Archives for posts with tag: nature poetry
These exuberant blossoms were taken by Filipa van Eck. They appear courtesy of the photographer, who is by day and night a talented opera singer.

These exuberant blossoms were taken by Filipa van Eck. They appear courtesy of the photographer, who is by day and night a talented opera singer.

On March 2nd when I woke up, I opened my curtains as usual. My first view is of the neighbour’s tree at the bottom of the garden. What had been bare brown branches across the winter had exploded seemingly overnight into white blossoms. It felt as though spring come. The poem ideas started to percolate. Here is the first of two poems about this year’s spring blossoms:

March Burst

Anthers atop a filament;
eyelashes pink.
The blossoms have come!

11/3/2015

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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View of the Riiser-Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica

By Ben Holt – National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (NASA (Image galleries)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


From night’s horizon
sweep in yowls and howls
across the polar plain.
Glacial blue dims.
The sharpest window opens above:
stars minted by the chill.


Today’s prompt for A Poem A Day October was, “Write a poem incorporating the concept of being ‘frozen,’ whether literal or not.”

All day I have been mulling over the idea of ‘frozen’ as a transition state of water, rather than a state of matters set. In preparation for my idea doodling, I found a recording of Sinfonia Antarctica (Vaughan Williams) on Spotify. An image search online yielded this Guardian photo-essay about spending 9 winter months in Antarctica at the Concordia Station. In the article, the clear view of the stars above earth is mentioned.


Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books

Colias croceus – the Clouded Yellow Butterfly. Image courtesy of Zeynel Cebeci via Wikimedia Commons.

I will be 80 this year
here in my flat
only a mile and a half
from where I was born.
I have tried 
to lead by example, by
plunging my narrow balcony
into the principality of hanging gardens.

Concrete is brutal.
It needs softening.
Plants should have dominion.

We breakfast amidst the crisp verdure
and watch a nesting bird,
fledgling wrens, butterflies 
and such wild visitors.
The flat faces of the 
daisies, pansies and geraniums 
accrue the afternoon and evening sun.
Most years –
A wren nests somewhere
blanketed by the ivy leaves.
Her fledglings zing past 
while we’re eating.
They’ll even call 
on us at table.
In warm summers,
the clouded yellow butterfly 
may join us from abroad.


Sometimes some quirky combination of words and images will capture my imagination. This time last year it was a comment in a Gudrun Sjödén catalogue about a Senegalese artist who sculpted birds from flotsam-and-jetsam.

Sunday last, the Guardian Weekend’s column “How does your garden grow?” hooked me. William Howard’s evocative interview about his balcony garden in the Barbican (London) – and the fantastic photograph of him in from of his verdant kingdom – had me enthralled. (Read the interview from the 28th June 2014 Guardian Weekend here.). “This garden,” explains Howard, “is about memories, sharing and reminding people to look – really look.”

Perhaps being a poet is in some respects like being a gardener.

(P.S. One of the most affecting books I read during my young adolescence was Rumer Godden’s An Episode of Sparrows, in which a scrabble of children try to grow a garden and learn how to look – really look.)

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

On the fringe of grey
bring some blue
set above white and petal disks.
Green is a good addition.
Lay down black as tarmac.
Square everything in
Your life and love and happiness
A tree!
No less

Grey like silver
grey like gold
grey like suits
tales of old
grey like hats
grey, like pointer hounds
grey without you
or £100.


I have written before about my habit of dating drafts and ramblings in my notebooks. The above are dated 1 August 2013. Grey, together with blue, is a colour that has featured much in my poetry. Grey is an ambiguous colour for beyond its melancholic associations, it is also an elegant colour with an aura of detachment and timelessness. In the urban and suburban environment it is the colour of utilitarian buildings, paving, transport shelters and waiting platforms. Since I was a child, it has fascinated me that the colour can be written with either an ‘e’ or an ‘a’. Like clouds, the word itself can change its internal dimensions. So many London mornings start with a sky cloaked in grey, so it has become a colour of origin for me and often features alongside blue to bring atmospheric or location transition into a poem.

Here are some other poems with grey in them:

On a rock amongst rocks – about the melancholy of a transient moment alongside grey sea

An Artist Works – the painter Constable captures clouds

Another Summer’s Day – also from 1 August 2013 (note subject matter and thematic resonances)

I was born of poetry – the grey of a cardboard box

Pavement Walker – commuters return home on a grey evening

Look At  – documents a walk on a suburban London High Street

Conscripted – about rain


Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness 

When it is from deep inside

and through my eyes,

that crinkled nose –

my truest smile.

