Category Archives: poetry

Stanton Drew…

HM15 146

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Names matter.

For practical purposes they are like elephants and flowing water.

They follow the shortest, flatest path to wherever they are going, and en route the jagged edges first get smoothed and then get worn away.

In this particular case we are on the path to understanding…

‘Standing Stones of the Druids’

‘STANding sTONes of the DRUids’

STAN-TON-DRU

Stanton Drew…

There are a number of ‘Stantons’ in England with an attendant ancient site, and for a long time these places were associated with Druids although we now know that they were around a lot earlier than the period normally associated with those infamous ‘Old-Time-Sages’.

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HM15 150

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This ‘fella’, could easily be a druid, although he could just as easily be a she, in which case one would be tempted to call her a witch.

It is the first stone that greets you at the site.

If you look closely at the first photograph you can see some of the other stones lurking in the background.

On our first visit to this site we were struck by how utterly ‘other’ the stones appeared in relation to their environment.

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Solution…

‘Setting riddles is much easier than solving them.’

scotland trip jan 15 035

… “What a strange planet. Where I come from people solve three riddles every morning before sitting down to first breakfast.”

The ‘High School’ Solution…

The clue in the poem is that the poem as a whole does not make sense. The individual lines make sense but the sense of the individual lines is not picked up by successive lines and does not follow through to the end of the poem.

Also, we may notice that two of the lines are identical.

The lines alone then are significant and as students of calligraphy will be aware initial words and especially letters are often deemed to be most important because the start of anything inevitably colours its conclusion.

The first words of each line then with letters emboldened.

Dark… About… Lost… Great… Ever… Traversing… Yonder

Back… After… Yonder.

Dalgety Bay is in Scotland, or as we prefer North Albion.

The story of our sojourn there is told in, Lands of Exile: But ‘n’ Ben.

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scotland trip jan 15 056

A Riddle…

photoprompt 26 may

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Dark the frame and dark the spur

About the light which shines over there.

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Lost to memory, lost to time

Good and great cut down in their prime.

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Ever the longing, we yearn to know

Traversing the ‘now’ via ebb and flow.

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Yonder, the stars circuit their course.

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Back to silence, back to still

After we’ve been and had our fill.

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Yonder, the stars circuit their course.

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Where were we?

Pieman…

Foxave.jpg530

When Pieman was very young,

and living at the beginnings of time,

he often slept with the Cave Bear Clan during stormy weather.

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Over the course of many such nights,

Big Brown Bear who was also very old,

taught Pieman the nature of his belly-roar.

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To this day,

Pieman makes use of his roar in dreams,

but only to pacify strangers and to quiet the rowdy,

and those of us who have difficulty understanding the Ancient Tales.

Time Line…

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“The peat-bog is as the raven’s coat,
the stuttering quagmire rehearses
the talk of the rushes is come;

the ocean sinks asleep into
a smooth sea and the river
which runs apace is cut down;

light swallows dart aloft;
a flock of birds settles in
the midst of a meadow.

A bright shaft has been shot
into the land, splendid is colour
now, settling on every height,
like haze on a lake of full water;

white is every fruitful wood
wherein winds a brawling stream
and the bright green fields rustle
their longing to race wild horses;

blossom covers the world,
bees murmuring no protest,
make heavy their harvest;

the rich mast buds,
and the ant, puny with
strength, carries abundant meal;

the soft white bog-down grows,
the long hair of heather is outspread,
the boughs of the wood are a thicket.

The harp
of the forest
sounds music

the corn-crake,
a strenuous bard,
discourses…

loud melody
reaches round
the hill; the lofty,
virgin waterfall
sings a welcome to
the warm pool where
fleet hordes drink and
the speckled fish leap.

The bitterness of bad weather
is past, rough winter has gone,
delightful is the season’s splendour;

perfect is each forest from top to ground;
perfect, each stately plain, and perfect the
peace, as panic startles the heart of the deer;

strong then the bound of the swift warrior,
where the ranked host is ranged round:
and when man flourishes, the maiden
buds in her fair, strong pride.

The blackbird sings a full
lay, if there be but one
slender shaft of day.

the lark trills
clear tiding;

the loud cuckoo
bids welcome;

a timorous
tiny, persistent
little fellow warbles
at the top of his voice:

‘May-Day,
season surpassing !

Season
of delicate colours…

Welcome,
splendid summer…

Summer
of joyous peace!’”

– Crucible of the Sun

Gift of a gospel…

Stained glass window, dove and bible

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‘I stand up next to a mountain
and I chop it down with the edge of my hand…’
– Voodoo Chile.

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I. ‘WHO SCARED YOU?…’

I saw the snout first and thought it was a snake.

But snakes move swift and smooth and this fella was
cautious, shy even… timid as he nervously tested the air.

Jed who had been repeatedly twanging his ruler on the top of a bedside-
cabinet as he talked, paused mid sentence… and held the ruler… airborne.

‘Lizard!’ He whispered, somewhat redundantly, as the little fella
carefully zig-zagged out from the ceiling panel, his legs moving
akimbo like synchronised swastika’s, first one way then the next…

He was a beauty alright.

Perfectly white,
with bright-black,
marble eyes and a
delicately pin-pricked snout.

Just as I thought he was going to edge
all the way out and stay for awhile,
the fridge motor shuddered into life.

A whip-lash curl of his tail: he was gone.

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lizard

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II. ‘HOUSE BURNING DOWN…’

Road… and more road…

The ice we picked up at our last stop has long
since melted along with the thermometer which
we bought there too: its plastic base melding with
our metal dash. With a top temperature of only forty-
degrees celsius it was a pretty pointless purchase anyway.

I am beginning to understand why Jed was
so cautious about the decision to start out.

Some of his concerns come back to me.

‘There’s no air-conditioning in this thing you know.’

‘The mechanic reckons she’ll just about make it round.’

We pass a long stretch of salt devoured bush.

The bark of all the trees resembles baked clay.

Their heat gnawed limbs offer
stunted surrender to a barren sky.

… Road… and more road…

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Stained glass, St Thomas

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III. A BAPTISM OF FIRE

Joshua said, “Judas Thomas, while you are still
in the world, attend to the questions of your heart,
and it shall be revealed to you: who you are,
why you exist, and how you will come to be.”

“Who are you to say these things to me?” Said Judas Thomas.

Joshua said, “you do not know who I am from what I say to you?
Then you have disregarded the living one who is in your presence.

You are like a fruit picker who loves the fruit but hates the tree.

I am the light that is over all things,
I am all: from me all has come forth,
and to me all has reached.

Split a piece of wood…
I am there.
Lift up a block of stone…
I am there also.

I shall give you what no eye has
seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no hand has touched,
for the thing that I shall give you
has not arisen from the human heart.

I have thrown fire upon the world, and
look… I am watching it until it blazes.

Whoever is near me is near the fire.
Whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom.” …

– Excerpt from, ‘The Living One…’


The Living One : contemplations of the Gospel of Thomas, by Stuart France is available on Amazon in Paperback and for Kindle.