Christmas – Three Haiku of Hope

 

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Photo by Pradipna Lodh on Pexels.com

Christmas brings good cheer
But not to all God’s children
Pray time will change that.

Long has it been said
Hope came down at Christmas time
May that be true now

May Christmas bring love
As once it brought Lord Jesus
This Hope still remains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Am Roland

RolandOfRoncevaux

Statue of Roland at Metz railway station, France.

I AM ROLAND

I am Roland 
or I have become him
created the myth of Mr Keld
opportunity taken 
I have procured my host’s mind 
now an alien presence
absorbed into this foreign body
diverting thoughts 
rebuilding a past 
guessing at a further future 
a variant stated truth 
inhabiting a different reality
masking neutrality
approval seeking
in a subsumed persona
a manufactured myth
ambushed by his muse
Roland of Roncevaux
reconvened
brandishing Durendal
to fight new battles
forever a mask
behind which to hide 
a second rate hero
his fable exposed
another fiction
masquerading as truth

 

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PC or Not-PC?

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“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.”

From Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ – Act III, Scene I..

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Thoughts on Seeing, Fleeing and Being Politically Correct

( Pace tua Wm. Shakespeare ) 

 

To see, or not to see: that is the question : Whether’ tis wiser to look it full in the face, or, to turn that blind eye, which is the kiss of ineptitude, and by ignoring, forget them.

To flee, or not to flee: that is the question : Whether’ tis safer to meet with danger face to face, or, to turn and run, and by escaping, live to flee another day.

PC or non-Pc: that is the question: Whether ’tis better in the end to put up with the hawks and sparrows of mind distortion, or to take umbrage against such hubble-bubble, and by exposing suspend them. 

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My Fantasy

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

MY  FANTASY

 

I’ve lived outside my fantasy
But now I’m moving in
Reality removes itself 
No chance I’ll let it win

The safe distance I have kept
Recedes, becomes the past, 
And dreams become the truth for me
My day has dawned at last

Life and love are now as one
Merging desire and hope 
Becoming all that promise meant
Ensuring I will cope.

 

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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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U. A. Fanthorpe – ‘ATLAS’

 [  No.72 of my favourite short poems  ]

 

After all the recent talk of LOVE surrounding VALENTINE’s DAY, here is a very down-to-earth poem by what we could perhaps call a no-nonsense down-to earth poet,  U.A.Fanthorpe. 

Born in 1928, Ursula Askham (normally using just her initials, U.A.), Fanthorpe, died, aged 79, in 2009, near her home in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire.  After studying at Oxford University, she went on to teach English at  Cheltenham Ladies’ College for sixteen years, before giving up teaching.  She was aged 50 before her first collection of poems was published, having noted, quite precisely, that “On 18 April 1974 I started writing poems”.  She was later made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to poetry.  In 2003 she received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Perhaps her best known poem is ‘Atlas’.  The poem presents a far-from-romantic view of LOVE.  Certainly a positive, worthwhile, and all the more powerful for that, view of the realities of a truly loving relationship . . . 

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‘Atlas’

‘ATLAS’ . . . by U. A. Fanthorpe

 

There is a kind of love called maintenance
Which stores the WD40 and knows when to use it;

Which checks the insurance, and doesn’t forget
The milkman; which remembers to plant bulbs;

Which answers letters; which knows the way
The money goes; which deals with dentists

And Road Fund Tax and meeting trains,
And postcards to the lonely; which upholds

The permanently rickety elaborate
Structures of living, which is Atlas.

And maintenance is the sensible side of love,
Which knows what time and weather are doing
To my brickwork; insulates my faulty wiring;
Laughs at my dryrotten jokes; remembers
My need for gloss and grouting; which keeps
My suspect edifice upright in air,
As Atlas did the sky.

 


UA Fanthorpe, from ‘Safe as Houses’ (Peterloo Poets, 1995)


 

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Love and Wisdom

Robert Herrick

Bust portrait of Robert Herrick, 17th century English poet,  from a rare print by W Marshal

 

One of the great love poems in the English language is Robert Herrick’s (1591 – 1674) poem ‘To Sylvia , to Wed’.   The poem was published in 1674 in a collection of Herrick’s poems called ‘Hesperides’.  You will find a transcription of it at:  poets.org   The last line of this extremely short poem is . . .

