Somewhere, there’s hope…

To all friends who are generous enough to follow this blog, THANK YOU.

I have created a few (though nothing like as many as in previous times) poems during 2020, but, being honest, the creative impulse has been subdued, and what I have written is, well, just too dark for now at least. But, awake at 4 a.m. today (the shortest day of the year) these thoughts, this offering, came to mind. As with all my poetry, I don’t lay great claims to it, but…it’s from the heart, and it is my gift for you.

Take care out there, stay safe and well. And here’s to better days ahead, for our world, for us all, in 2021.

Greetings and good fortune. Yours Aye!

Marc

THE PENRALLT EAGLE – photo by MM

A young writer sits at home

The first novel just a glimpse in the mind’s eye

The pen, flourished.

The paper, anticipating

A Jane Austen for today

Ready and waiting.

Elsewhere, a teenager moodily lifts the guitar,

Strums newly acquired chords,

Maps out phrases, tinkers with words

And a new ‘Blue’ emerges

Blowing the critics away.

As scales are lifted from blinkered eyes

Fresh minted, eager new leaders

(they’ve life experience of climate change)

No longer question

No longer deny

And radical policies

Practical actions

Arise.

In a home some place

A 100 year old man

Father, grandfather and much more besides

Breathes out, smiles, gently sighs

Reviewing a long life

Well lived, hard won

And, despite great age,

Not yet done.

In a laboratory far away

A new graduate scientist explores

The microbe kaleidoscoped,

Micro-scoped miracles of life,

Her imagination slides, breaks free

Then, a pause

Before the new formula,

The world beating solution

Is born.

In one country

A child reels and spins a home-made hoop

Around a sand dusted yard.

In another

One young man, cocooned

Navigating his kayaked world,

With snow, ice, cold cracking floes

Seal whirled and polar beared

For both

Life is fun

Though life is hard.

In my dreamed of world

Zealots lay down the gun, the sword

Share faith, philosophy, thought

With believer and non-believer alike

Arguing

Yes

Hating

No

Accepting that seeing life differently

Ought not be seen

As something unacceptable

Untoward.

In a year gone by

We all shared

So much sadness

Such awful pain

Collective madness

Greed, disdain.

Who cared?

Who really cared?

How does one cope?

In a room

Nearby

A sometime poet

Wrote

Somewhere there’s hope

Somewhere

There’s hope…

IN THE PACIFIC, TO BE SPECIFIC…photo by MM


A red kite, but no osprey (dedicated to Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita…and the Dyfi Osprey Project)

2015 flowers, family, friends 052(PHOTOS by Marc Mordey – the Penrallt Eagle, created by the blacksmiths

at Dinas, Pembrokeshire)

 

(The music, like the bird itself

Soars

Above the Dyfi Estuary,

and over the mangroves

fumbling their way to the

Isle de Palétuviere

as the pirogues drift down glassy water

and a pelican dominates the jetty)

 

In Pembrokeshire,

a red kite

eddying the cloudless sky

imperious above our crop dusted fields

might spy

siskin, finch, wood pigeon

a thrush, jack hammering a snail

between two stone dogs

keeping their green mossed vigil

A young jackdaw

striking a cormorant pose

bewitched by the chimney

beating time on the ridge tiles

 

(It’s hot, this year)

 

There are swallows skimming

and Amazons at sail in the bay

muted blue below

 

(and the harp still swoons

and the kora

flying fingered fishing line

rocks a gentle rhythm

whilst I am at sea

in a pyjama striped hammock)

 

Blue tits, dipping for water

in the stone bird bath

that celebrates a golden grand-parented wedding

of 50 years ago

 

There are lilies blooming

amidst the dying embers of foxglove

and jasmine perfume teasing

romping in a green gaged balloon of bush

St John’s Wort in full throttle

And pink flushed, sunset resplendent

oliander, a whisper of Greece

and the road to Milapotamos

that we took

so long ago

 

(and the opsrey, Dinas, fledges

takes fleeting, freewheeling flight

and feels Wales on its wings

maybe anticipates

instinct, deep chested and hidden

Senegal sunshine

 fat flowing river

sea hawk’s delight)

 

The honeysuckle is draped

and honeyed

whilst the weather vane is stilled

the umbrella stifled with gaffer tape mends

no breeze

no sirocco

blowing the wind southerly

from Africa

 to lighten the atmosphere.

