Tag Archives: Poetry

TEAM PLAYING (FOR VALENTINES DAY)

Photograph by Angela Barnes

I see you

I see your skills

Your skills are our skills

My skills are our skills

When we play together

When we play in tune

There is nothing we can’t achieve

Our power is to do

Our power is to be

In a team

Our strength is to do

Our strength is to be

In a team

Two bodies live here

Two hearts live here

Two minds live here

Two souls live here

Creativity lives here

Love and laughter lives here

This is a good place to live.

 

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This is for: couples, families, neighbourhoods, workplaces, towns, countries –  all of us really.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

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This wonderful poem by John O’Donohue is inspiring for any of us looking to start something new,a good one to share with clients:

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the wages of turmoil rise and relent;
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening,
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure,
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Hold nothing back,learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue

THE KILLING FIELDS OF SRI LANKA

Some films of war show victims that are so helpless and hopeless that all I can think to do is to write a poem to honour the victims and bear witness to the reality of what they went through:

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A Channel 4 News Documentary shown in November 2013 filmed the Killing Fields in Sri Lanka in 2009 where 40,000 Tamils, including many women and children, were massacred.

I see your pictures.

Your children look like

my children.

Your love looks like

my love.

I see you shooed

into an ever decreasing

space and being told it is safe.

You gouge bunkers

with your rawboned hands,

place your children in first

and scramble in behind them.

Shrapnel smashes into their bones, into your bones.

The earth is stampeded with savagery,

a flood of red evaporates

into a malodour as any shape of life

is beaten from beautifully wrapped gifts

and is blown away in the wind.

I see your pictures.

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GRACIE

Image I attended a poetry reading organised by S@ve As Writer’s Group to hear an inspiring poetry reading by poet June English. The reading was to help raise money and awareness for research into the metabolic disorder, Mucolipidosis.  Little Gracie Bella Sims came too, with her parents and grandmother, to warm all our hearts, with the love that surrounded her.  It takes courage to love a baby that may not thrive and will face multiple difficulties from this, thankfully rare, metabolic disease.

I was moved by the fact that we never quite know how long we have to love those people that we love and wrote this short poem:

Now
A poem dedicated to Gracie Bella Sims

Now is a place where there is no word
for work; there is just our doing.
Now is a place where there is no word
for perfect; there is just our being.
Now is a place where there is no word
for future; there is just our living.
Now is a place where there are no words;
there is just an unwrapping of this moment
and an opportunity to love.

Maggie Yaxley Smith

June knows what it is to be born ‘different’ and this was one of the poems that she read, from her collection, Sunflower Equations, Hearing Eye, (2008):

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Different

Mum hangs me upside down and taps
my lungs to make me cough and spit,
she always says Im, sorry love.
Is that what other mothers say
after they’ve played the tip-tap game?

Mrs. Rutter, Yvonne’s mother
says Mummy coddles me too much,
a bit o’muck’d do me good.
She’d have no can’t do this or that,
If I was ‘ers I’d smarten up!

I don’t know why I’m always ill,
Yvonne Rutter never is –
I bet her Mum’s a better thumper.
Maybe I should smarten up,
It’s hard to run, but I  could try.
***

It’s summer now, Yvonne and I
are playing ‘camps’ in Blackman’s quarry,
Snotty Robert’s got a cold. Mum
said, You’d best stay clear of him,
but he’s the Daddy in our game.

Yvonne, who’s Mum, is belting me,
and shouting, Smarten up, or else
but Snotty Robert slaps her one
and says, it’s bed-time, git to bed
so I lay down, pretend to sleep
***

I don’t remember getting home,
it seems the milkman carried me.
Mum said, You silly girl, the ground
was damp, you’ve taken chill.  My head’s
a blazing furnace, filled with dreams:

I’m walking barefoot over mountains,
a devil’s prodding me with knives,
I’m lost. Alone, I’m terrified –
The mountain’s gone, it’s forests now
I’m running fast, my lungs will burst.

Mum leans the folded ironing board
lengthways from settee to floor;
she holds my toes while I slide down
to play my Walk-on-ceilings-game,
where lights grow upwards from their stalks

and little folk, with chalk-white faces
(only seen by Mum and me)
play silly games, like Wonder why.
I asked them once why pigs don’t fly –
they said because they’ve learned to swim…
***

Mrs. Rutter’s been to see me,
she says I’ll soon be up and running,
if I was hers I’d smarten up,
a bit o’muck’d do me good –
I’d like to poke my tongue at her,

but Mum is smiling down at me,
that knowing look that tells me Don’t –
the folk round here don’t understand,
you’re different see – a special girl.
When you grow up, you’ll show them all…

 June English

 

And I have to say  is that  she really has…