Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 11: Hafiz — Sappho’s Torque

I came across this profound and lovely poem on Angélique’s blog. Please click on the link here.

If you have never read any of Hafiz then this could be the start of a life journey for you!

Sappho’s Torque

the blog of Angélique Jamail, Author

Here is another lovely fragment from Mala of the Heart, this time by Hafiz of Persia (Iran). It reminds me of the need and mutual benefit of kindness in the world. God blooms from the shoulder of the elephant who becomes courteous to the ant. *** Hafiz (ca. 1320-1389) was born in the garden city of Shiraz. It is said that after the early […]

Poem-A-Day 2021, Day 11: Hafiz — Sappho’s Torque

Unforeseen nice things

Sue at Nan’s Farm and GC at themainaisle.com post a weekly prompt each Wednesday inviting us to participate in any way we choose.

The prompt this week is Unforeseen.

In my back garden (yard) I have several bird feeders which I keep regularly stocked with all sorts of seed, nuts, suet, fat balls, and dried mealworms. I have a feeding station, feeders in trees, feeders under arches, and ground feeders. Not forgetting, of course, four separate water feeders/baths. The birds really do feed well, and sometimes the odd squirrel will decide to wreck everything in sight to partake of the feast. My ground feeders also cater for hedgehogs, the odd feral cat, and even foxes.

The downside to having so many feeders is that I am constantly having to weed underneath them. Oh, I know that I could buy “No mess, no grow” seed but really it tends to be very poor quality and often very dusty and so is prone to getting damp and clogging up or going mouldy (and yes, we do put a u in mouldy in the UK, just like we do in favourite, neighbour, and many many more words) The birds do try to help out by fossicking under the feeders to hoover up any stray seed and fat. All this tends to do is to leave a very bare patch underneath.

Sometimes I miss seeing that something has started to sprout in the garden that I have not planted, and I end up with unforeseen growth. I once had some very healthy, and rampant, plants that had very distinct shaped leaves and which I could have sworn I’d seen on a drugs awareness course I had attended. They composted very well – honest!

This year the birds have left some unforeseen, but very welcome, sunflower plants. They’re not daft – they know that they will produce food for later on!

Dreams and Memories

This week’s #writephoto prompt is

Countless feet have walked this way

and countless dreams been broken

and often there were couples here

whose loving words were spoken

but dreams are often dashed away

just like the paths and highways

and landslips happen every day

destroying all life’s byeways

Yet man returns with hope anew

for dreams to be restored

He breaks new ground and forges on

his old love still adored

These memories cannot be dashed

as shorelines smashed asunder

Each memory can still be cashed

and is it any wonder

that countless feet who’ve walked this way

will walk forever more

with memories that e’er shall last

upon this dwindling shore.

Sigh – A poem by Carolyn

I’ve been considering this post for a few weeks now. It is particularly relevant today as The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) release their latest report that is a dire warning that we are heading even more rapidly towards killing our world.

We in the UK say Oh Dearie Me, we must do something, but meanwhile we will carry on with new oil and gas extraction and there is no need to have an adverse effect on the growth of the economy!

Meanwhile, those of us who are not fleeing wild fires, or flooding, or extreme heat, or rising water levels, will turn up our heating, or switch on the air conditioning. We will take our children the mile and a half to school in our gas guzzling vehicles deigned to go off road and up mountains. We will complain about having to pay more than a couple of dollars for fruit that was picked by children and flown across he world for us. We will pay a dollar for a bunch of flowers that were picked that morning and will earn the grower 2 cents. We will pack 2,000 chickens into a barn so we have cheap eggs and chicken burgers, and we will have cows that never see daylight so burger producers can make a fortune from the millions upon millions of us who demand cheap food. We will complain about the rain forests disappearing, but demand palm oil and wood products that emanate from them. We will happily buy cheap clothing and throw it away after a few weeks. I could go on, but……………..

This was never meant to be a rant from me, it was meant to share Carolyn’s excellent, and very apt, poem, so please let me introduce……………………………….Carolyn:

Carolyn, also known as Yetismith, lives in upstate New York along with 13 cats, give or take a couple.  She feeds all the birds and critters that pass her way and they reward her by eating everything that dares to grow anywhere nearby. 

For many years she worked in customer service at JFK and at SEATAC but is now a lady of leisure, if that is possible when you have so many cats!

Carolyn posts regularly on her blog CatsinCambridge and sometimes intersperses her lovely photographs with poetry.  She claims she is not a poet, but I beg to differ. 

In June, Carolyn posted a lovely set of pictures of flowers that had, so far, escaped the hungry animals. She included a poem that warned of humankind’s neglect and disrespect of the planet and ended by saying “Time for all of us to be responsible, in every and any way possible.”

I asked if I could share her words and, later, if I could share a spoken version.

This is my interpretation(s) of Carolyn’s poem. I may not read it as she would read it or, for that matter, in a way that anyone else would.  However, I hope that I have done it justice!

Before you listen, please do look at the original post which can be found here.  The pictures really are lovely and behold, a poem!

SIGH 1
SIGH 2

Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published yesterday.

