Tuesday, 22 December 2009
What need you flow so fast?
Look how the snowy mountains
Heaven's sun doth gently waste.
But my sun's heavenly eyes
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
Sleep is a reconciling,
A rest that peace begets:
Doth not the sun rise smiling
When fair at even he sets?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes,
Melt not in weeping,
While she lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies
Thursday, 5 November 2009
This day is called the feast of St Crispian
And we are apt to promise much.
Glorious this golden soft October,
Fallen and fermenting
Plunging deep into the Kentish Shire.
We begin at Cranbrook with sign and portent good,
Passed thicket and sweet brook,
With chestnut meat and apple red.
To follow the greenwood canyon is our desire.
And you will say today is St Crispian,
And we in it shall be remembered, we happy two,
On Oxney at Wittersham, Ebony and Stone.
And what of the bowman of England.
Called upon to fight at Agincourt on this day,
Raising the two fingered salute,
Defiant and victorious to the end,
This day is victory too, this time in 2009.
For them, still breathing, still golden,
Still feasting , scented mellow,
Citadels of parasols in meadows sweet,
Flowers of the forest, field in seasonal praise.
And the Lamb beckons with its ghostly rooms,
And the night is falling with the crescent moon,
And the last bus to Rye is silently borne,
Night lighted, to the coast.
VH and MW Walk, 25 October 2009
Monday, 28 September 2009
A marriage of true minds, intoxicating one another,
Drinking from that conjugal cup,
Polyhymnia you are my guide.
Tread carefully across the boulders,
Sunday, 27 September 2009
There is no sound
Save the lifting breath of fabric,
There is no movement,
Save the glinting warming sun.
There is no sound
Save the thrum of my blood.
Light and waves
Dapple against the glass,
The curtain, printed limpet
With flowers, blows easily
Across the warmth of light,
Lazy and blue, sighing,
"Back and forth, back and forth".
And so the blossoms bloom,
And on the opaque blue
The spangle of tangled fishies
Are shiny with light, flitting
And lilting on the lisp of cotton.
Time flows and I dream.
And in this fishy mead, this meadow heaven -
I close my eyes to see my dreams.
In appreciation of Virgina Woolf
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Stolen time it is when summer flowers
And glistens in the morning sun.
Down to the Stour we trip,
Under the sun and the strawberry moon,
Breaking bread among the flags,
Trampling over the rushes,
Feeling the surge of the on-coming tide,
Sensing another field of vision.
June, the gateway to the 'other',
It would serve us well to pay attention.
'Dies Natalis' for Mens Bona.
Good God, good mind, personification
Of Thought's day, we salute you.
This trip to some other side takes our breath away.
Sleepy now, as lambs they dream
Hyperboloids of Shukhov,
Thanet's dark towers,
Tucked up beside the Stour.
Three million tons of coal and Richborough
Lays bare its bones in peace and soon,
With the rain gently falling,
We take cover to watch flotsam floating.
Inspired by Grotowski we drift into the drip, drip, drip of the play.
Our figs are cornucopic.
We leave and follow the actors downstream.
Softly falls the rain.
And running down to Pegwell Bay by bus,
We hunger - wondering about Hengist and Horsa,
Asking how St Augustine landed his boat,
How he converted the rough islanders of Ruoihm
With his zeal and cruel judgements,
And did he notice in the eventide,
With its skies blossoming from green to pink.
The pretty multicoloured parrots?
The famous Thanet parrots of the wayside trees.
Goodnight! Sleep tight!
You that dream of palms and exotic fruits.
We find the pathway home and take our leave.
Friday, 11 September 2009
Solstice, we walk under the midday sun.
Breathing in the cloudless skies,
Smiling round, catching minty blue,
Brimming beach-like and drawing fresh,
Our teeth glinting, bared to face
The Westering breeze.
Summer, and we, drifting lightly
To daisy down, to stay afloat,
High to the eye of the Uffington horse
Cut rich in the thick leaf-green sward,
Pearly spell of chalk, blanching white
Against the tide of time, take our time.
Standing cool on the equine summit,
With the day luxurious long, the immutable dot
Casts glances to the edge beyond all human knowing.
And we, who stand in a haze of dreams,
Feel your beading eye casting beams across the land.
Let's saddle your scudding form now
To ride far and wide across the curving vale,
High above the bloom of wayside brides
That line the fields
And lace the lanes.
Time rolls on, and with each wave
We cast our nets high up to the rounded beech.
Looking down we see them,
They that dance to the water's edge,
Caught up in a maze of rhythm,
Swaying across the hill to the soft edge of the vale.
Play the turfs a tune my dear and see the grasses dance.
