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Poetry month – Austin John Marshall

Dancing at Whitsun

It’s fifty-one springtimes since she was a bride,
But still you may see her at each Whitsuntide
In a dress of white linen and ribbons of green,
As green as her memories of loving.

The feet that were nimble tread carefully now,
As gentle a measure as age do allow,
Through groves of white blossom, by fields of young corn,
Where once she was pledged to her true love.

The fields they are empty, the hedges grow free,
No young men to tend them, or pastures go see.
They’ve gone where the forests of oak trees before
Had gone to be wasted in battle.

Down from their green farmlands and from their loved ones
Marched husbands and brothers and fathers and sons.
There’s a fine roll of honour where the Maypole once was,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.

There’s a row of straight houses in these latter days
Are covering the Downs where the sheep used to graze.
There’s a field of red poppies, a wreath from the Queen.
But the ladies remember at Whitsun,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.

Poetry Month – This is my Mother’s world

If you follow the link below you will find out how this hymn changed everything for her at the age of 9. If her parents had known what was going to happen there, they never would have sent her to church camp.
https://elfkat.wordpress.com/2011/12/…/the-tree-and-the-girl-a-true-story..

This is my Mother’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Mother’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
Her hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Mother’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Mother’s world: She shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Her pass;
She speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Mother’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
In a bush abloom to my wondering gaze She makes Her glory known.
This Mother’s world and earth and heaven are one.
The Lady sings and my heart rings –
I see her in Moon, and Earth and Sun.

This is my Mother’s world. I walk a desert lone.
She blesses me and keeps step with me, I learn what she has taught
This is my Mother’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

Poetry Month – A Spring Carol

Spring Carol – Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

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WHEN loud by landside streamlets gush,
And clear in the greenwood quires the thrush,
With sun on the meadows
And songs in the shadows
Comes again to me
The gift of the tongues of the lea,
The gift of the tongues of meadows.

Straightway my olden heart returns
And dances with the dancing burns;
It sings with the sparrows;
To the rain and the (grimy) barrows
Sings my heart aloud –
To the silver-bellied cloud,
To the silver rainy arrows.

It bears the song of the skylark down,
And it hears the singing of the town;
And youth on the highways
And lovers in byways
Follows and sees:
And hearkens the song of the leas
And sings the songs of the highways.

So when the earth is alive with gods,
And the lusty ploughman breaks the sod,
And the grass sings in the meadows,
And the flowers smile in the shadows,
Sits my heart at ease,
Hearing the song of the leas,
Singing the songs of the meadows.
Robert Louis Stevenson

I remember this day for my people. Blood of my blood

On Culloden field

http://www.nts.org.uk/Culloden/Home/

May the dead lie peacefully here
May they know their lines carried on all over the world
May they know we remember them
May they know we still bear their names
May they know that through us they still live
May they know we remember their bravery
in the face of a well fed and well armed army
when you were hungry and armed with little more than swords
against cannons.
May they know we remember the sometimes foolish seeming cause
May they remember
May we remember
May we remember
May we remember

I remember the Stewarts of Appin
I remember the MacGregors
I remember the Livingstons
I remember the Robertsons
I remember my dead.
Kat Robb

Poetry Month – Who is the Goddess?

The Goddess is dark and beautiful with knowing eyes.

The Goddess is old and walks with a cane.

The Goddess is the colour of rich cream and is surrounded by art.

The Goddess is the colour of brick dust and watches over the flocks surrounded by no one.

The Goddess is pink, flushed from a race.

The Goddess is pale and sits alone in the dark.

The Goddess is small and wizened with dark eyes.

The Goddess is round and strong with muscular arms from hard work.

The Goddess is thin and ill and labours to breathe for it is work.

The Goddess stands with arms out blessing her gardens and fields.

The Goddess is dying in her bed surrounded by ones who love her.

The Goddess dies alone on a dirty street ignored with the trash.

The Goddess cries at injustice and pain and abuse.

