like wounded child
like wounded child
Young and old
come to pray,
equals new life.
Sun baked cliffs
gale force winds
A favourite poem I love reading time and time again by the Scottish Poet: George Mackay Brown – entitled Hamnavoe’
George Mackay Brown was born on the 17th October 1921 in Stromness, Orkney, Scotland. His early writing career saw him working as a journalist for the Orkney Herald. In 1951 he left, and attended Newbattle Abbey College and Edinburgh University, graduating with an MA in 1960.
He published two books; “Hamnavoe” a book of poems and stories and “Loaves and Fishes” exclusively poems. In 1961 was accepted into the Roman Catholic Church, a great source of inspiration for his works. In the latter part of the 1980’s returned to Orkney and Stromness, due to ill health, and continued writing poems, until his death on the 13th April 1996.
My father passed with his penny letters
Through closes opening and shutting like legends
When barbarous with gulls
Hamnavoe’s morning broke
On the salt and tar steps. Herring boats,
Puffing red sails, the tillers
Of cold horizons, leaned
Down the gull-gaunt tide
And threw dark nets on sudden silver harvests.
A stallion at the sweet fountain
Dredged water, and touched
Fire from steel-kissed cobbles.
Hard on noon four bearded merchants
Past the pipe-spitting pier-head strolled,
Holy with greed, chanting
Their slow grave jargon.
A tinker keen like a tartan gull
At cuithe-hung doors. A crofter lass
Trudged through the lavish dung
In a dream of corn-stalks and milk.
In the Arctic Whaler three blue elbows fell,
Regular as waves, from beards spumy with porter,
Till the amber day ebbed out
To its black dregs.
The boats drove furrows homeward, like ploughmen
In blizzards of gulls. Gaelic fisher-girls
Flashed knife and dirge
Over drifts of herring.
And boys with penny wands lured gleams
From tangled veins of the flood. Houses went blind
Up one steep close, for a
Grief by the shrouded nets.
The kirk, in a gale of psalms, went heaving through
A tumult of roofs, freighted for heaven. And lovers
Unblessed by steeples lay under
The buttered bannock of the moon.
He quenched his lantern, leaving the last door.
Because of his gay poverty that kept
my seapink innocence
From the worm and black wind;
And because, under equality’s sun,
All things wear now to a common soiling,
In the fire of images
Gladly I put my hand
To save that day for him
The flower offered of itself
And eloquently spoke of God
In languages of rainbows
Perfumes, and secret silence…
Almost comically what brought roses to Texas began with a “slow boat to China,” as it were. The Chinese had been cultivating roses for over 5,000 years. Then during the early 19th century, ships of the East India Company brought the repeat-blooming China roses back from the Orient to Europe. Once there the Europeans bred the China roses with their once-blooming roses. Eventually progeny of the old China roses, the once-blooming European roses, and their hybrids were brought to the Americas by the early settlers. However as time passed, the public grew to have a greater desire for the more modern roses, and nurseries stopped offering old roses. Thankfully in the last couple of decades there has been resurgence of interest in the old garden roses, and they are readily…
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There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
………To me did seem
…….Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
…….Turn wheresoe’er I may,
………By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
…….The Rainbow comes and goes,
…….And lovely is the Rose,
…….The Moon doth with delight
…Look round her when the heavens are bare,
…….Waters on a starry night
…….Are beautiful and fair;
…..The sunshine is a glorious birth;
…..But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
…And while the young lambs bound
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This patient must be now trephined
let all the others go;
to-morrow when the sun is up
my magic I’ll them show.
Two men the epileptic bore
and laid him on a trunk,
and when the wretch was coming round
he showed some signs of funk.
No question put they to the man;
the doctor cleared his throat,
then, bringing flints from out his hut,
took off his hairy coat.
A crowd had gathered all around,
to watch the bloody deed;
their curiosity was stirred
to see his devil freed.
With sharp flint flake the surgeon made
a cruciform incision;
the blood did spurt, the wound it hurt,
the crowd laughed in derision.
The two assistants pressed the flaps
to stop the blood from running;
The Medicine-Man did scheme and plan,
he was so full of cunning.
He scraped the pericranium,
until the skull was bare;
then scratched the bone with a sharp stone,
it did not matter where.
He scraped that bone and scratched and scraped
the scratches made a groove,
the groove a basin-like eclipse,
the patient did not move.
The fact was this, when he came round
so rotten did he feel,
he fainted when he found himself
the centre of such zeal.
The hollow soon became a hole,
t’was all but through the bone,
his diploe, you well might see,
but still he made no moan.
The inner table only now
protected his soft brain,
one final scrape and he did make
that hole a window-pane.
The devil stirred within his skull
and, with a fearful yell,
escaped from out its prison-house
to seek its own in hell.
Some years ago came across this poem by an unknown writer, so thought it would be nice to share, this slice of fun. Thankfully surgery has moved forward…
For some unknown period
my sleep is deep,
then my dreams are full
sweating head to foot
as fear sends screams
raging through my body.
A voice washed over her
drowning out her senses,
swamping her brain
with exhileration and fear.
Passion surged through her
she thought her heart, would burst
a tide of words flowed over her
her strength, drained with each word.
The fire pulled itself
higher on the wind,
flickering ruby highlights
across the darkened room.
Sparks from the fire
brought the room alive,
and though she knew it
it was, but a trick of light.
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