Pond Pondering

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In the blinking of an eye and the warble of the warbler,

The pond puts on her splendid, bespoke summer clothes.

Silently and secretly simmering and smouldering,

Frogspawn explodes…a hundred detonations

Prompting Nature’s touchpaper  to awaken

And light the dormant creative spark within.

A living, loving electricity, leaping and jumping,

Rekindling and lovingly revitalising

All that it embraces in it’s path,

And igniting with glowing colour and radiance

All that it touches.

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I sit…

In stillness meditating and pondering,

Pond watering and quenching my soul’s thirst,

Such hallowed, such sweet, sacred beauty.

Acers, their blazing glowing countenances vying for attention

Whilst they guard this sublime and special spot.

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Each tree budding and emerging hesitantly,

Tentatively checking for potential frostbite…

In succession, one by one and bit by bit,

Like a finely honed firework display

The pond is suddenly and magically surrounded

By clouds of wispy, delicately denticulated leaves,

All bowing and swaying in homage

To the rhythmic design they carry.

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Ammonite-like and tightly curled,

New fern fronds unfurl from hibernation,

Eager to expand and grow and uncurl

So they can stretch their fingers to the sun

In graceful prayer and adoration.

Robed in majesty and electrifyingly dazzling,

Kingcups open their petals in worshipful chorus,

Blazing a flaming, resplendent rhapsody.

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Senses tingling blissfully at such brazen-faced beauty…

And heart filled with gladness and joyful gratitude,

Knowing this small corner amongst concrete, slab and monoblock

Provides a heaven, safe haven for God’s precious creatures.

Lush, green postage stamp oasis affixed to stark envelope desert.

Indeed I am blessed to be a garden care-taker.

Long may the voles live beneath the waterfall…

And the frogs rustle the heart leaves of the Marsh Marigolds,

Resting after the exertions of frenzied Spring courtship,

Surveying the pond’s surface, long tongues at the ready…

Zen-like they wait for an à la carte dinner to alight and settle!

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Long may the little family of mice live under the path,

Scampering out when they think no one is looking,

Helping themselves to dropped offerings from the bird table.

Long may the elderberry tree with sand-paper bark

Provide a giant scratching post for grateful neighbouring cats!

Long may I  breathe and walk and be here now…

Feel the sun on my skin, the wind on my face,

Hear the blackbird at twilight and the sparrow at dawn,

And be given the grace to feel every living particle pulsing

With love that is life itself!

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Apologies for the profusion of photos; the plan was to swamp your senses

with a feast of form and colour so that you might get a feel

of the sheer lushness of the pond and garden at this moment!

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Braving a New World

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Heavy, heavy rain hammering window pane,

Echoing heavy, heaving heart’s pain.

Glistening raindrop globules huddling on glass

Against sombre, leaden, lustreless skies.

Dull eyes watching rivulets weeping,

Whilst under eyelids tears collect and hang,

Heavy with emotion and apprehension.

Have you ever watched a raindrop roll down the glass?

To meander around a drop that stands in it’s path…

…is just not it’s style and not the done thing.

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Instead, it bulldozes into it and swallows it up,

Continuing to impinge and gobble and grow,

As it slithers it’s ruthless way down to earth.

As with bullies who get their just comeuppance,

Or rather their Karma-uppance…

…and reaping in life  as they have sown,

The raindrop rams into the frame and disintegrates!

Gone.

No more.

So much for all that greedy encroaching…

I have a daughter, beautiful, talented, sensitive,

Her confidence flattened wafer-thin by heavy rollers,

Human bulldozers dressed in human apparel,

Ramming vulnerable, unprotected, gentle souls,

And mother’s heart, embracing the raw suffering,

Rubbing loving salve on wounds that have not healed.

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From the bridge I watch the train round the corner

And bid a quiet and hopeful farewell, to that daughter

Carrying the scars and scabbed wounds of her short life,

Along with heavy suitcase and life’s sundry trinkets…

To London.

