My Sunday Poem … # 26
I live in a cottage on the South Ayrshire coast just a few miles from the small harbour town of Girvan. I very recently discovered the work of the painter and illustrator Alex Cubie (1911-1995) who was best known for his drawings of Rupert Bear. He succeeded Alfred Bestall on the strip in the Daily Express in 1965 and continued the comic with writer Freddie Chaplin until 1978, when John Harrold took over. He also illustrated the Rupert annuals between 1974 and 1978. He lived in Girvan for a part of his life.
“Girvan by Moonlight” – Alex Cubie (c1980)
I wrote this poem only yesterday and it was inspired by this painting. We visit Girvan frequently. The small island on the right side is called Aisla Craig.
The boats in the harbour are silent this night
The boats in the sky sail free
And the moon she paints her silver light
Upon the canvas sea my love
Upon the canvas sea
And in the world that lovers go
There lies a path that’s true
For every step I take I know
I walk along with you my love
I walk along with you
My Sunday Poem … # 25
There is a fine line between loneliness and solitude. Oftentimes I have crossed over from one side to the other and back again. The trick was in finding someone willing to cross over with me. I realise that now. So I wrote this poem.
There is an island
Set upon Emotion’s restless sea,
And subject to the winds and storms
Of life and living
We give a face to every waking hour
And dream of being free.
But we know so little of ourselves
We are children lost in a maze of mind
All path and purpose undefined
Aching to be understood
Failing to understand
Though I am weak and weary
And I may stumble on and on
Please take my hand
And know my love is strong.
My Sunday poem … #24
I wrote this while I was living near the New Forest in Hampshire.
Song of the Forest Leaves
Are we the faded flags of glory past
Or early guests at Winter’s icy dance,
Or Summer’s orphans dressed in rags
All huddled now in ditch and dell.
Or are we perhaps the dreams of fallen heroes
Or the tears of fallen saints,
Or the prayers of silent troopers
Trudging Frontwards in the rain.
Or are we simply forests leaves
Consigned to play a part,
Each tumbling through eternity
Towards the central Heart ?
My Sunday Poem … #23
Some weeks ago I published a two verse poem on here called At Turnebyry in Starlight. It was inspired by the current debate over Scottish Independence. Seeming incomplete, I have since lengthened the poem to five verses. It can be set to the ancient tune of Slane, as in the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’. Hopefully it will journey far and wide. Scotland will prevail, independent or no. May hope always dwell in peaceful hearts.
At Turnebyry in Starlight
At Turnebyry in starlight a warrior stood,
A King for all Scotland, a soldier for good.
With eyes looking landwards, his thoughts they did turn
To Freedom won dearly at yon Bannockburn.
Would I have the courage to stand in his stead,
Where hundreds have fallen and thousands have bled.
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Fair Caledonia, the bravest of all.
The pipes they are calling to the beat o the drum,
Play on with your music, play on til I’m done.
My spirit is steadfast, my way it is sure,
With friends close beside me and heroes afore.
Tho’ streams they may wander and wind without care,
No borders are broken that love won’t repair.
My harbour my haven my anchor my hold,
No stranger forsaken, no creed left untold.
So sing ye of glory from mountain to glen,
Raise high every banner o Scotland again.
The hope of our Nation, forever to see,
Scotland our homeland, united and free.
(Turnbyry is the ancient name for Turnberry)
- The ‘warrior’ is Robert the Bruce. He was born at Turnnberry Castle in 1274 and rose to become the King of Scotland. I imagined him returning to his childhood home some time after his victory at Bannockburn.
- The ‘streams’ refers to a stream that flows close by my cottage known locally as the Milton Wynd. It flows down to the sea from here. At low tide it cuts across Turnberry Beach and you have to cross it to reach the sea. At high tide it is covered and becomes one with the sea. Either way, it is always there.
- The 3rd line of the second verse is taken from Be Thou My Vision. It just seemed to be asking to go there.
My Sunday Poem … # 22
Hello folks. Today’s poem is brand new and fresh out of the bag. The other day my lovely wife gave me the most marvellous gift of a brand new Panama hat. So I wrote this in celebration of my good fortune. It is very loosely based on a Bob Dylan song called “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” from his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde.
My brand new Panama hat
I woke up this morning with a feeling that
I’d take a walk to the beach and back
Take a real slow walk to the beach and back
Just me in my brand new Panama hat
I tripped on down with a feeling that
I’m the prince of cool I’m a Persian cat
I could easily pass as an aristocrat
Just me in my brand new Panama hat
I got to the shore with a feeling that
God and the angels know where it’s at
Yeah God and his angels know where’s it’s at
They want my brand new Panama hat
My Sunday Poem … # 21
Some years ago I remember walking along the beach at Brancaster in Norfolk when I chanced upon an old fisherman’s hut. It was long abandoned and the interior open to the elements. It made me think on a time when it would have been new and probably in daily use.
It also coincided with me having recently read a wonderful poem by William Butler Yeats called The Lake Isle of Innisfree. It began:
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.
I was thus later inspired to write The House of Stones …
I will build myself a house of stones
And dwell there by and by,
Close to the wild sea shore
And the seagulls’ cry.
In time to come,
My house becomes a hollow
For the wind’s lamenting song,
A temple for the moon and stars
To gaze upon,
Then chance may guide
Some weary traveller to my door.
In thoughts of me,
He may brush away the passing years
And make a fire
Of all the empty wordless days.
This man of dreams
This man of clay.
My Sunday Poem … # 19
Dingle, Tingle and Shingle
my sunday poem … # 18
spells & shells
Here is a silly wee verse I wrote way back in the summer of 1969 when I was all of 17. Me and my best pal Charlie Parker spent a couple of weeks down in Devon and Cornwall. We tried our hand at surfing off Minehead beach and chatting up girls. We were rubbish at both.