Road of Joy

Hello. This poem was inspired by a little place in Horsforth, Leeds, that me and my girlfriend visited a couple of months ago.

White pony’s happy

Trotting down

Road of Joy;

Leaves whisper

Communicating

With birds and bees

Shaded by wood

And clouds

By Daniel Tavet(c)

white pony

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Sun Rises

Hello.  I wrote the original version of this to go to some music.  I don’t think the recording will still be around and I can’t remember how the music went.  Never mind!  Here is the poem.

golden-wheat-field-15386443

Sun rises over the earth

Life sprouts forth

Sun showers gifts to all.

Clouds give way

Blue skies of

Clarity.

Ripened fruit

Shiny globes of joy

Winking in golden haze.

 

By Daniel Tavet

Spirituality and Nature

Clarence House

Clarence House

A few weeks ago I attended a spiritual drumming class in the glade round the back of Clarence House. The class was very enjoyable and the setting led me to think about spirituality and nature.

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Buddha.

It is said the first Zen sermon was given by Buddha, silently. As he simply held a white flower in his hand, the onlooking monks bar one were confused at what Buddha was trying to communicate.  The monk who understood smiled. Zen gardens are intended to imitate the inner essence of nature, an aid to meditation on the meaning of life. Japanese researchers claim the subconscious mind is sensitive to a subtle association of between the rocks in these gardens.
Many cultures have ‘sacred groves.’  In Genesis, 21.33, it says,’Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there the name of God.’  In druidry, sacred groves are seen as places to reconnect with divine essence in nature. This is an example of animism, the belief that non-human entities like animals, plants, stones etc. contain a spiritual essence. In India, sacred groves are also used to protect biological resources, to provide sanctuaries for flora and fauna, especially medicinal herbs.  They are also used to provide oxygen and deep ground water reserves.

Clarence House

Clarence House

 

Sources and bodies of water are also considered sacred in many religions.  In the Hindu festivals Durga Puja and Ganseh Chaturthi, thousands of devotees immerse themselves in water to influence a deity.  Baptism is far from being just a Christian practice.  It is also practiced in Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, Baha’i, Shinto, Taoism and Rastafarianism.  Being in harmony with nature is central to Rastafarianism.  This is an African influence.  Traditionally, African religions embrace the ebb and tide, waxing and waning of the moon, rain and drought.  These phenomenas are seen as natural rhythms.  Perhaps these rhythms are expressed in African drumming, which can uplift the ‘spirit.’

Sufi poet Rumi often referred to nature – “raise your words, not voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”  Of God, Rumi wrote, “a mountain keeps an echo deep inside.  That’s how I hold your voice.”  To man, he said, “but listen to me.  For one moment quit being sad.  Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”

Along with its gardens, poetry in Zen also reveres nature with its haikus, very short poems that capture a moment.  Zen paintings literally makes human beings look very small compared to nature.  This is sometimes seen as ‘nature mysticism,’ when man is held in awe by the divinity he sees in nature.

One famous Zen master by the name of Dogon Zenji said, “when we pick up a lettuce leaf or a carrot, or engage in relationships, each moment and interaction is the body of the Buddha.”  Perhaps this can be compared to one of Christ’s sayings in the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, “cleave the wood, I am there; lift up the stone, and you shall find me there.”

By Daniel Tavet

In Green

  A couple of months ago (had no internet for a few weeks due to a technical glitch) I did a very enjoyable workshop at Clarence House called Feeling Good  With colour.  It was about using colour  to improve our mood.  We did a visualisation  where we imagined sitting under a giant flower and golden sunshine pouring on to us,  discussed a poem about colour in nature, colour associations, discussed colour therapy, colour harmony, and how colours are used in different cultures.  We also went into the garden and each wrote a poem about what were experiencing.  This is the poem.

                                   IN GREEN

Stillness

In green

Vegetation.

Indigo flowers

Sat in middle.

Circle of bird conversation.

Trees smooth out                                                                       treespirit-greenwood-tree-primavera-500

Blunt sunshine

Cool breeze

Pats the back

Of golden heat

Calms the whirling

Brain chatter.

Buttercup open

Like greeting hand.

(image from otherwisetrading.co.uk)

Wildflowers in unexpected places

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If anyone travels down King Lane, near the park and ride just off the ring road, you might have noticed an area of wildflowers that has sprung up on the grassy areas at the side of the road.

I first saw it in 2012, and determined to get some photos, which I failed to do.  This year I had no excuse, so armed with my Leeds Wellbeing Web camera, I snapped some close-ups of the blooms, some of which I’ve added here.

I’ve noticed on occasion that the site is visited by people with clipboards.  Is it a study? Is it something to do with Moortown Community Group?  Was is the council’s idea?  I don’t know, but I love it!  My photos were snapped a few weeks ago, and recently it had been looking bedraggled. However, the recent un-autumnlike temperatures seem to have revived it, and I noticed some new flowers this week.

I think it might be good for a bit longer, but who knows what the weather will bring now October is here.  So if you want to see it yourself, it’s near the Moor Allerton District Centre (51 or 52 bus from the city centre) or you pass it on the 7 or 7A bus, also from town.

I love seeing nature at work in unexpected places, and this wildflower area makes me smile.  Whoever created it, I thank you!

Wildlife Photography Competition

Single Image Display

Your chance to have your photograph displayed at Leeds City Museum AND win some great prizes.

Earlier this year Sara Porter photographed our taxidermy, insect, egg and skull collections for the ‘Natural Beauty, Part 1’ display at Leeds City Museum. We now want to put your wildlife photographs on display at the museum.

Any age, any camera, any ability… everyone’s welcome.

The competition is divided into 7 categories;

  • Beautiful Yorkshire – images that show off the county
  • Leeds Wildlife – images of urban wildlife in the city
  • Wild Yorkshire – images of Yorkshire wildlife in a Yorkshire setting
  • Animal behaviour – shots of British wild animals in action – unusual or interesting behaviour especially welcome!
  • British wildlife – images of British wildlife in a British setting
  • World wildlife – images of exotic wildlife from around the world
  • Beautiful Botany – images that particularly concentrate on British plants or fungi

Apply by going to the ‘Downloads’ section on the Leeds City Council website

Each category is open to your interpretation and we ask that you submit an explanation of your images and your reason for submitting your image in this category.  There are two age categories; 15 years 11 months and under
and 16 plus.

…And win some great prizes.

Photographs from the winners and runners up will go on display from January 2014 to July 2014.  The overall winners in both age groups will receive a Canon digital SLR Camera. Winners of the 15 and under categories win a high quality canvas or print of an image of their choice. Winners of the 16 and over categories will win £200 of photographic vouchers.

The closing date is 27th September, so get snapping!

Natural Beauty is kindly sponsored by CC Imaging, Ark Display Graphics, Dale Photographic and Pictures Plus.