William Blake

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Recently I attended a day course on the work of William Blake. In many ways a difficult but visionary man. When are those blest with great gifts ever easy to live with or understand. A fascinating day and well worth the trip to Oxford. Thank you to the Oxford Centre for Spiritual Growth, they run very interesting courses. Below a snippet of Blake’s genius.

Extract from Auguries of Innocence:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
and a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour
a Robin Redbreast in a Cage
puts all Heaven in a Rage
a Dove house filled with Doves and Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
a dog starved at his Master’s Gate
predicts the ruin of the State
a Horse misused upon the Road
calls to Heaven for Human Blood
each outcry of the Hunted Hare
a fibre from the Brain does tear…

His passion for kindness and justice shines through. the poem is a very long one and keeps the theme of abhorrence at cruelty.
I only hope my poor attempts at poetry live after me and people say ‘she had compassion too…”

with grace and kindness – Denny Bradbury

Frozen in Time

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In the cold light of dawn I smell the frost,
into my soul seeps the life that I’ve lost;

the day lingers on with struggling sun,
I walk in shadow, my morning work done.

With dusk comes the half light violet hue,
into the evening come pictures of you

sweeping and swirling and dancing in light,
they fade then, leaving the stillness of night.

Denny Bradbury©

Candlemas

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There is a complicated relationship between many Christian festivals and the preceding Pagan celebrations. Candlemas is one such where there is Imbolc, a celebration of spring and fertility with the goddess Brigid at this time with the Christian presentation of Jesus at the Temple with the purification of Mary. This poem seeks to celebrate light and shine good Light into the darkest corners of this troubled world.

Candlemas
(Purify and pray)

Present the child and purify,
purify and pray;
pray that all the prejudice
leaves us from this day.

Light a candle, light one more,
light a thousand strong;
so we can see in darkest night,
and right will conquer wrong.

Present the child and purify,
purify and pray;
pray that all injustices
are broken down today.

Light a candle, light one more,
light can do no wrong;
it lights the darkest corner,
illuminates our song.

The song of hope and faith and love;
The song of praise and awe,
that through winter’s bitter cold
the sun will rise once more.

Present the child and purify
purify and pray;
pray as we hold our candles high
that all will find their way.

DennyBradbury©
Love and peace

Edwin Muir

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In May I had the pleasure of visiting the Orkney Islands for a short (too short) holiday. I was overwhelmed by their beauty and the friendliness of the people. St Magnus Cathedral is stunningly beautiful and I became re-aquainted with the poet Edwin Muir. As a child I read his poetry knowing very little about him.

Here is one of my favourites:

The Castle

All through that summer at ease we lay,
and daily from the turret wall
We watched the mowers in the hay
And the enemy half a mile away.
They seemed no threat to us at all.

For what, we thought had we to fear
With our arms and provender, load on load,
And towering battlement, tier on tier,
And friendly allies drawing near
On every leafy summer road.

Our gates were strong, our walls were thick,
So smooth and high, no man could win, no clever trick
Could take us, have us dead or quick.
Only a bird could have got in.

What could they offer us for bait?
Our captain was brave and we were true …
There was a little private gate,
A little wicked wicket gate.
The wizened warder let them through.

Oh then our maze of tunnelled stone
Grew thin and treacherous as air.
The cause was lost without a groan,
The famous citadel overthrown,
And all its secret galleries bare.

How can this shameful tale be told?
I will maintain until my death
We could do nothing, being sold;
Our only enemy was gold,
And we had no arms to fight it with.

Edwin Muir

It is wonderful to discover or re-discover wonderful poets.

Let peace and love rule the world.
Denny Bradbury – Green Poet

WW1 – New Poem

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I regularly visit St Mary’s Church Bramshott in Hampshire. It has a Commonwealth War Grave site there to commemorate Canadian soldiers who died in the two world wars. It is a smallish site compared to those perhaps on the continent but still it is a special and peaceful place. I go there to sit and think about war and sacrifice – saddened by the seemingly endless need to fight. But one must not be maudlin so I try to remember all the good people in the world who work tirelessly for peace, respect and harmony.

Here is my poem to the people in Bramshott Churchyard:

One Hundred Years
(In honour of the soldiers in Bramshott Graveyard)

The graveyard where you soldiers sleep,
all tidy in neat rows;
is tranquil, calm, restorative;
Your fate, God only knows.

Spring sunshine plays about your stones,
pure white or grey of years,
the morning is a peaceful one,
sad memories bring tears.

War Graves Commission keeps the grass
so carefully its mown,
rest quietly with honour kept,
you stepped up each alone.

The wider world is still at war.
We never get it right,
But while there is still fear and greed
humans will always fight.

One hundred years, one hundred years
since your war was resolved;
but what a world we know today,
of that you are absolved.

So rest in peace with grateful thanks.
We owe you much and more.
I’m sorry though we’re still at odds
since you have fought your war.

Your graves have peace, what irony!
No wonder that I grieve
to think of all you lost and gave.
So now I take my leave.

Denny Bradbury2018© very best wishes for a good day and a peaceful world.