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Be kind and caring to my daughter, alluring and tempting Capital.

Beginning to curl up at the edges, reemerge and find her backbone again,

She has already journeyed a long, long way…

But there is arduous terrain yet to navigate,

And a generous daily dose of TLC never went amiss.

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Missing you, my dear and loving daughter…

With a dull ache that all Mothers’ can collectively comprehend.

The anguish and torment felt by Mariam, the mother of Jeshua,

Standing, observing and witnessing with numbing heart- piercing pain,

The slow, torturous, excruciatingly painful death

Of her son, on Rome’s preferred instrument of annihilation…

Coming to mind…

And I am humbly silenced and stilled as I acknowledge

The selfless, unconditional love that manifested for All of Humanity,

In that one, single, humongous moment…

And to all bullies, past, present and future, I extend compassion…

…for they knew not, do not, will not know,

What they did, they do or will do,

And I am trying to forgive them all.

My Love to you, my darling daughter,

Always.

In making me Ruth-less, you are teaching me much wisdom.

A Brave New World indeed.

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# By the way, just to make it clear, I have no desire to be Ruth-less…that would be a most uncompassionate trait to try to develop…my daughter’s name is Ruth! #

 

Profundity of 2 wet flannels.

On waking up…

I head for the bathroom,

Customary early morning port of call.

Through sleep-encrusted eyes

And a still-fuddled brain,

Still remembering fragments of stills

Making up the bizarre, virtual soap-drama

My mind acted out just a few hours ago,

And holding the handrail in my head to steady myself,

Not wanting to succumb to mind-sickness…

My body readjusts, settles and wakes a little more,

And reflects…

Which and what is reality?

That strange and curious world in which my mind,

Disengaged from this body, this shell, this earthly temple,

That slumbered and slept, recharged and rebooted itself,

And engaged in the scrambling of a  multi-coloured collage,

Sum total of memories and future hopes,

All mixed together, shaken and stirred,

Or…

This earthly plane, that suddenly hits me like 2 wet flannels,

Smack in the face!

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With a subtle degree of agitation I observe

The 2 flannels, wet and extremely random,

Sitting scrunched up, perched on the bath handrail!

My agitation rises a notch or two…

Is this reality?

My annoyance that my husband failed to leave…

The now infamous wet flannels…

In a nice orderly and tidy fashion?

I…

Would not have left them so!

Never in a month of Sundays!

Annoyance turning to exasperation!

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Is this what Man calls Reality?

I do not think so.

It cannot be so?

Can it?

Lady Alchemilla

For my daughter, Rae.  She will know why…

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My Dear Lady Alchemilla,

Your pleated, waterproofed mantles and frothy flowers

Gently nod to me in unison as I brush past,

A stunning study in apple-green and chartreuse.

Glistening, transparent water beads of differing proportions,

Rolling rhythmically across the surface,

As if just jettisoned from a pin ball machine!

This game of Alchemy holds me spellbound and mesmerised.

Cloaked in magic and mystery, your divination strangely potent!

In days of old, at dawn, when dew lay heavy,

Your watery orbs were  gathered up and highly prized,

Considered the healing aeons of gods.

The Alchemist in his quest to change metal into gold

Used them also, your water deemed the purest of all.

For  decades your enchantment has entranced me.

Now purposely a clump of you now grows

In full view of my back door, so I can be reminded…

Of the Miracle, My Lady, that is You.

And invariably I find myself singing these beautiful words,

And humming them to Handel’s exquisite music…

“Did you not hear My Lady,

Go down the garden singing,

Blackbird and thrush were silent,

To hear the alleys ringing.

Oh saw you not My Lady,

Out in the garden there,

Shaming the rose and lily,

For she is twice as fair.”

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Alchemilla mollis = common name, Lady’s Mantle.

