Listen to the music all around you:
you'll hear it in the softly blowing breeze,
in the song of birds chirping so gaily,
at play within the rustle of the trees.
Hear the sound of rain that pitter patters
The rolling thunder that roars through the sky
You can almost hear the parched earth as it
Relaxes and then heaves a grateful sigh.
Have you ever listened to the ocean
As its waves wash the shore so rhythmic’lly
Heard the gurgle of a flowing river
That winds its way to mingle with the sea.
The music all around us is so sweet
How could we ever still our dancing feet .
Listen to the voices of your loved ones
At home, at work, or even when they’re far
Hear a neighbour singing, slightly off key,
Another one as he strums his guitar.
Hear the children chatter as they pass by
Whilst on their way to school or out to play
Listen to the church bells in the distance
Those sounds that we hear each and every day.
And even as I write my Mum is calling
“Its time for lunch or aren’t you hungry yet”
Music to my ear each word she utters
Such music that I pray I’ll ne’er forget.
The music plays no matter where I go
I hope it never ceases to be so.
The chorus of the early morning
wakes me with the seagulls clamour
- all the world is full of hunger and thirst,
each demanding cry a peevish stanza or verse
uttered in defiance of fragile mortality.
"Oh yes, we are doomed to perish"
sing the cicadas in the woods
"- but before the silence claims us
let us fill the forest with our resonant song,
a symphony of yearning and great wonder,
our gift to all the universe,
its many diverse species;
small and insignificant as we are
we too have our joys and sorrows which we wish to share,
casting forth our nets of sound
upon the trembling air,
as delicate as any web woven by spider or enchantress.
Listen, you passing traveller
lovers hand-in hand, or solitary unraveller..."
Sometimes it is hard to hear the silent inner voice
sometimes we think we are deprived
of any true direction or choice
but listen carefully if you will:
behind the nagging doubts and fears,
behind the old familiar cries of ghosts
that ever sing the same sad songs
- the happy songbird's joyful trill.
He does not calculate his notes
or parcel out his melody,
a little, here, a little there,
but casts it freely on the air
like golden seed or gentle rain
that thirsty souls might freely take
and drink and thus be quenched,
made whole again.
O happy poet of the trees
sing another song for me!
Listen to the sound of your own heartbeat
Its rhythm like the ocean’s ebb and flow
This internal music that is with you
No matter where you are or where you go:
Feel the pulses raging through your body
Give thanks, they are the proof that you’re alive
Revel in your very own existence
That despite ups and downs you still survive .
Delight in every cadence, every beat
Our God has given music that is free
Each accent, every nuance is a gift
A wondrous privilege, this symphony.
'The food of love', the music’s everywhere
Just take the time to listen and you’ll hear.
All Nature is an orchestra and God is the conductor
but unlike Man's strict symphonies
no note is ordained or fixed
but follows the inherent joy within the larger, growing song
of everything within the world, to which it does respond...
each tiny leaf, each insects wing, has a tiny part to sing
and none is greater than the other
for all are servants of the Song
and sing but for the Lover.
Even sorrow has its place, though at the time we know it not
and fail to recognise Her face
or hear within her quiet voice the tears of the Mother
grieving for all living things
and all the fallen World.
Grieve not, you disenchanted souls
but rise up on your own true wings...
Little Flower in the Sun
O little flower in the sun
do not be too swift to grow,
the sun is very hot at noon
and raindrops act as prisms.
Beauty can be easily burned
and greedy bees can be quite sly
raiding deeply scent and colour
draining dry the tender hour.
Little flower be cautious and wise
revealing your heart to the wide open skies
beware of the wind that blows from the moon...
surely you must open wide
and show the loveliness within
but do not reveal all your charms too soon
lest, even as the first stars rise,
you swoon and pale, your glory faded,
wilted as one cast aside...
Please let me show my beauty to the world
Not hide the flame that burns within my breast,
Before you know it I shall have to go
So let me shine now there’s no time to rest.
I fear not sun or rain they nourish me,
And keep me vibrant whilst I am alive,
Even the bees that sip my nectar sweet
Play a big part in helping me to thrive.
And let my fragrance fill the air around
So those who pass by will remember me
And how I blossomed here least for a time
Sharing my given gifts with all for free.
And when my earthly sojourn is complete
If even I have made one person smile,
And if I linger in the hearts of some
My life span here would have been well worthwhile.
Revel then, o little flower
in the drama of the hour
- cast your beauty to one and all.
Wisdom is, after all, a luxury
of the old and weary:
perhaps you will appreciate it more
when your fragrant petals wither and fall
and summers bees have all departed
for some other distant shore.
Then I’d have lived my life from start to end,
And would have savoured every passing stage,
For just like you, we’re born, we live, we die,
And wisdom’s no prerogative of age.
For whilst you may have three score years and ten
To accomplish the things you want to do,
One season is all that is given me
Before my time here on this earth is through.
A Poet Interrogates a Star
By the light of this star
I conjure you, benevolent spirit,
down the staircase of the air
to dwell a moment in my heart
and tell me news of how it is
upon your world, so very far...
do stars take fellow stars to wife,
do stars know famine, war or strife?
do stars pluck music from the void
- what strange metals and alloys
do you nurture in your soul,
molten tears of the Whole,
filaments of mystery
spun on wild desire,
wings of ice
harnessed to fire...
Explain to me Oh shining star
As you hang in the sky
Do you look down on mortal man
And see us when we cry?
And when we wish upon a star
Do you lend us an ear
Do you take time to listen when
We raise our voice in prayer ?.
And can you see what’s in our hearts
And read our thoughts as well
If only you could speak to us
What secrets would you tell?.
