Blackbird*

Blackbird singing 🎀 🎢 in the dead of night:

Take these broken wings and learn to fly,

It’s 6.14, I wait for the dawn

To break and usher today in.

Waiting by my window here –

Gazing at the darkness: blackbird sings 🎡

Chaffinch, goldfinch, blue tit,

Great tit, robin, coal tit,

Wren, collared dove πŸ•Š I hear them all.

Break now, new day as I fall

Into my mind where darkness creeps

I wish I could’ve stayed asleep.

Coffee on my windowsill,

Raise cup to lips and drink my fill.

The sky now is a midnight blue –

Day will come, household wake too:

Parents and Fluffball soon will stir,

And I can stroke my angel’s fur 🐈.

I’ve had a bath πŸ› and washed my hair –

Dressed and smoothed flyaways too.

Today’s New Year, if you’re a Jew:

Apples 🍎 🍏, honey 🍯 and fresh starts,

So needed, as I wait for dark

To lift, reveal the new day.

For my sins to be forgiven

To G-d I pray πŸ™.

I’m a good girl, I know this is true:

Sky turns now a lighter hue.

Music 🎢 playing on my phone:

The mix of Oshic Zen Tarot –

Tinkling bells πŸ”” herald a new day,

I can’t wait to run πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ and play.

I’ll walk down to the village later,

See my friend, I won’t berate her

But be kind and warm and loving too.

Dawn is breaking – and how

The sky 🌌 is filling with new light.

This new year, new day, we are reborn.

*1968. Song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Appears on the 1968 double album The Beatles.

The Mysterious Magickal Cat*

My precious angel fluffball

I love him to distraction

He’s not a man of thought

And he’s not a man of action

He is a man of furry tail

A man of apricot paws 🐾

And every time I see his sweet face

I love him more and more.

He has four breakfasts

And he has three lunches

If you can’t find him in the house

Just follow the crunches

You won’t hear the last of it

If you don’t feed him again

I love my cat more than all men

If you don’t feed him even more

I can’t answer for his actions

In a world of constant pain

He’s the best distraction

So give him his third supper

Then he’ll go to sleep

On top of Mum on her bed

Stretched out so he can keep

The whole bed for himself

He clambers up on and

Walks around on the precious objects shelf

Darling, sweetest fluffball

I love you with all my heart

Don’t ever leave me because

It would break my heart.

He is the best at kisses

He gives the fluffiest cuddles

He steps gingerly out when it rains

He jumps over the puddles

And then he rests inside again

On his spotted sofa

He grooms his damp fur with his tongue

He sleeps for many hours

In him G-d has invested

Many special powers

He can growl and he can meow

If you don’t meet his needs

And now it is time again

For another three feeds.

He sleeps the sleep of an angel

Tail wrapped around his paws 🐾

And I gaze at him again

I break all the laws

Of how much to love someone

He has my whole heart

Let’s end this poem now

With the sentiment at the start

He’s my precious angel fluffball

I love him to bits and pieces

And he loves me so we are square

And for once things are fair.

*2018. By D.J. Conway. Mythology, folklore, spirits and spells. The history of the cat and our relationship with this magickal creature.

Angels And Demons*

5.35am and it

Is dark and silent

As I sit

On my bed: summoning Spirit:

Janet, Ann, Lucy and Furry.

My vision is all blurry

Inside my head.

They are all dead.

“Come closer Spirit, come to me,”

I say and sprites sit on my bed.

Three’s a crowd: but four –

Perfect. I show them then

The door. “Go back spirits

From whence you came,”

I say, and they drift away

Again. They fly backwards

On angel πŸ‘Ό wings.

As I see them in my

Mind’s eye. My soul

Sings and then I summon

Them close again.

It doesn’t thunder, doesn’t rain.

The night – pitch black,

They tread, leave no tracks.

“Come here again you sprites,”

I say. They flutter to me

On turquoise, pink, black and white wings.

They sit on silver carpet –

Drop feathers on my floor

To leave a trace.

Then, I gaze at these whom I

Loved so much in life.