 

(but, no fear

for the music still plays,

swaying, stirring, evoking

 the sea,

Carningli

Dinas Head

Morfa Head

and the Land of Song beyond

still here

still here)

2015 flowers, family, friends 051

 

 

 


The Three Women

This poem came on the 5th May 2017. It is in honour of, and with high regard for, the lives of Ingrid Beazley, Rosemary Beazley and Brenda Joughin.

May they rest well. Deservedly so.

 

The Three Women.

 

Maisie and I tumbled  and blew up the mountain.

Carningli, grumbling in the wind blown heat.

And I laid three bunches of posies from Penrallt

At the cairn, where others too are remembered,

A horse shoe, soil from Sicily and the USA,

A small plastic goat,

Fragments, incomplete.

 

Set the flowers down amidst the small rocks

As crows swept across, in shrouded flight

Jinxing their way towards Morfa Head,

the sea below them

indigo saltwater blue,

silver trailed, swirling,

dancing ever towards the Westerling  night.

 

Three women,

today, your lives we celebrated.

You are resting, sleeping, beyond age and now,

by life’s sometime trials,

untainted.

 

But you were :

Workers, mothers, sometimes warriors,

Creators, comforters, wives and wise,

lynch pins of this vexing world,

in your own,

differing ways.

 

The flowers are flags, splashes of colour to lighten our darkened world,

Honouring you lives, your loves,

the canvasses on which you so vividly painted,

across the years, the months,

the  weeks

the days.

 

We turn away now.

Homewards bound.

This May afternoon is muted, hushed.

Thrift, gorse, bracken splashed.

Splintered with sunlight.

Quietened by your passing

and by our loss of choices.

We, your family,

your friends,

your devotees.

 

And yet, perhaps,

now and then,

we will hear your voices,

enraptured, kaleidoscoped,

catch your cries of delight.

Lingering still

on the hot breathed breeze.

 

 

 

 


My angels were singing

miscellaneous-201516-011

(the view from Carningli. Newport Bay Pembrokeshire. photo by MM)

 

My angels were singing : a poem for St David’s Day

 

This poem was conceived over a a few spring like days, during February 2008 – out walking the dogs, watching the birds, and thinking of those who have died, who do – I believe – watch over us.

Nearly 10 years on, I am still fortunate indeed to live and love in a most beautiful part of Wales, and, in my opinion, one of the loveliest places in the world. This is, I reckon, my ‘go to’ poem!

 

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 –

do try.

And let your angels be singing.

Let your angels be singing.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus


The Dog Star

all-pictures-june-2016-052

For

Phoebe, the dog star.

 

(i) The joy of running.

 

A bolt from the blue,

A golden arrow streaking , skirting Newport bay

Effortlessly matching sand sail and surf.

A pimple, possibly canine, on the farthest horizon

was enough to take you away,

bullet running, wide pawed dancing.

Find the fiercest dog you could – and make it chase you!

You and Maisie rising and falling like dolphins

in the meadow sweet, long grass of summer.

In Wiltshire woods the intoxicating frustration of putting up deer,

glad running into the copses,

thundering through bramble and bracken,

off, into the dim distance.

Leaving us with the panicky emptiness of the long wait.

half an hour, maybe more,

then you would appear, purple tongue, seemingly a mile long,

hawking for breath, flat out on the green downs.

 

(ii) A wolf god.

 

Eyes, soul pooled,

kohl lined.

Anput, Egyptian dog princess,

Pharaoh dog, friend to Anubis.

Easy humoured,

curious,

strong willed and sublime.

Inscrutable, imperious,

Ready beauty,

indisputable.

 

(iii) The ghost dog.

 

Nothing here of your decline,

just the final, dreadful, sting.

Hot teared night, tumbling on your velvet snout.

Earth drenched, she sleeps, soft blanketed.

A grave peppered with violas and first daffodils.

Now, a ghost dog walking with us.

Through Pengelly woods, wintered, mulched and mudded.

Teifi Lakes spiced with snow.

The estuary, silvered, flat calm and kind.

The pine forest near Lampeter, muffled.

Is that you?

A shivering movement amidst the trees.

A backwards glance, somehow you fill the space.

