NaPoWriMo Day 10 Good Friday

After the fiend of a yesterday’s concrete poem, today’s prompt is a little bit more in my comfort zone. It is a spin on the spare haiku form. Calling itself Hay(na)ku, it is still the familiar three lines. But instead of syllabic counting you need to count words. Line 1 has a single word. Line 2 has two words. Line 3 has 3 words. You can stop with a single stanza or you can link them a bit like a renga.

Nature does not come into it necessarily, like it would for a haiku. Although nature wanted in when I started writing. Also, I realise that I am a product of my religious upbringing, so other certain seasonal imagery crept in. My creative colleague, http://@HelenShay, did a Maundy Thursday poem instead of the concrete poem yesterday, which may be why my own poem today is straying into that territory. Also…I am a product of my religious upbringing, no matter how lapsed I may now be.

(NB: NaPoWriMo is a bit of a community. It is good to connect!)

But before I give you the hay(na)ku, here are some photo images of nature as it is unfurling this spring in my townland in Ireland. I know that for city dwellers this lockdown must be a lot harder than for us country dwellers. Being able to look at nature, even digitally, is supposed to be good for our immune systems. So this is my contribution to shut-ins’ daily dose of immune boosting nature.

townland home
The townland I call home

Communion
 
Leaves
On twigs
Emerged overnight, tiny
 
Blossom
On blackthorn
Appeared communion veiled
 
Trees
Stand. Say
“Take this. Eat.
 
We
Are memory" 
Twig, leaf, thorn
 
Flower
Bud, fruit
Beech mast floor
 
Tree
Branches bare
You and me
 
Copyright © Bee Smith 2020. All rights reserved.
 

The Nature of Truth

Just when I think it’s time to change things up with the Poetry Daily and NOT do a quotation poem, a stray tweet reported in a newscast comes along and it so beguiles, despite the charmlessness of its author, that I just had to see where it would take me .Given the environmental policies that have emitted like CO2 from certain departments, it’s a strange statement to be made from someone who I reckon has spent little time in nature at all.

That statement jostled in my mind with a Bible verse from John 8:32 “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” I am not a great Bible scholar, but along with “Jesus wept” it’s a favourite. I certainly hope truth can save the US Constitution from the paper shredding its been having the past two years. It’s not a perfect document, hence the need for amendments over the span of two centuries. It was written by imperfect mortals. But its aspirations are laudable.

Nature teaches us of the eternal cycle of creation and destruction. So, too, does truth. It smashes illusion and delusion. But it also sets us free to create, redeem, and save what can be saved.

the nature of truth

.

Fractal

I slept long and late, secure in the fact that I do not need to be in the classroom before 1pm. Our house was as still as Sleeping Beauty’s castle until nearly 10am. Certain threads of personal cogitation have tangentially found their way into the late morning’s poetry practice.  Fractals, ancient rock art, cup and ring marks….Today’s Poetry Daily is in blank verse. Sorry there is no image. I just could not get an upload to play…and I must be away into the day! (I remedied this later on.)

Fractal

Consider nature, the fractals in trees,

the ever repeating pattern growing,

growing larger and larger and larger-

the swirling out of sunflower seedheads,

the upwards spiral staircase in pine cone,

the rippling of waves on an inward tide.

We imitate the lines and curves we see.

The  cup and ring marks inspire labyrinths,

ancient showing ancient a deeper way

of seeing how the world is being made.

Just as the whorls on the palms of our hands

are regular, but unique, patterns made,

which ancient ancestors laid in ochre

on cave walls -even the baby’s – handprints

waving at us from beyond time and grave.

Copyright 2019 Bee Smith

 

hand in cup and ring marks

Spring Flow

Irrefutably, it is springtime. At least in our far corner of West Cavan Spring has arrived. The narcissi Tete a tete have flowered, not just in the pots, but out in sheltered parts of the garden. The first croci and hydrangea are starting to bloom. Of the wild flowers, the bold aconite has been out for a couple of weeks, outfacing the snow and frost at Brigid’s Day. The hellebores are in flower. The first of the primroses are flowering, too, again in a sheltered corner of the garden.

Yesterday was the first of what my husband terms ‘laundry days!’ Mostly sunny, mild,and with a breeze that promises it will dry your washing if you hang it on the line outdoors. Given the humidity in Ireland, outdoor drying is something of an art and whim of nature. Yesterday was the first time in many months that I chanced pegging out washing on the line.

We have now had the official opening of spring in my part of Ireland. Which happens to be a stunningly beautiful area. So much so that UNESCO recognises its significant natural and built heritage by naming it as a geopark. I live in a geopark community on the first village on the River Shannon after it pokes its head out from underground caverns and begins to flow towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Poetry practice may have an element of spring fever to it today. But indulge me a little as I have been up since dawn’s earliest suggestion of light. The dawn over the Playbank was a full on kiss this morning.

Arteries

Peachy rose gold threads
brocading the light
coming up over the Playbank.

The throated notes of waking up song
Is it a robin?
I do not know for sure.

The trickle of the flow-
ditch, spring, stream to out from, feed in
the River Shannon down below.

A clear light. A song's note.
Springtime.
A rise in bloodheat.

The snow on the Playbank
melted ages ago,
a cataract tear

flowing down the drumlins
sculpting  the karst below over ages
with the seasons' flow.


Nature Poem

Having a meme for 30 Days of Gratitude is a helpful prompt for poetry practice. Because somedays it can feel a bit blank. I need something more than caffeine for a kickstart. And so I consulted the meme my niece posted on Instagram. And if it is 8th November, then Nature is the theme. Which I can relish. Not everyone may realise that I live in Paradise. It’s part of a wider region known as the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. And a geopark, for those who are scratching their heads, is a UNESCO designation for regions of outstanding international significance for both natural and built heritage. I sometimes am incredulous that we actually stumbled on this area when we moved from Yorkshire.

So before I post the poem, let me give you a wee slide show of my corner of the universe.

nature

Bee Smith River Shannon nature

nature

I mustn’t neglect to include a cow picture. This is cattle country after all.

nature

And some cow parsley that festoons our lane every May.

nature on our lane

I suppose I could have gone for a lyrical pastoral poem. But we live close to upland country. It is much more wildish in West Cavan.

Nature

 

green

bronze  gold

moss

lichen

 

sky

canvas

cloud

drop cloth

 

lake

water

still

presence

 

tree

rooted

bare

sleeping

 

stream

flowing

down

river

 

sea

roaring

tide

turning

 

bird

feeding

wings

flutter

 

sun

rising

day

starting

 

moon

waxing

month

cycling

 

night

skywatch

owl

hooting

 

all

nature

is

changing

 

like

Luna

we

return

 

like

daylight

too

returns

 

 

Copyright © Bee Smith 2018