The world is dying Humankind has abused it Now’s the time to heal Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly […]

Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Almost a Cat-astrophe

Yesterday the sky was filled with dark grey clouds and it looked very unlikely that I should get to see the annular eclipse. If we were lucky, people across the UK would be treated to views of a crescent sun as the moon appeared to partially block out the sun. In other parts of the world the “ring of fire” would be visible from places such as Canada, Greenland and northern Russia.

I was kitted out with polarised lenses for my glasses, and with my trusty camera. The only problem was that although I can look directly towards the sun with my lenses attached I cannot then see the screen of my camera so it was a case of lenses on, look at the sun, lenses off, look at the camera – repeat ad infinitum. I do not have a tripod – a lack I will have to address!

Here are the results: (My camera time is one hour behind)

Song Lyric Sunday – 27 December 2020 – Heart of the Country

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Odor /Scent /Smell /Taste this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I’m pondering on the final concert, and the final public performance, of The Beatles, Paul and Linda McCartney’s move to the Mull of Kintyre, and the beauty of that part of the world. I was fortunate to live in the Outer Hebrides for two years, based in Ballivanich, on the Isle of Benbecula. Wild, sparsely populated, enduring some tremendously strong winds and wild weather but beautiful, captivating, and instilling a sort of desert fever in those who are lucky enough to experience it.

The Beatles’ final paid concert of their career took place on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The band played to an audience of 25,000, leaving 7,000 tickets unsold. They had become disillusioned with live performances, singing the same songs time and again, unable to hear themselves playing. They had upset many fans with John’s statement that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

The Beatles’ rooftop concert on 30 January 1969 marked the end of an era for many fans. The group did record one more album, Abbey Road — on which work started the following month — but by September 1969 the Beatles had unofficially disbanded.

To save some money from the taxman and as a bolt hole from Beatlemania, Paul had, encouraged by then girlfriend Jane Asher, bought High Park Farm in Campbeltown, near Argyll’s Mull of Kintyre in 1968. But it was only when newly married to American Linda Eastman in 1969 that he decided to make it a home.

He said: “Going up to Scotland was real freedom. It was an escape – our means of finding a new direction in life and having time to think about what we really wanted to do.”

The farm, which was rustic to say the least, would become home to Linda’s daughter Heather and the couple’s first child Mary. Stella, now a top fashion designer, arrived in 1971.

But it was also the place where Paul’s next music project was born.

The new expanded editions of Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway include never-before-seen pictures of the McCartneys’ life in Campbeltown, which in time would inspire his love letter to the area – Mull of Kintyre – a 1977 Christmas No1. 

They released the album ‘Ram’ together in 1971 and formed the band Wings in the same year. The couple were also nominated for an Oscar for their song ‘Live And Let Die’, the theme tune for the 1973 Bond film of the same name.

“When she came to Britain and we got to together the greatest thing about it was we both wanted to be free. We did what we wanted and she took pictures of it all.”

Linda McCartney died after a battle with breast cancer on April 17, 1998. She was 56 years old. 

The song I’m offering is Heart of the Country from the album Ram released in 1971.

The video shows some great examples of the free and easy life in their dream home. A great place to raise their children, grow their own food, ride in deserted areas (UK horseriders may note they use American style saddles and tack), and generally enjoy life.

The song aint bad either!

If you want to see more then there is some lovely pics, and music, at the bottom of the lyrics.

I look high, I look low

I’m lookin’ everywhere I go

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Lookin’ for a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I want a sheep

I wanna get me a good night’s sleep

Living in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Want a horse, I got a sheep

I’m gonna get me a good night’s sleep

Livin’ in a home

In the heart of the country

I’m gonna move, I’m gonna go

I’m gonna tell everyone I know

In the heart of the country

Heart of the country

Where the holy people grow

Heart of the country

Smell the grass in the meadow

Whoa, whoa, whoa

Song Lyric Sunday – 13 December 2020 – Orange Crush

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Apple /Banana /Cherry /Olive /Orange /Strawberry this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

The band I’m featuring this week is R.E.M. an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. The band was formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead singer Michael Stipe, all of whom were students at the University of Georgia. They disbanded, amicably, in 2011.

Orange Crush was released as the first single from the band’s sixth studio album, “Green”, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band’s then-highest chart hit in Britain.

The song’s title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the U.S. Army recruiting slogan, “Be all you can be… in the Army.” Stipe’s father served in the Vietnam War.

I think R.E.M. were best when performing live. Here is a recording from a 2003 performance in Germany.

….and here a remastered studio recorded version

The middle section of the lyrics mimics the helicopters flying over and around to disperse the defoliant Agent Orange, used to destroy the overhead cover of the Viet Cong. Little did they realise that it was also destroying the lungs, and other organs, of the civilian population, and American soldiers and airmen. That legacy continues to kill people today!

Lyrics

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one came on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

We would circle and we’d circle and we’d circle to stop and consider and centered on the pavement stacked up all the trucks jacked up and our wheels in slush and orange crush in pocket and all this here county, hell, any county, it’s just like heaven here, and I was remembering and I was just in a different county and all then this whirlybird that I headed for I had my goggles pulled off; I knew it all, I knew every back road and every truck stop

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Mills / Berry / Buck / Stipe

Orange Crush lyrics © Night Garden Music