Quote from Silent Worship, the 1928 adaptation by Arthur Somervell of the Aria, Non lo diro col labbro, from Handel’s 1728 Opera, Tolomeo, ( Ptolemy ).

Celestial Carillon

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Elegantly dangling, like fine tubular bells

Suspended on a supple, malleable frame,

The Ladies in the Bath, costumes and coiffure complete,

Have taken centre stage to commence the playing of

Their much awaited and acclaimed Percussion solos.

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All through the First Act…early Spring, they waited,

Graciously and patiently, Hearts Bleeding in the wings,

Fine-tuning, practising and perfecting,

Until finally, their time, their cue has come.

The Master Conductor taps the celestial baton,

The cosmic spotlights converge,

The cottage garden is muted in a long, drawn out fermata…

With hushed and muted breath, it waits…

Until finally the eerie, tinkly, haunting strains of  a celestial carillon arises,

From heart-shaped, fairy bells that gently jingle

Against the dark and mysterious backdrop of night.

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These are no ordinary, mortal, earthly strains,

But dainty, delicate, supernatural notes of transcendent sublimity.

No human eardrum can capture their subtle and inaudible beauty.

This sweet and intoxicating tune of Titania…

Destined for the moon, bearing that self same name

And the reaches of the far flung limitless eternity beyond.

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Perhaps one day, my ears will be finely honed

And my eyes, re-lensed and cleansed

So that I might also be a Dervish in this Dance of Maya!

But for now, I will content myself and commune,

With the Fairy that lives at the bottom of my garden!

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# Common names for Dicentra =

Bleeding Heart, or when flowers become older and are turned upside down, Ladies in the Bath.

Fermata = Musical symbol denoting the prolonging of a note, at the performer’s discretion.#

Spinneret Song

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A silken, diaphanous, triangular cloud

Floats against door frame and wall.

Delicately pitched taffeta tent,

Shimmering chiffony chimera,

An exquisite and ethereal mirage.

Your fragile presence stilling breath,

Hushing mind and  swelling heart

With unfathomable wonderment and awe.

I hold my breath and gaze and marvel

At such architectural finesse and finery.

Thoughts shredded and reshuffled,

Musing tenuously and ponderously,

This wispy Will-o’-the-Wisp apparition.

From whence did you come…

O secret gift of nightly spectre?

O Master Weaver and Master Spinner,

In which crevice or crack are you buried?

Talent like  yours is deserving of the highest accolade!

Your playing of the Spinneret, legendary!

Public applause and an encore!

But please, please, please…

Do not take your bow until I am gone!

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Symbiotic Connectedness

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Before I was ever born, you were here,

Bravely battling torrent and turbulent tempest,

Your weather-hewn stones, a witness of steadfastness,

The muted, creeping lichen growing across your face,

Your only meagre concession of protection.

Unquestioningly, you take the hand of Fate and embrace,

Continuing a dance of symbiosis, spanning centuries,

Tufted worn and wind dried grasses melodiously swaying,

Offering a little respite from scorching, searing, sun baked days.

Enveloped by your shadow, strength and quiet fortitude,

I am moved, stilled and immeasurably humbled.

What stories and tales and histories, heartless and heart filled,

Have your rough, craggy pores witnessed in Time?

Quieter days of seemingly idyllic existence, when days were slower

And Mother Nature revealed to man and beast alike,

The Sacred Interconnectedness that is Life, in all it’s pains and glories.

From shepherds tending their flocks on rugged, ravaged hillsides,

To bloody, barbaric and savage Clan massacres…

Your gaze unceasingly, unquestioningly looking out

Upon a world, agitated, distressed and knowingly or not,

Searching for  answers to quell the eternal questioning, churning within.

And now…

Cold, cruel, barbed-wire cuts through view and vision,

No longer natural rhythms of Seasons and Cycles, of Blessings and Being,

But a token,

Symbol of pain and suffering and cruelty and blindness.

Weeping gently, Mother Earth looks on…

And when I am dead and gone, you will still be here.