It’s all about –
PHOTOGRAPHY – I want to share images , from day to day life, work (and other) travels, sometimes landscapes, sometimes people or animals, and also quirky little things, odd angles, that catch my eye, and might please yours? More of these can be found on our website at http://www.thestudioatpenrallt.co.uk
HELEN CAREY’S BOOKS – And finally, I want to direct you towards the work of my favourite writer, my wife Helen Carey, because, if you like what I write – you’ll LOVE what she writes! see Helen’s page here on this blog.
So, here it is, The Marcist Agenda – please read on, hope you will enjoy and be stimulated by what you see and I would very much like to hear back from you on what you read.
Faster than a herd of turtles! Cheers! Marc
My angels were singing : a poem for St David’s Day
Concocted over the last few spring like days, out walking the dogs, watching the birds, and thinking of those who have died : Derek, who loved Pembrokeshire and rode on Carningli most days, and also of my grandparents (and others), who do – I believe – watch over me.
I stood near the house
where Grace once lived,
My angels were singing.
I watched as birds
and daffodils dived.
My angels were singing.
It’s spring and the sun
bursts fat and alive.
And my angels were singing.
Old crow, silhouetted against Carningli rock,
purple shadowed on blackened burnt bracken,
gorse and heather reeling :
the after shock.
But my angels were singing, still.
As seagulls wheeled across the bay,
catching sea breezes,
tumbling at will.
The Irish Sea lies beneath
becalmed and silvered blue,
and my angels were singing.
Wales’ favourite saint remembered
the new season breaks forth, springing,
flowers dancing, church bells – ringing.
His angels – singing.
Seasons, people, live and die,
here and now is for the living.
But remember those you love or loved –
And let your angels be singing.
Let your angels be singing.
(I have shared this poem before – but it is very specific to St David’s Day and the emergence of spring – we hope – and it is one of my favourites, so I hope you will forgive me!)
The moon, a fat yellow cheese,
gobbles the duskling skyline above Morfa Head.
Later, silver tongued and stealthy
it lights the path for a night time wander
as three dogs and I
ghost along the lanes
badgered, foxed, rabbit worn, and,
turning for home and the deep bliss of the warm bed,
far out on the horizon
a ships light splits sea from sky
and hangs, suspended and watchful.
grey rocks grinned upon the hillsides
scarring the mountain, snow bleached and soft pillowed.
Today, we walked below Carningli
warmed by thin winter sun
though the wind, when able,
did not hesitate to cut a cruel song,
the grass frost blasted and resentful.
A horse nickered,
dogs cavorted and capered,
occasionally raising a sceptical ear to the distant cries of long lost cousins.
Jet planes droned above
buzzing the sea shadowed sky.
Across the valley,
a ragged stone wall crooked a finger,
“walk on, follow me”.
The hills, plumped and greened,
sun plumed, farm groomed,
sweet air steamed,
all, carelessly platformed
snapshot and scattered
ship shaped and sand blasted,
to my mind’s eye.
Dedicated to Jules and Bea (Beazley) for their wedding, 6th December, 2014. May all your wishes come true.
How I wish
You were with me now,
On this west bound train.
Your head nestled on my scarf shrouded shoulder,
As hills, estuary and city-scapes slide by.
Seeing occasional bouldered tops, and
Winter scarred fields, with
Cows and sheep reddened in December, shadow sharpened sunlight.
The train roars by, and
Crows scatter, shocked but unruffled.
And the tinnyness of maddening music
Moleing in someone’s headphones
Is suddenly stifled.
How I wish I was with you
In Oxford Circus sunshine.
Salvation Army songed,
Peacock motif light strung
And subdued Swiss shopped.
Walking wok wards
Or sipping our piping hot coffee
In the Photographers Gallery.
After viewing wind chilled,
Snowbound and desolate Finnished landscapes.
The portraiture of Martina Lindqvist,
Startling and sublime;
Living and loving, on
best borrowed, London time.
