Another gift of another year…

For my teacher Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti…

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Another Winter Solstice came and went

Another cosmic New Year unheeded

Another year our Sun to circumvent

Another of life’s chapters conceded.

 

Another new Moon now in Capricorn

Another resolution to be made

Another waxing for another dawn

Another invocation to be prayed.

 

Another circle of seasons un-wound

Another gift of beauty and being

Another chance for what’s lost to be found

Another time for seeking and dreaming.

 

Another clean page upon which to walk

Another opportunity to love

Another string of secrets to unlock

Another fortune in the stars above.

 

Another path to embrace and follow

Another moment of meditation

Another horizon for tomorrow

Only the One brings peace and perfection.

 

To all my friends and followers here on WordPress…

The above poem is a long overdue offering to you all for this New Year, 2017.

It has been quite a while since I posted here on my Poetry Blog and life has taken many twists and turns over the last six months or so. This visit is a fleeting one as I depart for Australia a week tomorrow and will be away staying with a friend for 9+ weeks and travelling mostly up the east coast and also to Tasmania. Time to recharge the creative batteries methinks. I have not stopped writing: far from it, perhaps writing more than ever- even short stories now. I have joined a local writers’ group and am enjoying the live human contact and dynamics that such a group has to offer, not to mention critique of one’s work.

We recently produced a CD and accompanying anthology of poetry and prose called Simply Read Too by Lanark Writers. The latter is available from amazon.co.uk for Kindle.

I hope that when I return from ‘Oz’ I will be able to juggle, balance and devote time accordingly to both my real-life and www. writings!

Best Wishes to you All until my return. 🙂

 

 

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One day…

We live our lives, a necklace of magical days,

as seamlessly one day threads on from another.

From dawn to dusk a cosmic abacus ablaze,

beads of love and hate, colliding with each other,

as our earth, sublime blue-green shimmering opal,

orbits the sun, whilst we each enact the drama

we are destined to perform, silent or vocal,

with dove or arrow, in the shadow of Rama.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

One day can gift heights so golden with giddiness

as we hear the celestial clarion call,

or sink us to our knees fainting with dizziness,

empty and numb as into an abyss we fall.

From sunrise to sunset, one day is the measure

for choices to be made, be they pleasure or pain.

If we waken we know we have one day to treasure,

cast aside judgement and let peace prevail again.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

We have one day. We have the cyclical seasons,

of those there is absolutely not any doubt

and when man analyses, thinks and he reasons,

the capture of Time he can never bring about.

For Time is her own mistress, she pulls her own strings,

not by Julian or Gregorian to live,

but with her own agenda a freedom she brings,

whilst man every four years an extra day must give.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

And before you leap to a fitting conclusion,

One day is all we have, the rest…is illusion!

 

 

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Just to put you all in the picture again, this was another challenge set by the Lanark Writers’ Group, last week…they give weekly assignments/ challenges for you to take away and work on and then bring back the following week.  Gulp!  They also give you little challenges on the spot… i. e. write something on a set title or a set style of poem, etc., within the next 10 minutes or so…Gulp!  This will certainly stir up all those hibernating grey cells…methinks a bit of an electric shock!!!!  It will be interesting however to have the physical interaction when speaking/ reading poetry.  A whole new dimension…different.  Not better, not worse, just DIFFERENT and interesting, as happens when group dynamics come into play too.  

Julian and Gregorian refer to the Calendars of those names.  Today all countries which formerly used the Julian Calendar, now use the Gregorian.  There was a major discrepancy in the Julian calendar, hence the introduction of the Gregorian in 1582. But even the latter does not measure Time accurately and an extra day has to be added every leap year to keep the calendar year synchronized with the seasonal or astronomical year.

 

Soul searching…

For my Dear Husband John, whose Birthday it is today…

( MysteryMystycsMusings on WordPress )

 

Earthly comings and goings

physical toings and froings

entanglements that arise and form in this world

cause my soul’s unknowings

of the Bliss that is a-blowing

if we but let the Divine be unfurled

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My soul longs for those quiet spaces

graces awaiting in untrodden places

my endless thirst yearning to be quenched

like a child seeking those loving embraces

my heart races my spirit ever paces

my soul seeking in Your love to be drenched

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Whisper words to me wind where I might find rest

where my soul not stressed may in Your Presence be blessed

refreshed refashioned…reborn anew

as by dew each new blade of grass is caressed

so my soul longs for the comfort of Your breast

Your heavenly queendom to imbue.

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Fill now my cup so it might overflow

help my fears to lay low deep mindfulness grow

my thoughts ever focused on You

my soul to walk in Your sweet gentle shadow

my eyes rainbow windows with God-tinted glow

as this miracle of Life I view.

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Photo : Google Images : Montreal.

