Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poem a week 5: Spring is nearly here




There's a smidgen of a smidgen of colour round the oak
Like a little misty halo, like a shifting orange smoke.
There's a whisper of a whisper of flowers on the ash
Like tiny threads of cotton, like a greeny-yellow rash.
And for sure, there on the chestnut, there's a swelling sticky bud
(Though the fields around are soaking and the cows knee deep in mud.)
And the primroses are blooming, and it's fast becoming clear
There's a rumour of a rumour that spring is nearly here.
                                                                     Nick Mellersh

I wrote this in 2008 for my blog called Oak in Autumn for which I photographed an oak tree not far from home almost every day of the year.  I managed to quite a nice video of the miraculous change of the bare tree to a tree full of green. You can see it at http://www.mellersh.org/oak/ and you can learn more about this particular 600 year old tree named Yseult after a remarkable friend of ours who lived nearby.

If you looking for more poems about spring.  Hopkins sonnet  Spring  is wonderful though the second half (the sestet) is hard to grapple with unless you know something of Hopkins religion but the first bit is so wonderful who cares? I love also this by e e cummings in Just spring

If you're wondering why tiny oak leaves look sort of pinky orange, like the poem says, it's because the chlorophyll hasn't really developed yet and the main colouring is carotene. (Now late March is the time to see it - at any rate down here in the South of England)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Poem a week 4: The world will be a lovely place when people are extinct

My profoundest thought

I give you the profoundest thought, that I have ever thinkt,

The world will be a lovely place when people go extinct.

There'll be no more global warming, and those polar bears so nice

Will play and jump and hunt around on miles of arctic ice.

There will be no drugs or alcohol, no dealers – “Mr Bigs,”

There won't be male chauvinists, except, perhaps, for pigs.

All sins will go unnoticed. There'll be nobody to vex

By what we eat, or what we wear or how we practise sex.

There won't be screaming preachers, there won't be crashing bores

Or nice young men to shoot at us in very nasty wars.

There will never be no hunting of fox or deer or pigeon

No racism, no ageism and imagine! No religion.

The world will dance with pleasure. There will never be a care.

The only downside I can see, is that I won't be there.

Nick Mellersh 2015

Well it's not that profound a thought really but it is a strange one. Pope, you may think, expressed it better in his Essay on Man.  
Man, he said, was:

          Sole judge of Truth, in endless error hurled,
         The glory, jest and riddle of the world 

 Pope, who was probably the most accomplished of our classical poets is also famous for this couplet in his Essay on Criticism

      True wit is nature to advantage dressed
      What oft was thought but ne'er so well expressed.

The classical view, held by Pope, contrasts with the romantic view which believes poetry discovers something new as opposed to varnishing existing truths.  You can make a good case either way.  

Now it is your chance to choose.  You can judge if Pope or me best expressed the thought about man.  If you vote for me - please tell me and follow this blog! If you vote for Pope, congratulations on your poetic acumen and follow this blog anyway.

Back to my poem. Those who think the world will be a better without this that or the other, sadly delude themselves, especially those who want to do away with religion.  To me religion is the only credible attempt man has made to tackle the paradoxes of life.  So now you see why my poem is my profoundest thought! See you in a week or so. Nick

PS: Jeanie, my wife, is running a lovely blog at the moment that featur3es a nude drawing a seek. They are beautiful. This week it's an Ipad painting and you can watch a movie of the painting process. Click here for http://ipadpainting-jeanie.blogspot.co.uk
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Poem a week 3: A late poem for Valentine's day

Waking up


It's wonderful to wake up next to you.
Arms-reach across the sheet your body sleeps.
Another life. Another life, another way to view our world.

There I can see those landscapes of delight
That are your body,
The long slope of your hips,
The soft enfolding valley of your things,
The gentle smoothness of your breasts.

My hand reaches gently now to touch your hair,
Your eyes are closed. Behind those lids,
The blue that sees another world from mine.
The colours and the people different.
This is the difference we share.

It's wonderful to wake up next to you.
It is my morning miracle.

Nick Mellersh 2015