Tag Archives: poetry

My Sunday Poem … # 26

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.

At Girvan

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

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My Sunday Poem … # 25

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.

The Island

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 … # 17

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.

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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.

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The 1951 Rolling Review Show (Midweek Melody) … # 46

The 1951 Rolling Review Show (Midweek Melody) … # 46

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 and please feel free to Reblog.

giphy

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My Sunday Poem … # 14

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. 

To Spring 

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Spring
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.

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my sunday poem … # 11

my sunday poem … # 11

Drummer

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My poem this week was inspired in part by a true story I came across recently.

In Napoleonic times when the prison ships used to be docked at Plymouth it was general practice to march the French prisoners of war across Dartmoor to Princetown. All of these prison details were accompanied by a military escort for obvious reasons. The journey was long and arduous but was made even harder in the winter as sudden snowstorms would often blow across the moor, catching the soldiers and prisoners in the open.

One such party were caught when a storm struck. Within minutes the snow blanketed the moor and the white-out brought the visibility down to a few feet. The party knew they were somewhere near to what was then the small village of Princetown and its formidable prison but exactly where it was impossible to say.  By now the prisoners in their flimsy clothes were beginning to freeze and so the soldiers led them to the shelter of a small gully which afforded some shelter from the winter onslaught. It soon become clear that this was no passing storm and the blizzard had well and truly set in. So those soldiers on horseback were sent to try and find the prison and return with a rescue party. In order for any rescue party to find the stranded travellers, a little drummer boy was told to remain in the gully and to keep drumming a tattoo so the sound of the drum would lead the rescuers back to the refuge.

As night approached the French prisoners and the few remaining guards began to despair, the relentless snows swirled around the gully but the brave little drummer boy continued to beat out his call for rescue.

It soon became obvious that for whatever reason the rescue party was not going to come in time, two prisoners had already frozen to death and the rest were near to exhaustion. The remaining soldiers decided that as the prisoners were in such a weak condition they were not going to try to escape which meant they too could try to reach Princetown and summon help. Once again the little drummer boy was ordered to remain with the Frenchmen and continue beating out his call. By now his little fingers were blue with cold but bravely he continued with his rhythmic drumming. The last thing the soldiers heard as the curtain of snow swallowed them up was the steady rat-a-tat-tat of the brave drummer’s drum beats.

When the snow storm eventually abated the rescue party was finally dispatched from the prison to find the young boy and his French charges. Eventually the gully was found and the rescuers was faced with the pitiful sight of a huddled bunch of frozen French corpses, just to one side was the pathetic remains of the brave little drummer boy, his body stiff and icy. The poor lad still held his drumsticks in his tiny , ice-blue hands as if he had bravely drummed right up to the final seconds of life – above and beyond the normal call of duty.

Drummer

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His face and fingers numb with cold
Drummer trudges from the town
Lost in the stars and the drifting snow
Fears and fancies all around

Ill chance found Drummer thus that night
A friendless homeless orphan child
Alone and driven in his plight
To seek the comfort of the wild

Though fresh and young as early spring
There is an inner wintering
A wisdom born of suffering
That only need and hardship bring

And through the thickly falling snow
He marked each weary pace
Until at last all effort spent
He tumbled into empty space

When he awoke or seeming so
For truth would cry he was asleep
Before him lay on every side
A forest strangely dark and deep

The moon shone silver through the trees
And diamond-decked the even snow
As if the stars had fallen down
To glisten on the earth below

Through the crisp and silent air
He saw a steady flame
And heard a soft and gentle voice
That called him by his name

Drummer have you come this far
To huddle in the snow
Drummer come and walk with me
Safe in my lantern’s glow

I am the shepherd of all men
Come down this winter’s night
So stay you close beside me
For I am the Lord of Light

And in his dream the shepherd knelt
To lift him from the snow
And Drummer saw his kindly face
Shine in the lantern’s glow

Over fields of mantled white
And streams of standing silver bright
The Angel and the orphan
Winged their way into the night

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my sunday poem … # 10

my sunday poem … # 10

Today’s poem is called The Waiting-Bell. I wrote it during a period when I was quite heavily into the work of poets such as John Donne and Gerard Manley Hopkins. I so admired their use of  imagery.

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The waiting-bell

 in the garden at dawn
tremoring trance-like forms
lie hidden in the early mist
cold-cast in a wintery spell
silence hangs heavy as a waiting-bell

one
piercing shaft of light
and life begins again
like a shattering glass

spider’s web quivering
the birds’ glad song
and beat of wings

and when I think of you
where the pain of loss first fell
my heart hangs heavy as a waiting-bell

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