Summer Rain

shallow focus photography of green plants

Photo by Matthias Cooper on Pexels.com

Summer is not rain
Nor is rain summer
But each needs the other
Cannot be without both being

Just as winter
requires the sun to shine
and display its splendour
to reflect its ice particles
into the crystal diamonds
of exuberant life
So the rain
complements the summer sun
dampening its ardour
allowing it to refresh and renew

Both asserting 
the exuberance
of a Natural heritage
wherein all
is related to all
and all is as it should be

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© WHB:  Previously submitted in response to the prompt’Summer Rain on ‘Go Dog Go Cafe’.

And the Dead Tree Gives no Shelter

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Photo:  WHB … 2019

 

The tree had fallen
Rotting remains now
As the rain 
The wind 
devour its bark
Dam its life stream
Yet still it nurtures life 
Home for beetle colonies to breed
For fungi to succeed

Rotted matted carcass
This sorbate matter
Feeds a frenzy
Of insect life
Foreign matter
Now acceptable
Powdered matter
Now both home
And sustenance
Renewable energy
Nature’s liturgy

Life in Death
To turn a phrase
That has to be
Nature’s best call
Perpetuating the present
In the past
Creating a new future
In an old landscape

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N.B.  The title of this poem is taken from T.S.Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’.
‘1. The Burial of the Dead’, beginning … ‘April is the cruellest month …’

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‘Trees’ . . . Joyce Kilmer

[  # 99 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Tree Roots at Claremont Gardens, Surrey – WHB   ©

 

Trees

By: Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

bar-greenNotes:  (From Wikipedia):

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Joyce Kilmer (born as Alfred Joyce Kilmer; December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American writer and poet mainly remembered for a short poem titled “Trees” (1913), which was published in the collection Trees and Other Poems in 1914. Though a prolific poet whose works celebrated the common beauty of the natural world as well as his Roman Catholic religious faith, Kilmer was also a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. While most of his works are largely unknown, a select few of his poems remain popular and are published frequently in anthologies. Several critics—including both Kilmer’s contemporaries and modern scholars—have disparaged Kilmer’s work as being too simple and overly sentimental, and suggested that his style was far too traditional, even archaic. Many writers, including notably Ogden Nash, have parodied Kilmer’s work and style—as attested by the many parodies of “Trees”.

At the time of his deployment to Europe during World War I, Kilmer was considered the leading American Roman Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, whom critics often compared to British contemporaries  G.K.Chesterton (1874–1936) and Hilaire Belloc (1870–1953). He enlisted in the New York National Guard and was deployed to France with the  69th Infantry regiment (the famous “Fighting 69th”) in 1917. He was killed by a sniper’s bullet at the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918 at the age of 31. He was married to Aline Murray, also an accomplished poet and author, with whom he had five children.

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‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus

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Image . . . Pinterest

‘THAT LOVE MAY LIVE’ – A Story In Four Haikus

 

SADNESS

The heavens opened 
On my hopes for sun and warmth
Leaving me bereft

DESPAIR

As the waters rose
So my spirits with them sank
I thought love lay lost

HOPE

But I was quite wrong
For Nature wove its magic
Showing me the truth

TRUTH

Look upon the rain
As summers need to renew
And keep love alive

 

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Edna St. Vincent Millay – ‘“What lips my lips have kissed’

(No.60 of my favourite short poems)

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This Sonnet is by Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet and playwright who was born in Rockland, Maine, in 1892.  I find it a moving and poignant poem looking back on her more youthful days with regret and intense longing.  Her sonnet is written in the Italian form, divided into two parts – an eight-lined octet, followed by a six-line sestet, here presented as just two sentences.  It is both reflective and filled with remorse.

Millay’s first published poem, ‘Renascence‘ was particularly well received and launched her on her writing career.  For a large part of her life Millay lived and worked among her Bohemian friends in New York’s Greenwich Village milieu.  Known to her friends as Vincent, she was openly bisexual, and gradually accrued both fame and some notoriety.   In 1923, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for ‘The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver’.   Edna St Vincent Millay died in 1950.

 

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“What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why”

By Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain

Under my head till morning; but the rain

Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh

Upon the glass and listen for reply,

And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain

For unremembered lads that not again

Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

 

Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,

Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,

Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:

I cannot say what loves have come and gone,

I only know that summer sang in me

A little while, that in me sings no more.

 

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G.K.Chesterton: ‘Wine And Water’

 (Poem No.47 of my favourite short poems)

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 – 1936), was an English writer, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, theologian, biographer, and literary and art critic.  He was a large man, standing 6 feet 4 inches and weighing over 20 stone (130 kg).  His girth, perhaps in part due to his great fondness for wine,  occasioned a famous incident when he remarked to his friend George Bernard Shaw  “Look at you, anyone would think a famine had struck England.”  Shaw retorted, “To look at you, anyone would think you have caused it”.

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Wine And Water

Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale,
He ate his egg with a ladle in a egg-cup big as a pail,
And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and fish he took was Whale,
But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail,
And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
“I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.”

The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink,
The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
And Noah he cocked his eye and said, “It looks like rain, I think,
The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
But I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.”

But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned; on tipsy feet we trod,
Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
And you can’t get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God,
And water is on the Bishop’s board and the Higher Thinker’s shrine,
But I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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To reinforce Chesterton’s delight in the drinking of wine, I quote a verse from another of his poems on the same subject . . . 

“Feast on wine or fast on water,
And your honour shall stand sure …
If an angel out of heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attentions,
Go and pour them down the sink.”

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Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Sun

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‘Good Morning Ross’ … Wash – WHB – 2001

Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Sun

 

Say ‘Good morning’ to the sun
‘Good evening’ to the moon

The stars deserve more than a glance
Give them a nod
Say ‘How do you do’

And what of the clouds scurrying by?
Wave and send a greeting

Bless the rain that follows
Cries and wets your cheek
Bless its cooling frankness
Salute its welcome return
Say ‘Call again soon please
And whet my appetite’

And what of the wind?
It deserves a bow
Bluster and puffery
Merit some deference
If only to accompany
That boisterous demeanour
Which presage storm and tempest

Give resounding
reverberating thunder
Its rightful stature
And bless its presence
Not with terror
But with bold acceptance
As a welcome component
Of Nature’s benison.

Blessings too
to all four seasons
each in turn
bringing its delights
enthralling us
with its unique personality

In summary
Let us be glad
Let us respect
Let us prize and revere
All the moods
All the humours
Of creation

For Nature
Rules our lives
And deserves
All the credit
For our successes

Our failures are man-made.

 

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Acquainted with the night

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‘Acquainted With The Night’ … Pen and Wash – WHB . 2017

Acquainted with the night

I have been acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I  have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been acquainted with the night.

 

                        Robert Frost

(Poem No.30 of my Favourite short poems )

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Beyond the Raindrops

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Pen & Wash … WHB – 2017

Beyond the Raindrops

 The storm arrives
And sates the air

I venture out
For you I dare

After the shower
I know where

Above the clouds
You have your lair

Beyond the Raindrops
I’ll find you there

Your beauty with
The rain you share

Your tears with raindrops
I compare

To your sorrow’s end
I offer a prayer

Of fate and death
I’m unaware

No disenchantment
Can I bear

Since that first day
You me ensnared

All else for you
I do forswear

You’ll ever be
My love affair

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