The Spring Bonus

depth of field photography of tulip flowers

Photo by Vural Yavas on Pexels.com

The Spring Bonus

You promise a delicious bonus
I wonder what joy that could bring
Perhaps, being a tell-tale romantic,
And allowing conjecture to sing, 
A cruise on a tropical ocean, 
Where mermen and mermaids will bring
Their wisdom, their unceasing love songs, 
To promise delight in the spring.

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The Ballad of the Fatberg

Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Fatberg – Fatberg, Growing so fast;
Please don’t tell them where I am
They’re sure to set up a webcam.

I’ve made my way along this river
Accepting all from every giver
Now I’m stuck – a great fat ball.
Full of gunge and ten feet tall.

Mounds of wet-wipes, cooking fat.
Now you know what happens to that.
Rolled into one gigantic ball,
Big as the goddammed Albert Hall.

They say how many of us exist
In pipes and rivers in our midst.
Across our fair and pleasant land
Disposed of waste … Ain’t it grand!

When they’ve dispersed my fat and grease
all those wet wipes, every piece
Then at last I’ll meet my end
But then the next one will descend

And when dissolved, where do we go?
Why, into the sea then, don’t you know?
That great big cess pool in the ocean,
Unlikely to stir your dulled emotions. 

A FATBERG is a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes, and congealed grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs became a problem in the 2010s in England, because of ageing Victorian sewers and the rise in usage of disposable cloths. Wikipedia

‘Love’s Philosophy’ – Shelley

[  # 92 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

Dicksee-Paolo & Francesca

‘Paola & Francesca’ by John Dicksee

Love’s Philosophy  . . .  By Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

The fountains mingle with the river 

   And the rivers with the ocean, 

The winds of heaven mix for ever 

   With a sweet emotion; 

Nothing in the world is single; 

   All things by a law divine 

In one spirit meet and mingle. 

   Why not I with thine?— 

See the mountains kiss high heaven 

   And the waves clasp one another; 

No sister-flower would be forgiven 

   If it disdained its brother; 

And the sunlight clasps the earth 

   And the moonbeams kiss the sea: 

What is all this sweet work worth 

   If thou kiss not me? 

 

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Summer Geese

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Painting in acrylic by Canadian artist, Alma Kerr – October 2017  ©

SUMMER  GEESE

 

I walk not with the summer geese

but I follow them

as they make their stately way

along the water’s edge

through the incoming waves

towards the seagrass

 

So beautiful

this sense that Nature and I

Are aligned

Working to the same end

Coupled in a determination

To follow our will

Into whatever the future will bring

 

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Poem composed in collaboration between Alma and Roland – November 2017

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SELKIE-The Seal Woman – 2

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©   ‘Selkie’ … Coloured Pen – WHB – August 2017

 

SELKIE-The Seal Woman

PART THE SECOND

 

Now
As the surge of the swollen sea
Sweeps the shore
I scan the rolling waves
For a sign of her presence
A hint of her salt-scent
Her seal-self
The searing splash of her tail
As it breaks the foam’s crest

I sense the silky soft touch of her skin
I know she is there
I sense her nearness
In the clutching drift of the current

The sound of her muted cry
wafting to me with the wistful wind
Towards my rock
Her rock
Our rock
The anchor connecting our two realities
The link
Ocean-forged
Wind-weathered
Sun-scorched
Heart-touched
Communion binding us
In those few delicious moments
When our worlds merge
And we become as one

Creatures of neither sea nor land
Melded in Earth’s memory
To exist for ever
In legend

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SELKIE-The Seal Woman – 1

SELKIES (said to be a diminutive form of the Scottish word for ‘seal’) are mythical creatures which feature in much Celtic literature and folklore.  These stories and the alleged sightings of these shape-shifting creatures are mostly centred on the Hebridean Islands of Scotland and the island groups of the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and further north in the Faroe Islands and around the Icelandic coastline.

Sea-going and fishing communities in these places have their stories to tell about these creatures.  Unlike mermaids, they are not half-human and half-fish.  Selkies, both male and female, are said to live as seals when in the sea, but shed their skin to become humans when on land.