 

Tree of Golgotha

How did you feel when they chose you,

chose you to carry our Lord Jesus Christ?

Did your sap leap for joy as it flowed through

or fall still with grief at such sacrifice?

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How did you feel when you watched from afar

as bloodied in pain, our Lord carried the wood?

Your foot driven deep into the Hill Golgotha

shouts with cries rising, as with patience you stood.

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Was the air heavy laden with agony

of torture and torment, injustice and hate?

Your trials by Jew and Rome a mockery,

cruel crucifixion your preordained fate.

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Saw you the blood, sweat and tears dripping

from His face and those He held dear?

Venom and scorn unremitting

as Passover pilgrims stood watching in fear.

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Did you see the man Simon from Cyrene

step forward to help lighten His load?

Body and mind of our Beloved Nazarene

broken, as He walked to earth’s final abode.

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As He approached looked you into his eyes?

Saw you the depth of His love shining bright?

Eternal  flame against darkening skies,

guards pulling our Lord and His crossbeam upright.

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As brutal nails tore through flesh, bone and sinew,

screamed you silently as your own flesh did splinter?

As wounds reopened and blood flowed anew,

did your bruised bark feel the Saviour’s salve enter?

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Heard you the sobbing of the two Marys

as they stood to one side in your shadow?

Watching as drained our dear Lord’s energies,

His great gift to mankind about to bestow.

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Did you feel him draw his very last breath

as the veil in the Temple was ripped in two?

His voice calling out to the Father in death,

wood soaking His cries as they resonated through.

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As they flowed from His side, saw you water and blood

as the soldier of Rome sank home his sharp spear?

Felt you our Lord wash your feet in His flood,

at last this world’s agonies no longer to bear.

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Wept you quietly as His poor  broken body

was lifted with love from your gentle caress?

Did you watch the guards with their actions bawdy

callously cast lots to divide up His dress.

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Then as Joseph of Aramathea,

wrapped that dear body in purest of shrouds,

His Mother, Salome and Mary of Magdala,

anointed His form, well away from the crowds.

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Did you watch this Treasure placed into the tomb?

Smell the sweet-scented spices suffusing the air?

As Jesus, whom Mary nurtured in her womb,

was laid to rest…this our Lord’s final prayer.

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You must have felt like the cruel “Tree of Death”

watching this profound performance unfurl,

but know you carried the new Shibboleth,

divine living water and eternal heaven’s pearl.

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Shibboleth : from the Hebrew, meaning ” flood, stream, also ear of corn”. (www.etymonline.com ).

Also a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important.  An old idea, opinion, or saying that is commonly believed and repeated but that may be seen as old-fashioned or untrue.

Among historians there is disagreement as to the precise method of Jesus’s crucifixion.  They varied considerably with location and time period and there were many different forms of painful execution : from impaling on a stake to affixing to a tree, to an upright pole ( a crux simplex ) or to a combination of an upright (in Latin, stipes ) and a crossbeam (in Latin, patibulum).

I have written this personal post-Easter reflection as if a roughly hewn tree /stake is sitting atop Golgotha Hill and awaiting Jesus and the crossbeam he is tied to, to come to the place of execution, the top of the Hill, where the crossbeam will then be lifted into place and affixed to the waiting upright wood, with nails hammered home where necessary.

This has been for me a spiritually deep and profound contemplation on the Passion and Suffering of Yeshua ben Yosef or in English, Jesus,son of Joseph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring equinox

Written after reading the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins, one of my favourite poets…

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Melodiously sung to sleep are the stirrings of a

new Spring taking one last bow before retiring.

Dulcet Evensong of a lonely bright beaked blackbird,

dark stark solitary silhouette against a

fading fluffy candy-flossed twilight sky,

by all, his resounding thankful, grateful praises heard.

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Gaia returns once more to sunless shadow-lands,

her green-blue mantle gathered tightly about her,

meditating upon her eternal mantra.

Ceremonial golden Aconite cups close to the

chiming bells of St. Mary’s chanting the o’clock as

angel snowdrop wings fold, Amen to the day’s tantra.

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In lotus sits Meconopsis napaulensis,

still, unchanging guardian of the Winter garden

mindful wakeful watchman your secret safely hidden.

An equinox Sun, her great miracle performs,

crossing the celestial equator, heralding

the Divine quickening, by all of Nature bidden.

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Blesséd, sacred stirrings within man, beast and bough,

Holy Breath’s hallowed Elysian Cantata

performed by Creation’s ethereal choir.

Days lengthen, Sun in sky climbs upwards as a

warming  wonder seeps souls, heats hearts, God-gladdens

Winter worship, lifting us to realms ever higher.

