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Posts tagged “poem

The Bay that never was, A Poem by : James K. Baxter (1926-1972)

The Bay

James K. Baxter (1926-1972)

SlieveLeague
Donegal
Ireland’s Most Beautiful Place‎s
Nigel Borrington

On the road to the bay was a lake of rushes
Where we bathed at times and changed in the bamboos.

Now it is rather to stand and say
How many roads we take that lead to Nowhere,
The alley overgrown, no meaning now but loss:
Not that veritable garden where everything comes easy.

And by the bay itself were cliffs with carved names
And a hut on the shore by the open fires.

We raced boats from the banks of the river
Or swam in those autumnal shallows.

Growing cold in amber water, riding the logs
Upstream, and waiting for the Sea Monsters.

So now I remember the bay and the little spiders
On driftwood, so poisonous and quick.

The carved cliffs and the great out crying surf
With currents round the rocks and the birds rising.

A thousand times an hour is torn across
And burned for the sake of going on living.

But I remember the bay that never was
And stand like stone and cannot turn away.


When the Fishing Boats Go Out , By: Lucy Montgomery

When the Fishing Boats Go Out

Lucy Montgomery

When the lucent skies of morning flush with dawning rose once more,
And waves of golden glory break adown the sunrise shore,
And o’er the arch of heaven pied films of vapor float.
There’s joyance and there’s freedom when the fishing boats go out.

The wind is blowing freshly up from far, uncharted caves,
And sending sparkling kisses o’er the brows of virgin waves,
While routed dawn-mists shiver­oh, far and fast they flee,
Pierced by the shafts of sunrise athwart the merry sea!

Behind us, fair, light-smitten hills in dappled splendor lie,
Before us the wide ocean runs to meet the limpid sky­
Our hearts are full of poignant life, and care has fled afar
As sweeps the white-winged fishing fleet across the harbor bar.

The sea is calling to us in a blithesome voice and free,
There’s keenest rapture on its breast and boundless liberty!
Each man is master of his craft, its gleaming sails out-blown,
And far behind him on the shore a home he calls his own.

Salt is the breath of ocean slopes and fresher blows the breeze,
And swifter still each bounding keel cuts through the combing seas,
Athwart our masts the shadows of the dipping sea-gulls float,
And all the water-world’s alive when the fishing boats go out.


The Water Replies – Luke Kennard

Luke Kennard
The Water Replies

Maybe we have washed our hands
and drunk deep and swam
and think we know her,
but water’s reputation goes before her like a flood:
she does not suffer fools or gadflies.
Therefore I have prepared some questions.
Where do you get your ideas & your tide from?
Don’t say the moon – that’s really pretentious.
But as I clamber down the coast
I lose my footing and spend our allotted time
tossed around in her backwash,
pummeled by tiny stones.

When I am baptised I ask the water
Where have the demons gone?
Were they hiding behind the H, the 2 or the O?
I emerge finally able to see that I have not changed,
that I can of myself do nothing, that water decides.
On the towpath behind the church
I wring out my jacket. I ask the water:
Will you convey these thoughts away?
These itching hatreds, toothache of jealousy,
These squalid appetites and dog thirsts?
Just as far as the next city will do.
The ripples of the moon’s tablature.
When was the last time you cried, and why?

I ask the water. I ask the water:
Do you have plans later?


The Sound of the Sea By : Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Sound of the Sea

By : Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,
And round the pebbly beaches far and wide
I heard the first wave of the rising tide
Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;

A voice out of the silence of the deep,
A sound mysteriously multiplied
As of a cataract from the mountain’s side,
Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.

So comes to us at times, from the unknown
And inaccessible solitudes of being,
The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;

And inspirations, that we deem our own,
Are some divine foreshadowing and foreseeing
Of things beyond our reason or control.


Sand Flesh and Sky, Poem By Clarence Major

Sand Flesh and Sky
By Clarence Major
Our ropes are the roots
of our life. We fish
low in the earth,
the river beneath runs through our veins,
blue and cold in a riverbed.

When the sun comes up,
the moon moves slowly to the left.

I tie the logs and limbs together,
holding them in place.

The ocean beats them
smooth like rock.
Here my sense of time is flat.

I find in a strip of damp sand
footprints and marks of hands,
and torn pieces of flesh.

Night is a beast.
The tide moves, gushing
back and forth.

Sunlight touches our faces,
turning us, turning us, turning us
in our morning sleep.

