Tag Archives: writing

Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer.

Sweet-sour tang, sliding

Along tongue and teeth.

Refreshing relief

To a parched palate.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 10 September 2017

Looking for some stories of hope!
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From Harrowing Towards Wholeness and Healing

From Harrowing Towards Wholeness and Healing

While driving around the countryside for work commitments I was listening once more to Parker J. Palmer’s  ‘Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation‘.  In this book, Palmer describes how he experienced a clinical depression after trying to live a life that was not his to live.  Seemingly, it was a life that did not fit, or suit, him.

As he emerged from a bout of depression, he discovered that, in some ways, the depression was a veiled gift to him.  It taught him that the life he was living was harming him.  He drafted the poem “Harrowing” included below.

HarrowingPJPalmer

(‘Harrowing”, a poem by Parker J. Palmer).

I know there have been times in my life where what was then perceived as a harrowing, later opened up to become a gift.

Some of us may be coming through tough times, saddening times, exhausting times. They may be matters personal to us.  Alternatively, they may be triggered by recent horrific events in our world.  Whichever the case may be, I post Palmer’s poem, as a promise of hope in regeneration and rejuvenation after times of trial.

Simon C.J Falk 4 June 2017

Looking for some stories of hope!

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  1.  Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity, and brotherhood. Something like this news, about a man who only fosters terminally ill children.
  3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
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  6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

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The Poetry of Afghan Women via O at the Edges

Originally posted on THE POET BY DAY: پاس په كمر ولاړه ګله! نصيب دچايي اوبه زه درخيژومه O Flower that you grow on the mountain side; The duty to water you belongs to me, but to whom would you belong? ستا به د ګلو دوران تير شۍ زما به پاته شۍ دزړه سوۍ داغونه The…

via THE POETRY OF AFGHAN WOMEN: Landay, A Twenty-two Syllable Two-Line Poem — O at the Edges

Thanks to Robert of O at the Edges for this.

Again, We Are More

Again, We Are More

When I wrote the poem We Are More, I knew there was more to tell.  John O’Donohue was reputed to have said that, when he had written some poems, there was more left over for another.  What also helped form ‘Again, We Are More’, is the discovery of a fabulous blog by ‘Anna’ called Anonymously Autistic.  It just goes to show that we still have much to learn from the experiences of others and of how they are more than what they seem.

Again, We Are More

(i)

Perched

On the hard brickwork,

Atop a retaining wall,

He sways:

Back and forth,

To and fro,

A catatonic rhythm.

As each sway completes

Its repetitive arc

Groans emit from within,

Groans of a wordless language

Yet, transmitting a pain

All can sense.

He can memorise

Timetables and schedules

And recipes and shopping lists

And here

He’s reduced

To a state

Of oblivion.

But, again,

We are more

Than the episodes acting out

From us

That we cannot control.

 

(ii)

Into the middle distance,

Not looking

At what’s before her eyes,

She is last

To leave the courtroom.

Another case

Lost,

Gone.

She reels,

And feels

A tremble,

Ever so slight at first,

As the adrenalin leaks

From her

And on

To the parquetry floor,

Beneath

Her swollen feet.

Weary

She will have to face

Her colleagues at the office.

Weary

She will then drive

Through traffic

And home –

At last –

Home

To her son.

 

(iii)

“No, no, no!”

She says,

And her son,

He keeps groaning,

And swaying, more

And more

Before

It dawns on her,

As she cries into her hands,

That the more she rebukes

The more he will groan and sway

And cover his ears with the palms

Of his taut hands.

“Why?”

She asked herself

Had she snapped

At her son so.

Her sobs heavier now,

Face pressed against her knees,

Arms hugging legs.

Weary

With work,

With worry,

With life,

And yet,

Again

We are more

Than the building frustrations

That erupt

In desperation.