The Goddess walks strongly on mountain path leading children of all shapes sizes and colours.

The Goddess follows behind and hopes she makes a difference.

The Goddess is in everyone of us.

The Goddess looks like us.

The Goddess is in the mirror.

Listen to her.

©2014 Kat Robb

Poetry Month – Rudyard Kipling

A Tree Song”

OF all the trees that grow so fair,

Old England to adorn,

Greater are none beneath the Sun,

Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.

Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs,

(All of a Midsummer morn!)

Surely we sing no little thing,

In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Oak of the Clay lived many a day,

Or ever AEneas began.

Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,

When Brut was an outlaw man.

Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town

(From which was London born);

Witness hereby the ancientry

Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Yew that is old in churchyard-mould,

He breedeth a mighty bow.

Alder for shoes do wise men choose,

And beech for cups also.

But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,

And your shoes are clean outworn,

Back ye must speed for all that ye need,

To Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth

Till every gust be laid,

To drop a limb on the head of him

That anyway trusts her shade:

But whether a lad be sober or sad,

Or mellow with ale from the horn,

He will take no wrong when he lieth along

‘Neath Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,

Or he would call it a sin;

But – we have been out in the woods all night,

A-conjuring Summer in!

And we bring you news by word of mouth-

Good news for cattle and corn-

Now is the Sun come up from the South,

With Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good sirs

(All of a Midsummer morn):

England shall bide ti11 Judgment Tide,

By Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!

Poetry month – Spring Carol

When loud by landside streamlets gush,
And clear in the greenwood quires the thrush,
With sun on the meadows
And songs in the shadows
Comes again to me
The gift of the tongues of the lea,
The gift of the tongues of meadows.

Straightway my olden heart returns
And dances with the dancing burns;
It sings with the sparrows;
To the rain and the (grimy) barrows
Sings my heart aloud –
To the silver-bellied cloud,
To the silver rainy arrows.

It bears the song of the skylark down,
And it hears the singing of the town;
And youth on the highways
And lovers in byways
Follows and sees:
And hearkens the song of the leas
And sings the songs of the highways.

So when the earth is alive with gods,
And the lusty ploughman breaks the sod,
And the grass sings in the meadows,
And the flowers smile in the shadows,
Sits my heart at ease,
Hearing the song of the leas,
Singing the songs of the meadows.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Poetry Month – Follow the Light

Song credits:
Words & music by John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark
The weekend following September 11th I played at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, as I’ve done for twenty years or more. Without the option of flying, I drove all night that Thursday to make my Friday afternoon and evening performances. When I finally got to my hotel room it was nearly midnight and, like most of the rest of America, I immediately turned on the television. I caught the very end of a prayer vigil in Manhattan. As the credits rolled the camera focused on a small circle of candles left by now-long-gone participants. In the center of this circle of candles was a hand-lettered sign, “Follow the Light Home to Me.” At breakfast the next morning I showed Tom and Michael the first draft of this song. We finished it that afternoon and debuted it that night.

Follow the Light

We were 7 and 8
My sister and I
Lost in the woods
When lightening filled up the sky
As we ran through the ran
We knew where to head
To the light on the porch
“Come home!” like Mama said

Chorus

Follow the light
When you’re lonely and lost
When out on the ocean
You are tumbled and tossed
Follow your heart
Wherever you may be
Follow the light on home to me

Out on the sea
The waves heave and rise
Far from the shore
When a storm mounts the skies
We look for a sign
For some welcoming sight
A beacon from home
To guide us on this night

Chorus

Bridge

There’s a hole in our skyline
There’s a hole in our town
There’s a hole in our hearts
The whole world around
How do we heal?
How do we see
The mercy that shines in you and me?
(We follow the light…)

When the world feels so big
And we seem so small
And you wonder if life
Has any meaning left at all
When you’re losing your heart
When you’re losing the fight
Hold on to my hand
And we will follow the light

©2001 John McCutcheon/Appalsongs (ASCAP)
Winfield, KS September 2001