A poem for the summer solstice

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Godwit Sightings

 

In north Devon

a pantheon of godwits

a prayer of godwits

an omniscience of godwits

pattered about in the brown mud.

 

They floated rather,

in that drifty way they have.

Beautiful, light godwits

trotting about on mudflats.

 

 

Poem and photo by Rose Cook

A memory poem

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The Swing Tree

 

News is the old swing tree is down.

Lies full length in the river its toe tips showing.

Only the root bole and a crooked arm waving.

 

The bank is calm, empty of boys.

Each summer they came trying the rope swing, the jumps,

to scare themselves daring higher each time.

 

Each jump was named, charged with its own danger.

The first, easy, Fairy then Wendy to Twigamala where the bough bulged out.

Fourth, which meant an extra climb, was Kuntekinte.

 

Getting higher now, the great Obi One

till highest, where the big boys played, though knees trembled as they jumped,

was Gandhi.

 

The river boiled with screams and laughter, rippled and splashed

to the green banks, to the hot leaves. No more.

Quiet now, the old swing tree is down.

 

 

poem and photograph Rose Cook

Spring blessings

 

Make the Ordinary Come Alive      by William Martin

 

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

 

From The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

 

 

photograph Rose Cook

February brings the beginning with cold snowdrops

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Snowdrop                                 by Ted Hughes

 
Now is the globe shrunk tight
Round the mouse’s dulled wintering heart.
Weasel and crow, as if moulded in brass,
Move through an outer darkness
Not in their right minds,
With the other deaths. She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month,
Her pale head heavy as metal.

 

 

photo Rose Cook

My deep gratitude to life, to poetry, welcome the new year in with thanks and hope

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Poetry                         by Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age… Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

 

photo Rose Cook