How I wish I was with you in an Uber car,
Being teased and cosseted all in one go.
The South Circular,
Wedding party bound and perilous slow.
The paper lights
Small globes in a sun boundaried marquee.
The confetti, floating ghost petalled toward the uneven floor.
The rusted statues gaping at a glitter of guests,
Speeches, stumbles, extracts and jests,
Celebrating this days marriage -
And other such states of union.
Past, present, the family bond,
Wherein New Zealand Eritrea, South Africa
Wales and well beyond,
Played their part,
In sumptuously stated affairs of the heart.
I’m here, and the glass raised is in genuine spirit, but
In my mind I’m on a Lizard Mountain
Canadian roof topped once more.
My word is forged, feather breathed,
To cherish, to adore.
How I wish I could be with you,
What would you have had us remember?
As you mustered in the trenches,
Around the gun emplacements.
As you hopped into the cockpit
And flung yourself skywards,
Or plumbed the depths
Submerged and submarined?
Should we remember your bravery?
Your mockery? Your cynicism in the face of duty?
Your gut wrenching anxiety,
Your fear, your mortal pain,
As you were killed and wounded,
Again and again and again?
Do the flags, the parades,
The preachers, the cavalcades,
Act as sufficient homage?
Or would peace, justice, equality
Be more deserving of your patronage?
It is true.
We must continue,
To remember you.
(This poem, and lots of others, to be found in my collection, ‘Marcism Today’)
Helen Carey is eminently well qualified – as a writer who weaves magic with words – to have pulled this piece of prose out of her authorial hat!!
Originally posted on helencareybooks:
I have recently developed an interest in magic myself. Not in performing it, I hasten to say, but in watching it and in analysing its techniques. My curiosity was initially sparked by being given free tickets to a couple of fabulous magic shows in Las Vegas a couple of years ago. Inspired by those shows, I decided to include a little bit of magic in my latest novel, London Calling, (yes, I hope I will soon be announcing a publication date!)
Earlier this year we went to see Derren Brown. We were blown away by his illusions, mind trickery and sleight of hand. We’ve also recently seen the excellent magician Ian Keable, (thank you, Ian, for the helpful tips,) and last week we went to a show…
View original 358 more words
The ordinary act
Suddenly, the everyday act of
Standing on the stairs
Stopping, to tie my shoe laces
As I catch my breath,
before rushing out,
People are falling like snowflakes.
A child’s rucksack, a stuffed toy monkey,
the body of a St Bernard, and of macaws,
Sprawled amongst the wheat sheaves that are
reaching, cathedral like, towards the sun switched summer shadows.
Silage rolls basking like petrol drums.
A bitter crop for Ukraine
and for the world, well beyond.
The tractor tracks of harvest green
slough of despond.
As I eat lunch,
tanks are scouring sandy paths
in a ravaged landscape,
savage hewn ruts of falling machinery,
rockets, surly and skywards menacing
dust plagued army vehicles,
the bloated belch of the side splitting guns,
the pylons staggering, the wires ablaze with the noise of war.
Here, as I stare out of the train window,
trees fill the skyline, and there are sunflowers
and cornfields, basking in the peace of an English summers day.
The harvest should be full and fat
the table fully laden, untroubled by despair.
Elsewhere – on the bad days,
it can feel like almost everywhere –
we reap people, homes, schools and hospitals,
the table groans, splits, splinters
destroyed by an overwhelming burden of care.
A skeleton building, a dolls house, fractured
Curtains shivering, post explosion blasted,
young lives, rich with promise, now ever disabled
and only ghosts left to sit at this harvest table.
Outside Newport, Gwent, I see a mattress hanging
drunk and halfway out of a window,
but it’s only out to air.
In Gaza it would act as an emblem for despair.
Might we replay, replace these moments, I wonder,
in some fondly imagined,
great blue yonder?
