Sunday, September 24, 2017

Poetry Pantry #372

Photos Taken Along the Bay Trail
by Bekkie Sanchez

A lone century plant blooms amongst the anise (or fennel.)
These do not grow along the Bay Tail but this one did. The birds and I love it.

A sea monster at the Magic Mountain Playground in the Coyote Point
park tried to steal away with my bicycle!

Coyote Point is a state park of Eucalyptus trees with a harbor, a museum,
 a large playground for children and more with trails running throughout.

Morning (and sparkling water) at Coyote Point
overlooking the San Mateo bridge.

This water fountain at the Oracle company was dry for years.
Now that the drought is over it’s back. What I like
 is when you look closely at the water on the rocks it
 makes beautiful patterns with the light.

There are a group of at least 6 snowy egrets in these trees.
They like to hide out and even sit in trees when not hunting up food.

Greetings, Friends!  The photos in Poetry Pantry today are courtesy of our biker Poet Bekkie Sanchez, who took them along the Bay Trail in California.  The words are Bekkie's as well.  I love that she photographed places that she saw as she biked, don't you?  Sherry will be featuring her interview with Bekkie soon.  Stay tuned!

This week many of you wrote poetry to Susan's Midweek Motif prompt - "Peace." A very apt prompt for the week when the world celebrated the International Day of Peace. Next week Sumana's prompt will be "Rising Above."

Friday Rosemary featured the poem "It Was Long Ago" by Eleanor Farjeon!  A very nostalgic poem - a lovely feature. Check it out, if you haven't.

Be sure to return on Monday to read an interview with another poet fairly new to Poets United, though certainly not to writing poetry.  Smiles.

With no delay, let's share poetry.  Link your poem below.  Stop in and say hello in the comments. And then visit the poems of others who have posted!  See you on the trail.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Living Dead

It Was Long Ago

I'll tell you, shall I, something I remember?
Something that still means a great deal to me.
It was long ago.

A dusty road in summer I remember,
A mountain, and an old house, and a tree
That stood, you know,

Behind the house. An old woman I remember
In a red shawl with a grey cat on her knee
Humming under a tree.

She seemed the oldest thing I can remember.
But then perhaps I was not more than three.
It was long ago.

I dragged on the dusty road, and I remember
How the old woman looked over the fence at me
And seemed to know

How it felt to be three, and called out, I remember
'Do you like bilberries and cream for tea?'
I went under the tree.

And while she hummed, and the cat purred, I remember
How she filled a saucer with berries and cream for me
So long ago.

Such berries and such cream as I remember
I never had seen before, and never see
Today, you know.

And that is almost all I can remember,
The house, the mountain, the gray cat on her knee,
Her red shawl, and the tree,

And the taste of the berries, the feel of the sun I remember,
And the smell of everything that used to be
So long ago,

Till the heat on the road outside again I remember
And how the long dusty road seemed to have for me
No end, you know.

That is the farthest thing I can remember.
It won't mean much to you. It does to me.
Then I grew up, you see.

— Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965)

I used to love Eleanor Farjeon's stories when I was growing up. Sometimes they contained poems; and this poem could well have been written for children. The 'you know' and 'you see' (which I admit I find slightly irritating) could suggest as much.

However the nostalgia for a special moment in childhood belongs to the adult, even if in the poem she means to address children. She makes me feel it too, almost as if I had had that very experience. Although I didn't, and you didn't, we can all, I'm sure, remember berries and cream, sunny days, dusty roads, cats and kindly old women.

Wikipedia tells us that she '
was an English author of children's stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. Several of her works had illustrations by Edward Ardizzone. Some of her correspondence has also been published. She won many literary awards and the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children's literature is presented annually in her memory by the Children's Book Circle, a society of publishers.'

She came from an artistic and literary family. Her father was a novelist, her mother the daughter of an actor. Poetry Foundation describes their home as 'a literary and artistic hub'. One younger brother grew up to be a composer, another a novelist, and the oldest (to whom she was very close) a Shakespearean scholar and drama critic. A timid child with poor eyesight ('Just like me!' I can't help thinking) Eleanor grew up to have a wide range of literary friends, including D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, Robert Frost and Edward Thomas.

Her best-known poem was written as a hymn, to put words to an old Gaelic tune. You'll know it — it's the beautiful Morning Has Broken (which she titled Morning Song) usually credited to Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) whose singing popularised it.

