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)

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When Snails Cry

How do!  I think this is the only poem I’ve got that rhymes.

 

When snails cry

You can see tears

From their tiny eyes.

Eyes out on stalks

Eyes out for walks.

Behind those eyes

Lies a surprise.

No one knows

Their silent pain

But no one is to blame,

Fate plays a cruel game,

The shell of a snail

Makes it lame,

Weighs it down,

Like a pound

But makes no sound.

The voiceless cries

Of snails,

Their sticky membrane trails

Bring shame

Upon their kind;

But never mind.

So many healthy greens

Have been left behind.

The snail can pick and choose

Which makes up for its ooze.

snail_has_a_stick-s500x375-43805-580

 

By Daniel Tavet(c)

( image from maniacworld.com)

 

After April

In England Now

In England Now, Secret Garden, Stainborough  by Su

when May follows’

A late April afternoon stroll, a mild gentle breeze heavily laden with blossom petals, saw me spouting poetry.

‘After April when May follows’, my companion didn’t seem to recall the poem, and me only in snatches,…’In England Now’, it’s refrain…..

’This is the weather the cuckoo likes, and so do I’,  didn’t seem to fit the rhyme.

Once home I checked them out, the lines were from two separate poems! ‘Home thoughts from abroad’, Robert Browning, and ‘Weathers’, Thomas Hardy.  Each  poem encapsulating all that is glorious about spring, the earth’s rising energies, its flowers and shrubs demanding  attention with  their  sudden awakening, fresh vibrant buds,  blossoms in abundance, delicately perfumed,  lasting only a few days, their transient nature potentially intensifying our enjoyment of them, ‘Visions’, Seigfried Sassoon, that wistful poignant feeling, if for any reason this season’s show passed us by.

The Japanese celebrate the blossoms transient nature as symbolic of the transient nature of human experience. The festival of Hanami, sees the Japanese, weather watching. The festival is not held on a set day each year. The blossoms dictate when the Japanese celebrate. In a nation renowned for their punctuality and precision, an interesting obeisance  to nature.

 Although I had many favourites poems whilst very young, their impact remains until today,  often when in ‘pensive mood’ a rhyme or couplet  returns to inspire me once again. I also like more contemporary poetry including rap, but time to read them frequently eludes me.

Perhaps the hazy days of summer yet to arrive, might see me making time to peruse poetry, ’outside at the Traveller’s Rest’ as ‘ maids come forth sprig muslin dressed’

 

Home thoughts from Abroad

                                 Robert Browning

Oh, to be in England,
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows –
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge –
That’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
All will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower,
– Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower
                                                                    

Shiny Boots of Leather

Aside

Hello again.  On this dark wet afternoon, here’s a dark poem!  Some of you might be familiar with the title

SHINY BOOTS OF LEATHER

The only men

Who are fully grown

And never childish

Are evil men.

I watched a film

Made by Hitler’s chums.

They thought the Aryan man

Was a macho man.

But in the discos

Of San Francisco

A moustachioed Nazi

Flecs his pecs

Admires his glistening chest

Scans the club

For the submissive.

Some ladies in the corner

Wearing stupid wigs

Just laugh at him.

‘Not to my taste darling,’

‘The seventies are over honey’

But the Nazi does not

Go home alone

He’s got himself

Something nice and naive

Who wants to see his camp.

Call it youthful folly.

But the folly

Is shocked

By the Iron Crosses

And swastikas.

‘Don’t worry,’ says the Nazi

‘It goes back to my punk rock days,’

‘We all used to do it.’

‘Before my time,’ says the folly.

The Nazi grinned, showing gold teeth.

‘Your my time is now, my love.’

Daniel Tavet (c)

bridge

( image from http://www.howardmodels.com)

Pecking Order

Aside

Just at home, got a bit of internet time, which I don’t normally have.  Thought you might like another poem.

Pecking Order

George,

A forty-something male

Gave a patronising smile

To Dean

A twenty-something male

Smug in his belief

That his age made him wiser

And his class

More human.

Dean covered up his indignation

At the staid hoary suit.

Behold.

The grey pinstripes

Of a man with no blood.

See him tower

Over the powerless

Or those with wide eyes

And lolling mouths.

“Automatic good manners

Serves a purpose,”

Says George,

“It goes back to the Normans

Kept the peasants in check.”

Dean was a stranger here

And thought best to do as the Romans.

Once business was done

He’d soon be home

Playing computer games

And smoking dope.

But George

Had a hard day’s work ahead

And was dependent on trainees.

“Where’s my temp with the nose stud?”

He muttered.

She was in the car park

Smoking roll-ups

Wondering

What to make Dean

For his tea.

Daniel Tavet(c)

Love Arts Festival – The Word Emporium

Love Arts Festival logo

I’m volunteering again with Love Arts, this time at The Word Emporium on Wednesday 16th October.  If anyone is interested, it’s an open-mic night for poetry, being held at Trinity Church on Boar Lane from 6.30pm.

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Love Arts 2013 launched!

Love Arts poster

You could hardly move for survivor artists, wandering poets, volunteers, photographers, cake makers, community reporters and the great and the good of the local mental health scene. Love Arts, the three week long festival that seeks to get people thinking and talking about mental health is back in town, after two successful years in previous Autumns. Yesterday saw the festival launch, with an art exhibition, ‘Highlights’, from the Leeds Arts & Minds Network, which will be showing at the Light until Sunday 13 October.  Even more than in previous years I was struck by the enormous variety of artwork on display, and how good some of it is – certainly worth a special trip out of your way to see.

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Time to Change Leeds has been spearheading the assault on stigma and discrimination in our wicked city, and they were busy waylaying passers by and getting pledges.

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You had to accept cookies in order to fully participate, and some  were decorated with wild abandon, throwing caution and calorie counting to the wind and laughing in the face of healthy eating programmes.

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There are literally dozens of things going on in the city over the next three weeks – you can see the full programme at the Love Arts Festival website. Some of the stand out things for me are:

The Love Music Leeds album launch on Friday 11 October at All Hallows Church, Regent Terrace, Leeds 6, 7.45 – 11 p.m. costing £7.50. This features local musicians exploring the connections between music and mental wellbeing through songs nominated because they’ve been found helpful, inspiring or comforting.

The Word Emporium at Trinity Church on Boar Lane on Wednesday 16 October, 6.30 – 9.15, will be a night of spoken word and music where you can earn the prestigious title of Love Arts Festival Word Champion for performing a couple of pieces in the open mic – or just come along and watch for £2/£3.

Unheard Voices is a free exhibition about the people who lived, visited and worked at High Royds Hospital, the old Victorian asylum. This launches on Monday 7 October , 5 – 7 p.m. in Leeds Central Library, and will be open during normal library opening hours after that.

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Whatever your taste in arts there’s probably something at the festival you can enjoy. A lot of the things are free or cheap, and they run during the day-time as well as in the evenings. Check it out.

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