‘Feelings’

[  # 88 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Nina Simone

Nina Simone

My reason for showcasing the lyrics of this song are really just an excuse to feature once again the power of the musician/singer, Nina Simone, previously featured in my blog:  ‘Strange Fruits’  – originally posted on Dec.31st 2016 .

Originally popularised by the Brazilian singer Morris Albert, in 1975, the lyrics of the song have been described as “incredibly, stunningly crappy”, largely because of the vagueness and lack of a defined context.   Nevertheless, if anyone were to be able to invest the song with meaning, and with ‘feelings’, then Nina Simone is the person to do it and I commend the YouTube video of  her 1976 Montreaux Jazz Festival performance, which can be found by following the link at:   ‘Feelings’.   Her approach displays all her power and intensity, coupled with her magnificent playing of the piano.

In 1988, French songwriter Louis Gaste successfully sued Morris Albert for plagiarizing his song “Pour Toi”, which appeared in an obscure 1957 French movie. The tunes are very similar. He was awarded 88% of the royalties.

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FEELINGS

Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my heart

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it
I wish I’ve never met you, girl; you’ll never come again

Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
And feelings like I’ve never have you again in my life

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms
Feelings

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms
Feelings

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The Borderlands of POETRY – 5

PART THE FIFTH

 

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Poetry As Religion

 

Poetry has become my religion
My faith lies in belief
Belief that my words convey my feelings
Express my thoughts
In a way that my actions are unable to do
And while I write
While I construct my idolatrous icons
I am worshipping at the altar of my muse
And offering penance for my frailties.

 

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My Distant Star

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Van Gogh – 1888: ‘Starry Night over the Rhone’ (detail) … Musee d’Orsay

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MY DISTANT STAR

 

It’s not what I meant
by following my star
but that’s how it is
you’re so remote and afar.

so in my reflections
I make the connections
I’ve been living your life
I’ve laid siege to your mind
and fenced in your feelings
thinking your thoughts
and wishing your wants
your dreams I’ve been dreaming

 so what am I doing
with this surrogate presence?
what will I find
and what can I prove
amidst mist and fashion
by chasing each clue?
a sense of your passion
that essence of you?

I need to give you a meaning
to capture that feeling
of truly belonging
no longer just dreaming
no longer an adjunct
no remote stalker
given to stealing
your dreams, thoughts and wishes
your love and your kisses

 and then if I dare
all that I want
is your love to snare
rejoice in the glow
all else is despair

 

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SUICIDE ON A WHIM

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‘River Liffey Incident . . . Pen & Wash . . . WHB – 1994

SUICIDE ON A WHIM

suicide on a whim
is not unheard of
but few such perpetrators
live to tell the tale

one such
rescued from his indecision
by the Gardai
lived through his trauma
sweet Liffey run softly
while I tell the story

distraught by his
gambling debts
and the drinking
his only way to a conclusion
seemed to him to be
voluntary
self-inflicted
euthanasia
yes
he thought
that he wanted to die
half-determined
part irresolute

in a single moment of wavering
he had jumped
just fell perhaps
but the fear
and the cold water
soon hit him
hit harder
than the twenty foot drop

an instinctive cry
escaped him
you could call it
a change of mind
his cry for help
was a second thought
an unintended consequence
of his half-hearted conviction

and now he was held
grasped in a rescue bid

but did he wish to be salvaged
to be pleaded with
would that bring him
the closure he craved
attention unwanted
but secured
attention secured
but unwanted

and still
he could not let go
the ladder
his passport to life
a life he did not desire
could he bear to go there
yet again
to continue
victim to more pain
to yet more anguish

but temporary chagrin
is no killer
his cri de coeur
answered
his indecision
thwarted

is it heads or tails
is it stay or go
is life’s hurt
greater than death’s pain
is future shame
worse than eternity’s
opprobrium

we will never know
the prognosis
I suspect
he is still amongst us
ever indecisive
a suitor for attention
defaulting on his debts
not stopping at three pints
one of life’s
irresolute chancers

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THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

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THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

The lessons of history are all around
Etched on death’s memorial
But who looks at memorials?

