Sunday, October 22, 2017

Poetry Pantry # 376

Tofino Botanical Gardens
by Sherry Blue Sky

Entrance to the 12-acre Botanical Gardens in Tofino, B.C.
The gardens have been developed over twenty years.

  Darwin's Cafe in the gardens - a popular gathering place
 for poetry readings, book launches and other social events

Funky Gazebo

A natural pond

Another view of the pond

Another View of Darwin's Cafe

Many trails wind through what was once dense forest. 
Care was taken to displace  as little vegetation as possible.

The inlet - serene and beautiful. A resting place twice 
yearly for migratory birds.

Good morning, friends.  Today we have some photos taken by Sherry Blue Sky on her visit to the Tofino Botanical Gardens. Aren't they beautiful?

Thanks to all of you who took part in this past week's Midweek Motif - "Dark Moon, New Moon. " Thanks also to those of you who visited the poems of other poets who wrote.  Next week the Midweek Motif prompt will be "Journey."

Monday, be sure to come back and read Sherry's update with one of our Poets United poets who had been away for a while and now has returned!

If you haven't read Rosemary's post on Rupert Brooke's poem "The Wayfarers," please scroll back and read The Living Dead.

With no further delay, let's share poetry!  Link your poem below. Stop into the comments and say hello.  Then visit other poets who post.  Come back a few times and see who is new. Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Living Dead

~ Honouring our poetic ancestors ~

The Wayfarers

Is it the hour? We leave this resting-place
Made fair by one another for a while.
Now, for a god-speed, one last mad embrace;
The long road then, unlit by your faint smile.
Ah! the long road! and you so far away!
Oh, I’ll remember! but … each crawling day
Will pale a little your scarlet lips, each mile
Dull the dear pain of your remembered face.

…Do you think there’s a far border town, somewhere,
The desert’s edge, last of the lands we know,
Some gaunt eventual limit of our light,
In which I’ll find you waiting; and we’ll go
Together, hand in hand again, out there,
Into the waste we know not, into the night? 

– Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

English poet Rupert Brooke's haunting Fragment, Source, which Susan used in the latest Midweek Motif, reminded me about this poet, whose work I was brought up on.

Some of his poetry, in its attempts at poetic language, now seems old-fashioned and even pretentious, with 'thees', 'thous' and inversions. But when he writes from the heart he achieves some minor masterpieces.

This is especially true when he writes of simple, everyday things, as in two of his best-known poems, The Great Lover, in which he celebrates domestic objects as well as the natural world, and the homesick The Old Vicarage, Grantchester. They also reveal his mastery of rhyme. I think this must be the most ingenious rhyme in English poetry:

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!

It made a great impression on me when I was kid, and I'm still amazed by it.

He also wrote some renowned war poems, and his most famous poem was one of these: The Soldier, which was read from the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral on Easter Sunday 1915 and has been featured in numerous anthologies ever since. I think it sentimentalises war, but very persuasively, and is also redolent of homesickness.

I love his love poems most of all, and The Wayfarers best of all his love poems.

He died young, aged 27. Although he was known as one of the 'war poets' of the First World War, was commissioned into the Navy and was on the way to Gallipoli at the time of his death, he didn't die in battle but of a mosquito bite that turned septic. He was buried 'in a foreign field' as his most famous poem imagines, but not a field of war. His grave is on the island of Skyros in the Aegean Sea.

It's sad for anyone to die so young, and although he doesn't have the stature of, say, a Wilfred Owen, he was a talented poet whose best work is lasting, and  would surely have gone on to greater things.

He was educated at Rugby, where he won the school poetry prize when he was 18, and at Kings College, Cambridge where, we are told, he was noted for his good looks, intellect and charm as well as his poetic talent.

As an adult he travelled extensively (before war broke out) and wrote travel articles as well as poetry.

You can read more about him at WikipediaPoetry Foundation, or The Academy of American Poets. PoemHunter has his poems, and you can find books by and about him at Amazon.

Material shared in 'The Living Dead' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings and images remain the property of the copyright owners, where applicable (older poems may be out of copyright). The photo of Rupert Brooke, above, is in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Dark Moon, New Moon

Image result for amavasya 2017

"From untruth lead us to Truth.
From darkness lead us to Light.
From death lead us to Immortality.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace."
--Vedic prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad

“A new moon teaches gradualness
and deliberation and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly. Patience with small details
makes perfect a large work, like the universe.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

“Sometimes, they say, the moon is so busy with the new souls of the world that it disappears from the sky. That is why we have moonless nights. But in the end, the moon always returns, as do we all.  Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


Midweek Motif ~ 

Dark Moon, New Moon

Speak of Secrets

"Historically and pragmatically speaking, The Dark Moon refers to the period of time when the moon exhibits zero illumination, while the New Moon starts the very first day that the moon appears in the night sky as a slim sliver of light. By this reasoning, the Dark Moon is a one day event, while the New Moon lasts approximately 7 days as a Waxing Crescent, right up until the First Quarter of illumination."

I think we're talking about that mysterious turn around time here. Maybe there is a moment's emptiness before the waxing begins, a moment without the reflected light of the sun. It feels dark, but often has the most stars we ever see.

Your Challenge: In your new poem, paint a picture with images you know in this Dark-New Moon.

Image result for sometimes what's wrong does not hurt at all but rather shines like a new moon.
Source, Source, from Dream Work


Fragment, Source


I strayed about the deck, an hour, to-night

Under a cloudy moonless sky; and peeped
In at the windows, watched my friends at table,
Or playing cards, or standing in the doorway,
Or coming out into the darkness. Still
No one could see me.

I would have thought of them

—Heedless, within a week of battle—in pity,
Pride in their strength and in the weight and firmness
And link’d beauty of bodies, and pity that
This gay machine of splendour ’ld soon be broken,
thought little of, pashed, scattered. …

Only, always,

I could but see them—against the lamplight—pass
Like coloured shadows, thinner than filmy glass,
Slight bubbles, fainter than the wave’s faint light,
That broke to phosphorus out in the night,
Perishing things and strange ghosts—soon to die
to other ghosts—this one, or that, or I.


Why Are Your Poems so Dark?

Isn't the moon dark too, 
most of the time? 

And doesn't the white page 
seem unfinished 

without the dark stain 
of alphabets? 

When God demanded light, 
he didn't banish darkness. 

Instead he invented 
ebony and crows 

and that small mole 

on your left cheekbone. 

Or did you mean to ask 
"Why are you sad so often?" 

Ask the moon. 
Ask what it has witnessed.



Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—  

(Next Midweek Motif will be Sumana's prompt ~ Journey.)