“No Man can at one time be wise and love.” 

The truth of these words by Herrick have often struck me, and I have been led to compose the following poem to amplify my thoughts on the beauty of the words and the wisdom which they hold . . .

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Love and Wisdom

Great truth lies here
For love consumes the soul
Drives out the rational
In favour of those headstrong thoughts
Those unconsidered deeds
Which couple love with lust
And joy with pain
Breaching reason
As a burst dam
Floods life’s valleys
As the wildfire strips life’s undergrowth
Devouring what it most values
In the thoughtless rush and swell
Of its inflamed ardour

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JANUS 2018 – Two Sedoka

2 Katauta = 1 Sedoka

The Katauta is an unrhymed Japanese form consisting of 17 or 19 syllables. The poem is a three-lined poem with syllable counts of: 5/7/5 or 5/7/7.   . . .   A single katauta is considered incomplete, or a half-poem . . . a pair of katautas using the syllable count of 5,7,7 is called a sedoka.

The Sedoka, therefore, can be defined as – an unrhymed poem made up of two three-line katauta with the syllable count of: 5/7/7, 5/7/7.   A Sedoka, pair of katauta as a single poem, may address the same subject from differing perspectives. 

Source – adapted from:  Shadow Poetry

Continuing my occasional efforts at attempting different poetic forms I offer two Sedokas of my own composition, both based on the advent of a new year, with prospects for new beginnings . . . 

 JanusIn ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.  (Wikipedia)

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JANUS 2018 – Two Sedoka

Yesterday has gone
Turn your face to the future
Let hope reign over regret

The future holds sway
Promises there are to keep
Let Love conquer dark despair

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Look to the future
The past is history now
But remember its lessons

For they tell the truth
That what tomorrow will bring
Is what yesterday forgot

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‘Truth and the Past’ … Three Fibs

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Poets have experimented with poetic form for as long as poetry has existed.  One of the most recent exercises in poetic form utilises the mathematics of the Fibonacci sequence and was introduced in recent years by the American author, Gregory K. Pincus.    Such poems or verses are often termed ‘FIBS’.

What is a Fib?

‘ The Fibonacci poem is a poetry form based on the structure of the Fibonacci number sequence. For those unfamiliar with the Fibonacci Sequence, it is a mathematical sequence in which every figure is the sum of the two preceding it. Thus, you begin with 1 and the sequence follows as such: 1+1=2; then in turn 1+2=3; then 2+3=5; then 3+5=8 and so on. The poetry sequence therefore consists of lines of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on with each number representing the number of syllables or words that a writer places in each line of the poem. As a literary device, it is used as a formatted pattern in which one can offer meaning in any organized way, providing the number sequence remains the constancy of the form.   The subject of the Fibonacci poem has no restriction, but the difference between a good fib and a great fib is the poetic element that speaks to the reader.’   This description of the form is quoted from:  http://www.musepiepress.com/fibreview/

I give three of my own attempts at this poetic form below . . .

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When

At

The end

of our days

We review our past

Let us not wish to deny it

 

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Stay

Think

Resolve

To recount

In all honesty

Only what is valid and true

When at last we make the journey to meet our maker

 

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Speak,

Now,

To me,

my poet,

Of your love for me,

In melodious soothing words,

To nourish the feelings which I long to hear you say.

 

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Popular Opinion

 

ItWasMe

From Reddit (detail) – Sep., 2017

“Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world. ”  ― Thomas Carlyle   Thomas Carlyle

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WAS IT ME?

Three faces of the truth
Did, Didn’t, Might-Have-Done
Owned up only to being honest

DID . . .

Ok
Hands up
I admit it
You aren’t wrong
It was me
I am guilty
You’ve got me bang to rights

DIDN’T

It wasn’t me
You are mistaken
Not guilty
I deny it all
I was never there
I couldn’t have done it
I have a watertight alibi

MIGHT-HAVE-DONE

I don’t know
It might have been me
It could have been me
But – what does it matter
I don’t care
You don’t care
No-one cares

JUDGEMENT

Being economical with the truth
Right or wrong
True or false
Truth will out
Justice will triumph
 
Or so says popular opinion 
The greatest lie in the world

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