A muted howl of greeting, a murmur on the breeze?

 

(iv) Someday.

 

We too will be scattered skywards,

dark skies and moonbeams,

flung afar.

And, out there,

somewhere,

awaits our Sirius,

burning bright.

Phoebe,

ever

our dog star.

 

Phoebe was a lurcher, saluki, greyhound cross. A Battersea Cats and Dogs rescue hound. A huge character, acknowledged as a beauty by pretty much everyone she met. She was really quite regal, did not offer her affection lightly, and had a wicked sense of humour and mischief. A dog, yes, but so very much more. She lifted and lightened our lives for some 15 years or so, and we miss her terribly.

 

This poem is the best I can do. 7/2/17. 

 

Post Script.

It has been said, “time heals all wounds.” I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy.

 

Phoebe and Maisie, Pengelly Woods, Pembrokeshire.

Dogs in woods

 


Light parade – for National Poetry Day 2015

A buzzard floats,

a feather dusted flight,

mottled by the, ever sweet surprise,

the first fingered, soft whispered flush

of Pembrokeshire sunrise.

Dinas Head, capped in mid morning,

hurricane warning,

nettle nectared light,

honey busted,

green field and wind worsened hedgerows,

shimmering, clustered,

apparently lanced by purple tongued shadows.

Later, Berry Hill cows

cotton wool and soot splashed skins

soaked in castle bound, church wardened

gravestone greyed, flagstone mossed

autumn crazed sunshine.

Towards sunset,

a late blackberry,bruised and fat

falls, a tiny world of globes,

fruitful, untroubled as

motes of dust sparkle

amidst the faltering strobes,

the cautioning, duskling cackle

of Canadian Geese,

gradually muted, as the sky fades,

souped and stilled,

horizon blended.

Tonight?

Starlight sponged on the ink blacked,

spangled sky,

split by Strumble headed

lighthouse telescoped beams.

As we sleep, kaleidoscoped and vivid,

in the land of Westerly illuminated dreams.

Latest photos (Jan 2013) 009


A link to a blog piece on our National Poetry Day (2014) event

lovely photos and a nice piece from Diana – we had a brilliant evening, a richness and diversity of poets , wonderful music from Lowri Evans and Lee Mason, delicious crepes provided by Beatrice of Ffwrn (and served – with great aplomb – by Helen Carey)  ….think we will return!!

http://dianapowellwriter.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/pancakes-poems-at-ffwrn-fishguard.html?spref=fb

thanks Diana


The Christmas Gift : with thanks and holiday greetings to everyone who has done me the honour of following this blog.

Overlooking the estuary Overlooking the estuary

The season of storms is upon us,
but a recent, magical day,
gave us the gift of
the estuary, stilled and low sunlight warmed,
the plumped, moss banked waters, becalmed.

I look up at our house
the farm nestling on the hill, where
your window is soft lit
and the fire burns within,
and I am so very fortunate to be
glad homed and hearthed,
protected, still.

Yet in Syria the snow is falling,
refugees flee, no journey’s end,
troubled children cry in the Philipinnes
desolation and ruin beckon in South Sudan,
here, our homeless shiver as sleet descends
no comfort at fireside,
no family, few friends.

On the estuary, the oyster catchers carol and trill,
as the sanderlings stuttered seaside run
the breeze unfettered, unzipped, undone,
whilst the cry of the gulls, mourns and chides
and the white lipped tide tumbles, salt water sprayed and spun,
open mouthed for the gathering chill.

And in the early hours,
by now, rain and wind maddened,
on my radio as I lie
enveloped in the duveted darkness
as the World is Served by the BBC
I learn that, in Yemen
young girls find themselves sold as child brides
no gifts to share,
precious little charity?

But I am loved, cosseted and cared for
neither cavalier nor complacent, this much I know
but grateful, sometimes almost guilty
that life, the world should spare me so.

And so, a few days before Christmas,
I turned for home,
such a very precious phrase.
And, if I had a wish for these
and future days,
and could share it with the mountain’s Saint,
Brynnach, lingering – perhaps – above.
I would ask this Christmas Gift,
for the world, love,
there must be love.

This was written 6 years ago now, but I think ( and hope) it still has resonance. Greetings and good fortune ahead.