Months later, I awake early,
a storm is battering the mountain side.
I remember a morning, nearly 30 years ago,
a dustbin lid, a galvanised chariot wheel,
careering up and down Bullar Road,
awakening the citizens of Bitterne Park,
the dawn ghosted, wind maddened,
alarm clock fumbling of the semi dark.
Right now, it is wild outside, the trees are stuttering
whooshing, swishing and swirling.
Yet I am safe, cocooned, unperturbed,
secure, loved, undisturbed.
Elsewhere, the storm clouds curling,
warfare, Ebola, conflicts clattering,
the media chattering, gabbling,
politicians and generals, as ever, squabbling.
And all across this battered globe
there will be those, saddened, shattered,
bruised and betrayed, left bereft, barely intact.
Later, I will tie my shoelaces, walk the dogs,
fulfil, I trust, a host of everyday miracles,
celebrate my great fortune, and for those I love.
Privileged to work on something in which I believe.
Needing , ever, to remember the simple grace,
the joy of place, the ability to eat, sleep, breathe,
the breathtaking, gut wrenching, savage celebration
of simply being alive.
The daily, extraordinary,
A note of explanation.
I have thought, long and hard about this poem, both with regard to writing it, and now to publishing it, as it could seem both heartless and cavalier to celebrate one’s own good fortune amidst the devastation and desperation of so many people’s lives. But I do believe that there is an obligation upon those of us who are fortunate enough to enjoy good health and prosperity to recognise that, and to be thankful for it – and to utilise the opportunities that such good fortune allows us, to be of benefit to others, however we might choose to do so. Like so many people, I was shocked and appalled by both the reality and the awful imagery of the downed Flight MH17 – and so much else that has occurred since – and my heart goes out to everyone affected, left troubled or worse, as a consequence of it. My poem, for what it is worth, is dedicated to all who suffer, and to all who strive to alleviate everyday pain and despair.
I remember reading , and thoroughly enjoying, Lloyd Jones novel, ‘Mr Vogel’ and making the mental note that ‘I must read more of this man’s work’..but then, somehow, the opportunity has not arisen (or I have not made it happen).
Just lately I was gifted a copy of Mr Jones’ new collection of poetry – ‘The Secret Life of a Postman’, and what a fine present this has turned out to be.
I have been working my way gradually through this impressive selection of poems – it is a big volume and there is a deal of complexity in the words and rhythms of the poet : not a book to be absorbed at one reading, but a delightful, literary chocolate box to dip into and relish (and we are talking high end confectionary here!)
The range and dimensions of these poems is, simply, quite staggering ; poems of love such as ‘A brief history of love’ paint a vivid picture in relatively few words, whilst the title poem is both lyrical and enigmatic. Some are curiosity writ large , ‘Guidance notes for people wishing to design a golf course water feature’ being but one prime example. There are poems that reflect upon Wales and Welshness – for me, ‘Sacrament’ being a beautifully written and constructed poem that captures so much of that very special essence. ‘Poet in the kitchen’ gives a tantalising glimpse of the writer at work, and a good number of the poems here are intensely, yet not intrusively, personal in their tone. The writing is both of and in the moment – as well as some of the lines and subjects being steeped in history and classical reference.
It is very difficult to pull out favourites from this collection but, as the time of writing, I particularly want to commend ‘Aleppo’ and ‘The service’ ; I guess because, as is the case with poetry, music, novels and art the world over, something particular, specific and uniquely subjective makes me (you) reach out and embrace a verse, an image…tugs at your heartstrings and stays in your mind.
I am convinced that there will be poems for all herein that will leave an indelible mark and bring you back to this excellent, enjoyable and, on occasion, testing anthology. A great achievement and a writer who deserves to be celebrated well beyond the magical borders of Wales.
Marc Mordey To buy this book : go to http://www.welsh-american-bookstore.com/News/lloyd-jones-secret-life-of-a-postman.html