Escape To Paradise

A Paradise’ . . . WHB: Pen and watercolour – 2014

our world is not always a nice place to be
so let’s take off for paradise
to do that we must dream
so make a wish and dream
the dreams made from memories
choose daydreams
for they are made from pleasant ones
precious jewels of remembered moments
of childhood pleasures recreated in golden colours
under warm and generous skies
for what is nirvana but bliss
a perfect quietude
remembered from that golden age
when cares were so far away as to be invisible
and joy was present
in the simplicity of a walk in a spring meadow
in hesitant steps across a bubbling beck
in that breath of early evening air
bringing the scent of heather
and with it the rustle of new leaves
bursting to catch the evening air
amongst the rolling northern hills
the cradled landscape of that now distant home
forever a part of my being
both bedrock and comfort of my present
and succour of my hopes for the future

On Life’s Anchor

WHB – ‘Highcliff … Pencil

‘Every man is searching for the place he belongs.’ James Joyce

Where do I belong
Is it my birthplace
Or some other place where I have laid my head?

I no longer search
For I am secure in knowing with increasing certainty
My heart still lives in the hills of my childhood home
It awakes each morning with the scent of bracken and heather
And the soft green turf of the rolling moor
Even at such long removed time and space
These tastes, these smells, these images
In the quiet moments of my active day
Have an unnerving reality
Sustain my being and nourish the silence of my soul
Rarely do the comforting memories engendered
Leave me dispirited and downcast
Seldom do the doubts of my waking troubles
Not gain encouragement from the solidity
The comforting certainties of my history
And I have never lost their throbbing power
To anchor the passage of fleeting time
In the calm and stillness of my reflection



Thought for the Morrow

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Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
King James Bible . . . Matthew 6:34. ‘Sermon on the Mount’

Yes … Tomorrow is another day
One more locked-down day to bear
While for me the world outside attempts to hide from view
Yet I know that
Somewhere The sun shines,
while elsewhere snow’s warmth blankets the tumbling hills
The rain is working its vernal wonders in the forest
and the world’s waves beat upon its brackish shores

My life’s sideshow cowers in lockdown’s shade
The life I once learnt to live fades
And a new one awaits
Granted by science and by human endeavour
A new path to wend – to explore
A road less travelled
which I must learn to love
The old well-tbeaten ways no longer lead to certainty
only to danger and distress
And so
amidst a tangled understanding of right and wrong
The future lives on in uncertainty’s haze

Coffin of Iron

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Photo:  WHB – Somerset, 2019   ©

COFFIN  OF IRON

He had died of his wrinkles
Liver spots and age lines
Gnarled and creviced skin
Dusted and singed
By his Lifetime’s fevered furnace
His lungs smoke-charred
Legacy of a thousand undoused fires

As old as the hills he trod
As the bubbling beck he bled
I see six stalwart pall bearers
Hard as ancient twisted nails
Arise from their bed of iron
Raise the dead-weight anvil
His final ferrous coffin
To shoulder height
Begin a steady passage
Through the leaden winter streets
Beneath those snow-clad Northern Hills
Their shrouded clouded sky
Seemingly forever draped
Atop the silent iron tomb

Carried through the dark gate
To its final resting place
Fitting memorial to a smith’s life
Gifted again to the ironstone earth

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In memoriam: Harold Booth, Yorkshire blacksmith & farrier; 1909 – 1987

From a son to his father

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Nature’s Cavalcade

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Samuel Palmer -The valley Thick With Corn

Nature’s  Cavalcade

When Hopkins gloried in dappled things
He must have thought of angels’ wings
Of gossamer and cuckoo spit
Of candles flicker-lit

As Palmer did
In silent chapels
In Kentish fields

 

Of darkening woods
where sunlight hides
In sheepland pastures
On downy hills
In buttercup meadows
Where linnet trills
The silent raptures
Of sunset light
On autumn trees
Where swoops the kite
And evening captures
The thickening shadows
The cooling breeze
Midst fields of golden rippling corn
That now adorn the rustic scene
Such glory in apple blossom seen
As they, with Blake,
Held in their hand
Those grains of sand
To wonder more
How Nature’s glory
Explains itself
In storm
And stillness
In calm and frenzy
Light and shade
In setting sun
And mounting moon
The evening’s glaze
In bounteous harvest
Nature’s cavalcade
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Reverie #9: Echoes of the Past

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Pen & Ink – WHB … Northern Hills

I need to listen to that hidden sound of silence
the murmur that thrills lost souls
and as it swells
reverberates among those distant heathered hills

I crave to hear it burgeon on that lonely land
that misty moor of distant memory
where dwell lush images of the Green Hill
of the High Cliff
the Cass Rock
the Apple Garth
and the bubbling burbling beck
its red waters blooding its banks
with reminders of its ferrous track

A distant memory
rising from deep beneath those ancient northern hills
born of Nature’s cycle
birthed in ironstone
and nurtured in those recurring dreams of my youth
and the lasting images of my old age

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Iron Valley

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Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

The streams descending from the hills
Ran red with the iron they brought. 
It could as well have been lost blood
For all the wealth they sought.

Plenteous in ore and rich in scope
Those Northern hills were ravaged;
In the name of thrusting Revolution
My native land was savaged. 

The earth’s spoils harvested to feed
the world’s gross need for steel;
So while the master’s pockets bulged
No stop to progress’s wheel. 

The cost was counted in toil and sweat,
In the maiming of the land,
And the crying of unnumbered souls
Who did not understand. 


NOTE:  There were 400 fatalities at Eston, North Yorkshire, in the 100 years (in the 19th and early 20th Centuries) the mines were worked there in the Eston Hills, between Cleveland and the River Tees Estuary.

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Longing

Lake Distriict-Borrowdale-1986

Borrowdale – Pen Sketch WHB – 1986  © 

LONGING

Yes, my youth brought many vital moments
among my native hills.
Such interludes return now
in flashback and in dreams
in vignettes and in echoes;
instances of acute sensitivity,
memories more precious and persistent
as year passes into year.

I wish I had been more alive then,
more interwoven with my surroundings,
instinctively attached to the skies above
and to the rolling landscape below.

For there, on the vast wide-open moorland
where, above my breathing,
what I heard, was only the sound of the bees
visiting the sun-yellow gorse,
and the sighing rustle of the breeze
playing amongst the curls of bracken,
the blackbirds circling above in the sundown dusk,
calls of the curlew, lapwing and meadow pipit
lost in broom , hidden in heather.

Sometimes, in the bliss of solitude’s memory,
I have known a disregard for time itself,
and I sense I would happily reach eternal slumber
in the rapturous throes of such longing.

 

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The Hills of my Childhood

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On the N.Yorkshire Moors – Pen & Ink … WHB

The Hills of my Childhood

 

The hills of my childhood
Mountains to me
Remain in my memory
And still I can see

Their contours throbbing
Against the bright sky
Promising thrills
With every sigh.

I climbed, scrambled upwards
To grasp what they pledged
In heedless delight
My keenness knife-edged.

The summit had beckoned
Becoming my mission
My reason for living
My only ambition.

And as my heart pounded,
As upwards I raced,
It presaged my future,
The world that I faced.

To view from the summit
The expanse of my world
Was a glimpse of hereafter
Forever unfurled.

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Sea, Sun, and Hills

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Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

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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