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Wind-weary rainbow prayer flags propel pleas for a

promise that this year the Nepalese Poppy might share

her long concealed treasure and flower for the first time…

 

🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀🌞🌝☀

 

Photographs taken in this year’s early Spring garden…

1.Winter Aconite, ( Eranthis ), sheltering at the base of a Japanese maple, ( Acer palmatum ).

2. Snowdrop, ( Galanthus ),

3. Nepal Poppy,( Meconopsis napaulensis ).

4.Rainbow, Healing Buddhist Prayer flags from Nepal.

We have now had this plant, purchased from Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens for 3 years and we are willing it to flower this year.  It has however provided us with a magnificent soft, felty, hairy rosette all year round, even in the cold, harsh depths of Winter.

Reverend Father Gerard Manley Hopkins ( 1844-1889 ), was an English Poet, Roman Catholic convert and a Jesuit Priest, having been brought up a High Church Anglican.  Hopkin’s first ambitions were to be a painter and he continued to sketch throughout his life, inspired by John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites.  He attended Balliol College, Oxford in 1863-67, where he studied Classics.  In 1866, he decided to convert to Catholicism, being received by John Henry Newman in October of that year.  After his Graduation, Newman found him a teaching post at the Oratory in Birmingham, where he later decided to become a Jesuit. After reading Duns Scotus he realized that Holy Orders and Poetry did not necessarily conflict.

While training at a Jesuit seminary near St. Asaph, he learnt Welsh and started to read traditional Welsh verse whose rhythms were to influence his own poetry.  His most technical innovation was the idea of “sprung rhythm” which counts stresses rather than syllables, propelling the reader forward.  To help express the rhythms of his poems, he borrowed symbols from musical notation.

Much of Hopkin’s historical importance has to do with the changes he brought to the form of poetry, which ran contrary to conventional ideas of metre.  The language of his poetry is striking, both simple and metaphysically intricate, i.e. As kingfishers catch fire, where he leaps from one image to another to show how each thing expresses its own uniqueness and how divinity expresses itself through all of them.  He also coined new words and created compound adjectives such as dapple-dawn-drawn falcon.

Spring or Vernal Equinox 2016 : this year falls on the 20th March.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator – from south to north.  On the equinox, day and night are nearly exactly the same length-12 hours-all over the world, and the earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays.  The March equinox heralds new birth and new beginnings.  Many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

moja mama

                                                              for Zofia

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It was Mother’s Day and I thought of you, moja mamusia i moja mama.

Adulthood, adolescence and childhood, I called you by those names.

You were dear and precious to me, kochana mamo, dearest Mother.

In your womb you wove me, nourished me with your love,

endured excruciating pain, enabled me to humanly manifest.

Did I ever thank you for my Birth-Day?

Did I never say dziekuje za moje urodziny?

I wish I had then, I wish I could now, I wish we might again have our time,

all over again and again, moja mama.

Moja mama.

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The anniversary of your death, the day after Mother’s Day.

I wore my Siberian-mined Seraphinite,

Heavenly fronds of silvery-white crystal angel feathers,

fluorescing, shimmering, timelessly whispering and calling me.

You were deported to Irkutsk, Siberia, from Lwów, then Poland.

You were too young to suffer so under Stalin’s ethnic cleansing,

your heart became hardened, a prisoner behind thick walls

and those walls never ever came down again, not ever.

Oh how I wish I could have cast them aside,

found some weakness, some glimmer of light

through which I could clamber in and feel your warmth,

Moja mama.

As a child, a young girl, a teenager, an adult,

I tried hard to understand your harshness, your aloofness.

No relentless battering was able to soften that formidable layer.

But moja mama,

now that I have witnessed what you have witnessed,

my heart broken into little pieces, as you had yours

then clumsily and erroneously put back together again,

Humpty-Dumpty style but not by the king’s horses or men,

now that my heart has been squeezed, wrung out and hung up to dry

only now and now only do I understand why it was as it was,

why you were who you were and why you were as you were…

Not Siberia-style, but through my own piercingly personal life-lessons.

Moja mama.

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Old stone of Seraphim, unique exquisite secret of Lake Baikal,

oldest, deepest and most mysterious freshwater lake on earth,

healing spiritual conductor of the Divine Feminine,

with your energy bring all etheric bodies into alignment.

Enable old patterns of dis-ease and imbalance to fall away,

create new space where deep peace and understanding might settle,

mysterious magnetism calling me to purchase you and take you home,

knowing nothing of your ancient geographic ancestry or healing powers.

Now you miraculously speak to me of moja mama, of Siberia, of compassion,

an unconditional Mother’s love that was always there waiting to be released.

Tenderly I stroke the Seraphinite locket, tilting it this way and that

hoping in so doing that it might open a communication portal,

pleading with the heavenly beings to deliver my soul-message to Zofia,

Holy  Wisdom’s name-sake, in hindsight I see now, so wise in her ways,

” Mamo, kocham cie,”… “Mother, I love you.”

