Poetry

Wandering

Wandering

 

The climb through meandering rocky paths

In open sandals for forty days ˗

Who does that? And why?

I ask siting in his rose patterned wing back chair,

Now my chair.

Here, I expect messages of consolation.

The dark nights of the soul on sunny mornings

Are incongruous.

Can’t get beyond the desolate brown hills

Without greenery –

Even my green walls give a sense of serenity

But the image on the projector screen in the bare church hall,

Of the Wanderer,

Does not give comfort – only questioning….

 

Oh, these days we are far more enlightened ˗

Who quotes passages from that ancient book?

And aren’t there many ancient books?

Though most ˗ in the Land of White ˗

Believe in only the one ancient book

Written by ancient people, but with divine inspiration:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Those in the know, say all that writing is poppycock because

As creative beings in the here and now, we are privy to scholarly and intuitive insight:

In the beginning was the Big Bang – which came out of what? Nothingness?

 

These day, we don’t talk god stuff –

Even when we contemplate with like minded folk, in the know ˗

God words are taboo.

Science has taught us to see the Universe,

Not just the Wanderer on rocky paths in an ancient story.

No!

Talk of god is off-limits,

Reminding of church and institutions

And dark sermons on sin, hell, fire and damnation –

And memories of nuns with straps curbing any questioning.

 

Yet, sitting in my rose patterned wing back chair

I do little more than question ˗ and contemplate

About the massive rough-hewn cross

Standing at the front of the sanctuary

Draped in black on the day that marks his death.

Each good Friday,

I used to say to Husband the Minister

Get off your cross, it’s been done!

And I remember those words,

Maybe blasphemous –

As I sit in his rose patterned wing back chair

Wondering if he too is wandering

Through meandering rocky paths,

In open sandals.

 

Katalin Kennedy

March 2018

March Snow

March Snow

 

White cotton clumps clung on the tree branches beside

Her new place, in her new life.

The snow had come ˗ again ˗

Unexpected

Just as he had come ˗ the evening before,

With only the words: and so it goes,

And ready for bed ….

Not their long bed at the other place

But a normal length one in this her place

His feet dangling at the base ˗

His lingering arms wrapped round her until she slept ˗

Only woken to the affable aromas:

Of eggs sizzling in the blue porcelain-lined frying pan,

Of rosemary focaccia toast and

Of dark roasted coffee

Hers ˗ with frothy milk in her china cup,

His ˗ black in his bottomless tucked away mug

He reclaimed ˗

From deep in her cupboard….

Just as he had been tucked away deep in her heart,

Until he might come ˗ again –

Unexpected

Just as the march snow.

 

Katalin Kennedy

March 2018

At Our Doorstep

At Our Doorstep

 

Pastor asked from the pulpit:

“Has the Anti-Christ come?”

 

Is this the last hour?

Can one Deceiver rock the planet

Through fanatic nationalism,

Spreading Its sinister arms to all those elsewhere?

Keep out!

 

Seen before, so often, so often…

Back in the day ‒

Viewed now on black and white films,

The transmission of unscrupulous orders,

Marching through Europe.

 

And Europe saw it again.

In this time, in this hour.

Hordes streaming from far-off,

Meandering through distant lands.

Meeting closed borders.

 

Oh, but not here!

We want them to come.

Begin anew, like before.

A mosaic of humanity.

A memory of our very roots as pioneers.

 

What has changed?

From where has It crept in again?

And we didn’t believe

It could take hold.

 

We are a civilized western world.

Spoof, skepticism, rebuff against the audacity.

No, not possible.

Why were we so naïve?

 

Promises to the downtrodden…

Beliefs silently held

Now ‒  given permission to bellow

From a place of possibility.

Its supporters cannot be denied.

 

Remember the Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia?

And then again in Tahrir Square, Cairo?

The social media revolution

When the masses united, fused, conquered!

 

Watching from afar

Through the same cyber lens,

Words of sarcasms, anger, defiance ‒ dismay!

Marching in throngs, the women gather,

Joining and chanting.

 

Now too late, far too late ‒

The corrosion, implosion begins.

And as we observe in our own safe haven

Another massacre, this time in a sacred house!

At our very own doorstep ‒

 

Has the Anti-Christ come?

 

The Creation of Poetry

The creation of poetry

There is no way of knowing, when the art of poetry first began. It is assumed that the origins are steeped in an oral tradition, frequently employed as a means of recording history, storytelling to an audience, perhaps sung, often paying tribute to deities. To aid memorization, there was already a form to these, including rhythm and repetition.

