A poem for the start of Advent
A poem for the start of Advent
God created the Garden of Eden
A pure unspoiled paradise
An ordered beautiful landscape
That could grow and increase in size
God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden
And said, “Be fruitful and multiply
Fill the earth and subdue it
And govern all that creep, swim and fly”
In the Garden a love story began
Adam and Eve enjoying flesh-of-my-flesh
The two became an unashamed one
In the first marriage with a world to bless
Adam and Eve experienced the joy of God
His presence with them was unbroken
As strong as a three-stranded cord
That’s how it was in the Paradise Garden
In the Garden was the forbidden tree
That could cause catastrophic strife
In the midst of the Garden, though
Was another tree, the Tree of Life
“In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
God plainly said to Adam and Eve
All they had to do was not eat from the forbidden tree
Believe God, Adam and Eve, just believe!
It was the cunning, slippery serpent
That tempted Eve to sin
Adam fell too and their eyes were opened
And the Cosmos became cursed as death entered in
God then drove them out of Eden
And placed a cherubim at the east
And a flaming sword that turned every way
Guarding the Tree of Life and its feast
However, this is not how it all ends
We will not return to the lost Eden
Redemption and Consummation is coming
There’s no plan for that Ancient Garden
In the future will be a Greater Garden
With the Tree of Life on both sides of the River
Its leaves are for the healing of the nations
And the juicy, sweet fruit we will savour
Yes, we will eat from the Tree of Life
Its branches regularly fully laden
Yielding a new crop every month
In the new and Everlasting Eden
It was around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show one year and I was walking along the path in my front garden. Although it was windy, the blue sky just held its own on that sunny afternoon in May. My eyes noticed something moving in the breeze – it was the flowers. It was, as if, I saw the flowers in that light for the first time – dancing.
How many decades had I lived here…? How many flowers had I seen grow, flourish and change with the seasons in my garden…? And how many days, weeks and months of beautiful summer weather had I witnessed…? Not forgetting the aggregate of creatures over a couple of decades, or so, that may have happened upon them…?
There was a bee or two doing what they do best in such natural environments, just buzzing about from flower to flower. These were no ordinary bees – they were my bees!
I was compelled; out came my phone. For the next however-long, I filmed them: the bees… the flowers… and the breeze…
Early the next morning when my eyes had barely opened, I was thinking about this scene. My mind was fixated; I could not stop thinking about it all; I was obsessed; over and over and over: the bees… the flowers… and the breeze… Compulsion grabbed me again and I stole my pen. For a good, long while I toiled: trying this here, something else there, moving the other somewhere else… And then, two hours later, I struck gold – I wrote the last word. Phew! It wasn’t until I returned the pen that I could once more live a normal life. I was satisfied. I was quenched. I was full. And I was free from my malady – safe. The only thing I needed to do was have breakfast – and so I did. And continue with my day.
“Swaying, Swaying In The Breeze
Swaying, swaying in the breeze
Dancing, dancing beneath tall tree
Moving another way in slight air
So handsome, so pretty, so fair
Hues and shades, rare and fine
What invention, what design…”– first verse
Just for a moment or two, let your imagination go and think of long ladies with long, wavy hair, wearing long dresses, during long, hazy summer days dancing in circles beneath… a tall tree…
Here is a video recording of myself performing the first verse: Swaying, Swaying In The Breeze
“The assignment, if you choose to accept, is to write a poem about fishing.” Well, that wasn’t quite the directive from Her Majesty’s Secret Service but by a local poetry collective some years ago. To be more precise, a person from the group Poetry Hour, which meets bi-monthly at Croydon Central Library, selected the topic of ‘sport’ that we could write about for the next meeting.
Now, I’m not really a sporty sort of person but very keen on most other aspects of health and fitness. I hadn’t a clue what to write about for a week or so until I was engrossed in another intensive sport akin to skydiving – the sport of ironing! There I was pressing the creases and my mind caught… a fish! I had never, ever, been fishing and so I went to the local angling store to conduct some research.
While I was there, I asked the sales assistant about the sport and bought some fishing line, a fly, a hook and an angling magazine – these would be visual aids that I would use during my reading. At least that was my intension.
The poem may, or may not, have been written with a tongue in my cheek.