Do you know what it is to love
To have a broken heart,
To sit by and watch helplessly
As your world falls apart?
I was born ten million years ago, said the star
and soon I will be old enough
to join in song with my brother and sister stars
in my native constellation
- why have you dragged me from the heavens to this
dry and arid place devoid of surging fire and heat
where tiny microbes devour each other and procreate
without thought or reason?
What crime have I committed that I
must shed my radiant skin of rebellious plasma
and be incarcerated in this narrow skin
of flesh and bone and blood,
only the latter bearing any resemblance
to my natural state,
plagued by tiny, inconsequential thoughts
of me and mine, sorrow and loss
- when I could be living the Life Divine,
shining with resplendent joy,
illumining the Darkness?
Vain and presumptuous poet
- who or what art thee that you
might thus suborn to low estate
one who is so vast and great
and when will you release me?
Be not so arrogant bright star
Towards poets like me
Because we are the very ones
Who pen verses to thee.
And although your beauty is great
And your aura so bright
The sun and moon both offer us
A far superior light.
Be honoured I’ve invited you
To share what’s in my heart
And so perhaps you’ll come to learn
What we have to impart.
Perhaps the thoughts that fill my mind
Are of small consequence
But you’d do well to fathom them
There’ll be some recompense.
So linger for a while bright star
Within this mortal frame
And you will realize ‘ere long
That we too have our flame.
The steady beating of my heart
Is something you don’t know
But listen and you’ll hear it’s like
The ocean’s ebb and flow.
What do you know of oceans, idle rhymester
- have you stood alone upon Infinity's rim
and listened to the swelling tides
that come and go each hundred million years
or glimpsed the dark Leviathan that swims
in Space's ebon depths?
The little seas and rivers of your world
are the thinnest of trickles and pools
that would not assuage the thirst of even
the meanest of meteors...
I have devoured whole worlds and solar-systems
and watched their oceans evaporate in an instant
- the Gods shed no tears for such ephemeral phenomena.
There are vast and mighty trees that grow
in the far corners of the Universe
and each tiny leaf thereon supports a myriad of worlds
greater than ought you can imagine;
there are rose-arbours and incomparable orchids that would
extinguish your pitiful senses
with but the merest hint of their unparalleled beauty...
what meagre treasures can your feeble, short-lived heart
possibly hope to offer in comparison?
It is a small and untrustworthy organ,
weak and prone to self-delusion,
barely adequate to its task of mediating
higher wisdom and affection...
Perhaps you should be made aware
That you are not unique
For there are millions more like you
And even as we speak
They blaze more brightly than you do
Their light so strong and clear
Whilst yours is slowly waning now
And may soon disappear.
Vacate my heart, ungrateful guest,
Lest you corrupt me too,
Away, try to revive yourself
I have tired of you
And of the feats of which you boast,
They have left me quite numb,
You are full of so much hot air
You’re no longer welcome!
One day you’ll understand these things
And fin’lly come to see
And then you will shed tears enough
To cause a tsunami
And if one day your cold heart throbs
Because of Love’s sweet sake
The tremors will reverberate
Down here like an earthquake.
But fear not narcissistic star
Because after that time
That brightness that you shed around
Will be a light sublime
And kings and paupers, poets too
Will look at you and say
‘I can tell by that wondrous star
Heaven’s not far away.’
On A Quiet Day
On a Quiet Day
On a quiet day
put aside the long week's cares,
unbind the dragons from your hair
- even lizards need some fun,
lazing in the tranquil Sun.
But I will close the blinds and doze,
dreaming by the Mystic River,
a channel of which conveniently flows
beneath the tip of my left toe
- a useful thing, you must agree
and not one to be disregarded lightly,
though most men make a passion of it,
swearing blind they cannot hear
its gently soothing murmur
or sometimes glimpse the fish that leap
after jewel-winged insects
hovering like poet's thoughts
above the sofa or the bed
where fairies dance their merry jig
and straight-faced angels will not tread...
Church bells ring inside my soul:
bells of glass
and drowned Sea-bells
from sunken temples never listed
by road-map or guide-book.
The secret trail begins inside
and winds or climbs by soft incline
through the mists of memory,
or past the shores of reverie,
to gentle coves where mermaids play
and stars shine even at mid-day,
where marvels dwell
and lovers gaze into Love's eyes
and parted lips forever tell
the sweetest of all ruby lies...
On days like this my heart and mind take flight
And wander where they will, free and at ease
I shake my cares away, my spirit light
Today’s a day I do whate’er I please.
I travel back to days when I was young
And relive all the events of that time,
When life was sweet with songs yet to be sung,
With seas yet to be sailed and hills to climb.
I linger in the time of love’s sweet bliss
When life was filled with promises and plans
And my eyes fill up as I reminisce
How happiness slipped right through our hands.
I think of all the places I have been
The people that I’ve come to know and love
The ones that only my mind’s eyes have seen
And friendships that fit like a well worn glove.
And though the temperatures are high outdoors
I may be visiting some wintry place
Or walking hand in hand ‘long sandy shores
Enjoying my beloved’s warm embrace.
I journey to that corner deep inside
Of me, where there is harmony and peace ,
Where hurts and anger have to stay outside,
And I exhale as all my problems cease.
On a quiet day
anything might happen
- there is no fixed routine or pattern.
When the door of the soul is flung wide open
feet may wander where they will,
by hidden vale and secret rill known only to the blessed
or if there is no wish to wander,
simply sit and be at rest,
contemplating Nature's wonder
wherein each tiny thing best.
On a quiet day
body and mind are quite content
with everything that comes their way
- oh that every day were such a quiet day!
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©2016 and previously