My Carningli Queen

Latest photos (Jan 2013) 006

Carningli
Crowns the bay
As I stare hard
On this perfect summer’s day
At the blue-green world
Yawning beneath me.
Gasping to the top
I clasp at stone
And lay a new gift –
A blessing, ordered to complement
My bent –pin wishing well thoughts –
Atop the gathering cairn.
Rested, renewed,
My legs construed
To return me to you
And your melon scented kisses.
You – the jewel
In my Carningli crown.


Italy is – or, Carpe (enjoy) Capena – a poem reflecting our recent holiday in Capena,near Rome (www.casacapena.com) Helen researched for her upcoming WW2 novel and I, well I tried to capture the spirit of the visit, including the huge contrast of ancient and modern. Hope you like it.

CAPENA 2013 034CAPENA 2013 029

Italy is:

Sunlight slicing the morning apartment
Gracing the piazza too,
Streaming over the crimson and cream banners.
Caressing cappuccino coffee cups,
And lighting the way for the young baristas to be
Who are hawking cups of rosemary water,
Whilst bric a brac trembles in the spring wind.

It’s Antonella’s pasta with fennel
And basking in her salted, amber glowing cellar,
Graced by Roberto’s gentle, courteous conversation
It’s Crodino, Americano, cat motifs, cornettos,
And Enrica’s charming welcome.

It is you and I dozing alongside the Tiber
As it flows greenly by,
Kingfishers calling,
A chestnut cob rolling in a dust bath
Amidst the sylvan spring countryside.
Smoke whisping through the olive groves,
And a farmer raking fresh mown grass.

It is forcing ourselves up vertical cobbled streets.
Sipping lemon soda on a tiny terrace.
Being amazed at the crazed musings and meandering
Of medieval planning.
A Moroccan lamp catching the sunlight
Above a dusty wood bandaged and padlocked door.
Madonnas and St Francis sitting serenely in relief
Above ancient archways.
And it is pistachios purchased in the lee of history.

Italy is lakes and splendour
Fettuccine and ravioli consumed
High above the water,
Local white wine honeyed and soft.
The Italian Airforce museum, and
Planes hurled aloft.

It is gambling with hectic traffic in Tivoli.
The mossed water delights of the Villa d’Este,
Intense, green chiselled pleasure gardens.
A bride, beside the Cypress pencilled skyline.
Wild cyclamen, purple flag irises,
Gargoyles, monumental architecture,
Dwarfing statues and confusing the gods.

It is Hadrian’s Villa
The insistent clamour of modernity,
Juxtaposing
The silenced weight of the ages,
Muffling the shadow stained ruins.
Pierced by the delight of children, untroubled by time,
Yet to become their own slight slice of history.
The might of erstwhile empire
Captured by omnipresent electronic aids.
A terrapin floating serenely in the great pool
No carping about the past there.

Italy is an ice cream diet.
Being woken by words at 5 in the morning,
Grappa fuelled brain stumbling.
An early evening promenade,
A carousel in the park,
Evening’s silky silence, punctuated by footballing children
Twisting, tumbling.
The gossip and smoke of their elders.
The riot of oranges, artichokes, tomatoes
Pastries, flatbreads, pizza slices and olives.
Wine stained plastic bottles
Peroni filled shelves.
Hustling bustling restaurants,
And a woman gently selling Chinese novelties.

Italy is:

The curling call of the hoopoe,
Pining in Farnese woodland.
The sonorous symphony of church bells,
And the threading road
That laces up to the Palazzo Farnese,
Cluttered and steeped with mourners,
Gathered, sombre coated and 10 rows thick
Though not for that, once great family,
Now extinct,
Who left us frescoes and blue gold maps of the world –
The impressions of exploration –
The vulgarity of GPS yet to be discovered.

It’s you in new Ray Bans,
Gracing my movie,
Dreaming downstairs.
Giving me,
As only you know how,
La Dolce Vita.

It’s life, vigour, the weight of history
For this one week
It’s the street where we live
Carpe Capena
Pot planted and balconied,
Lamplit and almond blossomed,
Monastic, mosaiced and modern.

It’s the joy of today,
Of spring and of sunshine
Balanced, cushioned and unclouded.

Italy is – a holiday.

Find out more about the wonderful novels of Helen Carey – http://www.helencareybooks.co.uk