For some time I was a regular attendee of a writing group. I often presented very short poems (some of which were to feature in ‘Shining in Brightness‘, my first volume and others which are earmarked for the forthcoming ‘Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys’.) It helped that I could print out eight copies of a poem on one A4 page. This meant I saved on printing. The resulting items to be read out were palm-sized scraps of paper. In honour of their size and effect, one of my fellow attendees declared my signature pieces “sushi poems.”

I love the idea that these short verses might pack a punch, prove tasty and nutritious. The poem above is a fresh addition to the ever growing bundle.

Here are some more of my sushi poems available on the Beaded Quill blog:

String

Pavement Writer

Ode to a Golden Mango

Things of the Heart Told in Quiet #1

A Poem about Scales (red herring)

Conversation

At Noon

The hummingbird stands for love

926 Breathless Accomplishments

The Poet

Clementi Brings in 2013

If you enjoyed the above read ‘Pavement Walker’, the first poem in my volume ‘Shining in Brightness, available for purchase and preview at blurb.co.uk

In pack-a-punch style, I love the challenge of a good tweet. Follow me on Twitter. I tweet as @BeadedQuill

On lit and sunny routes

keen ducks march down the banks;

in shaded glens

wise, eavesdropping willows hang

Glide on, oh well manoeuvred punt

along canals

some unexpected

For more poems, see my first volume Shining in Brightness

Follow me on Twitter. I’m @BeadedQuill

For one day my heart

was a rogue balloon

which found refuge in that tree

across the meadow-hill

where squirrels handle acorns

and the wood pigeons built their nest.

If you enjoyed the above poem, have a glance at my recently published first volume Shining in Brightness, which is available via blurb.co.uk.

You can also follow me on Twitter. I tweet as a @BeadedQuill.

With light that is
     brown
     between the toes
and shines on
    the river banks,
it twinkles in the sunlight.
Star of Sirius,
   lapping
Star of Sirius,
    life star,
        watery star
           carrying children over
your tide
swaying rushes
embracing fish
holding frogs
Star of Sirius.
    Night-star of Sirius
    twinkling in the sunlight,
carrying promise.

Grahamstown, 2008

This poem is drawn from the “Journeys and Experiences, 2003 – 2008” section of my volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

During 2007 – 8, I lectured in art history at a South African university, but spent much time pretending to be a musician. I played the viola in the university orchestra and attended many of the wonderful concerts hosted by the music department. This poem was written in loose, free-form while listening to a jazz piece about the annual flooding of the Nile and the mythological Night-star of Sirius. The location markers, “Eastern Cape” and “2008, Grahamstown,” set an ancient, abstract myth about Africa’s seasonal regeneration in a real geographical realm and time. Of course, the location was the recital room on the second floor of the music department, far away from any riverbank mud.

You can own this poem – and 19 others – when you purchase a copy of my first volume of selected work: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS. Two explanatory essays accompany the poems and the volume boasts beautiful cover artwork by UK artist, Nicola Slattery. Copies are available via blurb.co.uk.

I am on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I tweet about poetry, art and culture and martial arts.

New paths will take you

through the wood: A diff’rent

route you’d not expect.

 

From there you’ll see things

– like the lake – from points

of view you’ll not forget.

 

A green bench here. Let’s

sit a while. The blind,

we benefit from this.

 

Dec. 2012

Another poem triggered by amblings in Waterlow Park, a green-space in the London borough of Camden. In the park are a number of benches, many of which have been sponsored in memoriam of loved ones. One such dedication described the deceased as a “benefactor of the blind.” Since many of these benches are strategically positioned at resting points and viewing spots in the park, I worked the strands of literal views and sights and internal, psycho-emotional vision into the poem.

If you enjoyed this poem, have a look at other work in my first volume: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS.

I tweet regularly about my London ambles as @BeadedQuill

Warning!

Deep Water

Green weed coats the pond.

Catkins tiptoe past the curtain leaves

here in the conservation area near the tennis courts.

“Should you see

anything particularly exciting

please tell us about it.,“

requests the London Borough of Camden, Nature Conservation Section.

“Well, I didn’t notice much

except,”

he turns,

“You,

delightful  thing.”

(he bent down to kiss her)

Ah! Water deep

(she kissed him back)

2011

Many readers really enjoy this poem, primarily because they believe it provides some insight about the poet (i.e. me). I suppose they make this leap because – at 1,47m  – I am quite small, like a little human huckleberry. As readers, we also like to overlay the narrator’s voice with that of the creator. I shall leave the fact to fiction ratio up to your imagination. At the end of the day, it is my hope that the poem works in capturing a moment in poetic form.

You can own this poem – and 19 others – when you purchase a copy of my first volume of selected work: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS. Two explanatory essays accompany the poems. The beautifully formatted book is available through blurb.co.uk.

I am on Twitter as @BeadedQuill. I tweet about poetry, my ambles in London’s green spaces and at the moment, my online dating experiences. (I also tweet quite a bit about martial arts.)