We are insouciant,
Lost in the fullness of things, we look,
Glimpsing into the world pool,
Poised, not dancing now, but skimming shadow stones
Across the twilight of the next generation.
VH 25th June 2009
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Darkened from azure to grey
We sensed the gathering imminence
Of rain, and built our rough cover over.
Last night, talking late on the phone, we noticed
The holes, renting larger and more gaping,
Rotting our foundations
And letting in the damp.
Was it Caesar who went to war
Stepped over the Rubicon.
Is it now we know
The river has changed its course,
The vital line is not so absolute.
In a clap of thunder the air is broken.
And, cold as the shower in the back room bath,
Against the darkening green,
Lines of tears run down.
Stepping over the line you have to find it first.
A Rubicon indeed.
Monday, 18 May 2009
The creatures that abhor a yearning, slap me down.
Too late the morning star's forever hung too high,
With mercury flitting on his winged feet about the place,
Busy with lifes messages while his venus waits.
This venial journey has to end so why not now?
No poet of a former age contests to win
The cosy dwelling with cosy mate to snuggle down.
Slavering in pint pots, patting belly in chimney pots,
Tucked up in bed.
Pain has come first to learn the lesson.
VH May 2009
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
Expend their warmth in vibrant light.
Readily given are the flowers of undying colour;
The youthful years of sacrifice are not forgotten.
This is your gift to your children and your children's children.
This woman's realm is full of soft extensions,
One womb, two births ,
Two fruits nourished by creative order.
Motherhood recalls the mind, gently soothing away
The stresses from the outside world.
Inside you created a garden of sorts, a solice.
Blending rich rosied fragrance into pictures resplendent.
Yielding form and shape, calm and secure.
This was your generous world enriched and filled
With love for your little daughters.
You should never have left the ethereal sphere,
Yours is forever the world of the child.
Too late it was to save your tender soul
From violent intrusions of the male world.
Too late to save your grown up daughters from your actions.
Long ago and far away - we learn to forgive...
Thursday, 9 April 2009
The Cocktail of Mutuality...
Why two people need each other, why they will each be better together than either of them would be on their own. 'Your observant gaze which rests so still and pure on things, never leads you to the errors to which speculations, guided by capricious imagination and merely obeying its own rules, so easily falls prey' ( Schiller to Goether 1794)
Political progress can occur only if there is a transformation of people's inner lives, otherwise factions are merely the voices of human fragments seeking dominance over society...
Communicating verse by verse
Between us seems so natural, so good;
The industry of two people.
Sitting here amongst the clutter of paper and
Dog earred remnant un-success, I am satisfied to be alone.
To hear my inner voice in a noiseless world, and
The darting thoughts and humming dreams continue
Seventy post weary miles away you are also writing,
A reply in kind, choosing your words with care for me,
Waiting for type written inspiration,
In anticipation we are expectant of what we shall find.
In time we shall be rich indeed with writing,
In time we shall have our success.
In my minds eye we are both watching,
Two spirits waiting for the sun to shine.
V.H. Colveston Crescent London, March 1986
Saturday, 28 February 2009
We are each of us a compound of memories and hopes, and the present is where past and future meet in striving or exhaustion, triumph or despair: each of these states and many others are defined by the relationship of our past to our expectations. We are creatures of narrative; the next instalment of the story interests us crucially; therefore death, either of someone we love, or as the indefinite prospect of our own absence from the story, typically counts as evil...
A.C. Grayling 'The Meaning of Things'
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Boris Paskernak: Doctor Zhivago
“Up to ten years ago the dew pond makers started upon their work about the 12th of September, and they toured the country for a period of six or seven months, making in sequence from six to fifteen ponds, according to size and conveniences, in a season of winter and spring..... They travelled throughout Wiltshire and Hampshire, and occasionally into Somersetshire arid Berkshire, and even into Kent.” The dew pond maker with three assistants at 18s. a week, would require about four weeks to make a pond 22 yards, or one chain, square. Providing all his own tools and appliances he would charge about £40 for the work. “ The work commenced by the removal of the soil to the depth of eight feet. The laying of the floor is then proceeded with from the centre, called the crown, four or five yards in circumference, and to this each day a width of about two yards is added, and continued, course by course until the sides of the basin attain to the normal level of the site. Only so much work with the layers of materials set in order, is undertaken in one day as can be finished at night, and this must be covered over with straw and steined. No layering may be done in frosty or inclement weather. And this is the method of construction:- seventy cart loads of clay are scattered over the area, suggested above. The clay is thoroughly puddled, trodden and beaten in flat with beaters, a coat of lime is spread, slaked, and rightly beaten until the surface is as smooth as a table, and it shines like glass. After it has been hammered in twice, a second coat of lime is applied, to the thickness of half-an-inch, which is wetted and faced to save the under face. A waggon load of straw is arranged and the final surface is covered with rough earth to the thickness of nine inches. The pond when finished affords a depth of water of seven feet." It is then fenced round to keep off cattle and horses, whose hoofs, would break through the bed, and admit sheep only, for whose use the ponds are made. The durability of the dew pond is put at “perhaps 20 years, though “there are ponds in good condition now which were made 36 years ago, and which have never been known to fail to yield an adequate supply of water even in this year of drought (1921). The decay of the industry is attributed partly to the greatly increased cost of the making of the ponds, and partly to the fact that they have been superseded by the windmill pumping water from wells.
