Summer Rain

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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’.

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Sea, Sun, and Hills

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Photo by Lukas Kloeppel on Pexels.com

THREE  HAIKU

 

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The Sea

The sea in its strength
Thrusts its breakers to the shore
Stressing my weakness

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The Sun

The morning sun rose
Feeding life into darkness
Renewing with hope

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The Hills

The hills are my strength
Confirming Nature’s promise
That tomorrow lives

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Kurt Vonnegut – ‘Two Little Good Girls’

[  # 86 of My Favourite Short Poems  ]

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Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.

I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently.  Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend.  It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.

 

Two little good girls
Watchful and wise —
Clever little hands
And big kind eyes —
Look for signs that the world is good,
Comport themselves as good folk should.
They wonder at a father
Who is sad and funny strong,
And they wonder at a mother
Like a childhood song.
And what, and what
Do the two think of?
Of the sun
And the moon
And the earth
And love.

 

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Ted Hughes – ‘Hawk Roosting’

(No.63 of my favourite short poems)

Ted Hughes, born in Yorkshire in 1930, was Poet Laureate in the last years of the 20th Century, from 1984 until he died in 1998 at the age of 68.   His tempestuous marriage to the American poet, Sylvia Plath, lasted only six years.   Hughes explored this difficult relationship in his last major published work, ‘Birthday Letters’.

As much of his work demonstrates, Hughes was intensely interested in and affected by the natural world.  In ‘Hawk Roosting’, one of his early published poems, he conveys the commanding presence of the hawk looking down on the world, his world, from a place of eminence.  He considers himself as monarch of all he surveys, conveyed so powerfully by Hughes in this poem.

The Hawk

‘The Hawk’ … WHB – Pen & Wash,  2017

Hawk Roosting

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.
Inaction, no falsifying dream
Between my hooked head and hooked feet:
Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.

The convenience of the high trees!
The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray
Are of advantage to me;
And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.

My feet are locked upon the rough bark.
It took the whole of Creation
To produce my foot, my each feather:
Now I hold Creation in my foot

Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –
I kill where I please because it is all mine.
There is no sophistry in my body:
My manners are tearing off heads –
The allotment of death.
For the one path of my flight is direct
Through the bones of the living.
No arguments assert my right:

The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.

 

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Death Is An Unmapped Sea

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Photo:  ‘On Chesil Beach’ by WHB – 2007   ©

 

Death is an Unmapped Sea

Day dawns and life now reasserts its sway;
Sleep ends and dreams now slowly fade away,
Leaving behind the gains which I thought real.
Reality and the sun the truth reveal,
That time has shattered youth and brought old age.
Shall I depart midst over-arching rage,
Those aspirations which I held most dear,
Abandoned now as hope gives way to fear?
Now that I’m hurt, unheard and unfulfilled,
Can I refute those truths my life distilled,
And face what unmapped seas fate holds in store,
Without a faith to bear me to the shore?

 

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Northumberland – Bamburgh

[ Photo Blog #56 ]

The coast of Northumbria on the North-East of England bordering with Scotland is atmospheric and highly impressive.  It was described by Janet Street Porter on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best View’ as having ‘a coastline ravaged by nature and steeped in history.  There’s a story round every single corner … you’re not just looking at a view, you’re standing in the footsteps of kings, and all on one of the most dramatic coastlines nature has to offer.’ 

Bamburgh Map

I have visited many times, usually on the way to or from my tours of Scotland.  For me, one of the highlights of a visit to this part of the country is the small town of BAMBURGH. The following photographs I took there in 2003 on one of these visits when I stayed in this historic town for several days.

Bamburgh is a stunningly attractive small town within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   In fact it is even perhaps just a village, with a population of only about  450.  It is dominated by its magnificently imposing Castle, once the seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, that can be seen for miles around.  It would be hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of the Castle and there is so much to tell about its long and amazing history.  On the seaward side of the castle and town there are impressive stretches of pure golden sandy beaches with rolling sand dunes and views across the sea to both the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and to the Farne Islands.   The town also houses a museum dedicated to its great heroine, Grace Darling.

To read the story of Grace Darling and of how her heroism caught the attention of the Victorian public, click on this link . . .   The Story Of Grace Darling

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Bamburgh Castle from the North Sea shore

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Looking eastwards towards the castle from the town

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The defensive landward side walls of Bamburgh Castle in the evening sun

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The seaward walls of Bamburgh Castle from the seashore

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Looking north to the castle across the coastline dunes

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The beach of the North Sea at Bamburgh

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Looking eastwards across the North Sea from the sand dunes

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Driftwood marker on Bamburgh beach

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The Bamburgh Sandman (See my earlier blog of October 29th 2016 at: The SANDMAN   )

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This elaborate cenotaph commemorates the life of the early 19th Century lifeboat heroine, Grace Darling, who is buried nearby.

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Bamburgh rooftops and castle battlements outlined against the rising sun

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The Castle at Sunrise 

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Sunrise over the North Sea from Bamburgh

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Bamburgh Castle . . . Pen and Wash – WHB:  2014   ©

 

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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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Sharing the Glow

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Sunset over Loch Earn, Scotland – Photograph  © . . .  WHB 

 

Sharing the Glow

 

I remember that evening –
The sun sinking low,
When you stood beside me
Sharing the glow.

We bathed in that splendour –
That golden sunset,
Drenched in that promise
I’ll never forget.

I held your hand tightly,
Placed a kiss on your lips
In youth, in the gloaming,
The lie was eclipsed.

For then we were young,
Life had not bitten hard.
Our futures seemed certain
But we let down our guard.

I left with a pledge,
But never returned;
Dissolved into dreams
Your derision I earned.

But now we are older,
Life has taken its toll.
Is it too much to ask,
Can I recapture your soul?

Now that same sun is sinking
Setting fire to the sea;
Can this Phoenix bring hope
To you and to me?

Let me hold your hand now,
Place a kiss on your lips,
For bliss in old age
Does all else eclipse.

 

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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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The Morning Sun

To add to  The Backside Of The Night Compilation via David D’s recent post (q.v.) and ‘… Courtesy of Sailorpoet’, I offer the following . . . 

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‘Morning Sun’ … Pen & Wash – WHB. 2017

When the morning sun

Burns through the dusk

Of the night’s demise

And at last

The backside of the night

Is breached

A new day is born

And morning introduces its prospects

Promising a fresh start

A renewal of hope

Countermanding

Yesterday’s disappointments

And the night’s terrors

Now bringing a sense of peace

A stillness

Allowing strength to gather

And defy the uncertainties

Of a new day.

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