Her best-known novel, the unforgettable Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, was written for adults but became famous as a children's story. It works on both levels, delighted me when I was a child and still does.

You can read more of her poems at PoemHunter. Some of her books (more fiction than poetry) are listed at her Amazon page; a few of them are even in Kindle. I just grabbed the Martin Pippin book and its sequel, Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field; high time for a re-read.

Material shared in 'The Living Dead' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, where applicable (older poems may be out of copyright). This picture of Eleanor Farjeon is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Peace

Antonio Balestra, Justice and Peace Embracing, ca. 1700.jpg
Antonio Balestra, Justice and Peace Embracing, ca. 1700

Mercy and truth meet together: righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Psalm 85:10

If you look at human society, it is very easy, of course, to compare our warfare and territoriality with the chimpanzee. But that's only one side of what we do. We also trade, we intermarry, we allow each other to travel through our territory. There's an enormous amount of cooperation. Indeed, among hunter-gatherers, peace is common 90 percent of the time, and war takes place only a small part of the time. . . .
Jane Goodall

Without peace, all other dreams vanish and are reduced to ashes.
Jawaharlal Nehru

File:Colorful origami Peace Day poster.jpg


If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.

She wanted so to be tranquil, to be someone who took walks in the late-afternoon sun, listening to the birds and crickets and feeling the whole world breathe. Instead, she lived in her head like a madwoman locked in a tower, hearing the wind howling through her hair and waiting for someone to come and rescue her from feeling things so deeply that her bones burned.

Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks (1834)

Midweek Motif ~ Peace

Yearning for peace, I ask:

Where do we have peace in our lives?  How can we ~ as humans, as poets ~ help peace spread?  To whom would we give a peace prize?

Your Challenge:  Make peace the mood and motif of your new poem. Here is more food for thought:

John Lennon peace mural wall, Praha.(1993)

by Rabindranath Tagore, 
(Recipient of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature)

          (translated by Sumana Roy)

Grief there is, and Death; Partings char.
Yet Peace and Bliss and the Infinite stir.
Flows life ceaselessly, beam the sun, moon and stars
In striking tints and hues Spring shows up in bowers.
Waves ebb waves rise.
Wilt flowers and bloom buds.
Decays not, ends not, never ever depletes,
Unto that wholeness the mind begs a retreat.

        (The Song is Here sung by Lopamudra Mitra)

"Possibilities" by Maria Wisława Anna Szymborska
(Recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature.)

(Recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Literature.)
Let us go now into the forest.
Trees will pass by your face,
and I will stop and offer you to them,
but they cannot bend down.
The night watches over its creatures,
except for the pine trees that never change:
the old wounded springs that spring
blessed gum, eternal afternoons.
If they could, the trees would lift you
and carry you from valley to valley,
and you would pass from arm to arm,
a child running
from father to father.

For You

The peace of great doors be for you.
Wait at the knobs, at the panel oblongs.
Wait for the great hinges.
The peace of great churches be for you,
Where the players of loft pipe organs
Practice old lovely fragments, alone.
The peace of great books be for you,
Stains of pressed clover leaves on pages,
Bleach of the light of years held in leather.
The peace of great prairies be for you.
Listen among windplayers in cornfields,
The wind learning over its oldest music.
The peace of great seas be for you.
Wait on a hook of land, a rock footing
For you, wait in the salt wash.
The peace of great mountains be for you,
The sleep and the eyesight of eagles,
Sheet mist shadows and the long look across.
The peace of great hearts be for you,
Valves of the blood of the sun,
Pumps of the strongest wants we cry.
The peace of great silhouettes be for you,
Shadow dancers alive in your blood now,
Alive and crying, “Let us out, let us out.”
The peace of great changes be for you.
Whisper, Oh beginners in the hills.
Tumble, Oh cubs—tomorrow belongs to you.
The peace of great loves be for you.
Rain, soak these roots; wind, shatter the dry rot.
Bars of sunlight, grips of the earth, hug these.
The peace of great ghosts be for you,
Phantoms of night-gray eyes, ready to go
To the fog-star dumps, to the fire-white doors.
Yes, the peace of great phantoms be for you,
Phantom iron men, mothers of bronze,
Keepers of the lean clean breeds.

Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and 

visit others in the spirit of the community—
Next week Sumana's Midweek Motif will be "Rising Above."