By Rote

As a child I learned a lot by rote, mostly poems, but they have all vanished with the years. Now I have trouble remembering the list of what I need to do today …

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BY ROTE

does it matter that I don’t hold
the words of Cicero                                                          img_0219-2-14-17-blog
Shakespeare or Shelley in my head?

that I’ve forgotten every poem
I’ve ever learned?

that I can’t remember a joke
or can’t tell it
so that the punch line punches?

is it a problem that I can’t recite
my own poems or hold a tune
in my head or my mouth for longer
than it takes to breathe a sigh?

does anything learned by rote
whether grocery lists or old hymns
dissipate into the vast
knowledge of the universe?

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Frame and the McGuireFrame and The McGuire – ‘… a gentle yet striking novel about the way our perception influences our judgement of others.’ Amy Mathers. For ages 8-13 … published by Tradewind Books available on Amazon or your local bookstore.

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3 Wind Haiku

March winds blow strong and wild. It’s great fun to be down along
the shoreline when a storm comes through, waves build and crash,
foam and sail-boards fly. Then there’s kite-flying and other excitements …

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grandson learns
to fly a kite –
windy beach                                     062-8-10-13-blog

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sheets of plywood
on the roof-rack –
high wind

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storm winds
a murder of crows
scatters

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my scans - after 18 112 coverTo Bethlehem: ‘This little book is delightful, full of … poems on this timeless subject. … the most fun is the little prose vignettes of the common people in the Christ-child story. The slave who looks after the wise men’s camels, or the overworked maid at the inn who has to fetch water for the birth, and many more. A lovely gift for the reader on your Christmas list!’ Rosalind Adams. Available from Amazon and Kindle.

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The Man at the End of the Pew

I’m a crow when it comes to singing, though we have some excellent
canaries in our family (real singers, in choir and out, and they know
who they are, their voices a joy to hear), but the crows of the world
are important too …

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TO THE MAN AT THE END OF THE PEW

your voice soars out                                             img_3015-9-11-2011-freligne-chapel-blog
like a carefree angel
a semi-tone flat
a beat behind the music
and I love it
because you cover my monotone
with a fine disregard
for choir and congregation

I like your flamboyant tie
restrained shirt and jacket
your face absorbed in song
enjoying every out-of-tune note
as much as I do

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9781771333054_FCNew! NEW! ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’: poetry. This collection draws a picture of the poet’s divorced mother, an artist with two children, who struggled with poverty, war, and the realities of daily life, yet still found beauty and comfort in her garden, and her art.
From Inanna Publications, May 2016.

Posted in chant, choir, music, poem, singing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The After Image

Just recently I discovered a great-aunt, Georgiana Houghton, who
was an artist and is now becoming well-known. She lived in the
late 19th century, and her paintings are incredible, I’ve posted one here …

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THE AFTER IMAGE                                        1482-by-georgiana-houghton-blog

celebrate the art of her
dance the singing paint
arms upraised   hips spinning
in a solidity of pigment

I will sing the wonder
of red swirled into rivers
gold gathered as sunsets
black trees pencil sketched                                      4260-georgiana-houghton-c-1865

I marvel at the skill
that makes oil paints live
as pictures of wind and sky
in vivid hymns of colour

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FRAME & THE McGUIRE
Frame and the McGuireNEW! Frame and The McGuire – ‘… a gentle yet striking novel about the way our perception influences our judgement of others.’ Amy Mathers. For ages 8-13 … published by Tradewind Books available on Amazon or your local bookstore.

Posted in ancestor, art, Georgiana Houghton, painting, poem | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Pause

The comma claims three columns of explanation in Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Apparently the comma comes to us from the Greek, meaning ‘piece cut off’ and was first used in English in the sixteenth century. There’s lots more information but I find it fun to think about this much-used piece of punctuation, and see what it does from a personal perspective …

THE PAUSE

… …    denotes
a turning point                                           img_9869-1-14-17-blog

a curve in the line
of my thinking

a mark to which
I am moving

the comma is blue
red or black

balanced on an arrow
that leans backward

into a past unwritten
dangling from the line

its head a moon
beginning to wane

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my scans - after 18 112 cover To Bethlehem: ‘This little book is delightful, full of … poems on this timeless subject. … the most fun is the little prose vignettes of the common people in the Christ-child story. The slave who looks after the wise men’s camels, or the overworked maid at the inn who has to fetch water for the birth, and many more. A lovely gift for the reader on your Christmas list!’ Rosalind Adams. Available from Amazon and Kindle.

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Considering Bacon

I’m vegetarian but that doesn’t stop me from loving the smell of bacon frying over a campfire and, just occasionally, wanting to eat it. But I don’t, instead I write poems about it in winter …

CONSIDERING BACON

I’ve learned the large way                                img_9862-1-11-17-blog
not to eat six strips
of fatty bacon
one after the other

not that I don’t dream
of such an event
but my body expands
even as saliva pools
in my mouth

the smell of bacon
with two eggs
fried bread   mushrooms
and tomatoes
is enough to wake me
from dietary nightmares
of sprouts   spinach
and acres of broccoli
with no cream sauce

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9781771333054_FC ‘A Bedroom of Searchlights’: poetry. This collection draws a picture of the poet’s divorced mother, an artist with two children, who struggled with poverty, war, and the realities of daily life, yet still found beauty and comfort in her garden, and her art.
From Inanna Publications, 2016.

Posted in aromas, bacon, diet, poem | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vivaldi

We were in Venice a few years ago and I had one of those experiences that music can give.
Maybe it was the music over Christmas or a bar or two heard distantly yesterday that
reminded me of that day, but it lifted me out of myself into a sense of heaven …

VIVALDI

an organ recital
of Vivaldi’s concertos
rising to a vaulted ceiling                              img_3801_3-18-08-san-maurizio-vivaldi-ex-blog

a cello rests
before the altar
on display for tourists

a wandering audience
browsing Venetian
churches    we happen
to be one of those
brought into the sound
wrapped in an ode
that invades my mind
takes over my being
until I collapse
onto a chair to be part
of the celestial chorus

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Frame and the McGuireFrame and The McGuire – ‘… a gentle yet striking novel about the way our perception influences our judgement of others.’ Amy Mathers. For ages 8-13 … published by Tradewind Books available on Amazon or your local bookstore.

Posted in music, organ recital, poem, tourist | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments