Thursday, May 29, 2014

Curtain call

Seeing posts about am dram and theatre production rehearsals brings back a sense of nostalgia. The parts are picked, the lines learned (well, you think so...) scenery is constructed, coffee and biscuits consumed until finally that first night draws round. It's time for the curtain call!

Curtain call

Quietness descends on the packed out hall
Chairs squeak in anticipation
As the house lights go down
Full beams light up the curtain
Like searchlights seeking their target
All eyes are trained on those velvet drapes
The wall between reality and imagination
Stands with hands poised on ropes
Ready to throw them back
And draw willing minds
And hungry imaginations
Into this make believe world
Actors gather in the wings
Some nervously
Others self assuredly
All feel the tide of anticipation
Straining against it's dam
It's come to this
The time has come
Every minute has prepared
Whispered lines echo
Like lost words
In a dusty museum
Silent signals are given
and shadows creep
Into their well walked places
As they don their alter ego
The mask comes down
As they are themselves no more
They are stage makeup,
Ragged threads,
Another person altogether
They are the character
And as the music starts,
The hands poised upon ropes
Begin their arduous task
As the veil is torn aside
And with a collective breath,
The line between reality and imagination
Is blurred
For they are now one
And tonight they shall dance together

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chartwell House

We went to Winston Churchill's home, Chartwell House today. Something very peaceful about the grounds. This poem came while walking.

Chartwell house

The plants were lounging in their beds

Beads of dew hung to every leaf

Clear globes upon each tip

A world of light contained within

Loose blooms danced like butterflies

Fluttering in the damp, white light

Ancient oaks stood resplendent

Their arms moving gently

In the chilly breeze

Great grass carpets rolled out

Beneath the shade of hazel boughs

Neatly trimmed

Like a child's first hair cut

I breathed them in

Their clean, green air

Their colour bathed light

Tiled steps led routes

And I wandered

Down stony paths

And hidden trails

And here I found my mind

Wandered wide and far

On snowy clouds

And dampened air

Thoughts turned to dreams

And dreams grew wings

To soar among the towering trees

And quiet, faded memories

As I, with all my daily worries

Here, found peace

Among Chartwell House's

Grandeur, life and beauty

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The eternal question

Watching Doctor Who tonight slightly freaked me out.  The story involved a haunted house where the Doctor and Clara could sense someone watching them.  It wasn't until the end of the episode that you found out who/what it was but it reminded me how that sense of someone watching you or a niggling question can consume you.  It can seem to override everything else at times, dulling yourself to whatever else is going on.  A particular question asks itself to all of us.  The eternal question.

The eternal question

Do you feel like you're being watched?
That itch on the back of your neck?
A coolness in your back
tiptoeing up and down your spine?
A shadow flits across the doorway
but a shadow in your mind
or a darkness in your eye?
A spot that grows in strength and breadth
spreading across the synapses
dragging its eternal questions...
who are you?
what have you done?
how will it matter?

Invisible eyes wander,
creeping over every inch
as it leaves its mark upon your skin
a whisper accompanies the itch's steps
Are you enough?
A sliver of ice slips inside your heart
Am I enough?
Was it sufficient?
Will it ever be?
An invisible finger wiggles just once in your mind's eye
time's pendulum swings before the spot
as the spot grows wider
black inky tendrils stretch their disapproval
up and down your back
for all you have done can never be enough.
The watcher laughs its hollow laugh
as your once-straight back curves in hunched concern
its power is the lie
and the lie is a question
Aren't you enough?

But a watcher is merely an observer
and a lie can never be truth
for not behind but beside is one
who does not merely watch
and laugh
not one who observes and tricks
with the eternal lie
The one who stands beside
answers the lie
with blinding, glorious, disarming truth
with simplicity so beautiful
the spot which streaked across your synapses
flooding your mind with its inky poison
is stopped in its tracks
shrinks back into the spot it began in
and the spot is gathered within a tear
the watcher can only watch
for his power is in the lie
and the lie's power is broken
as the question is answered
in three simple words:

I am enough

and the tear fell to the floor
for the spot was not more


Sunday, May 18, 2014

The whisper in the wind

We all have storms.  Some are fiercer than others, but what they all have in common is they leave us feeling a shadow of ourselves, out of our depth and often like no-one else can understand or give us hope.  But, in the midst of the storm, the rain and the hopelessness is often a whisper in the wind.  The words of one who gives us hope and offers a hand to pull us up to walk above and through the waves.  We are not taken out of the storm's path but are there in that moment enabled to weather it.

The whisper in the wind

I held my eyes closed
what seemed like an age had passed
I dared not, would not,
I could not open them.
Should I?
As I opened my eyes, they were filled
My mind overtaken by the dark thunder clouds,
the lightning that splintered the sky
the thunder which shook me to my bones
and the wind, whipping the waves
into thundering white horses,
their hooves beating against my chest
pushing me down,
forcing me down
I felt myself sinking
lower and lower
for how could I stand
against the furious might of the storm?
I was just too weak

Then, the wind whispered your name
like a freshly honed knife,
it cut through the storm
the rain howled its pain
the thunder burst all around
the lightning tore through my mind
yet your whisper cut through
like a mother's hush
or dawn's first song
My feet stood waist deep
but they suddenly seemed firm
unshaken by the storm
Yours words lodged in my thoughts,
like sun beams etching their warmth
across my clouded mind
all around me was storm
yet in this moment, I knew
this was not who I was.
I was not confusion
I was not pain
I was not chaos or disarray
I was known by one
I was understood
I was loved.
though every part of me screamed with the storm in disagreement
the whisper spoke peace,
like balm to my aching soul;
its truths were the rock beneath me
its love the strength which helped me stand
its hope the light to my eyes which helped me see
the storm had made me forget,
held me in its powerful sway
and beaten and battered me
as I had let it have its way.
Yet, here as the storm raged on,
growing in powerful, raging ferocity,
the whisper began to hold sway.
In my weakness, it gave me strength.
When I did not know, it showed me he knew
Though I felt lost, it whispered my next step.

I lifted my eyes and saw his face
shining like bursts of dazzling sunlight
piercing the dark, cloudy landscape
and in the storm, I glimpsed the rainbow
painted across the canopy of the heavens;
and in the roar of the storm,
hope sang a greater, sweeter song.
I lifted my leg, though they felt like slabs of lead
and stepped forward.
One step at a time
the whisper of your name in my ears.


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

New poem: Kintsukoroi

Today, I learned a new word: Kintsukoroi. It means:

"To repair with gold". The art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been made broken.

This is the poem that came to mind.


"To repair with gold". The art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been made broken.

The pot lay whole on the sideboard

Precious and special

Full of memories, hopes and dreams

Many had touched it, held it, cradled it

Children, adults, visitors, strangers

Many had admired it

Some had love it

Few had hated it

For what it was and what they weren't

Precious and whole

But one day, the perfect was shattered

Perfect pieces flew across the cream white carpet

Peaceful shards dug in deep

And the perfect felt despised

The whole felt shattered,

Its perfection broken,

Its pieces scattered.

No-one walked near

Hands held back

For where is the beauty in brokenness?

Yet one came near

One saw the much loved pot

Saw past the brokenness

Knew the pot it had once been.

Piece by piece, He mended

Tending each crack, one at a time

Splinter by splinter

Piece by piece

And in the cracks He mended the brokenness with beauty

With gold and love He set the pieces in place

Until the pot was whole again

Broken now made whole

Its brokenness inlaid with gold

It's cracks boldly shining

For they made the pot even more beautiful than before


More beautiful for having been broken

And lovingly restored.