 The legend takes many different forms, but it is generally thought that whenever a selkie and a human meet when both are in human form, the two will always fall in love. Such tales, however, never have a happy ending as the selkie will always at some point have to answer the call of the sea.  Even if their human partner hides the seal skin away, then, as soon as it is discovered, the Selkie will be unable to resist returning to its life as a seal, often leaving his or her children behind.

 Some interpretations of the legends maintain that, in this way, many sea-faring families, having lost their father, brother, grandfather at sea and the body never being recovered, explain the absence to the children as their loved one having re-joined the seal community (‘Gone to join the seal folk’) and will one day return.

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By the sculptor Hans Pauli Olsen – ‘The Seal Woman of Mikladalur’ statue on Kalsoy (2014).  In old Faroese folklore it was believed that at certain times the seals came out of the sea, stripped their seal-skins and became real human beings, dancing on the shore. But before sunrise they had to take on their skins again to be able to return to the sea – their natural element.

SELKIE-The Seal Woman

 PART THE FIRST

She came to me from the Sea
shedding her sealskin
on that rock
A gift vouchsafed from the depths
with the alluring tang of the ocean
She captured my innocence
captivated my soul
absorbed my whole being

Communion we had to excess
our feelings of love unexplained
brought us a peace which neither had known
contentment in each other’s warmth

Then I had thought she was mine
to cherish and to love
to share time
and histories
to plan a life together

But it was not to be
her hidden sealskin discovered
she was compelled to answer
the call of the waves

It could not be for ever
our short-lived passion spent
foregone
Hope and desire
subsumed by time
by the sea’s imperative

So I lost her to the ocean
no more was she mine
only my memories remained
I had to grant
respect for her freedom
her heritage
seek solace in memory
and bury my hopes
in the swell of the sea

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 PART The Second – to be published tomorrow . . .

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The Torch I Carry

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‘The Depths Of The Sea’ (The Lure Of The Sirens’) … Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1881)

THE TORCH I CARRY

I carry a torch for the ocean,
In her relentless swell I am held;
My light will see me to the foreshore
Where vast wave and mild ripple meld.

For though my love’s unrequited,
As I walk on the shore by the sea,
The sight and the sound of her motion
Bring solace and hope back to me.

For when I watch her crescendo
Its beauty and force I admire;
The sigh and the roar of her surges
Are those of a celestial choir.

My heart is in thrall to her passion,
Her awesome breakers I ride;
White horses call me ever forward
To meet the turn of the tide.

And when she is still as a millpond
My senses respond in repose;
My life consummates in devotion,
All yearning brought to a close.

Yes, the lure of the Siren defeats me;
I am snared by her destructive song.

I have given my all to her beauty;
Now only to her I belong.

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EBB TIDE

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‘Ebb Tide’ … WHB – 2017

EBB TIDE

The tide turns

As for me it wanes
I feel your presence

There
Where
For you
It begins
Its encroachment
Knowing you will be there
To welcome its  return
To follow its path
Waiting
Watching
Until bite by bite
Ripple by ripple
It will wash your words
Across oceans
To my shore

Here
Where
My foot printed
Passage
Replicates your own
And signs itself
With love

But in turn
That will come
For you
Too
And my own shells
Of words
Will flow
And flood
Where your bare feet
Choose to follow

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There is a beautiful song, composed by the American songwriter, Carl Sigman, called ‘EBB TIDE’.  I came across this beautiful and moving rendering of it by my favourite male voice a capella choir, The Westminster Chorus.  I have brought these to your attention in a previous blog.   please do listen to their version of ‘Ebb Tide’ at this YouTube link …

Click here to watch and listen.

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To Absent Friends

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Newton-under-Roseberry Churchyard … Photo Collage – WHB Oct.2016

TO ABSENT FRIENDS

As the distended rollers break
Upon that ocean shore
I think of all the hearts that beat
But now will beat no more.

Friends who were once so close to me
Whose lives with me were one
Who now have lost their lust for life
Lost it, and have gone.

Sadness is no gift to sorrow
But memories linger on
It’s when I watch the ocean’s waves
It’s them I think upon.

Why this should be I do not know
For me there’s no release
It is the breathing of the waves
Confirms our own will cease.

Perhaps it is their constancy,
Their never ending thrust
Confirms our own ephemeral lives
Will end soon, as they must.

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