Poetry

POETRY

    Theme for October is SKY. 

We will be trying for a blended poetry group this month.

 

ELIZABETH PILL

ROY BURMAN

PAUL NEWMAN

YVONNE BURMAN

SOUTERS

JANE BENNETT

TRICIA SPINK

 JIM GRAHAM


 

      ELIZABETH PILL

 

The Rainbow Fairies

 

 

Two little clouds, one summer's day,
Went flying through the sky;
They went so fast they bumped their heads,
And both began to cry.

Old Father Sun looked out and said:
“Oh, never mind, my dears,
I'll send my little fairy folk
To dry your falling tears.”

One fairy came in violet,
And one wore indigo;
In blue, green, yellow, orange, red,
They made a pretty row.

They wiped the cloud-tears all away,
And then from out the sky,
Upon a line the sunbeams made,
They hung their gowns to dry.

 

 

The Wise Men of Gotham

In a boat to sea went wise men three,
On a brilliant night of June:
They carried a net, and their hearts were set
On fishing up the moon.

The sea was calm, the air was balm,
Not a breath stirred low or high,
And the moon, I trow, lay as bright below,
And as round as in the sky.

The wise men with the current went,
Nor paddle nor oar had they,
And still as the grave they went on the wave,
That they might not disturb their prey.

Far, far at sea, were the wise men three,
When their fishing-net they threw;
And at the throw, the moon below
In a thousand fragments flew.

The sea was bright with the dancing light
Of a million million gleams,
Which the broken moon shot forth as soon
As the net disturbed her beams.

They drew in their net: it was empty and wet,
And they had lost their pain,
Soon ceased the play of each dancing ray,
And the image was round again.

Three times they threw, three times they drew,
And all the while were mute;
And evermore their wonder grew,
Till they could not but dispute.

Their silence they broke, and each one spoke
Full long, and loud, and clear;
A man at sea their voices three
Full three leagues off might hear.

The three wise men got home again
To their children and their wives:
But touching their trip, and their net's vain dip,
They disputed all their lives.

The wise men three could never agree,
Why they missed the promised boon;
They agreed alone that their net they had thrown,
And they had not caught the moon.

I have thought myself pale o'er this ancient tale,
And its sense I could not ken;
But now I see that the wise men three
Were paper-money men.

 

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 ROY BURMAN

 

 

Star-gazer.  by Louis Macniece

 

 
Forty-two years ago ( to me if no one else
The number is of some interest) it was a brilliant starry night
And the westward train was empty and had no corridors
So darting from side to side I could catch the unwonted sight
Of those almost intolerable bright
Holes,  punched in the sky, which excited me partly because
Of their Latin names and partly because I had read in the text books
How very far off they were, it seemed their light
Had left them (some at least) long years before I was.

 

 

And this remembering now I mark that what
Light was leaving some of them at least then,
Forty-two years ago, will never arrive
In time for me to catch it, which light whe
It does get here may find that there is not
Anyone left alive
To run from side to side in a late night train
Admiring it and adding noughts in vain.

 

 

 

The sunlight on the garden.
by Louis Macniece

 

 

 

The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
 

 

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

 

 

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And even evil iron
Siren and what it tells;
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying
 
 
And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.

 

 


 
 

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PAUL NEWMAN

 

 

 

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YVONNE BURMAN

 

How Clear, How Lovely Bright
 
AE Housman
 
How clear, how lovely bright,
How beautiful to sight
Those beams of morning play;
How heaven laughs out with glee
Where, like a bird set free,
Up from the eastern sea
Soars the delightful day.
Today I shall be strong,
No more shall yield to wrong,
Shall squander life no more;
Days lost, I know not how,
I shall retrieve them now;
Now I shall keep the vow
I never kept before.
 
Ensanguining the skies
How heavily it dies
Into the west away;
Past touch and sight and sound
Not further to be found,
How hopeless under ground
Falls the remorseful day.
 
 
 
To Nature
 
ST Coleridge (1772-1834)
 
It may indeed be phantasy, when I
Essay to draw from all created things
Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings;
And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
Lessons of love and earnest piety.
So let it be; and if the wide world rings
In mock of this belief, it brings
Nor fear, nor grief, nor vain perplexity.
So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky my fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee,
Thee only God! and though shalt not despise
Even me, the priest of this poor sacrifice.