Monday, 5 January 2009
Twelfth Eve (Vigil of the Epiphany, Paramone of the Theophany)
Ancient Rome: on this day (when calibrated with the Roman calendar) on the Greek island of Andoros, the 'Theodosia' or 'Gift of the God' was celebrated; it was on this day that a wonder occured. The water of a spring by the temple of Dionysos tasted like wine and continued to do so for a week, though the taste was lost if the water was taken out of sight of the temple. In the evening, during the later Roman empire, there began at Alexandria a festival that continued into the next day, a celebration of the birth, at cockcrow, of Aion (Eternity) to Kore (the Maid) at which water was ceremonially drawn from the Nile and stored; since Aion was closely associated with Sarapis, who in turn was associated with Dionysus, the suggestion has been made that the god was meant to turn the water into wine. This would explain why the Christian Epiphany (6th January) was associated with Christ's performance of this miracle at the wedding-feast in Cana (it was also associated with the miracle of the loaves and fishes).
5th January, Source - The Oxford Companion to the Year
Lay a greene Ivye leafe in a dishe, or other vessell of fayre water on Newyeeres euen at night, and couer the water in the said vessell, set it in a sure or safe place, untill Twelfe euen next after, either for yourselfe or for anye other, (which will be the fifth day of January,) and then... marke well if the sayde leafe be faire and greene as it was before: for then you or the party for whom you laid it into the water, will be whole and sound and safe from any sicknesse all the next yeere following. But if you finde any blacke spots theron, then you or the partye for whom you laid it into the water, will be sicke the same yeere following.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
…Resurrection. – In the crude form in which it is preached for the consolation of the weak, the idea doesn’t appeal to me. I have always understood Christ’s words about the living and the dead in a different sense. Where could you find room for all these hordes of people collected over thousands of years? The universe isn’t big enough, God and good and meaning would be crowded out. They’d be crushed by all that greedy animal jostling.
‘But all the time life, always one and the same, always incomprehensibly keeping its identity, fills the universe and is renewed at every moment in innumerable combinations and metamorphoses. You are anxious about whether you will rise from the dead or not, but you have risen already – you rose from the dead when you were born and you didn’t notice it. Will you feel pain? Do the tissues feel their disintegration? In other words, what will happen to your consciousness? But what is consciousness? Let’s see. To try consciously to go to sleep is a sure way to have insomnia, to try to be conscious of one’s own digestions is a sure way to upset the stomach. Consciousness is a poison when we apply it to ourselves. Consciousness is a beam of light directed outwards, it lights up the way ahead of us so that we don’t trip up. It’s like the head-lamps on a railway engine – if you turned the beam inwards there would be a catastrophe.
‘So what will happen to your consciousness? …What is it about you that you have always known as yourself? What are you conscious of in yourself? Your kidneys? Your liver? Your blood vessels? - No. However far back you go in your memory, it is always in some external, active manifestation of yourself that you come across your identity – in the work of your hands, in your family, in other people. And now look. You in others are yourself, your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life. – Your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on it is called your memory? This will be you - the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it…
Dr Zhivago, Boris Pasternak 1956
Saturday, 3 January 2009
By Tim Munton 2008
Peace and Light and pink striped mice to you:
Where rainbow cymbals forever bimble
On forgotten shores through wardrobe doors,
And halucy-sky diamonds dive
Into ponds of liquid sun and golden skies,
Where the Heart of Love never dies
But rises-phoenix through the mind,
and bubble-blossoms in timeless time.
And my inner eye rests on all the waste of
What human happens in the world.
No need to spell it out - you know for sure -
Or can imagine what it is.
The leaping greenly spirits that express the yes are not enough today.
The blue true dream of sky is infinitely silent.
The confusion of the human race is more real and rises in my mind triumphant,
The malcontent and the maladjusted vent their psychosis unabated,
And the ill wind that blows no good, shows no mercy.
Its bitter icy air freezes and will not be stilled it seems.
Oh that the ears of my ears could be silent.
Oh that the eyes of my eyes could be darkened.
Oblivion is sweet and has a deeper knowing.
Drinking it in - the taste of things to come.