No more pain, and

No more strife assails them:

They don’t have bodies now.

I reach a hand

Which pushes straight through one

Of them. Open eyes and they’re

All vanishΓ©d again.

But now at least, at least I know –

There is a place where shadows go.

*2009. Feature film. Written by David Koepp, Akiva Goldsman from the novel by Dan Brown. Stars Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard. Directed by Ron Howard.

So Long Marianne*

Bye bye wonderful Garsdale: it’s been amazing. Here we are last night reading out our poems to each other and Sushi the cat 🐈 :

Here is last night’s supper:

Now am at station πŸš‰ waiting for train πŸš‚ it’s cold. We just see a Red Squirrel 🐿 who scampers away before can photograph him.

It’s 9.01am. The train’s at 9.08am I think. Was meant to catch the 10.36am one but this way I have the company of my lovely tutor Roger.

The sky is blue. My suitcase 🧳 weighs a ton. My laptop πŸ’» bag πŸ’Ό is stuffed with books πŸ“š. Sketch pad and watercolour pencils ✏️ in my rucksack πŸŽ’ so can draw and colour on my 4.5 hour journey.

Will return later.

Happy Saturday everyone!

*Song by Leonard Cohen.

Cherry Cheesecake Murder*

For some reason my pictures aren’t uploading so will just write this quickly as it’s supper in 17 minutes at 7pm.

Finally make it out for a walk today. It’s dry then rains then rain stops then starts again. Am out for about 55 minutes and am soaked through on my return. See lots of sheep πŸ‘ and drystone walls. The sheep are black with white head and are Swaledales.

Supper tonight is pasta 🍝 followed by cheesecake. Am hungry now even though there were chocolate brownies and lemon πŸ‹ squares at tea time.

Tonight Hamish is reading his new project: Parallel Lives which is about John Lennon and Dylan Thomas.

Am having such a wonderful time here. There is no television πŸ“Ί in the house and feel much more relaxed and am sleeping better than I do at home. Also, of course, there are no shops or gyms.

Would like to go in to town with Rebecca if she goes tomorrow as lunch is cheese and biscuits and the local cheese is so good.

Right had better post this as need to change for supper.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*2007. By Joanne Fluke. Cozy Murder mystery.

Three Bags Full*

The past is gone,

Future’s unclear:

All you have is

This moment here.

A sheep gazes at you

With curious eyes –

Stop the torture,

Ignore the lies.

Grasp the present

With both hands:

It trickles through

Your fingers: sand.

All shall be well

The angels say –

You wake, begin another day.

The past is gone

And with it fear:

Soon we start

Another year.

But first exams,

Then maybe snow

Will blanket the hills.

And now rain falls,

The grass smells fresh –

The country air

Exhausts you: but

You just don’t care

About your mistakes:

Behind you, they

Crumble. You still

Can pray.

For deliverance from

Your unpleasant past:

Now the sun doth

Shine at last.

Green hills, blue sky,

White black-faced sheep –

You only wish that you

Could keep this moment

Bottled up. For later:

When you’ve drained the Cup

Of pleasure. Gaze at

Your leisure. On sheep,

And hills, a train rolls past:

And now you are

Content at last.

*1976. By Leonie Swann. A sheep detective story. A flock of anthropomorphic Irish sheep try to solve their shepherd’s murder.

The Lives Of The Poets*

I make the tortoise out of clay.

No, no I don’t: steal it away.

Slipping out of the pottery room,

Creature hidden in the bloom

Of youth I wear, aged eleven.

Now they are all in heaven –

All those whom I loved:

Janet, Anne, Furry and Lucy

I summon them to me –

They glide on angel wings, and sit,

Across from me. As it is writ-

In the great book πŸ“– the end of days,

I make dragons out of clays:

Red and grey: I fire them,

I would have that time again –

Take tortoise 🐒 back and beg forgiveness,

No-one there to bear witness

To my magic creative skills,

I wonder: can I mould clay still.

You’re just so talented darling,” says Mum

And places it on the high shelf, it’s done.

Door πŸšͺ opens, she is back again:

The hum of tractors and the train.

