Stanley Spencer – A Happy Resurrection

Photograph of Spencer at work in Cookham Village … by WHB . . . 1957

Stanley Spencer, CBE RA (1891 – 1959)was an English painter. Shortly after leaving the Slade School of Art, Spencer became well known for his paintings depicting Biblical scenes occurring as if in Cookham, the small village beside the River Thames where he was born and spent much of his life. Wikipedia

The sleepers awake
from an imagined death
A teasing adventure in insubstantial earth

Pram pusher extraordinaire
in the Village that lit up his life
inspired his vision
Trundled easel hearse
put to work in progress
To see, to feel, to breathe
destiny on the village green
The past become the present
resurrected in tranquillity
Life-lite under the churchyard yew
this moulded flesh – full featured
bringing joy from the stern grave
Life’s resurrection imagined
in hope and the churchyard
in his eyes and his pigment
Drawn and deified
Death and Resurrection as Spring
As buttercups in the greenest of fields.


The sleepers awake
from an imagined death
A pleasing adventure in insubstantial earth

Stanley Spencer: ‘The Resurrection, Cobham … 1924-27. Tate Gallery

Released Into Life

Life lacks lustre
And my world is grey;
As it re-awakes,
Is it here to stay?

I’ve slumbered long
In my cocoon,
Sheltered and shielded
‘Neath a midday moon.

Spring with its joy
Struggles to bring
Its warmth and colour,
Its song to sing.

But after the storm
The clouds disperse;
I await with hope
To end my verse.

Message to our Maker

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We are alive
We like this life
Don’t want to change
We want no strife

We do our best
We try to please
Don’t make us change
Life is no breeze

We look to you
For your support
We know you’re good
You’re such a sport

You’ve taken care
Of us and ours
We’re still your friend
Show us your powers

And please I beg
Unlock these chains
So we can enjoy
What life remains

Some Times

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Some times it snows
Swirling in white
Drifts in the night
Pearls of soft light

Some days it rains.
Wetness unceasing
Clouds are releasing
The heavens above

And some times the wind
Moans through the trees
Only heaven sees
How life will react

For life will go on
Regardless of me
Not till I cease to be
Will the world be set free

But always it shows
How godliness grows
And nobody knows
How all life will end

Cycle of Life and Death

I came across its shrunken frame,
lashed to a random rail.
The secluded death, diminished frame,
told a sorry tale.

How once, a joy, a treasured pride,
it bore a life that mattered;
How love once dignified its role,
that now was broke and battered.

Where love had once upon a time
a vibrant life endorsed.
What pride and joy and patience once
was lavished on this corpse.

What story lay behind the scene,
what trauma caused this end?
How it had come to this sad state
I could not comprehend.

The violence of traumatic death,
the twisted sculpture left,
tells such a haunted tortured tale,
leaving a soul bereft.

Pandemic

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On This Covid Pandemic

The Chinese had a phrase for it –
‘May you live in interesting times.’
Double- edged, somewhat inscrutable,
As I read between its lines.

Intended as a curse it is said;
Perhaps we’re paying for our crimes?
As we live this life not led before –
Perdition’s paradigm.

Cometh The Lockdown

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Stop the world I want to get off;
Let’s have a global fire break.
Give me time to recuperate,
To stop this corvid headache.

We’re hoping for some respite now,
A pause in life’s short passage;;
A little rest may well be best,
A chance to send a message,

Let’s tell the world we’ve not gone mad,
Defy cynics and mockers;
Impress upon the populace
We’ve not gone off our rockers.

For every person, young or old,
Still living on this planet,
Has cause to love a life that’s free,
To live a life – not ban it.

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Deo Volente

DEO VOLENTE

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Cometh the day
Cometh the ban
Yet another deprivation
Another death for motivation
Covid Nine still running wild
Meaning for us
Nothing good
Nothing mild
Just another tight restriction
This is now life
It is not fiction

I tell my family they cannot come
They are not surprised
They do not blanche
Just another faded chance
Not something else to life enhance

Will I one day
Look back and say
When this black cloud has blown away
I lived through covid
Took its measure
Saw it off
Without a cough
Survived to tell new generations
How grandad lived through such privations
Knuckled down
Obeyed the rules
Derided all those other fools
Who didn’t care
Who took it easy
Yet also lived to tell the tale

I can’t help but think
With a nod and a wink
Life’s still worth living
D. V. – God Willing.



AS SHADOWS COME AND GO

as more mute shadows come and go
so
my life does ebb and flow
clinging
disturbingly
with my every motion
not prepared to let me go
until at some time
not yet determined
in the day’s misty murkiness
I will merge with the darkness
along with life’s shrouded meaning
to await that time
which surely will arrive
for the putting out of the light
and the beginning
of death’s adventure