When written composition began, it meant poets began to write for an absent audience, though likely scholars. The earliest written work may have been The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor which is a story of an Ancient Egyptian’s voyage written at about 2500 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh from ancient Mesopotamia, was impressed in cuneiform  around 2100 BCE. These are considered to be distinct stories. Later came The Vedas, which is a collection of hymns and other religious texts composed in India between 1500 and 1000 BCE. The oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, dates from the 11th to 7th centuries BCE. It is one of the “Five Classics” traditionally said to have been compiled by Confucius. The Greek Odyssey dates from about 800 to 675 BCE.

Then, moving right along to a personal favourite – Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales was written in 1380 CE. And then further on, to my much loved Romantic verses: the poets who spring to mind include William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats. Modernist poetry in the English language started in the early years of the 20th Century among many, W.B. Yeats who used symbols from ordinary life. Canadian poet Dorothy Livesay’s work was first published when she was only 28.  I happily sat at her feet, as she held her audience captive in salons.

The word ‘poetry’ comes from the ancient Greek word poieo (ποιεω ) meaning ‘I create’

Poetry is an art form, using language in a more concise, tight manner than prose, which is expansive and less condensed. Poetry conveys feelings, emotions or ideas applying such devices as alliteration, internal rhyme and also relying on imagery, word association, as well as musical language like dissonance. The interactive layering of all these generate meaning as to what marks poetry. It is to be noted that English and European poetry often use rhyme, generally at the end of lines in such formats as ballads, sonnets and rhyming couplets. Just as the Greek classic poetry, however, much modern poetry does not use rhyme. In more recent times, the rise of  poetry reading have led to a resurgence of performance poetry, which dates back to the very origins of the art form.

Poetry is something I have always written, experimenting with various traditions, such as ballads and sonnets and even Haiku. For me, poetry is fundamentally about expressing a particular idea, about a particular matter, in a succinct manner, using techniques associated with writing in general. I’m a story teller, and thus my ‘style’ demonstrates that technique. I have compiled a selection of poems written over many years, in my latest book “Echoes of Footsteps”.

OWEN’S POEMS from “Reconnecting”

OWEN’S POEMS from “Reconnecting”

 

If you only knew

 

When we met by chance

In crowded rooms of people ‒

If you only knew.

 

When we met by chance

Alone in empty hallways ‒

If you only knew.

 

When we met by chance

With her, in that small café ‒

If you only knew.

 

When we met by chance

At the station heading home −

If you only knew.

 

When we met by chance

In the building where you live ‒

I will tell at last.

 

Mystery

 

Often you have passed this way.

Did you know that I had

summoned your name?

And you have come ‒

not to stay,

only to remain for a heartbeat.

 

The battle with uncertainty ‒

All mine.

The mystery of the eternal hidden from the ephemeral.

Dare I show you too much of me?

Someday! Not our time. Not yet.

 

Our child

 

I watched you in moon light

Caressing our child,

While you sung to her softly

As she nodded and smiled.

 

I capture these moments

Like a thief in the night

To glow in my memory ‒

You are my life, and my light.

 

Out there

 

Out there ‒ existence mingles with reality and truth.

Out there ‒ lies the depth and essence of life.

Out there ‒ the nucleus of good mocks the three-pronged deity.

From out there, the nucleus transcends supernatural symbolisms

and penetrates the soul of man

in the image of God.

 

Snow

 

There is peace in the world

when gentle flakes flutter from the heavens

like white blossoming flowers.

 

I arose early

to see the earth blanketed

in white crystalline velvet.

 

The sky loomed dark

but the shimmering snow

seemed to radiate the surroundings

in a light of its own.

 

Thickly piled flakes

smoothed the jagged ground

as though a sea of white petals

flowed ever so softly.

 

I longed to step bare-footed

onto the luscious covering.

My parched lips thirsted

to taste the cool wetness.

 

The rainbow

 

The meadow where we stroll and run

Is spread with blue straw flowers,

And butterfly wings reflect the sun,

While we dream away the hours.

Such golden times are in my heart,

For our days are surely numbered;

Though we cannot know unto what part

We journey when we’ve slumbered.

Yet in that field you will dance again ‒

Once my earthly life has left you ‒

With friends, holding hands after the rain,

Chanting songs for dreams anew.

There will I send a rainbow to let you know,

My soul rests within you, forever aglow.

 

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