Featured Poet: W H Auden

downloadImage from poets.org .

As those who have long suffered this blog may be aware, this is primarily about poetry.  I have been remiss in featuring other poets for some time. But, as I led a funeral yesterday, a poem was read. No, not the predictable Emily Dickinson, but W. H. Auden (1907-73). The poem was his well known “Stop the Clocks”.  You can hear it read in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, here on this youtube clip.

Poets.org tell of Auden’s life as born in York (UK), where his family later moved to Birmingham and Oxford. He was influenced other poets and had a private collection published in 1928. Well travelled, who also showed interest in protestant theology, playwriting, editing and essay writing. More of his biography can be read at poets.org.

Here is an excerpt from another of his works, As I Walked Out One Evening

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.’

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on.

More at poets.org.

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Night scene of the Lima River, Ponte de Lima, Portugal.  Taken while walking the Portuguese Camino in 2018.

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Returning Themes – A Pingback Pair

Some recent events and discussions have taken me back to some of poems or yore.

One is about discovering, finding, uncovering, our voice – Finding Your Voice.

The others are about those feeling on the edge, alone, in a physical or personal isolation or separation –  Out On The Pier and The Great Alone.

Don’t get too lost in them.  Best read some happy ones afterward.

Lost Soles?

Vincent Van Gogh did a number of studies on work shoes. He saw the meaning and story behind them.  Even the philosophers, such as Martin Heidegger, would write about it.

This frivolous verse seems light and vague at first. Beyond the humour is more. 

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Lost Soles?

 

Dropped

Discarded or

Lost.

Lost soles

Looking and

Longing

Lingering.

Oh the hide

Of separation!

Past postured parable

Perhaps?

Of the lost soul

Who lost them.

Booty of the bereft

Isolated

In lack

For a place

To pace

Where soles

And souls

May roam free.

 

Simon C.J Falk  27 April 2020

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On the Prospect of Not Celebrating Easter this Year

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On the Prospect of Not Celebrating Easter this Year

Will Christ not rise again

This year

For us?

 

Is he in fact

Still

Dying among us?

In those succumbed

To COVID-19.

 

Or is he

Still

Dead?

Is he in the tomb

With us?

Quarantined from life

Before rising

Infected and decaying

With the virulence

Of toxins?

Of needy-greedy panic

Grabs at shopping shelves?

As panicked voices

Constantly ask questions

What about this?

Or that?

What now?

What now indeed.

 

Will there be no people

As the body of Christ

Holding their candles

Light in the Lord?

Signs that Christ

Has risen

And shines

In us and

Among us?

 

Or are we consigned

To private piety,

In our own place,

So foreign

To genuine faith

That seeks to hold us together

As parts of the body

Of the Risen Lord?

What of this distant,

Isolated,

Seclusion?

Dying alone

In the dark

And waiting

In the tomb?

 

When will we rise?

When shall we hear?

Magdalene’s cry:

“I have seen

The Lord!

And heard his voice!

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 21 March 2020

 


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Pebble in the Sand

Pebble in the Sand

This little verse of whimsy is a response to a sketch by Anthropologist Alice Roberts as seen on her social media @ancientmodernist .

 

Pebble in the Sand

Pebble in the sand

of what epochs do you tell?

Sifting across sands of time

in well

moments, and in storms.

What of those shores have you felt?

In sediment or on lava melt.

Pebble in the sand

Tell the stories

of this land.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 22 February 2020

It is Awakening

It is Awakening

 

Awakening

The spark of interest

Fascinated and curious

Fixt

On a face

All animated with the story

It is relating

That is

S

 p

   i

    l

     l

      i

       n

        g

Out through arms and gesturing

Hands

It on

To us.

Too full!

Shouts the heart

Absorbing all of it

At pell-mell pace

The words

And the whole

Beautiful face

Awakening an interest

Fascinated and curious

So full it floods.

The waters remain

Soaking the desire

For more.

 

Simon C.J Falk 16 February 2020

 

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Remembered Scent

 

Remembered Scent

 Car ignition

The motor and

a smell

long, long

forgotten

returned.

A long forgotten

scent

of him,

one loved deeply.

The same smell.

And we

remember.

The nose knows

and remembers.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 6 January 2020

To Forget

To Forget

 

We at table

talk –

to forget.

Muse over a morning

of banter and doings

of what we do –

To forget.

Pick up pages

of someone else’s

story, in a book,

escaping to….

Forget

The window hazy

The smoke entering

Open door

We remember.

Lest we forget –

The furrowed and frazzled brow

Of Firies*:

their boots

seared to the soles.

Sear not their souls

too much

we plead

as images roll in,

role in too,

as politicians posture.

The worn weariness

worn like a day’s drearies,

As its been months’ now

that our bush has burned.

But

We remember

The Firies

and those who

offer water

shelter

food and

their love

tapped away on keys

that carry updates.

We remember

sacrifices made

by volunteers

leaving homes,

some leaving

country,

at the call

of the crisis.

Children paddle

families to freedom

Sons bear medals

Meant for their Fathers

Under the smoky

Southern sun.

 

 

*Firies is a term of endearment for Firefighters.

Simon C.J. Falk 6 January 2020

Short Read

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Short Read

 Short read

Refreshing amid

Verbiage jungles

Containing its own

Compact wildness

Adventures unspoken

Yet….

 

Simon C.J. Falk 29 December 2019.

 

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Acrid

Acrid

Acrid

Acrid is the smoke sliding down our throats

Choking the lungs of many

Raging are the persistent flames upon the bush and homes

Incinerating are the fierce forest fires

Destruction and death visits our land among the daring fire fighters

Acrid.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 21 December 2019

 

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