Mirrored Hope

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Photo: WHB – 2019

MIRRORED  HOPE

Ornate
The frame
Impounding
My world

Silver gilt
glistens
Holding
My framed
Existence in its
Reflected copy

How
I wish away 
My life
In exotic scenes

Imaged opulence
Amidst
A morbid
Decaying life

I ask no more
Than for an echo of my future

In my next glimpse
To come to my rescue
And transcribe
My defeatism
Into a reassuring future

No man
Can live for ever
But
To the end
He can deny
That thought

 

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‘Mirror, Mirror’ – by Spike Milligan

[ # 97 of My Favourite Short Poems ]

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Spike Milligan (1918 – 2002)

Yes, another poem by Spike Milligan, that arch-Goon. This one, however, shows another side to his poetry. Here, he shows that he is quite capable of being tender and is able to give us such a gentle and gracious poem. Recognising that the blind boy sees, not what is on the mirror’s surface, but what his own senses tell him is the true nature of the ‘spring-tender’ girl.

MIRROR, MIRROR – by Spike Milligan

A young spring-tender girl
combed her joyous hair
‘You are very ugly’ said the mirror.
But,
on her lips hung
a smile of dove-secret loveliness,
for only that morning had not
the blind boy said,
‘You are beautiful’?

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Derek Walcott … ‘Love After Love’

(No.65 of my favourite short poems)

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‘Love After Love’ – Created with ‘Word Art’ … WHB – 2017 

Sir Derek Alton Walcott was born in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia in 1930.  Although a widely respected painter, he is best known as both a poet and playwright.  He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013.   He won a MacArthur “genius” award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, and many other literary honours.  He died in St Lucia in 2017.

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Composed in free verse, without rhyme or any regular poetic metre, this lovely short poem celebrates the self as finally accepting who and what we are.  Life experience can bring sadness, but there is hope for redemption and an optimistic future.  We can and do change, and are ultimately able to show our true self.

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Love After Love – Poem by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

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Below are links to two, quite different, readings of this poem from YouTube . . .

‘Love After Love’ read by Tim Hidddlestone

‘Love After Love’ read by David Whyte

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My Mirror

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Self-Portrait Aged 20 – on Black Scraperboard:  WHB

Is this a selfie
I see before me?
Is this reflected
In my story?

Mirror mirror
Please tell me now
I am lovely
Take a bow

Am I vain
Or am I boring
Just look at me
My ego’s soaring

Go to blazes
Tell me why
They say that I’m
Pie in the sky

And when I try
To look my best
I do not doubt
That I am blessed

But all’s a mirage
Tempting fate
Wonky nose
And wobbly gait

To have  a visage
Worth a look
I’d completely empty
My cheque book

Not quite Helen
Who launched those ships
More like my own
Apocalypse

My face my fortune
Some will say
I’d swap for handsome
Any day

Stop pulling faces
They all said
But it’s quite normal
I’m thoroughbred

At least I look
As though I mean it
Unlike some
I don’t demean it

Because I feel
I have no guile
Doesn’t mean
I’m mean and facile

But all is not
Quite what it seems
For what I see
Is in my dreams

And I can tell
Just looking at me
My face is all
That it can be

I know I’m right
As I should be
I really am
The me I see

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Self-Portrait Aged 20 – Negative of Black Scraperboard:  WHB

The Subservient Moon

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Each day
The rising sun
chases the moon away
To hide its limpid light
From the brightness of day.
Cowed in its lair
Within the darkness
Of its sylvan hideaway,
Preferring to lie
With the leaves
And squirrels
And, as Clytie,
Watch the skies,
Following Helios’s chariot,
Gazing as he
Arcs the heavens,
Jealous of his power,
Fearful of his revenge
Were she ever to show her face
In his presence.
Ever allowing her nemesis
To hold sway
Over the new day,
Commanding the attention of the world
And continuing his journey;
The dominant presence
In the cerulean sky.

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When is the moon not a moon? 
… When it is sunlight in a circular mirror. 

The three photographs are of a reflection in a window of daylight, itself reflected in a circular mirror and back onto the glass of the window.
All photographs by me – March 2017 … Roland (WHB) 

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MIRROR! MIRROR!

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WHB – scraperboard sketch

Mirror! Mirror!
On my screen
Can I believe
What I have seen?

Mirror! Mirror!
Tell me now
I am awesome,
Take a bow.

Is this a selfie
I see before me?
Is this reflected
In my story?

Am I vain,
Or am I boring?
Look at me,
My ego’s soaring.

Go to blazes!
Tell me why
I’m not just
Pie in the sky.

Tell me that
I should believe it;
 At least I look
As though I mean it.

Because I feel
I have no guile
Doesn’t mean
I’m mean and facile.

My face my fortune
It is said;
If they are right
My palm’s ill-read.

But all is not
Quite what it seems,
For what I see
Is in my dreams.

And I can tell
Just looking at me,
I’m not like
The me I see.

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WHB – scraperboard (negative)

THE LILY POND

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Lily Pond at Hestercombe House, Taunton, Somerset . . .   Watercolour  -WHB  c.2003

THE LILY POND

 No murmur breaks the silence
the afternoon is still
the pool reflects the calmness
which hovers in the air

The colours
and the scent of flowers
speak only of serenity
and peace
the splendour of the garden
throbs with Nature’s pride
a statement of the passion
and the pleasures of creation

Tall distinguished Iris
goddess of the rainbow
clutch the water’s edge
radiating their vibrant heritage
stealing the sun’s power
to enhance their golden presence
their stature
their boldness
speaking their nobility
and proudly defining
their cool distinction

Whilst languid water lilies
blanket the pool’s surface
coveting recognition of their worth
their foot pads
watery meniscus
a haven for the diffident carp
shading all the pool’s life
from the sun’s keen scrutiny

And then recalling
their antique role
in baiting
that languorous youth Narcissus
by encouraging the pool’s mirror
to reflect his admiration
bolstering his vanity
and tempting him
to his destruction

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