A new poem from me today on one of my two poetry sites. Here is the link;
Drums are beating
Telling of a ancient wrong.
Do you hear them
Oh my Sister?
Can you sing
Old sorrow’s song?
Did your Mother
Tell the story
As you sat beside her hearth?
Did your Father
Tell your Brother
As they trod the forest path?
Song of sorrow,
Song of history,
Like a birthmark on the skin.
Only love can heal the wound now,
Only love forgive the sin;
Love sung out
Let the heart song
Look within yourself and see the silence of eternity.
There is nothing else!
We are each one of us alone;
And all that binds us in the end is love,
Or compassion – call it what you will!
I will find my loneliness in you
And be no longer lonely.
Let it be!
My inner silence,
A bridge to you and all the others,
Only through this gentle web,
Spun of the finest silk
And from my heart!
How many poets are there
writing on commuter trains?
Does every carriage contain someone
scribbling in notebook,
netbook or on an IPhone?
Each one of us reflecting
our own reality to a world
too busy to look, let alone read!
Each one of us sharing the core experience
and sometimes, just sometimes, peering over
Each one of us adopts the rules
specific to writing on trains
like some strange masonic rite.
Don’t rubbish mine and I won’t rubbish yours!
And prays for a publisher!
Do you hear them
They are coming
Their holy land
Are drumming deeply
And your gentle
Leads them onward
Take my hand
You can follow
Herd and tribe
Are one again
Heart of beast
And soul of man
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Innisfree is a small island at the eastern end of Lough Gill in County Sligo, Ireland. Yeats spent part of nearly every year in Sligo while growing up. He often walked out from Sligo town to Lough Gill. First published in the collection The Rose in 1893, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” is an example of Yeat’s earlier lyric poems. The rhythm of the poem perfectly reflects the lapping of the water on the lake shore. But the poem was written in London at a time when Ireland was in economic and political turmoil, and Yeats and his family were struggling financially. It is not surprising that the sound of a water fountain in a shop window on a bustling London street would take him back to the lapping water of Lough Gill and a more gentle life.
Ophelia by John Everett Millais, completed in 1852 and currently held in the Tate Britain in London.
The painting depicts the character from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing as she floats like a mermaid to her death by drowning. The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of the play in a speech by Queen Gertrude:
- There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
- That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
- There with fantastic garlands did she come,
- Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
- That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
- But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:
- There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
- Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
- When down her weedy trophies and herself
- Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
- And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
- Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
- As one incapable of her own distress,
- Or like a creature native and indu’d
- Unto that element; but long it could not be
- Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
- Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
- To muddy death.
Ophelia’s pose—her open arms and upwards gaze—resembles traditional portrayals of saints or martyrs, but can also be interpreted as erotic. The painting is known for its depiction of the detailed flora of the river and the riverbank, stressing the patterns of growth and decay in a natural ecosystem. “Ophelia” was painted along the banks of the Hogsmill River in Surrey, near Tolworth, Greater London
But for me Ophelia represents the feelings of any young girl at the loss of first love and innocence – a little death from which we never recover. Here is Ophelia mad for love and loss and incapable of the will even to save herself when she falls into the river – floating away to death and her own dream-like resolution!
Shimmers of memory
Long before memory
Visions and echoes here
Long, long ago
Someone is singing here
At the edge of my hearing
Shadows are moving
At the edge of my eye
Others have walked this place
Others have wandered here
Left us their dreams
Long, long ago
Time before present time
Place before this place
They left their echoes here
Left us their blessing
Here in the rocks around
Under this sky