I Remember

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Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

I REMEMBER

 

 So well I remember, 
Can I forget 
Those long summer days 
When you and I met? 

The moors were in heather 
And I was in haste; 
My heart it was yearning
Your lips to taste.

But you were indifferent,
Your eyes were elsewhere,
Oblivious to me
And life wasn’t fair.

So I buried my pride,
Gave in to sorrow. 
I’d learnt a hard lesson,
There was always tomorrow. 

Now that day it has come 
And we’ve met up again. 
You express your regret 
For the ache, for the pain. 

But I can’t now rekindle 
Those feelings I had. 
Time has taken its toll,
Our story is sad. 

 

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Fever Pitch

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Photo provided by Pexels

FEVER PITCH

 

I was at fever pitch with fervour
Full of fire, desire and lust,
Expectant, hopeful and excited,
Self-contained, but only just.

Summer came, I was excited,
An end to rain and wind and snow;
Warmer weather does delight me,
I’m a sun-child, that I know.

But now the summer has arrived
I’m pleading that it will not last.
I’ve had enough of sweaty T-shirts,
Hoping it will soon have passed.

Hot and bothered by the weather,
Aching for a cooling breeze.
Can’t bear this heatwave any longer,
Send me wind and rain now please.

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JUNE – A Nonet

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As regular readers of Roland’s Ragbag will know, from time to time, I attempt a poem in a form which I have not previously tried.  Today I publish below my attempt at a NONET . . .

A NONET –  has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc … until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.  Sometimes printed as a -right angled triangle , at other times as a Pyramid – as below.

See:   Shadow Poetry  on the Nonet.


[ N.B.  Wikipedia gives the spelling as ‘Nonnet’.  Both forms seem to be acceptable ] 

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June

 

Five months of the year have been and gone 

More of my life has now passed on

Pinch punch the first of the month

And June is here with smiles

Time for summer styles

For life and love

Here on earth

Rebirth

Worth

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Summer Sand

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SUMMER SAND

( multum in parvo )

 

My hand thrust deep into the sand
held there to enjoy the warmth
then slowly
cupped fingers
rose to the surface

Captured universes
Stellar galaxies
emerging into the salty air
The slightest shift
in Creation’s framework
Reconfigured
to my design

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And as I straightened
fingers
to a flat palm
And then gently spread
those same fingers
The sand
water-fell
to return to its kind
Just a residue
of grains
still adhering
to my warmth

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But
however small
I had disturbed the Earth
Re-designed The natural world
Left my mark on creation
Forever in its debt

 

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[  © WHB . . . With my grateful thanks to Canadian artist, Alma Kerr,
for the inspiration and the original photographs ]

The GREEN MAN

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‘Green Man’ . . . Pen&Wash – WHB ©

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The GREEN MAN

He is my history
Lusting after the hills of my youth
He strides the moorland paths
Amidst the bracken and the gorse
Drinking the sun’s warm ale
Savouring the wind’s heather-toned tang
Turning time to his advantage
Tuning in to its connecting wavelength

He is great Nature’s spirit
Rising and falling with its moods
Sad yet serene in Spring
Holding the hope of the future

Bright and bubbly in the summer rains
Rich and expansive in the sun’s bright gaze

Brought to magnificent autumn richness
Coloured by russet tints
Fruitful in his beneficence

He is the winter too
Drifting with the whiteness of its moods
His flocks penned for winter warmth neath the mountain crag
Shielding the gentle crocus
And the blanched snowdrop

He is the spirit of the trees
Lord of copse and wood
Guardian of Grove and greenwood
Verdant Monarch of the forest

Of the landscape’s lakes
Running with the cool waters of streams and rivers
The stillness of Its ponds and pools

Both past and future
Gone yet still to come again
his cyclic journey unfolds
From birth to death
From death to resurrection
To new life and resurgent hope
Maintaining existence
Midst promises and threats
To bring renewal in the name of life

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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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A.E. Housman – ‘Bredon Hill’

[  No.69 of my favourite short poems  ]

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‘On Bredon Hill’ . . .  Sketch – WHB: 1991

Bredon Hill is in Worcestershire, England, in the Vale of Evesham.  This poem of A.E. Housman’s, which he called ‘Bredon Hill’, is taken from his collection of poems, ‘A Shropshire Lad’ published in 1896.

Housman (1859-1936) was an English poet and scholar, whose verse exerted a strong influence on later poets.  The tone of this particular poem shows a preoccupation with loss and, as such, mirrors the tone of many of his poems.   It tells of lost love, contrasting powerfully the ‘happy noise’ of the church bells which brought joy and happy memories of youthful exuberence at the start of the poem, with the single tone of the funeral bell with which the poem ends.

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Bredon Hill    (From “A Shropshire Lad”)

by A.E. Housman

In summertime on Bredon 
The bells they sound so clear; 
Round both the shires they ring them 
In steeples far and near, 
A happy noise to hear. 

Here of a Sunday morning 
My love and I would lie, 
And see the coloured counties, 
And hear the larks so high 
About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her 
In valleys miles away; 
“Come all to church, good people; 
Good people come and pray.” 
But here my love would stay. 

And I would turn and answer 
Among the springing thyme, 
“Oh, peal upon our wedding, 
And we will hear the chime, 
And come to church in time.”

But when the snows at Christmas 
On Bredon top were strown, 
My love rose up so early 
And stole out unbeknown 
And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only, 
Groom there was none to see, 
The mourners followed after, 
And so to church went she, 
And would not wait for me. 

The bells they sound on Bredon, 
And still the steeples hum, 
“Come all to church, good people,” 
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; 
I hear you, I will come.

 

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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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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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Death’s Calling Card

A Verse in Spenserian Stanza:

In a Spenserian Stanza each verse contains nine lines in total: eight lines in iambic pentameter followed by a single ‘alexandrine’ line in iambic hexameter. The rhyme scheme of these lines is “ababbcbcc.”  Somewhat morbid, but my own composition in this form is offered below . . . 

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Burne-Jones – ‘Merlin & Nimue’ – detail

Death’s Calling Card

In summer time when light is long to last
And evening stretches far into the night,
Then I am wont to think of times gone past
When life was dear and death was out of sight;
But autumn has arrived and dimmed the light,
That short time left to me now presses hard;
Have I done all the planning that I might,
Allowed myself my faults to disregard,
Updated my résumé, my next life’s calling card?

 

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