apr05 020

Another view across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

Rye Apr05 027

View towards the River Rother from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

Rye Apr05 031 Burne-Jones

A Burne-Jones stained-glass window in St.Mary’s Church

Rye Apr05 035

A lovely corner window in the town

Rye Apr05 036

House front near St.Mary’s Church

Rye Apr05 037 Landgate

One of the ancient town entry gates

Rye Apr05 038 RadclyffeHall

The green plaque is inscribed ‘Radclyffe Hall (1880 – 1943), Novelist, lived here.’

bar-green

Summer Sand

sand01

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

sand02

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

sand03

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

 

banner2b

[  © 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.

 

bar-green

 

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’

 

 

bar1

 

 

‘Who’s Who’ – Benjamin Zephaniah

[  # 84 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Zephaniah-001

Benjamin Zephaniah

 

 

‘Who’s Who’

I used to think nurses

Were women

I used to think police were men

I used to think poets

Were boring

Until I became one of them.

 

Benjamin Zephaniah

 

bar-yellow

 

Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (born 15 April 1958) is a British writer, poet and Rastafarian.  He was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008.  Zephaniah was born and raised in the Handsworth district of Birmingham which he has called the “Jamaican capital of Europe”. He is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse.  A dyslexic, he attended an approved school but left aged 13 unable to read or write.

He now writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls “street politics”. His first performance was in church when he was eleven, and by the age of fifteen, his poetry was already known among Handsworth’s Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities.

bar-green