It’s 3:15 am and I’ve just packed my lunch and kit
The predictive seaweed looks clammy as I check it
The shipping forecast confirms, rain is on the way
And hovering around minus two for most of the day…”first verse
For the video productions of the poem there was only one choice of music that sprung to mind: The Trout by Franz Schubert. In my recording, I have brought out the jolly experience of fishing! Furthermore, there is a surprise at the end of the full length videobook version of the poem.
To wet, whoops, whet your appetite here is the first verse from the videobook: Gone Fishing
Wrynose Pass is a mountain road in an English National Park called The Lake District. It has been described as Britain’s most difficult road.
During a photography holiday in this part of England I was coming to the end of a particular day. I had been driving far and wide to many locations with my camera, rural and otherwise.
The time was approaching sunset when I reached Devoke Water, the last location before returning to the B & B. Although I had been to this lake before, this second visit was a trifle peculiar… What was not different was the voices of the angels and the view of the lake itself, made extra special by the setting sun with all its colours.
After the photography I returned to the car and started to make my way back but, unlike the previous occasion some years earlier, the journey was marked by a thick, nocturnal atmosphere – and I had no idea what lay ahead.
The location I chose to film this poem was an almost forgotten road somewhere that reminded me of Wrynose Pass… but where’s the car!
The first verse:
I’m on my way back to my lodgings
Not long, I hope, ‘till I’m safely back
I set the SatNav and follow its commands
It’s getting darker and will soon be pitch black…”
The music I chose for the video is titled: Sonata quasi una fantasia (translates to: Sonata in the style of a Fantasy). Although the sonata is also known as the Moonlight Sonata, I wanted to bring out the drama and sense of fantasy when I recorded it on my piano. The recording of the music also went through a mysterious and eventful journey. The morning after I had made the final edit, I played it back on my HiFi. Immediately after this I turned the radio on and exactly the same movement from the same piece was being played.
Here is the first verse from my videobook: Wrynose Pass
‘I Have A Nikon Camera’ is an art poem about a camera which also tells you a lot about me!
The first verse reads:
“I Have A Nikon Camera
I have a Nikon camera
That captures photons new
The light sensitive sensor
Is sharp, accurate and true…“
Let’s wind the clock back several years…
There was a time in my life that lasted decades when I was passionate about all things photography. I studied it acquiring many qualifications, amassed stacks of magazines, joined a camera club and three photography organisations, and purchased a good quality Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.
When not in use, I would store the camera in the airing cupboard with other items. Just above the cupboard is the cold water tank. One day this water tank developed a leak that saturated everything in the airing cupboard – including my Nikon camera.
Soon after this I found myself writing poetry. Up until then my poetry writing had only been now and again, on the odd occasion. But now, more frequent poetry started emanating from me; I was falling in love with the process of writing poetry! At the time, thoughts like “this is going somewhere” were floating around my mind.
As high level photography had been evident in my life for a long time, writing poetry about it came quite naturally. There was a transfer from one type of creativity to another. Further still, an easy leap to producing videos of my poems – including this one.
The video version of this poem is an arthouse production, with music by J. S. Bach recorded on my acoustic piano. All visuals and audios have been artistically altered during the editing stage.
Here is the first verse from my videobook: I Have A Nikon Camera
One evening when it was warm I took a walk to the shops. It was still daylight and the atmospheric conditions were good. The lighting was that which accompanies the setting of the sun. However, it wasn’t the setting sun that caught my senses, glorious as it may have been, but the quality of the ambient light. It was as if I was looking through a veil.
As I walked home, I found myself thinking about the first line to a Shakespeare sonnet: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (sonnet 18). Much of my preoccupation at the time concerned the sky – particularly writing about it. Within 24 to 48 hours I had drafted three poems about the sky. The feel of the first line of sonnet 18 lead me to write my first line: What is there in all creation…?
The ‘What Is There In All Creation…?’ poem is written in four verses, each verse with an ABBA rhyming form. That is: line 1 rhymes with line 4 and line 2 rhymes with line 3. At the time of composing the poem, I had no knowledge of any other poem written in this style. This knowledge came later.
‘What Is There In All Creation…?
What is there in all creation that can compare to the sky?
She, at times, can be quite calm as well as electrifying
Also, sometimes, conveys sadness and happiness — quite confusing
This is because she is pure and 3 times very high…’
In my videobook, the music that accompanies this poem is J. S. Bach’s Prelude No. 1 from his Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One.
Here is a video clip from the poem: What Is There In All Creation…? (verse 1)
For those willing to go further, the music that concludes the video is the Ave Maria by Gounod which is based on the Prelude.