Kleptomania revealed

I make them – no, I don’t – I steal.

Pottery’s the cruellest month,

Out of, now, my skin I jump.

September here is acid rain:

Only carcasses remain

Where once were sheep πŸ‘

Now phone πŸ“ž goes bleep.

I take it back now, to the kiln

And leave it there: unfired, still:

Never steal anything again.

The heather’s scorched by acid rain.

The fool on the hill is woolly and white,

With a black face. He’s alright:

The heavens open. Acid rain

Falls again – it burns the train πŸš‚

It scorches the grass now –

Slash and burn.

I must stop starting fires πŸ”₯,

It’s time for me to retire

From this world, from her temptations –

I plan new, dark assignations –

Each new boy will be The One:

The drummer beats his tiny drum πŸ₯.

The Eagle πŸ¦… Of The Ninth raised high,

Her crest reaches up to the sky.

Centurions are decimated:

One in ten killed, lacerated.

The Spartan army is the strongest:

Leonidas holds out for the longest.

There’ll be time to edit after:

Past the crying, past the laughter πŸ˜‚,

Past the school coach, past the kiln,

Past the hills, and ever faster –

Past the road and past the mills,

Past the station πŸš‰ – on the train πŸš‚ .

I need now – to go back again,

To the age, the age of ten,

To that time, the time when

I steal other people’s work –

My duties to G-D I shirk.

Furry’s a baby, then he’s dead:

I kiss my angel Fluffball’s head.

The Dragon πŸ‰ that I filch still

Sits on my brother’s windowsill.

She shouldn’t guard us but she can,

She kills and eats another man

Swallows him whole –

Wear his lungs – a pair of wings behind her head:

The dove πŸ•Š flies past with angel feathers –

You shoot and roast and eat her now:

You slit the throats of cattle, and

Blood spills scotch the grass, poor cows πŸ„ .

*1998. By Michael Schmidt. A celebration of poetry.

Lone Wolf*

Pull a seven card spread with my Lo Scarabeo Deck for this week. It has lots of reversed cards denoting fatality and robbery. Which is a shame.

Travelling light 🀣

Made it to Cumbria for my Poetry Writing ✍️ Retreat. It’s so pretty here – you can see the view of sheep πŸ‘ and hills from my window and the air is so fresh.

Was going to attempt a bath πŸ› before tea at 4.30pm but I seem to be in bed. Must post this and put some clothes on.

We have housekeeping talk and now have a class already!

Happy Monday everyone!

*2004. By Felix Dennis. Poetry collection.

Tarosophy*

Am off to Kings Cross this morning to catch the train 🚞 to my Poetry Writing ✍️ Retreat. Am excited. Haven’t had a holiday since Israel in early April. Have been looking forward to this trip for weeks.

Yesterday: catch the train to my parents at 8.45am. Here I am on the way:

Then it’s my Tarot Course. We learn the suit of Cups. This suit represents human feelings or emotions or the lack of it. Some decks call Cups Chalices. The positive benefit of this suit are: love, romance, sensuality, creative expressions and the choices that can arrive from those areas in your life. Keywords: human emotion, love, friendship, sensual pleasure, connection, intimacy. The Cups remind us of how we relate to the external as well as the inner world on a daily basis.

We then move on to the suit of Swords βš”οΈ. Swords are associated with the element Air and represent the rational and logical way we make decisions in life:

Keywords: Thought, the mind, information, connection, ideals, self expression. Swords are double-edged: They remind us that our deceptions, illusions and fears are the very ‘demons’ that need to be faced and that the logical and rational must work with the wisdom of our heart πŸ’“.

Teacher tells us that next week we will do readings for each other. Am a bit nervous. Have a six page document sent from a Tarot site which has a couple of keywords for each card and need to learn these. The document is in my packing. Pack last night.

Rush home to watch the tennis. Miss the doubles which we lose. Roger then wins his match against Isner in straight sets. Taylor Fritz then beats Domi. It all comes down to a deciding match: Sascha vs Milos Raonic.

