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The Original "Getting Real"

The Original "Getting Real"
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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Ragamuffin Sun

The Ragamuffin Sun is a collection of 32 of my poems together with an appendix of brief selections of lyrics from the musicals 'Branwell' - based on the life of Branwell Bronte - and 'Tsaritsa' based on the life of Alexandra Feodorovna, the last Tsarina of Russia. A few of the poems in the collection are taken from my earlier volume 'Child of the Moon' (Downlander 1986) but most are previously unpublished or have been availble only in magazines.

Since the poems were written over two decades, I do not see the world in the same way as I did when I wrote all of them though, of course, some things remain the same.

The collection will be available on Amazon Kindle within the next 24 hours.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Virtual real reality

Funny, isn't it, that millions and billions of pounds and dollars are made and lost everyday at the touch of a button in some stock market or by holding a small rectangle of plastic in a shop, and we all 'know' money is real even though, for the most part, the big money is never a physical thing. Yet people are so unconvinced by what goes on in the spiritual arena because it's not visible.

Once, a long time ago, I was an R.E. teacher and I said to a chemistry teacher that I never understood chemistry because it was 'all about things that you know are there but can't see...." He replied, "And you teach R.E.???"

I regret a lot of what I once taught in R.E. because I was living by a system which no longer rings true to me but I know that those whom I did attempt to teach had their own inner lives which were far more powerful than anything I said. Nowadays, so many people spend such a lot of time in virtual reality games and others spend a lot of time in virtual money worlds on stock exchanges, clicking buttons and making or breaking fortunes, and it might not be such a bad thing. Perhaps it's just more 'proof' that everything begins in our own minds as a thought that, when enough people start to believe it, eventually becomes a reality. That being true, when we turn our attention to anything it becomes our reality.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Bright Star

In August a 'new' star always appears - not being an astronomer, I don't know its name but I always see it appear so brightly at this time of year and, though I have quoted this beautiful poem by Keats elsewhere on this blog, just have to write it again because it seems so appropriate to this beautiful star....

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art-
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No- yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever- or else swoon to death.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

A Small Sheep

A small sheep wandered over to the fence today and lay down and pressed her face to the cold stones around the edge. Her mother came hurrying over to check she was okay and, seeing that she was safe, was happy to continue nibbling the grass round about. The gentle love between them was so beautiful and it was wonderful to be there.

And people say it's okay to eat lamb and mutton as though these beautiful creatures have no feeling???

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Dover Beach

On the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, Matthew Arnold's poem, "Dover Beach" seems particularly appropriate:

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the A gaean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.