Saturday, 12 November 2011

All Things Pass


All things pass
A sunrise does not last all morning
All things pass
A cloudburst does not last all day
All things pass
Nor a sunset all night
All things pass
What always changes?

These change
And if these do not last

Do man's visions last?
Do man's illusions?

Take things as they come

All things pass

Lao - Tzu

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Roses are red.


My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you.
Whatever you’ve got lined up,
My heart has made its mind up
And if you can’t be signed up
This year, next year will do.
My heart has made its mind up
And I’m afraid it’s you

Wendy Cope

Not a red rose or a satin heat.
I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.
Carol Ann Duffy

Bloody Men

Bloody men are like bloody buses -
You wait for about a year
And as soon as one approaches your stop
Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators
Offering you a ride.
You're trying to read the destinations,
You haven't much time to decide.

If you make a mistake, there is no turning back.
Jump off, and you'll stand there and gaze
While the cars, the taxis and the lorries go by
And the minutes, the hours, the days.

by Wendy Cope

Larkin Day


What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.


The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.

Philip Larkin

Much to the dismay of the fellow mourners, Larkin read this at his mother's funeral.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

"We are all born whole, and let us hope, will die whole." Robert A. Johnson


Let not young souls be smothered out before
They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride.
It is the world’s one crime its babes grow dull,
Its poor are ox-like, limp, and leaden-eyed.

Not that they starve, but starve so dreamlessly;
Not that they sow, but that they seldom reap;
Not that they serve, but have no gods to serve;
Not that they die, but that they die like sheep.

Vachel Lindsay

Today's 'Poem of the Day' touches on a similar theme to McNeice's Prayer Before Birth... And actually has comparisons with the pre natal poems, of Plath (below). They all touch on the theme of the innocent babe, who will inevitably be effected by the world.

Prayer Before Birth is laid out to echo the waves of contractions during birth.


I am not yet born; O hear me.
Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the
club-footed ghoul come near me.

I am not yet born; console me.
I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me,
with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me,
on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me.

I am not yet born; provide me
With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk
to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light
in the back of my mind to guide me.

I am not yet born; forgive me
For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words
when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me,
my treason engendered by traitors beyond me,
my life when they murder by means of my
hands, my death when they live me.

I am not yet born; rehearse me
In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when
old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains
frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white
waves call me to folly and the desert calls
me to doom and the beggar refuses
my gift and my children curse me.

I am not yet born; O hear me,
Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God
come near me.

I am not yet born; O fill me
With strength against those who would freeze my
humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton,
would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with
one face, a thing, and against all those
who would dissipate my entirety, would
blow me like thistledown hither and
thither or hither and thither
like water held in the
hands would spill me.

Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me.
Otherwise kill me.
Louis McNeice

Friday, 4 November 2011

Jenni Overend

Of course, my favorite poet of all time. J.O.


You left a love bruise on my cheek today
with your mouth
so soft
it stole my heart
You were still and pensive
Your deep blue eyes gazing into mine
and then the miracle of the smile that flickered
just for a moment
so sweet
I held my breath


THe dishes are done
the table top wiped
the little clothes
hanging in a row
the wee spotty socks
the little flowery vest
the grow suits
and Nan's handknitted cardy
all out to dry

The overhead lights are off
the nightlight burning
I've tucked mother and daughter in bed
and there's been not a peep

So I wander the lamplit garden
the darkened house
until I'm ready for sleep


If I noticed the warmth of the sun through the window

Or felt the cold of wattle blossom against my lips

Or kissed my husband, feeling the skin of his back under my hand

Or noticed the way the late sun glistened on the grass

Or the way new leaves sprouted from the stumps left by last summer's wildfire

Or heard how the blackbird's sweet voice filled the bottom of the garden

Would I then feel I was ready?

Ready to leave this world because I had drunk wholeheartedly of her richness

Loved her open mouthed

Drank deeply

Wept tears of unknown joy

Could I pass through that door blithely, knowing it was done? Completed?

I cannot tell, will not know, til that portal beckons me …

And even then …

Maybe not …

The Butterfly effect.

After reading the Collector, Helen and I became fascinated by all things related...

I hate the uneducated and the ignorant. I hate the pompous and the phoney. I hate the jealous and the resentful. I hate the crabbed and the mean and the petty. I hate all ordinary dull little people who aren’t ashamed of being dull and little.

- John Fowles, The Collector 218

I read this the other day, and it reminded me of something Miranda would have said:


Kahlil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Blake

Tess' favorite poem. "For us this poem is a beautiful reminder to be mindful of the decisions that we make, it reminds us to take care to protect each other in our marriage, to be compassionate and gentle on one another. It reminds us that all we have dreamt, hoped and wished for in life is entirely underpinned by the love, care and support that we provide to one another and we must take care to protect this every day. For me, this poem is the ultimate in romance."