Sascha wins the first set, Milos the second and then the whole tournament will be decided on the ten point championship tie break. Sascha wins it in commanding style. Team Europe retain the Laver Cup πŸ₯³ πŸŽ‰. Am so happy about this.

Suzy pops round for a cuddle and I read her cards:

An Ourobouros spread – the tail-eating serpent with the Dragon πŸ‰ Tarot. The cards are mainly reversed Pentacles, the suit of the Earth and, like the zodiac Earth signs represent personal resources and the very fibre of our being. Keywords are: substance, the senses, reality, the tangible.

This suit is relevant for Suzy as she’s just left her job and is exploring other work options.

The second reading we do with the Lo Scarabeo Deck:

This is the ten card spread. There are some excellent cards in here that indicate that the issue Suzy asks about will have a positive outcome.

We both really enjoy the readings and it’s all good practice.

Watch a bit of The Haunting Of Hill House and then bed.

Now am up watching last night’s Peaky Blinders. Am so looking forward to my trip: can’t wait.

Happy Monday everyone!

*2011. By Marcus Katz. Tarot to engage life, not escape it. Book about reading the tarot.

Funeral Games*

Tinder, Bumble, Happn, Hinge:

I’m back dating the Lunatic Fringe.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Cunt:

Pick some boys, take a punt.

Baa baa black sheep πŸ‘,

I need to sleep.

Swiping: it becomes addictive –

Are they real, are they fictive.

Watermelon πŸ‰ in a bowl:

I know some chap won’t make me whole.

Distraction, redaction, I’m myself ,

Don’t wanna end up on the shelf.

I come bearing caffeinated gifts,

My mood it sometimes even lifts.

My hair falls out, I’ll wear a wig:

My hair used to be so big.

Racing, pacing, making thoughts:

Is this, is this, for what we fought

Two wars: the war to end all wars,

The first.

Nothing, nothing slakes my thirst

For new connection, real love

You cook and kill and eat the dove –

You roast the dove, consume her whole,

The olive branch burns in the flames,

You can’t believe you’re playing games,

You can’t accept it’s not the way –

You break their hearts ❣ πŸ’“,

You make them pay –

Crawling on their knees for favours.

Oh look, oh look there’s Rod Laver,

Super Mac, the ice man Borg

Team Europe win, win, win it’s called.

Tennis is the cruelest sport:

Is this, is this for what they fought

The bloodiest wars in human times.

Dating boys is not the worst of crimes.

You WhatsApp, them those clueless dorks,

They cannot use their knives πŸ”ͺ and forks 🍴.

Sock hits a winner,

What’s for dinner.

They’re in red and weΧ³re in blue,

Stefanos then beats Taylor too.

Domi wins, so do Rog and Sascha,

They’re in red but we are flasher.

The world it turns

The fire it burns

The Amazon is still in flames,

Time now to play patriot games

Tennis now where once was war,

Sock socks the ball:

He wins in four.

Not four sets, but four it rhymes,

You pull the Empress card four times.

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night,

Four nights will quickly dream away the time;

And then the moon, πŸŒ’ like to a silver bow, new-bent in heaven

Shall behold the night

Of our solemnities.

Moonology, astrology, zoology,

Philology, biology, cryptozoology,

The kraken wakes,

He threads across your skin:

Skin that has had cancer in,

Must be cut out again, again,

There are so many awful men.

There are so many wondrous beasts:

Phoenix, Roc and Thunderbird,

What d’you mean you haven’t heard

Of Chupacabras, Basilisk:

He turns you to stone with his eyes πŸ‘€.

Kelpie, Salamanda, Simurgh

Yes, yes he’s a giant bird πŸ¦…

Leucrota now, then Minotaur:

Ariadne gives you the ball of string,

To find your way out of Minotaur’s maze:

You’re in there for days and days.

My love, our nuptial hour draws on apace,

To the tortoise not hare the race.

Minotaur dies and with him love

You mustn’t roast, tear and eat the dove.

*1981. By Mary Renault. Novel dealing with the aftermath of the death of Alexander the Great and the ensuing disintegration of his empire. The final book in her Alexander trilogy.