Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category

I am a nasty woman

January 22, 2017

Ashley Judd reciting ‘I am a nasty woman’  at Women’s March In Washington DC.

Futility

November 9, 2015
Futility by Wilfred Owen, May 1918

Futility by Wilfred Owen, May 1918

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds,—
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved—still warm—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth’s sleep at all?

— Wilfred Owen

Recited by Jeremy Corbyn in Islington on Remembrance Sunday.

Dulce et Decorum Est

November 9, 2015

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.”

– Wilfred Owen

No One Leaves Home Unless Home Is the Mouth of A Shark

September 7, 2015

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

— Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire

I stand with Nepal

May 2, 2015
Nepalese girls who survived at the epicentre of earthquake

Nepalese girls who survived at the epicentre of earthquake

When the ground shakes , cracks and crumbles
Life and hope tumbles down
The echo of help come from a distance
And under the rumble the shrieks drown
The tremors tremble the humanity
The dance of destruction resembles insanity
Death and devastation everywhere but hope rests upon a tongue
I fought ,I will fight is the song that somewhere a human sung.
When the rage stops and hope rains in

We will rebuild from the scratch and a new dawn will set in.

— musings of 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Counting

February 1, 2015

Another Alice

counting-heartsHow many times a day do you think of me?

How far would you travel to see my face?

How many times have you ever dreamt of me?

And how much do you miss me?

How many lifetimes have our hearts known each other?

Being with you and not being with you is how I count time..

Maybe that is why time with me is kind.

in the end, nothing of all this counting matters..

it is just another nonsense

because..

what you can count does not matter and what you cannot, does..

What you can count, does not count and what you cannot, does

Love,

AA

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Paintings Inspired by the Poetry of Malcolm Guite

January 9, 2015

Paintings of artist Faye Hall, inspired by the music and poetry of Malcolm Guite.

Music: The Green Man, from album of the same name The Green Man and Other Songs by Malcolm Guite.

Malcolm Guite: Parish Priest, poet musician. He has released two albums The Green Man and Other Songs and Dancing Through the Fire. Unfortunatel, only possibe to find lofi samples. Let us hope he releases on bandcamp in the near future.

For God So Loved the World

January 9, 2015
For God So Loved the World

For God So Loved the World

Malcolm Guite drawing on John 3:16-17, for a forthcoming poetry collection Parable and Paradox.

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The Greek in John 3:16 is glorious:

16 ουτως γαρ ηγαπησεν ο θεος τον κοσμον ωστε τον υιον τον μονογενη εδωκεν ινα πας ο πιστευων εις αυτον μη αποληται αλλ εχη ζωην αιωνιον

The Word for ‘Loved’ in that verse is ‘egapesen’ that means ‘Agape’ Love, the highest and fullest and most selfless love, but best of all the word for ‘The World’ is ‘Ton Cosmon‘ -the whole cosmos!

The whole round world, in Greek the total cosmos.

Is all encompassed in this loving word;

Not just the righteous, right on, and religious,

But every one of whom you’ve ever heard,

And all the throng you don’t know or ignore,

For everyone is precious in his sight,

Chosen and cherished, loved, redeemed before

The circling cosmos ever saw the light.

He set us in the world that we might flourish

That His beloved world might live through us

We chose instead that all of this should perish

And turned his every blessing to a curse.

And now he gives himself, as Life and Light

That we might choose in Him to set things right.

Cosmos

Cosmos

In the beginning the Word, the Word was made flesh.

Early religions respected Mother Earth. We still see this today with Amazonian Indians.

Mehinaku attribute spirits to everything in the natural world around them, living things, inanimate objects, stones, streams, mountains. The spirits are to be respected, granted due reverence. Mehinaku blame white people for what is happening to their world.

Carla Stang discusses the relationship Mehinaku have with the natural world in her essay Rampant Rainbows and the Blackened Sun in Dark Mountain 6.

Then along came Christianity, granting Man dominion over everything that lay before him.

Genesis 1:28 (revised King James):

And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’

Francis Bacon De Augementos Scientiarum (1623):

You have but to follow and as it were hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able, when you like, to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again.

Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering and penetrating into those holes and corners, when the inquisition of truth is his whole object.

Rev William Derham, Physico-Theology (1713):

We can, if need be, ransack the whole globe, penetrate into the bowels of the earth, descend to the bottom of the deep, travel to the furthest regions of the world, to acquire wealth.

At least that is the traditional view.

