As The Year Ends

Oriental Image #2-1988

WHB … Pen & Ink – 1988

AS THE YEAR ENDS

Dark the swollen river runs
Under the bridge’s shades of grey.
Slate sky condemns the passive scene
Draining colour from the day.

Tree silhouettes outline my view
Their winter ribs bared to the frost
December bids the old year gone
With no regrets for what is lost. 

The year expires; bid it goodbye, 
It brought distress, re-kindled fears,
It promised much it failed to give,
Left little hope and many tears.

So now, in hope of better times,
Tomorrow holds the future’s key.
New perspectives flood my view
Blue skies as far as I can see.

 

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Oojamaflip

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On the trials of a would-be Poet . . . continued . . .

The words won’t come …
Oojamaflip
Is all that I can say
It fills a space
A hole in time
But I will have my day
My day when flow turns into flood 
And torrents can’t be held;
New words will rush – 
Nay, hush, they’ll gush.
 
More trees, no longer safe, will die
For inspiration 
Felled.
 
Is it for this the poet’s toil,
Denuding all those forests?
Did oojamaflip kill time and life
With its pointless blunted knife?
 
Or did I seek to spill my thoughts
Predicated on my fecund muse
Merely upon a whim –
A sense of knowing what to say
Without reason to say it? 
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NOTE: From the O.E.D.   … Like thingamabob or whatchamacallitoojamaflip (also spelled whojamaflip, hoojamaflip, etc.) is a word used to refer to something a person doesn’t know the name of, or doesn’t wish to specify precisely.   . . .
A word used when you can’t remember the word that you want to be saying.
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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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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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Joy In The Wind

Spring Wind-WHB

‘Wind On The Orme’ – Pen & Wash … WHB  2017     © 

 

The Wind In Springtime

As the leaves sway in the gentle breeze
And branches stir with crackling joyous glee,
So the wind sings songs amongst the trees
Displaying its delight in being free.

And as the zealous air disturbs the sea
White horses top the breaking vernal wave;
I’m minded of what Springtime means to me
How for its reappearance we all crave.

As waves furrow their path towards the shore,
And full-sailed yachts are snared and driven along,
I now can celebrate and lust for more, 
And yearn to hear its plangent soughing song.

Here as the fire’s flames leap up to the sky
And buffeted they dance with intense glee,
They spread their warmth as every breath drifts by,
Flickering now in every shadow I see.

Thus do I greet the season’s steady hope,
To pray that all its promises are kept, 
That midst bold Nature’s green kaleidoscope
Only our triumphant tears are wept.

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TREE-mendous FUN

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Photo : ‘… in Devon ‘ – WHB

TREE-mendous FUN

“I love you”, said ELM to HAZEL,

“Shall I comPEAR you to a summer’s day?
rough winds, they shake the darling buds of MAY,
and summer’s LEAVES have far too short a DATE;

but my FIR will keep YEW warm in winter;
then let us produce HAZE-ELM-lets,
or, if you preFIR,
maybe we’ll make ELM-HAZEL-ets together.”

“But I am PLANE”, HAZEL said,
“and you are SPRUCE,
and I PINE for a HOLLY-day,
For the BEECHES of my youth;
… so, before I become
just ASHes in a BOX
I will be, AS-PEN to paper,
and I WILL-OWe you this one poem.”

“OAK – HAY”, Elm said

So the PEAR of them
ROSE up
and BRANCHED off to WOODstock,
where they lived APPLE-y ever after.

 

[  with apologies to Mr. W. Shakespeare for bowdlerising his Sonnet # 18   ]

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My Dancing Heart

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My heart has danced
has trembled to the music of time
has rejoiced in the moment
throbbed in both joy and pain

I’ve moved to the music
done all that
travelled where no one has been before
listened to the wind
whispered to the trees
sighed with the sea
in its motion-hungry fervour
and trembled with the waves
as they shuddered towards the shore

I have given my time to the poetry of life
sung its stanzas
rhymed with its lusting lilt
in tune with its echoing cadences

Now in the fullness of my seasons
I recline and muse
over time passed by

Is it to be experienced again
does renewal with the Spring follow
perhaps
in another life
whilst this one fades

The gaps which are left
the shreds in the curtain of my hopes
tear through the seams of my mind
crossing the border into
the parallel worlds in which
my existence lives on
matching my movements
mirroring the moments
since birth in the old
to death in the  now
thus bringing on the new

And my heart now murmurs
to itself
in mockery and mime
bridging the chasm
that separates this world from the next

 

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FRAMED

Walton25

FRAMED

Caught in time’s glimpse
A captured snapshot
Framed by Nature’s eye
Its green circumference
Centring on river bank seclusion
Concentrating vision in
The artist’s eye
Releasing both skill and passion
Into a waiting world
Where
Few will notice
Many will ignore
Hardly any will imbibe
Maybe one will benefit
Whilst the artist’s tears
Spill into his next vision

 

Walton40

 

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Winter Holds Court

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The River Thames at Chertsey, Surrey:  Photos – WHB   ©

 

Bare limbs against the furnace of the sky
The stillness of the river mirrors all
Winter holds court in autumn’s dying sigh
Bringing its own beauty to the ball

 

Westonbirt National Arboretum

[ Photo Blog #60 ]

Westonbirt Arboretum can be found near the historic market town of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England.  It is the UK’s National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, and is perhaps the most important and widely known arboretum in the United Kingdom.  The arboretum’s 18,000 specimen trees and shrubs sourced from all over the globe provide a remarkable place for people to enjoy and learn about trees. It has 17 miles of marked paths which provide access to a wide variety of rare plants.

When I visited there in 2003 there happened to be an exhibition of what, only in the broadest sense, could be called ‘garden sculpture’.   I offer below some of my photographs taken at the time . . . 

 

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Westonbirt 01 (1)

Just taking a work break

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A pointed remark

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Tear-drop Tree

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All wired up …

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… and suitably pigeon-holed

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Water-glass

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A hairy situation

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‘The green trees transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap and almost mad with ecstasy.’

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Mirrored garden #1

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Mirrored garden #2

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Mirrored garden #3

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