1976


5 Images for the week, Wednesday, Wild Woodbine with a poem by – Joan McBreen

Wild flowers
wild woodbine
nigel borrington

Wild woodbine was beyond my reach
in the thick hedges round Lough Gill.
The heavy scent filled the house for days
when my father brought it in
and it stayed fresh far longer
then meadowsweet.

Because I loved the delicate
pink and white wild rose
he picked it too, cursing the thorns, muttering
“it dies too soon,
you’d be better leaving it alone”.

Yet once, when my mother
swept its petals from the floor
I saw him rescue one
and place it carefully
in the small wallet
where he kept her photograph.


Friday 1st September a Poem by : T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker No. 2, 1, 1940

Black and white Landscapes, County Tipperary, fields, 2017 Nigel Borrington

FOUR QUARTETS by :T.S. Eliot

In that open field
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close,
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music
Of the weak pipe and the little drum
And see them dancing around the bonfire
The association of man and woman
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie—
A dignified and commodiois sacrament.
Two and two, necessarye coniunction,
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm
Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles,
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes,

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 1

Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth
Mirth of those long since under earth
Nourishing the corn. Keeping time,
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing
As in their living in the living seasons
The time of the seasons and the constellations
The time of milking and the time of harvest
The time of the coupling of man and woman
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling.
Eating and drinking. Dung and death.

Dawn points, and another day
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind
Wrinkles and slides. I am here
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning.”
– T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, East Coker No. 2, 1, 1940


On Contemplating a Sheep’s Skull ~ Poem by: John Kinsella

Sheeps skull
Nigel Borrington

On Contemplating a Sheep’s Skull

Poem by John Kinsella

A sheep’s Skull aged so much in rain and heat,
broken jawbone and chipped teeth half-
gnaw soil; zippered fuse-mark tracks
back to front, runs through to base
of neck, widening faultline under
stress: final crack close at hand.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

White-out red soil unearthed
from hillside fox den and cat haven,
now hideaway for short-beaked echidna
toppling rocks and stones, disrupting
artfulness a spirit might impose,
frisson at seeing counterpoint.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Sometimes avoid the spot to avoid
looking half-hearted into its sole
remaining eye socket; mentally to join
bones strewn downhill, come apart
or torn from mountings years before
arriving with good intentions.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Not something you can ‘clean up’,
shape of skull is not a measure of all
it contained: weight of light and dark,
scales of sound, vast and varied taste
of all grass eaten from these hills;
slow and steady gnawing at soil.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

the sheeps skull 3

Neither herbivore nor carnivore,
earth and sky-eater, fire in its shout
or whisper, racing through to leave a bed
of ash on which the mind might rest,
drinking sun and light and smoke,
choked up with experience.

Skull I can’t bring myself to move.

Drawn to examine
despite aversion, consider
our head on its shoulders,
drawn expression
greeting loved ones
with arms outstretched.

John Kinsella is Founding editor of the journal Salt in Australia; he serves as international editor at the Kenyon Review. His most recent volume of poetry is Divine Comedy: Journeys through a Regional Geography (W. W. Norton) with a new volume, Disturbed Ground: Jam Tree Gully/Walden, due out with W.W. Norton in November 2011.


The River – Poem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

The rivers flow
Kings river
Kells
County Kilkenny

The RiverPoem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

In my first sleep
I came to the river
And looked down
Through the clear water –
Only in dream
Water so pure,
Laced and undulant
Lines of flow
On its rocky bed
Water of life
Streaming for ever.

A house was there
Beside the river
And I, arrived,
An expected guest
About to explore
Old gardens and libraries –
But the car was waiting
To drive me away.

One last look
Into that bright stream –
Trout there were
And clear on the bottom
Monster form
Of the great crayfish
That crawls to the moon.
On its rocky bed
Living water
In whorls and ripples
Flowing unbended.

There was the car
To drive me away.
We crossed the river
Of living water –
I might not stay,
But must return
By the road too short
To the waiting day.

In my second dream
Pure I was and free
By the rapid stream,
My crystal house the sky,
The pure crystalline sky.

Into the stream I flung
A bottle of clear glass
That twirled and tossed and spun
In the water’s race
Flashing the morning sun.

Down that swift river
I saw it borne away,
My empty crystal form,
Exultant saw it caught
Into the current’s spin,
The flashing water’s run.
The River
Kathleen Jessie Raine


A Dream sunset, Cardigan bay, Wales. A Poem : Ode  By Arthur O’Shaughnessy

A Dream sunset Cardigan bay
Wales
August 2017 Nigel Borrington

We are like the Dreamer …….

Ode 
By Arthur O’Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.


We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.