Show me again the tree beneath whose boughs we one time laid
While dappled sunshine warmed our skin and daring plans were made
Sit with me once again beneath the knarled and ancient limbs
And reminisce those sunny hours until the daylight dims
Show me again the river wide upon whose banks we lay
While summers breeze blew over us and we whiled the day away
Lie with me once again among the luscious burn side grass
And hand in mine gaze heavenward to watch the white clouds pass
Show me again the tenderness which caught for you my heart
The gentle touch and whispered words your true love did impart
Hold me once more in loving arms, my head against your chest
And marvel with me at how our life most truly has been blest.
Is it just me or does life seem to have gotten SO busy. There seems to be an endless flow of distractions and intrusions that hinder me. Recently I have been reading a book called The ruthless elimination of hurry. (Ok, I confess; listening to – I’m far too busy to sit down with a book!) The book itself is an easy read, but it asks some challenging questions about our modern lifestyle. Written by John Mark Comer, an American pastor, it is written very much from a Christian perspective but there is lots in it to speak to anyone living their life in our crazy, busy, noisy, nonstop, often overwhelming world. The chapter I read (listened to) this week is all about silence and solitude, something that few of us get enough of! After discussing it in our small group I was inspired to write this poem.
In the silence In the stillness Of the quiet place I will seek you Come towards you Turn to me your face
I am ready To hear from you Speak your truth to me I will listen To hear from you Words so Fatherly
In the silence In the stillness Of the quiet place I will meet you Be at peace there Rest in your embrace
After a good start to this year I got a bit distracted and didn’t write anything for a while. This week I suddenly seem to have found my mojo again. I have been writing lots. From odd lines that will eventually develop into full poems, to snippets and phrases I have just jotted down to insert in a future poem, to a rather random short story. They are mostly first drafts still and will need a bit of tweaking before I share them, except for the one I am sharing now. I was playing around with different poem structures and with increasing and decreasing syllables and this was the result.
It were true
That which you say
Statements of great love
Pretence of devotion
The words by which you deceive
The lies that you exhale
Carry me away
On clouds of hope
But like rain
Posting 2 in 1 today. Although I have not been posting everyday I have actually been writing everyday. Some of what I have written has just been odd lines or stanzas, but here are 2 completed poems.
The first prompt I used was to right about an explosion of joy. As I was short of time, and because I love them, I wrote a haiku.
So incredible An explosion of pure joy He said "I love you"
The second prompt I used was to write a poem either about a birthday or to someone on their birthday. This prompt happened to fall on the day my son turned 16, so of course I wrote a poem to him.
You are no longer a babe Standing tall above me As we celebrate this day of your birth A day where once there were balloons Where parcels were passed, statues danced, and lions slept But time has passed and You have outgrown these things Now as you stand next to me You stand in a place ‘twixt man and boy Know that I will always be Stood here beside you As you find your feet in a fast changing world And take your place in the unfolding tale
For today let’s just celebrate The wonder that is you
Today’s prompt required a bit of time travel – going either into the future or the past to write from the perspective of someone on the brink of a life changing event. I have recently been reading The Mirror and The Light which has inspired my setting, although I cannot be sure the scene I envisioned is an accurate depiction of life in the 16th Century.
I am not yet ready In time I will be But time, I have not enough The guests are assembled The candles are lit There has been much bustle and busyness Many hands bearing trays of finest produce Have borne more in one morn that in the past sennight
I am not yet ready In time I might be Yet not today, not so soon The tables are laden The feast all prepared The clatter of wheels has told me the tale Of many kin bearing gifts of richest treasures As would befit the auspicious occasion
I am not yet ready More time is requisite Yet time I am not allowed The servants attend me The stays are bound tight There has been much arranging and fixing Many hands shaping this” finest of ladies” to be the fine wife of our noble Lord
I must now be ready The time has arrived The time I would halt if I could The fanfare has started The doors are flung wide. There has been such anticipation Many Lives holding to what this day represents I must play my Part, Obedient submission
It’s always easier to write when on holiday. The combination of more time and being generally more relaxed, with visiting new and interesting places helps the creative flow. We have visited Portpatrick a few times now, finding out about ships wrecked on the rocky shore line, and how it served as a version of Gretna green for couples who caught the boat across from Belfast. The ferries no longer come into Portpatrick, the little bay and harbour could not cope with the large ships required these days, which now dock at Cairnryan a little further north. Instead Portpatrick remains a picturesque little coastal village – a beautiful unspoilt spot away from the hubbub of much of modern life; a great spot for a relaxing break. It was only yesterday as I walked down to the sea, that I noticed the extraordinary number of chimney pots on the buildings around the bay. I found myself a comfy large rock to sit on, gazing out at the sea, and wrote this poem.