 





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 SOUTERS

 

John's poems:

 
 
 ON LOOKING UP BY CHANCE AT THE CONSTELLATIONS   by Robert Frost

You'll wait a long, long time for anything much
To happen beyond the floats of cloud
And the Northern Lights that run like tingling nerves.
The sun and moon get crossed, but they never touch,
Nor strike out fire from each other, nor crash out loud.
The planets seem to interfere in their curves,
But nothing ever happens, no harm is done.
We may as well go patiently on with our life,
And look elsewhere than to stars and moon and sun
For the shocks and changes we need to keep as sane.
It is true the longest drouth will end in rain,
The longest peace in China will end in strife.
Still it wouldn't reward the watcher to stay awake
In hopes of seeing the calm of heaven break
On his particular time and personal sight.
That calm seems certainly safe to last tonight.



    VERY LIKE A WHALE    by John Souter

Flake white against cobalt blue
a moisturous cloud
balloons across the sky.
This drift of pressure and humidity
morphs into many shapes;
A winged creature
with stretched neck.
A marble sculpture
with a hollow torso.
Actaeon's human face
becoming beastly.
A child ageing.
Anon, elongating,
fragmenting,
fading,
it dissolves into the airy void
which gave it birth.

Peggy's poems:

 
 
From SONGS OF TRAVEL   by R.L. Stevenson

The infinite shining heavens
Rose and I saw in the night
Uncountable angel stars
Showering sorrow and light.

I saw them distant as heaven,
Dumb and shining and dead,
And the idle stars of the night
Were dearer to me than bread.

Night after night in my sorrow
The stars stood over the sea,
Till lo! I looked in the dusk
And a star had come down to me.




     THE LOFTY SKY   by Edward Thomas

Today I want the sky,
The tops of the high hills,
Above the last man's house,
His hedges and his cows,
Where, if I will, I look
Down even on sheep and rook,
And of all things that move
See buzzards only above.
Past all trees. all furze
And thorn, where nought deters
The desire of the eye
For sky, nothing but sky.
I sicken of the woods
And all the multitudes
Of hedge-trees. They are no more
Than weeds upon this floor
Of the river of air,
Leagues deep, leagues wide, where
I am like a fish that lives
In weeds and mud and gives
What's above him no thought.
I might be a tench for aught
That I can do today
Down on the wealden clay.
Even the tench has days
When he floats up and plays
Among the lily leaves
And sees the sky, or grieves
Not if he nothing sees:
While I, I know that trees
Under that lofty sky
Are weeds, fields, mud, and I
Would arise and go far
Tp where the lilies are.
 
 

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JANE BENNETT

 

 Seeing the Moon Rise by Thomas Hardy

 

We used to go to Froom-hill Barrow

To see the round moon rise

Into the heath-rimmed skies,

Trudging thither by plough and harrow

Up the pathway, steep and narrow,

Singing a song.

Now we do not go there. Why?

Zest burns not so high!

 

Latterly we've only conned her

With passing glance

From window or door by chance,

Hoping to go again, high yonder,

As we used, and gaze and ponder,

Singing a song.

Thitherward we do not go:

Feet once quick are slow!

 

 

Clouds

by Rupert Brooke

Down the blue night the unending columns press
   In noiseless tumult, break and wave and flow,
   Now tread the far South, or lift rounds of snow
Up to the white moon's hidden loveliness.
Some pause in their grave wandering comradeless,
   And turn with profound gesture vague and slow,
   As who would pray good for the world, but know
Their benediction empty as they bless.

They say that the Dead die not, but remain
   Near to the rich heirs of their grief and mirth.
      I think they ride the calm mid-heaven, as these,
In wise majestic melancholy train,
      And watch the moon, and the still-raging seas,
   And men, coming and going on the earth.

The Pacific, October 1913.

 

 

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   TRICIA SPINK

 

Secrets by Emily Dickinson

 

The skies can't keep their secret!

They tell it to the hills —

The hills just tell the orchards —

 

And they the daffodils!

A bird, by chance, that goes that way

Soft overheard the whole.

If I should bribe the little bird,

Who knows but she would tell?

I think I won't, however,

It's finer not to know;

If summer were an axiom,

What sorcery had snow?

So, keep your secret, Father!

I would not, if I could,

Know what the sapphire fellows do,

In your new-fashioned world!

 

 

The Night Sky

by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

 

O deep of Heaven, 't is thou alone art boundless,
'T is thou alone our balance shall not weigh,
'T is thou alone our fathom-line finds soundless,—
Whose infinite our finite must obey!
Through thy blue realms and down thy starry reaches
Thought voyages forth beyond the furthest fire,
And, homing from no sighted shoreline, teaches
Thee measureless as is the soul's desire.
O deep of Heaven, no beam of Pleiad ranging
Eternity may bridge thy gulf of spheres!
The ceaseless hum that fills thy sleep unchanging
Is rain of the innumerable years.
Our worlds, our suns, our ages, these but stream
Through thine abiding like a dateless dream.

 

 

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 JIM GRAHAM

 

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