Standing Tall

A new poem to share with you all today. It is one I wrote a few weeks ago on a sunny afternoon, whilst sitting outside. I was imagining the blades of grass as people and thought about the whole idea that we think of grass as natural and beautiful, yet refer to them as ‘blades’. I was inspired by Vernon Scannel’s Nettles with the same ideas of Man vs Nature. There is a link at the bottom to a previous post about some of these ideas and the original poem Nettles.

Standing Tall

A blade of grass,

fierce like a sword

standing its ground

in the millions.

A roaring sound,

blows the green soldiers,

not a natural breeze

but their own strong blades

to kill.

Nature cannot win.

Man’s power victors.

Slicing and chopping,

dead men falling.

All around.

But

Mother Nature cries her tears,

smiles her golden rays,

the army gain its strength

again blades standing proud.

Standing Tall.

I like the simplicity it can have: that is it really annoying how grass grows and we have to keep cutting it! I thought of this because my boyfriend has to keep doing ours! But, there can also be deeper meanings of Man destroying nature or Mother Nature winning overall. Hope you like it! Think of these green men as you mow your lawns 😉

https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/that-stinging-feeling/

XSXS

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A not so stupid Cupid!

A topical blog today (I do try!)… Happy Valentine’s day! That can mean whatever you choose. I think it is experienced in three different ways: the completely insufferable loved up couples who completely embrace the commercialism of it all; the single people who also then stem into two groups of the cynical and the ‘couldnt give a damn’ ones; and the people who just use it as an extra excuse to appreciate and spend time with loved ones (well just the one 😉 )

I fall into the the latter category. I didn’t always, as my boyfriend and I used to buy presents, go out for dinner and all that smoochy stuff. I think when you have been together so long then you go from the that category to just appreciating each other. My boyfriend, incidentally, is with his true love tonight (he does happen to have more than one!)… his rowing boat! No we haven’t spent the eve opening loved up pressies and having a romantic meal – he has at rowing and me? Well, I am sitting here writing about it! 😉 But, he is going to finish early – as to me ‘time’ is a more valuable gift than jewellery  – not that I wouldn’t happily accept that too 😉

Yes, a lot of people hate Valentine’s day because they think it another occasion that they have to remember, spend money and conform to. But as I say, it can just be an extra excuse to spend quality time together. I say ‘extra’ excuse because it should be in addition to other special evenings. You shouldn’t need Valentine’s day to arrive in order to have a ‘date’ or to spend some romantic time together….. love shouldn’t be an annual event! But you can receive the day with a hug and a kiss and feel blessed to have a loved one. Even if you don’t have a romantic loved one, you can still feel lucky and grateful to have loved ones in your life. Or just stick on the chick flicks/get drunk with other single friends/eat chocolate  – as you don’t have to share 😉

Let’s remember how Valentine’s Day began. Interestingly, it wasn’t associated with romantic love until the middle ages. Before this, it was a date to celebrate numoerous Christian saints called ‘Valentinus’.  The 14th of February was the day they were ‘honoured’.  Then one particular ‘Saint Valentine’ was focussed on when we look back to history and he was  thought to be imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius and before he was executed he left a note saying ‘From your Valentine.’ Which could explain why it is typical to sign your cards as that now.

But yes the romantic love idea came more into play during the time of Chaucer, where ‘courtly love’ was popular. By the 15th century, this date became a day to present loved ones with confectionary, flowers and hand-made cards. It was from the 19th Century that mass-produced cards replaced the ‘hand made cards’. Sad really, but I am sure there are still some people out there that do make their own personalised Valentine’s.

Also, don’t forget Cupid, who is a symbol or icon of Valentine’s Day. Cupid was the god of desire, erotic love and affection. Cupid carries an  arrow with a golden, sharp tip and who ever gets hit with it, experiences uncontrollable desire. What a lot of people don’t know, is that he also had a second arrow with a lead point and this was for negative purposes – it would cause the person to run away. I didn’t realise this until it was mentioned in Romeo and Juliet where Romeo says that Rosalind won’t be hit by the right arrow and return his love. I love this idea about Cupid as it has a dual effect and shows that love is two-sided. It can be  lovely and amazing but also painful and hurtful  – reflected by his two arrows!

I have to share you my favourite love poem with you today to finish off. I have mentioned it in a blog before so that may be why it seems familiar (https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/that-stinging-feeling/). I think it shows what should be important about Valentine’s Day and realising the reality of love:

Valentine

Not a red rose or a satin heart

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

Here.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Lethal.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

So there you have it. You may have flowers today. Or a necklace. Or some chocolate. But it doesn’t have all that emotion and meaning to it like an onion does it?! I love this poem as it shows that love starts and stops like the stanzas and the lines. Love clings to you, whether you want it to or not, like the stench of an onion onto your skin. It is honest about love and a brilliant metaphor for love.

There you go, we have the history of Valentine, cupid and how the day has changed, all for a modern poet to say that love is a vegetable! 😉

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day in which ever way you choose 🙂

XSXS

A White Canvas

House-Covered-In-Snow-485x728

Snow is on the way and, you know what it’s like, everyone is talking about it. In shops, they are panic buying for food (that surely they can get from a shop within walking distance if the weather is that bad!) or concerned with getting home (I must admit I am a little worried about getting to work and more importantly back tomorrow!) and people always have to announce it too, don’t they? Like they are the first to see it, or have to have the first Facebook post about it. It becomes a boastful event – who has had the most inches? 😉 How long has it been happening whereyou are? ‘Oh really? An hour of snow? But has it settled yet? Oh it has here!’ This photo on Facebook made me laugh the other day:

So very true - and when all the statuses were announcing the 'amazing' news, I shared this!