The chimneys of Portpatrick That stand above the bay Stretch up heavenward to the sun That shines on us today How long they’ve stood there watching I really do not know They have seen the waters rise They’ve seen the tide ebb low.
The chimneys of Portpatrick Have stood there oh so long They’ve heard the ocean raging Witnessed her waves so strong. And in the still calm moments That come both day and night Know the peace just hides from view The ocean’s fearsome might
The chimneys of Portpatrick Stood solemn as the waves Threw boat, then boat against the rocks And not all souls were saved The lighthouse stood as warning It’s light shone through the night The brave and daring lifeboat crew Risked all for stranger’s plight
The chimneys of Portpatrick That witnessed so much woe Also saw such joyful days Saw lovers come and go Across the sea from Ireland Where family disapproved Wedding vows they came to say Their lasting love to prove
The chimneys of Portpatrick Stand cold and smoke no more Yet still we come to visit This bonny stretch of shore And while we swim the waters We drink, we eat, we play The chimneys of Portpatrick Stand proud above the bay
We have recently been doing a tour of high school open evenings. My daughter, my baby, is in her last year of primary school and we are visiting a number of schools so that she can choose where she goes. This has led to a whole host of mixed feelings in me. Firstly I cannot believe how quickly the last 11 years have gone. Secondly, school seems to have changed so much since I was there, it looks a lot more interesting! Thirdly, what a shame it is that we do not appreciate it at the time. School days, although not without their own ups and downs, are free of many of the stresses and worries of adulthood and working life, and if I could go back now I would want to learn, and would make much better use of the opportunity to do so. But the strongest of these emotions comes from the increasing pace with which time passes. My baby is no longer a baby, far from it, she is growing up so quickly and that is bittersweet. She has always been a lot of fun, fully living up to her middle name, Joy, but as she has grown she has shed a lot of her shyness and self consciousness and shares her Joy increasingly with those outside our home. Yet I miss the times when she would climb sleepily into our bed in the early morning. I’ve got to be honest, I wasn’t always happy to see her, especially on weekends when I could have slept longer, but now that those times are over I am left with a little sadness at their loss. She no longer pesters me to play with her and her dolls, when I would rather be doing something else, and now I mourn the missed opportunities. Bedtimes are significantly quicker as I no longer need to read chapters of her favourite books when she reads them herself. So for now I will make sure to make the most of the times she does want to spend with me, for in no time at all she will be testing her budding independence. A few years ago I wrote this poem about her. It will always put a smile on my face.
Early each morning Sleeping Beauty creeps into our bed. She rises with the sun and plods, slumber footed, into our room Wriggling her way between us, she lifts my arm to wrap it around her, Snuggles in and let’s sleep claim her once more. Roused from my dreams I smile at the warmth of her against me, This innocent child of mine. Hovering between sleep and wakefulness, I try to re-enter my dreams, But cannot, and so I gaze through sleep fogged eyes At the perfect curve of her cheek, speckled with a gentle spread of tiny freckles; At her long lashes, fanning out on her cheek below the lids that currently hide her brilliant blue eyes from my view. This beautiful face, so full of love and trust, causes my heart to swell. Her delicate, wilful, big-hearted, enthralling personality radiates through every pore. I am tempted to squeeze her into me, to hold her so tight as if to never let go, but I do not wish to wake her, so I content myself instead with a gentle kiss on her forehead. Drifting away, my eyes close once more, as a dreamy smile crosses my face And I rest with our beloved Phoebe Joy in my arms.