Moja mama.

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Marian and Zofia Korsak.

Photo taken 1945, in Loreto, Italy, after the Battle of Monte Cassino.  My mother, parents and sister with husband, were deported by Stalin’s soldiers, from Lwów, Poland, in 1940, to a work camp near Irkutsk, on Lake  Baikal, in Siberia, Russia.  Today Lwów is Lviv and is in the Ukraine. They were lucky to survive the harsh freezing conditions, hard labour, appalling cramped living conditions, scarcity of food and sickness that killed so many folk deported to Siberia.  Not only Poles but many other nationalities and ethnic minorities suffered the same fate. In mid 1942, after the signing of the Sikorski-Mayski agreement, an amnesty for Polish citizens in the Soviet Union was declared. The Polish Free Army was formed under General Anders and my mother and family managed to leave Siberia. She, together with my uncle and grandfather joined the Polish Army, where she drove 3 ton ammunition lorries across Iran, Iraq and on to Egypt, joining up with the British 8th Army. She met my father in the Polish Army and they were married at Loreto in Italy, after the battle of Monte Cassino, in which both my parents took part. After WW2 not wanting to go back to a Poland ruled by the Soviets and Communism once more, my parents and extended family migrated to Britain, settling in London, my father working as a tailor, sewing fine hand made suits. My mother soon followed him into the same trade.

Monte Cassino : a rocky hill about 130 km southeast of Rome, with a Benedictine Abbey built on it’s summit.  January 1944 saw the start of the Battle of Monte Cassino, to break through German defenses so that the Allies could make their way up to Rome and eventually try to enter Germany through France.  On 18 May 1944, soldiers of the 2nd Polish Corps raised the Polish flag over the monastery ruins and the road to Rome was once more open.  The Abbey was rebuilt after the war.

moja mamusia : Polish, my mummy ; moja mama : my mother

kochana mamo : dearest mother ; dziekuje za moje urodziny : thank you for my Birthday,

Seraphinite :  a green stone belonging to the Chlorite group, containing fibres that shimmer as the stone is turned about in the light. It is named after the Seraphim angels and is said to connect us with the higher dimension, opening the channels of communication and energy between us and the angelic realm. It is a powerful gemstone for healing on all levels- physical, emotional and spiritual.  It is mined exclusively from the “Korshunovskaia” mine near Lake Baikal.

Siberia : a vast Russian province containing most of Northern Asia.

Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia, is the world’s oldest freshwater lake : 25 million years old, and the deepest at 1,700 m.  It is 644 km long, curving through south-eastern Siberia, north of the Mongolian border.

Humpty Dumpty : A child’s nursery rhyme…

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

Holy Wisdom : Sophia in Greek, Zofia in Polish.

 

My mother was widowed in 1981.  In 2004 she came to Lanark, the town where I now live in Scotland, into a Nursing Home where she remained until her death on March 7th 2008. I was probably closer to my mother in those last 4 years than I had ever been, regularly visiting her in the Home, but tragically she had Alzheimer’s and she became a confused shadow of the strong and determined woman that she once was, having survived all that she did.

Apologies…some of the letters in the  Polish words have their wee tails/ wee lines missing…I am not technologically savvy enough to be able to bring up the full Polish Alphabet on WordPress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stone Circle

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protrusion of fingers

stone slivers of earth-skin

with purpose gathered under

directive of constellations

sacred choreography of

mauve megaliths worshipping

another day birthing

dawn-light diffusing

hand hewn stones

past reshaping

future remodeling

Neolithic stonemasons

their soul-song carving

virgin-stone altar

appeasal of gods

sacrificial offering

aeonic Amen

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And then we built churches and cathedrals,

mosques and temples, synagogues and chapels,

each taller, bigger, higher, more splendid.

What will we build next if build we at all?

Maybe next we will build with hearts not walls?

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Painting subject :

Imaginary stone circle from somewhere deep inside my soul!  It was painted quickly and the light reflections are not technically correct…if you start to analyse them.  I was painting from my heart, by feel and not from my mind, by thought.  I wondered whether to post it at all and decided that it just points out where I was all those years ago.

 

Painting :

Household emulsion paint, (small cans of colour testers ), and 1 tube of mauve artists’ acrylic paint on hardboard.  This was painted nearly 20 years ago at a time when I could not justify buying lots of expensive artists’ materials and canvases.

It hangs in my hall and is a constant reminder that “Where there is a will there is a way”… and if there is sufficient passion in your heart and soul you will always find a way to express your soul-song, even when you are short on cash, your spirit broken and picking yourself up from one of Life’s many knocks.

It also reminds me that I am not there now…much water has flowed under the bridge since then and I am so grateful for where I stand now.

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