Monday, 30 March 2015
Poets Don't Mince Their Words
Slice Chop Grate Saute Crop
Deck the Hall
Scrawl on the Wall
Peel off the Ceiling
Scrape off the Floor
Tap on the Tablet
Pen in a book
Pull in the Punters
Let off the Hook
Illusion Delusion Confusion?
Tea Me We
Slither Come Hither
Flourish and Wither
Hear it here:
Friday, 27 March 2015
I will vote of course. I toyed for a moment with throwing my hand in and offering a friend of the opposite persuasion a 'democricide pact': "I won't vote for my idiot if you don't vote for yours!" But I wasn't serious, I'll trundle down the hill to the polling booth in May, and make my mark, because it's one of the most important things I get to do. Whichever bunch of clowns makes it into power, will be kept from trying anything too ridiculous by the knowledge that in five years' time they'll be held to account for it. Besides, women ( men too!) went to prison, and some died, so that I could make that cross, and I feel I owe them.
When I ran a school I taught my pupils something that I hope will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It was 'The Pauntley School ABC' It went like this:
CARE for one another
Any political party taking THAT on would get my vote, no hesitation. As it is, I shall do my civic duty with grim determination. It's hard marking a ballot paper whilst holding one's nose ...
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Wishing to spare my husband the noise, it being late, and we being in bed (I'm enjoying my taste for violent law-enforcement on my ipad ...) I reached for headphones which were hopelessly entangled.
OK so it's late and I'm tired, and you know how it is, you put something with cables down for five minutes and it will tie itself in knots. Someone should study this, it's uncanny ... I wrestled with the entanglement for less than a minute before I began to swear. Not just little polite expletives, oh dear me no, but the full nine yards. Oh boy! Did I let go.
My teacher, Richard Rohr, invites the thought that how you are at your worst, is how you really are, and so it is.
I am not a good person. This won't come as news to anybody, though you might be a bit surprised that my viewing tastes don't run to gardening programmes and ETWN. I am however, a profoundly happy person.
A Roman Catholic who meditates on and off, mostly off, and studies the Dharma. Both of these streams are sources of joy, because both help me to know who I really am - a spiritual being having human experiences: joy and sorrow, praise and blame, fame and ill-repute, gain and loss, all in about equal measure over my lifetime, when all's said and done. This is how it is, and knowing this brings acceptance and peace. The universe isn't out to get me, quite the reverse, I'm out to get it, and I'm loving the ride!
I have just finished listening to a Dharma talk by Jack Kornfield in which he tells the story of a Zen master, who had a bit of a reputation for eccentricity, addressing a group of Bhuddists following a prolonged Mindfulness Retreat. He banged his stick on the floor and proclaimed, very loudly as Jack tells it:
"Mindfulness in NO GOOD! Ask, WHAT IS THIS? WHAT IS THIS??'
(Mindfulness IS good, by the way, but that's not the point.)
The Zen master was referring to life. What is this LIFE.
Sorry folks, I don't know the answer to that one. I do, however, invite you to the question.
Was there a point to the revelation about Blacklist and the outburst of obscenity? Yes, there was. I know what I'm like, I look upon myself with patience and compassion and as I do, I know what God is like too.
The challenge that this wonderful life offers to this particular spiritual being having human experiences, is to reveal the patience and compassion of God to others. Here goes ...
Monday, 23 March 2015
Steak Pie - Fabulous! - at the Beauchamp Arms (pronounced 'Beecham') with a local cider preceeded a visit to the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church of St Mary the Virgin in Dymock, home of 300 souls, about five miles from where I live.
Robert Frost lived close by at the beginning of the last century. It is possible that the 'Road Less Travelled' with its 'yellow wood' records a ride through the woods around here, in March, when the native daffodils are in bloom.
What caught my eye as I wandered into St Mary's Church was this fragment of medieval stained glass. Look at the angell! I believe s/he's smiling!
Especially for my American griends, another piece of your history recorded in St Mary's Church - the quilts made by American women for the soldiers during the Civil War. Isn't history amazing? It crops up in the most unusual places!
This is a modern quilt made by British women to commerate the Dymock Poets, the American connection through Robert Frost, and the sacrifice of the men who died in the Great War. (1914 -1918)
Friday, 20 March 2015
Reflected off the screen of my ipad. Because I NEVER look directly at the sun! As good as the real thing though ...
Actually, at 11:15 today ... This 'star map' is a screen shot from the SkyView App. How interesting to see so many celestial bodies lined up ... On the vernal equinox too !
Monday, 16 March 2015
Today, this grey day alive with the promise of
Spring, and things, delightful, to come ...
(Despite the rain).
I am minded to remind me (and you, as you're here ... )
That I am a POET!
Prose is very good, in its way, with it's straight lines
And proper grammar, but you know, and I know you DO,
That straight lines are not me, and grammar is for
Writers who know how it goes ...
But ME? I have an oversized ego and
An enormous sense of self.
I like to make words turn cartwheels and dance inside your head
Which lets face it, is a lot more fun than pricking open a paragraph.
I can pick you up in a handful of syllables and
Turn you upside down. Because, you see,
I'm a poet, and I was there when you caught meaning in a sunrise
And watched the slip of a moon rise over our heads.
See. I KNEW it! You WERE there!
Monday, 9 March 2015
Don't know when I first realised that mathematics is a foreign country to me - but I suspect it was around the time I gave up on Long Division. If there ever was an answer to prayer, and concrete evidence of the existence of God, it is the invention of the calculator and the death of Long Division. True.
I remember getting a Detention in school way back in 1966, for not knowing my nine times table. (I know it NOW ... ) Fair cop, Mr Robinson, I WAS fifteen.
I had to do serious maths to pursue my interest in science, and the night I measured, correctly, the distance between the Earth and the Moon with two pieces of stick and a set of log tables, I decided that I would never say I was no good at maths ever again. Nevertheless, my relationship with numbers leaves me at ease with mystery, which serves my spiritual life very well indeed.
Monday, 2 March 2015
It's a few years since I completed The Open University 'Creative Writing ' course, amd I only mention it now because I learned one or two useful tips that I am happy to pass on:
1. Writing is seriously hard work, and I'm too idle to make a career of it.
2. Poets NEVER make any money unless they're REALLY good.
This looks on the surface like bad news, but, curiously enough, it wasn't. Having learned that writing is never going to make me rich or famous, I relaxed and began writing just for the fun of it. I DO enjoy reaching into my cerebral cortex, having a bit of a rummage, and popping down on the screen what I find there.
Well there's a thought. As soon as I became aware of my thinking, it stopped happening. No, hang on, here comes a walk in an Alpine meadow in Romania and the discovery of a grass crown. That was something I can tell you, a grass crown being the highest award to a Roman general. Who made it? Weaving and plaiting an intricate and beautiful artifact with such enormous historical significance then just leaving it there - a gift to an English woman who knew it's meaning. I left it too: some objects are too sacred to own,
And here I go again, hanging upside down on a fairground ride convinced I'm about to fall out of it and die. I'm sixteen and beside me is William The First, who later became known as The Bastard, but it was oh so long ago, and I did so much more with my life than he did, so we'll call it quits.
Finally, because I can go on like this all day, here I am drinking a glass of Three Choirs 'May Hill' white wine and eating a fish pie we made together. My daughter Kate and I, last Thursday, enjoying a few special hours together, just because they were there.
Fairgrouds, meadows and fish pie: some inconsequential things out of this one beautiful life, the living of which is such a glorious adventure.
Lucky eh? I should say so.