22 November 2010


In my last post, I shared a photograph I took in the summer and threw out a fishing line - the question being, if this was an illustration in a poetry anthology what sort of poem would it be married with? "Mountain Thyme" (pictured right) left me this comment:- "I see a long poem in which one learns that being true to oneself, never compromising your beliefs, "running against the wind," so to speak is not all bad. One might be lonely at times, but one will grow strong and healthy and beautiful with roots firmly planted in the ground."
She was lighting the blue touchpaper of my poetry and this is what has, rather mysteriously, emerged:-


No man is an island
But I have been an island
Salt waves crashing on my shore
Knuckles rapping at my door.
I counted the bells of midnight
With pauses between each one
And fought with hope and memory
Before the dark was gone.
And in dawn's seeping light,
I turned to face my wall
Sure that when we leave this life
There's nothing there at all.

Earth turned
Clouds of starlings on the wing
Like shoals of tiny fish beside a reef
I heard a distant blackbird sing
And sensed the molten core beneath
It churned
Like hope, like memory.

To run with the wind
To be gone with it
So many flew like kites
Their lines lost
Up and down on
Invisible air
You see such beings

I anchored myself to the earth
Held on tight for all I was worth
Felt the ebb and watched the flow
For isn't this how life must go?
I looked in the mirror
And saw my face
Entrant in the human race.


  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! I was just trying to answer your question. I never expected that my little sentence could pull such moving thoughts from your heart and soul. You are a magnificent word-smith, Mr. Puddin'. Thoughts such as those reside in my mind and in my heart but never could I place them together and have them course through my body and land on paper as such beautiful verse.

  2. Having been busily engaged for the past three days, I arrived too late to play. Your photo is beautiful, and your poem quite memorable.

  3. Elizabeth9:57 pm

    YP,my natural response to any poetry is to read it aloud and at approximately two o' clock this morning, when the rest of the house was silent, I did just that, several times. 'Rooted' has metre, depth,rhyming patterns and a surety about it that belies the brief time spent on it. A quite exquisite poem and to have produced it so quickly and concisely shows not only what a precious gifting with words you have but also how inate and focused that a-theo mindset is within you. Whilst I am not as confident of the sentiment you share here, I applaud the way that it bubbles from within you.
    I almost want to insert 'enthusiastically' into my last sentence, but the entymology of that particular word would, of course, make it wrong to do so and defeat the very purpose of your poem.It is, nonetheless, very moving, beautiful and well worthy of Mountain Thyme's prompt. x

  4. I send another "WOW" to you, YP. Lovely -- and powerful.

  5. Reminiscent of 'Dover beach' by Matthew Arnold- something you will be over-familiar with soon...

  6. MOUNTAIN THYME Thanks for this response and thanks for dropping the creative catalyst in my skull.
    RHYMES WITH That praise is valuable to me as I know that you are someone who likes poetry and knows what it can do.
    ELIZABETH Thank you this erudite praise. As I told you privately, I felt rather vulnerable and self-conscious about putting this piece "out there" but the comments I have received make me feel much better about going public. I genuinely appreciate your thoughtful and supportive comment.
    PAT ARK "Powerful"? Thank you. Perhaps it is. I just let the words rise out of me like summer bubbles from a still pond. The psychology of poetry creation can be quite obtuse, quite complicate.
    B.COCK-BOOTH "Dover Beach"? Screw that baby! I'm doing Wole Soyinka and Bob Dylan! I am a maverick tha knows lad!

  7. Elizabeth1:42 pm

    Thank you for your generosity in allowing me to use your picture and poem on my two posts.

  8. Elizabeth5:50 am

    I should also have said there that I am pleased that you have been been affirmed in your talents by the comments of others. It is a scary process putting any work 'up front', but you have proved more than worthy in taking that risk.

    Thank you, too, for challenging me to post my poem. I too feel vulnerable in doing so, but also empowered by the challenge you gave me to do that. It is a long time since I have written any poetry and I really appreciated the mental workout. Even if it doesn't get recgnition from others, it is proof to me of my ongoing improvement in 'connections' and repair of synapse growth. There's a lot of work to do still, but to write a poem, of whatever final condition, again is an exhilerating and worthy thing and without your encouragement and support I would never have had the courage to do that - or not at this stage, anyway. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. xx


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