 

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk       29 October 2016

So Happy A Heart That Knows No Love

Another good one from poet, Frank Solanki

Frank Solanki

So happy a heart that knows no love

No beat inscribed with a name

Touch it with bare hands or with a glove

The cold heart shall feel the same

So happy a heart that knows no love

It won’t bleed for anyone

Except for someone who lives high up above

When all is said and done

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Democratic Rite – Australia Votes #auspol

Democratic Rite

 

We round the corner and

There they are!

Volunteers of friendly

And hawking type

Handing out glossy sheets that

Later, will line the paths

And roads and blow

Into people’s yards.

Arm’s length senate papers stare,

With a stunning list of names,

At the hapless voter.

Yes, shards of cynicism

Dot across our way:

“Will the winner lead?”

“Or is another spill going to topple

us again

s-l-o-w-i-n-g the country

d

o

w

n.

But, we can vote and hold elections.

For this:

We give thanks.

Our polling booths

Are not guarded by

Uniformed militia.

For this:

We are grateful.

We can exercise a right

For free and reasonable speech.

For this:

We have a responsibility.

 

Simon C.J Falk 4 July 2016

In #Istanbul

In Istanbul

April 2016 – Some friends and I spent some days in Istanbul Turkey as tourists cum pilgrims.  We loved it.  In recent days the sadness that has descended is crushing.  The good and hospitable people of Istanbul could well do with our encouragement.

 

In Istanbul

 

We travelled in,

We trod the streets,

We slopped the beer,

And ate the treats.

In the Bazaar Grand,

Some tried their hand,

At a haggle or two,

For a rug or a shoe.

And we loved our days,

On the ‘Gold Horn’ way.

They took us in.

Made us at home,

And it made us grin,

To see spruikers roam.

 

But the terminal we travelled,

Has now been unravelled,

Leaving crumble and rubble,

From the hateful trouble.

And streets we walked in peace,

Amidst crowds and police,

Now could appear,

To become pathways of fear.

But people! O people! Of Istanbul,

Do not lose heart when others kill,

Those you looked after

From far across sea,

Call out to you from a land roaming free.

You hosted us,

And we toasted you,

Do not let hatred or fuss,

Your spirit subdue.

Your history is splendid,

Your hospitality is fine,

When the hatred subsides,

You’ll return to your prime.

 

 

Simon C.J. Falk 30 June 2016

 

Poems That Changed Your Life

One of my friends (who, incidentally, used to work in a bookshop – what a job!) recently posted about books on another sharing platform.  The question posed was: “Have you ever read a book that fundamentally changed the way you thought or behaved? What was the book and how did it change you?”  I thought it a fabulous post and naturally joined in.

Here I thought we could ask a similar question: Have you ever read a poem, or poems, that changed the way you thought or behaved?  Can you share the poem, or poems, and what was the change that occurred? 

There have been numerous poems for me.  I keep returning to two specific ones:

Rudyard Kipling’s “If

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too; …… 

Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,
And at every drifting cloud that went
With sails of silver by….
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!….
Then there is Emily Dickinson’s “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died
I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –…..
For Kipling and Wilde there are two things that strike me.  First, is the quality of their writing.  It impresses me and challenges me to better expression.  Second, the depth of what they share.  They move to weighty matters of our very human struggles.  That also impresses me.
For Dickinson, I love the way she plays with the presence of such banal things. Someone is dying, meanwhile a fly buzzes.  This hit me with great irony when we were sitting for school exams. We had been examined on Dickinson’s “I Heard a Fly Buzz” and, in the background, flies buzzed, cars parked, the sun shone.  It struck me that Dickinson was teaching me that the poet can appreciate the weighty and the light, the sublime and the banal, all at the same time, and write of it to boot.  Wonderful.
Many years before that a poem changed me.  But I was the one who wrote the words down.  It was called “Drought” and has been posted on this site before.  What struck me about the process of that poem was that it was the first time I felt the rush, the animation, that comes as a poem emerges from the cocoon of our creative self. I loved that feeling and have loved feeling it again since then.
Have you ever read a poem, or poems, that changed the way you thought or behaved?  Can you share the poem, or poems, and what was the change that occurred?