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. 🙂

 

 

The joy of camping?

Reaching for my enamel mug of cold coffee,

I spy the corpses of midges kamikaze.

Only a few succumb to death by drowning,

the other thousand in tent seams are hiding.

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My air bed deflated, I can feel the hard earth,

tent pitched on an incline, of sleep there is a dearth.

Feet higher than my head, I’ve slipped right down the bed

so I try reversing all the bedding instead.

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I am woken at four by a loud dawn chorus,

disgruntled, exhausted, my headache enormous.

I wake with my right arm and leg frozen with cold.

Five degrees last night!  For this camping lark too old.

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My knees stiff and achy from cooking on the floor,

grains of sand in all our food walked in from the shore.

Local stinging beasties have decided to meet

in our tent, spreading the word our blood is so sweet!

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Shouldn’t have had the wine, need to “spend a penny.”

Raining outside, I can find only one wellie.

And just when I’m settling into much needed peace,

the kids next door start fighting.  How I wish they would cease!

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And though you might wonder why do this and complain?

To escape this world’s clamour, I’d do it ALL… again!

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To ALL my WP Friends:

It is rather “sheepishly” that I post this poem today…having been off the WP radar now for a number of weeks.  At this time of year when everything is growing so quickly, life takes on a rather frenzied and overly full flavour and I become conscious that there are never enough hours in the day to achieve and fulfill all that I would hope for.  We are now at the height of the gardening season so busy, busy, busy.  I also have been engaged in much organ playing and away camping…twice!  This second poem on camping, as opposed to the more aesthetic, previous one, is my end of year humorous offering to the local Writers’ Group!  The theme was to write something funny!  Also, I just wanted to say, I AM still here, not disappeared, bear with me, I will catch up with your recent blogs as and when I am able.  In the meantime, I wish you all happy and sunny Summer days!!  🙂

 

 

Camping An Camas Darach

In the east a golden dawn sun rises,

warm and welcoming over Camusdarach,

earth’s once blackened face she now baptizes,

rays bathing creation as night turns his back.

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Each droplet of dew on grass and on leaf,

lights up and shimmers as upon it you smile,

to man and to beast bringing joyous relief,

wild flowers in meadow with grace you beguile.

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Nodding spring bluebells their heads bowed in prayer,

primroses so pale and so delicate stare

upon your fiery face.  Petals so fair

and so fine, with such flair none can compare.

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Willows weeping, their long branches sweeping

the burn in the ditch as in sunlight it runs,

as the wild bramble, tangled and creeping,

in freedom delighting, all constraint it shuns.

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Hawthorns, lichen coated, twisted and gnarled,

stand guard and protect us from ill and from harm,

as two cuckoos coo, their duet to the world,

singing Spring is sprung and seductive her charm.

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White Atlantic breakers they curl and they roll,

lacy froth edging the white sands of Morar,

iconic Eigg and Rhum, they speak to my soul,

Silhouetted and stark, they watch from afar.

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The midges at twilight they gather en masse,

frenzied and gamboling in the fading sun,

swirling and twirling over field and grass,

one last final play before this day is done.

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Moon and stars now our shining companions,

weary world retreating to pause and to rest,

for a short while now the sun us abandons,

night shows his face, with this day we were blessed.

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An camas darach: Gaelic for Camusdarach meaning Oak Bay.

Sands of Morar: name given for the stretch of white sands found above and below Mallaig on the west coast of Scotland.

Eigg and Rhum: Islands just off the coast between Arisaig and Mallaig.

Burn: Scottish word for stream.

Silkie Style

Just a few words to explain how this poem came about…Last month I attended a local monthly Poetry writing group and was given some homework : to write a poem of about 12 lines or so, rhyming or non-rhyming using the following random words :

New, Hens, Building and Girl.

The following is my “take” on fitting these words into a poem.  It was challenging to say the least and it is dedicated to my REAL friend Rhona, for whom it is written.

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My dear friend Rhona has a new passion,

Haute couture of poultry, feathered fashion.

Genetic design with wings and feathers,

she cleans and feeds her hens in all weathers.

Her stylish Silkies a sight to behold :

bearded or non-bearded, lavender, gold.

Lovingly building fine pens for her brood,

her expertise vast, her judgement so shrewd.

This girl really knows her Art inside out,

she’ll hatch her illusive chick I’ve no doubt…

Incubating eggs all over the place,

choir of “cheeps,” she’s running out of space!

‘Tis sad there’s no cockerel at home to see,

too many neighbours, no crowing at three.

Chicken runs, coops, up-country extending,

her local friends their gardens are lending

as Rhona’s empire continues to grow

I ask, “Where will it end?”…That I don’t know.

But one thing I say and that without doubt,

Rhona’s new pedigree…will come about!

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Silkie Picture courtesy of Google Images.

 

 

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.

 

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…

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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