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. ย 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.

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Pentametric Poem

My long lost friends have found me once again,

from distant days of paper, ink and pen.

Of wooden desks disfigured and abused,

of English teachers, quirky and bemused.

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Of Shakespeare, Chaucer and pentameter,

iambic flow, idyllic childhood days.

Close friendships forged, rekindled love affair

with enjambment and Summer’s carefree rays.

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In poetry caesura plays it’s part,

like bosom-friends no longer in my heart.

Life’s challenges have pierced me with their dart,

Yet Art and Music, Words, a salve implant.

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The chiming convent bell, a memory

of morning prayers, spirituality.

Shared, embraced, in warm camaraderie,

as boarders share a false security.

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Fear not, my friends, for all is not yet lost,

full circle I have run and now I fly.

These treasures past, re-kindled not yet tossed

aside to die, but resurrected high.

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As Winter’s cold lethargic fingers fall

and frogs with croak return to pond to mate,

Depression’s veil dissolves to Springtime’s call,

As spark ignites my soul to germinate.

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Apologies for the “Rogue” line not true to the iambic penametric form : “shared , embraced, in warm camaraderie”… !

1967-1972 : I was a Boarder at the Holy Family of Nazareth Convent School, Pitsford, Northampton.

Pentameter : from the Greek and is a poetic meter. A poem is written in a particular pentameter when the lines of the poem have the length of 5 feet…where”foot” is a combination of a particular number ( 1 or 2 ) of weak syllables and a strong syllable.

Iambic pentameter : is a commonly used type of metrical line in traditional English poetry and verse drama. “Iambic” refers to the type of foot that is used, known as the iamb, which in English is a weak syllable followed by a strong syllable. Iambic rhythms come fairly naturally in English and iambic pentameter is the most common meter in English poetry. Shakespeare used iambic pentameter in his plays and sonnets.

Enjambment : In poetry the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.

Caesura : A pause in a line of poetry that is formed by the rhythms of natural speech rather than by metrics. It usually occurs near the middle of a poetic line but can also occur at the beginning or the end of a line.

 

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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Blessรฉd, 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 ย 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. ย It has however provided us with a magnificent soft, felty, hairy rosette all year round, even in the cold, harsh depths of Winter.

Reverend Fatherย Gerard Manley Hopkins ( 1844-1889 ), was an English Poet, Roman Catholic convert and a Jesuit Priest, having been brought up a High Church Anglican. ย 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. ย He attended Balliol College, Oxford in 1863-67, where he studied Classics. ย In 1866, he decided to convert to Catholicism, being received by John Henry Newman in October of that year. ย 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. ย His most technical innovation was the idea of “sprung rhythm” which counts stresses rather than syllables, propelling the reader forward. ย 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. ย The language of his poetry is striking, both simple and metaphysically intricate, i.e.ย 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. ย 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. ย 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. ย The March equinox heralds new birth and new beginnings. ย Many cultures in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carpe diem.

Yesterday was World Earth Day.

imageYet another card company, fabricated feast day,

I hear you say?

Perhaps!

On the flip side, it might just stir some grey matter,

Or warm the cockles of your heart a wee bit.

imageIs your cup half full or half empty?

Does your tossed coin land tail side up?

Does your toast always land jam side down?

Choices and reactions,

Reactions and choices.

They hit us at mac speed like the encircling jet stream,

Smack in the face.

Constantly.

Yesterday I made a choice.

I sat on a warm, dandelion dotted, grassy bank

Watching the brilliant, dazzling, mini suns

Turn their heads in homage and acknowledgement

To the One gigantic, radiant, illuminating, fireball.

Listening to a steady buzzing of nectar/ pollen gatherers,

Alighting from flower to flower, restocking pollen baskets,

Their hypnotic drone-like chant carrying on the breeze.

Touching and running fingers through soft, cotton-wool moss

While a sweet, comforting smell of incense hung heavily,

Stirring up fond childhood memories from days now past.

Tantalising, mouthwatering aroma of freshly baked biscuits

From the world famous bakery behind me.

On the other hand…

I could have waited in the garage while the car tyre puncture was being fixed!

Humility

Who gave the name Sprout to the humble Sprout?

He surely had access to some inside information?20141229_083315

I stand humbled and take my hat off.

Well done that Belgian man from Brussels

For your deep-rooted horticultural wisdom!

Spot on where your Cruciferae are concerned.

Last week smugly surveying my handiwork,

Assorted array of seeds nestling and tucked into

Inviting compost-filled seed ” beds”/ trays,

I pondered…

Which little head is going to awaken first,

Gleefully push the covers offย to reveal

Two Spring green cotyledons arising

To face the morning, greenhouse sun.image

You got it.

Bingo!

The Sprout was the first to sprout.

Funny that…

No longer can the humble Sprout be deemed “humble.”

In fact, that humble Sprout has just taught me…

A HUGE lesson in Humility.

He wasn’t a Sprout at all!

And after waxing lyrical for all these lines,

I bow my head and re-ponder these thoughts…

Never ever take for granted,

Never ever assume,

‘Cos you just never ever know!

All will be revealed in the fullness of time,

As was this glorious morning

And leaves unfurled, a solitary specimen.

Oops!

!! Seeing Double.

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A double-take in duple-time has fired my synapses!

Yesterday,

a picture of a double-headed snake intrigued me,

Today,

a double-headed, Snake’s Head Fritillary, amazes me.

Young and pale and tightly rolled,

Twin flower buds yet to be uncoiled,

And spell-bound by Nature’s bounty

Of quirky double-Vision,

I recall the wise old saying…

“Two heads are better than one”…

!!

The rhubarb gives birth.

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With grand pageantry the rhubarb gives birth

In the shadow of a swollen – tipped Alleluia Azalea

And the Rosemary celebrates with a profusion of delicate lilac flowers.

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imageOld Over-Wintered forms and those newly sprung from the Earth

Bring to the Spring Garden a multi-textured, sculptural effect.

A vibrant colour palette emerges where once was monochrome,

Courtesy of faithful bulbs and early-flowering shrubs.

Inspiration to an Artist’s eye!