The war to end all wars ended
But the peace had not been won

Exchanging eyes
Has not proved a workable proposition
And yet the attempt goes on
And mankind is condemned to try again
To seek an end to conflict
By perpetuating conflict itself

Those lessons from the past
Unlearnt
At best misunderstood
Ignored
And so it continues
The errors of the past
Visited on countless future generations

Fear reigns
And stultifies hope
Because mankind remains
Because mankind will not change
Still comatose
Sleepwalking into conflict again
Again
And yet again

Original sin
Casts its sinister shadow
Over hope
And so
The cycle continues
War and peace
Unfeasible bedfellows
History hardly notices the difference

But we do
And suffer for it

holbein-mort2aThe two illustrations above were scanned from my copy of Holbein’s ‘Le Triomphe De La Mort’ published in 1780 … Etchings of Holbein’s originals by Chr.De Michel

LANGUOR

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

LANGUOR

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.

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The APPLEGARTH

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The APPLEGARTH

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

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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

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   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

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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

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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.

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Photographs by WHB . . . 2016

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DREAMLAND

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Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ 1871

DREAMLAND

My mind
enfranchised in sleep
liberated from rationality
my unconscious
set free to roam my history.

The blurred narrative
picks and chooses
what it wants to portray
to examine
to reconnoitre.

Personae and locale
juxtaposed
regardless of sequence
of time and of place

A current friend
a past acquaintance
someone who is no one
brought together
and the scene is set.

I wander amongst its passage ways
through its disjointed scenery
meeting both friends and strangers
so unclarified
and yet telling a minimal story
its sequence uncontrolled
unfettered by personal decision
moving on at leisured pace
subject it seems to no control
seemingly governed solely
by its own momentum
no decisions involved in the flow of events
linked by no conscious reason
aware of scenery
of being somewhere half-known
but insensate
unaware of how I feel towards it.

Then,
an arbitrary end
to these inconclusive series of events;
sometimes just a fading;
but at other times
an abrupt cessation
of the out-of-focus story’s flow
an abrupt end
often in mid event.

And I am left with traces
vague recollections of where
indistinct awareness of who
no understanding of why
no connection to past
no sense of a future

Just dreamland
half-remembered
soon forgotten altogether
lost in another time
another life
a parallel reality
or even outside reality
but it must be my reality.

My mind
enfranchised in sleep
liberated from rationality
and conscious executive decision

My unconscious
set free to roam my history.
How that happens to be
to me that remains a mystery.

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The End Of The Line

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Burne-Jones … ‘The Beguiling of Merlin – detail

The End Of The Line

I would say that this is it now
As far as we can go

There never was a future in our love.
I needed you so deeply; it was not the same for you;
With half a heart did you your love bestow.

When I reach out to hold you
Do you welcome my advance?
Do you give to me a sign you understand
How much I need your presence to accept me as I am?
Oh, no! You judge me with that withering glance?

When I say I want you
Do you offer up to me
Your honest love and deepest feelings too?
No, you falter once again in opening up your heart
You hesitate, and claim you must be free?

So with all our quarrels over
Instead of settling down
To that ever loving state that we once shared
We will never have a future when there is no give and take
It’s not worth it just for your enduring frown.

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‘The Beguiling Of Merlin’ by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones … painted 1872-1877 … now in the Lady Lever At Gallery, Liverpool.  The scene is from Arthurian legend, depicting the infatuation of Merlin with  Nimue, the Lady of the Lake.

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Where Gleams Our Sun

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Where gleams our sun

 What we once had before we split
I never will regret one bit.
It was a joy I can’t repeat;
It was my fault, I do admit.

Regrets do not a prison make,
But time will ever keep awake
That spark of love, which, withered now,
I watched with horror envy take.

Your gain, my loss, I can agree;
Despite your vow to cherish me,
I lost you when I gave you space;
I knew I had to set you free.

It helps to keep my life on track,
To plaster o’er that cruel crack,
To be with you in dreamland now.
I’d give up all to have you back.

You fill so many of my dreams
And memory runs amok it seems.
Tonight I take you with me, there,
Where gleam our sun and our moonbeams.

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My watercolour is of a beach on the far North West coast of Scotland … WHB – 2000

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