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 … # 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.
The 1951 Rolling Review Show … (Midweek Melody) # 104
Welcome to the 1951 Rolling Review Show which twice weekly features pieces of music I have enjoyed at some time in my life. I hope you enjoy them as well. Let me know if you do.
My Sunday Poem … # 19
Dingle, Tingle and Shingle
my sunday poem … # 17
Hello. You find me in reflective mood today. The seasons are gently slipping by – just as they surely must. Life is a wonderful gift and we must never waste a moment.
I am reminded of some lines from To His Coy Mistress by the 17th century metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell.
Had we but world enough, and time …
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingéd chariot hurrying near;
I wrote Summer Song quite recently. It concerns the transient nature of life. Carpe diem and all that. It is also about my deep-rooted love of literature and writing. When I was young I could draw upon the creative energy, joy and crazy hope that the world constantly offered. It all seemed to be achieved with comparatively little effort. Now I find myself drawing deeply from the well of memory and experience. Hope is an ever-present flame and joy is the reality of being here with the people and things that I love.
My Sunday Poem … # 14
This is a poem I wrote many years ago when I was living in the wilds of north Norfolk. I’d joined a small group of mostly well established local authors and artists. Most of them could quite literally write (and drink) me under the table. Occasionally I came up with something half decent.
Sweet lady of the flowers
Waiting on the golden gates of Summer
Queen that lends thy beauty to the earth
Out of Winter’s bleak and lowly rags you came
A child of the mist and cold
And though each being in time created
Calls thee by a different name
They love thee with a single knowing Soul.
My Sunday Poem … # 13
I wrote this week’s offering way back in the summer of 1969. I was all of 17 and quite heavily into Arthurian literature at the time. I’d been hitch-hiking in Devon and Cornwall with my pal Charlie Parker. One of the places we visited was the ruins of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall which had long been linked to the legend of King Arthur. Continue reading