Not all Christians took this view

In The Way of Wyrd Anglo-Saxon man recognised that he and the world around him were part of a complex web of life. The early Celtic Christians saw the interweaving of their religion and the natural world. Celtic music, then and now interwove the spiritual and the natural world, harmonious, natural rhythms.

The early scholars St Ephrem the Syrian, St Dionysius the Areopagite, St Maximus the Confessor, Hildegard von Bingen all recognised the complex web of life and the oneness of Creation.

St Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) in a hymn wrote:

As the water surrounds the fish and feels it,
So also do all natures feel God,
He is diffused through the air,
And with thy breath enters into thy midst.
He is mingled with the light,
And enters, when thou seest, into thy eyes.
He is mingled with thy spirit,
And examines thee from within, as to what thou art,
In thy soul He dwells …

St Ephrem the Syrian recognised that God permeates everything, we cannot separate God from his Creation. Therefore if we exploit His Creation, then we are exploiting and abusing Him. St Ephrem the Syrian also introduces the concept of oneness, familiar to Hindus and Buddhists.

Bhagavad Gita:

No work stains a man who is pure, who is in harmony, who is master of his life, whose soul is one with the soul of all.

St Dionysius the Areopagite (circa 500) defined hierarchy (The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy):

We have a venerable sacred tradition which asserts that every hierarchy is the complete expression of the sacred elements comprised within it. It is the perfect total of all its sacred constituents. Our own hierarchy is therefore said to embrace every every one of its sacred constituents.

William Blake’s ‘infinity in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour.’

The hierarchy of St Dionysius the Areopagite is not the rigid authoritarian pyramid command structure as implemented by the Catholic Church and Big Business, it is a network concept where the interlinking of the parts forms the whole, and the whole creates the environment for the parts. Each component part contributes to the maintaining of the stability of the whole, as organs exist within an organism and cannot exist without, unlike Modern Man who is determined like Samson to bring the temple crashing down.

But why would God wish Man to abuse his creation? Would he not appoint Man as the guardian or custodian of his creation?

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179), Abbess of the convents at Bingen and Rupertsberg (which she established), was a philosopher, mystic, visionary, artist, poet, writer of treatises on theology, natural history, medicine, and composer of beautiful, haunting music. Describing herself as a ‘feather on the breath of God’, much of her work was derived from divine inspiration and visions. She saw that as God created all life, then all life must be permeated with His divine spirit.

Oh fire of the Holy Spirit,
life of the life of every creature,
holy are you in giving life to forms …
Oh boldest path,
penetrating into all places,
in the heights, on earth,
and in every abyss,
you bring and bind together
From you clouds flow, air flies,
Rocks have their humours,
Rivers spring forth from the waters
And earth wears her green vigour

Hildegard von Bingen saw that Creation existed before Man, that it could survive without Man, that Man needed Creation in order to survive, and that the only purpose of Man’s appearance in Creation was to glorify God’s work and to act as His steward. God had to give Man reason in order to enable him to admire God’s work and to act as His steward, but Man then used his reason to decide that he was wiser than God and could improve upon His handiwork.

Malcolm Guite is Parish Priest, musician and poet.

He has released Dancing Through the Fire. But why insult people and release through CDBaby, a few seconds lofi samples? Why not release on bandcamp?

Paradiso

April 19, 2014
Dante and Beatrice speak to Piccarda and Constance

Dante and Beatrice speak to Piccarda and Constance

Dante and Beatrice speak to the teachers of wisdom

Dante and Beatrice speak to the teachers of wisdom

Led by Virgil through Inferno and Purgatorio. Virgil was born before Christ and can go no further. Dante is led through Paradiso by the beautiful Lady Beatrice.

Souls who made Holy Vows but failed to keep them.

Souls who sought Glory, but forgot the end does not justify the means.

Souls who enjoyed the sexual pleasures, but also remembered spiritual love.

Can we question the Will of God? If not, then we lack Free Will.

Finally, Dante is led into the presence of God, but before, he is questioned by Peter, James and John.

A very beautiful and moving dramatisation by the BBC of Paradiso, the third part of The Divine Comedy. All the more the pity only on-line for seven days.

Unrecorded Beam

December 29, 2013
Unrecorded Beam

Unrecorded Beam

Poetry of Henry David Thoreau set to music performed by Billy Bottle & The Multiple.

Avant-garde jazz.

Unrecorded Beam is expected to be released sometime around 24 February 2014.