So very true – and when all the statuses were announcing the ‘amazing’ news, I shared this!

But if we forget all the annoying things related to snow. Like how crazy it sends people, how it can ruin our plans or make us fall over and break our necks… and just focus on the beauty of it. Take a read of my poem:

White Canvas
The white sky is urgent and full
bursting at every cloud,
anticipation hangs in the air,
for precipitation in its frozen form.

As the sweet flakes begin to fall,
Like icing sugar onto a land of cake,
silence now hangs in the air
and all is calm and serene.

The ground eagerly awaits
as the icy droplets soak like a sponge.
but as the sprinkles become a shower,
The earth begins to refuse its drink.

At first a light covering gleams,
Then brighter, thicker, more defined.
The blank canvas untouched as a virgin
as the world takes a gentle pause.

I hope it helps to capture the feelings that we get when snow is about to fall, actually falls and then the moment when it is all pretty, untouched and seems so precious. There is a definite magic in the air when snow is in the process of falling. Then we just have to decide: what are we going to do with our white canvas? 🙂

XSXS

Christmas Spirit

I do love an old spirit pun at this time of year. I am planning to put up decorations this week so I felt in the spirit to write this poem. It took me 5 mins so it’s a bit sketchy but sometimes I just like to write something straight out without editing.
Christmas Spirit
We only have four weeks to go,
until that special day,
presents to buy and food to get,
’til ‘Merry Christmas’ we say!
It can be a little stressful,
so you need to stay ‘with it’
so get out Baileys or vodka,
and get in the Christmas spirit!
Believe me, with a glass in hand, you feel much more like getting the decorations out or writing those christmas cards!
XSXS

Time Never Stops

Afternoon guys, thought I would share a poem that I wrote last weekend. It was when the clocks turned back and I wrote my post Time to Write https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/time-to-write/. I was inspired by Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Mean Time, which I discuss in the post. I thought I would write my own poem about how time doesn’t stop, it may change back and forth but it never stops – just like life. See what you think!

Time Never Stops

…the hands go into reverse,

for sixty whole ticks,

tick, tick, tick…

they stop.

 A whole hour gained

But light is lost.

Dark, dark nights

as dark as my heart

life is short and coming to an end

like the days

life ticks like minutes

every second is precious

and then the hands go up a gear,

we lose time,

but gain some light.

A fair deal; time for light,

we can see into the night,

clear and enlightening,

but time doesn’t stop.

It ticks like minutes,

Every second is valuable,

The clocks never slow down

and then….

Just a short one tonight, I have my hands full babysitting the Autistic Down’s lad and we are watching Postman Pat! Talk about time never stopping… we could watch the same episode over and over again and he would never notice!

XSXS

Writing in Progress

Hi guys,just a quick post to show you a link to my new facebook page called ‘Writing in Progress.’ It is handy to jump to older blogs linked with their pics and also to see other extracts of my writing that I will be posting.

https://www.facebook.com/writinginprogresssamanthagray9

Cheers,

XSXS

Time to Write

I actually felt really excited to write tonight. That is the reason for writing a blog, I realised. The want to write. That yearning to get your ideas out there. I mentioned a few days ago that I had been thinking about rejigging my blog or starting a new one. I am not going to do anything just yet as I am going to follow some advice that I read in a fellow blogger’s post. It is important to read blogs as much as write them. The advice that I read in Christian Mihai’s post ‘The 7 Golden Rules of Blogging,’ that said no matter what you write or how often, you should stick it out for a year. So that is what I plan to do and then decided on an extra blog or whatever. I will reblog his post actually after this as there are some great tips for bloggers in it.

The reason that I get excited about, well words really, at this time of year is because the clocks change. Time changes. It reminds me of one of my favourite lines from a poem. Carol Ann Duffy’s poem Mean Time:

‘The clocks slid back an hour

and stole light from my life’

I love this and it shows how that one hour can make such a difference. Every year when we put the clocks back I look at this poem. I go into my study and dig out my poetry collection also named Mean Time. I studied it at A level and it is a great collection of poetry. I sometimes get it out when the clocks go forward to and remember the reverse of how we gain light. I always remember which way round with the old saying ‘Spring forward, Fall back.’ Using the Americanised word for Autumn of ‘Fall’ helps me to remember that along with the leaves falling off the trees, the clocks fall back an hour. Yes, they slide back as Duffy so brilliantly puts it. They steal light from our life. The nights get darker. Funnily enough, the Britons always think of the positive in this case of ‘oooh we get an extra hour in bed!’ The bright side of a situation?! Mmmm very unlike us!

Duffy’s poem is quite depressing really but has some very interesting ideas about life and time. She says ‘these are the shortened days’ meaning that in general life is short and her references to death; ‘we will be as dead, as we know’ and ‘endless nights’ tell us that death is forever. It is life that has the time limit. Very depressing thought in one way but makes sure we make the most of life, I guess. She also talks about if the sky could lift one hour away from her life then that hour could have been full of angry words to her lover and that could have been the hour that was taken away; ‘If the darkening sky could lift/ more than one from this day/there are words I would never have said.’ It would be great if we could choose which hour of life got taken away… or which hour we gained. At A level we looked at the different meanings of ‘mean time’. Like it can mean ‘mean’ as in average. Average time. Life is just average. Or it can mean ‘mean’ as in cruel and that life is cruel to us. Very interesting poem and I recommend you take a look.

But in the mean time, what will you do with your extra hour?

XSXS

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