Category Archives: Poetry

England–A Poem

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That misty isle across the sea
Will always be a home to me.
The cliffs of white that guard our shores,
The rolling Downs, the bleak, cold moors,
The skylark with his liquid song
Soaring high above the throng
Of hikers, picnickers and such,
Whose hearts he never fails to touch.

The little streams and brooks do run
Through woodlands, glistening in the sun.
The little fish are swimming here;
A kingfisher is always near.
A flash of blue above the stream,
A dive–then gone, that silver gleam
Of minnows. Gone to feed his brood
In holes, all waiting for their food.

In cities where the pigeons fly
The wind-blown litter flutters by.
The cars and buses, cycles too,
Line up at lights, forming a queue.
The city’s clamorous roar assaults
The ears, but never, ever halts.
The busy folk all rushing past
They never slow, time goes so fast.

The little market towns do snooze.
The slightest little thing is news.
In pretty villages with greens
Are cottages with oaken beams.
The church bells echo o’er the fields
Calling us with merry peals
As they have done for many a year
Bringing hope and lots of cheer.

This land does not a climate boast,
Just weather, blown from coast to coast.
All in one day this land can get
All four seasons, sun and wet.
Though no extremes do us attack
Do not go out without a mac
For rain can come at any time,
Though rarely with a gale force nine.

The English folk are stubborn, too
As we evinced in World War two.
We do not push, but stand in line
Waiting patiently ’til it’s time.
We do not wail and wave our arms,
For such behaviour has no charms.
But when we’re roused, then just watch out!
We’ll demonstrate, wave flags and shout.

And so my country is unique;
Its people are not really meek.
An upper lip that’s stiff conceals
A wicked humour that reveals
Our lack of deference for power,
Our love for bird and bee and flower.
Abroad may have its charms, it’s true
But England’s magic’s ever new.

V.M.Sang
April 2014

 

 

Comment on the Arts Today

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I’ve been thinking a bit recently about the Arts, and how there is a similar feel to most of them these days. what I am going to say might just make some people say ‘Well, what do you expect from an old person,’ and that’s fine.

First let’s think about Music.

I grew up in a musical family. Although she did not play any instruments herself, my grandmother made sure her daughters learned the piano. She was a bit old-fashioned, I suppose, because her sons did not learn to play any instruments.

Her eldest daughter had a beautiful singing voice. She was a contralto and she had proper training. Her voice had been likened to that of Kathleen Ferrier, a very famous contralto of the time.

She told the tale of being on holiday with her husband and another couple, lifelong friends. They were in a group, on a boat, I think, and the group started singing. A distinguished white-haired man came up to her and gave her his card. He said ‘You have a beautiful voice, my dear. Come to my hotel tomorrow and I can help you get a career in music.’

She said no way was she going to go to the hotel of an unknown man. Who he was she never found out, but her voice was outstanding enough for her to be picked out. She could also play the piano by ear.

My youngest aunt had a music degree and taught the piano as well as music in schools. She played the organ, too. A famous tenor, who sang at the local performance of Handel’s Messiah, said she was one of the best accompanists he’d sung with.

My mother, although she could play the piano and enjoyed singing in a choir, was not exceptional, musically.

When we had family get-togethers, there was always music. We children were encouraged to sing or play and when we did something as a family, it was always in harmony. Everyone, it seemed could harmonise.

I myself learned to play the piano and the violin (or vile din, as my mother called it), and have been in several choirs.

I tell you all this so you can know something of my musical background.

I was listening–no, it came on while I was in the car–to a piece of modern music by Stephen Crowe. It began with a trumpet. the sounds from the trumpet were unmusical to say the least. If it were a child learning to play it would have been unacceptable, but no, this was supposed to be music. I didn’t hear much more because my husband changed the channels.

Much of the modern music of today (and here I’m talking classical) is discordant and atonal. It is not beautiful. To me it grates on my ears. Sometimes it sounds as if the orchestra is just tuning up.

I once heard an interview with a conductor, many years ago, when he was asked if he would be able to tell if a player made a mistake. He said he wouldn’t.

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Now the visual arts. I’ve visited galleries of modern art and been singularly unimpressed. I have some minor talent with painting and drawing, and I know how difficult it is to produce a masterpiece. I’ve gazed in awe at the work and talent of the Great Masters.

I sat for a long time in Firenze, looking at Michelangelo’s David, and in the Vatican at his Pieta. Beautiful works, and it took an immense talent to realise them.

Tracey Emin’s unmade bed? The pile of bricks that was in the Tate at one time? A pickled calf, by Damien Hirst?

Speaking of Damien Hirst. Why was a large anatomical model of a human, just like a big version of the ones we had in school, a work of art? The parts weren’t painstakingly carved by Mr Hirst unlike the wonderful marble sculptures I’ve seen, and the bronzes, too.

Paintings of black and white stripes, or a square on a background, whatever the colour are not difficult to do. Similarly the very simple, ‘flat’, childlike paintings many artists do are not greatly difficult. That’s why they are ‘childlike’, of course.

Poetry has gone the same way. Modern ‘poems’ are just prose divided into lines. Yes, they might have ‘poetical language,’ but they have no rhythm. I heard one being read on the radio the other day. I forget the poet, but he might just as well have been reading a bit of prose, because that’s what it sounded like. Poetry MUST have at least rhythm. That’s the most important thing. Rhyme, yes, but I’ll allow for blank verse. I’ve written blank verse myself, but they did have rhythm.

So what am I saying in all this?

It seems to me that art is reflecting life. Music is chaotic and so is the world today. People don’t want to spend large amounts of time doing anything. We are in a world where everything is a rush, so an artist won’t spend years completing a work of art.
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Modern cathedrals are stark in comparison to the ones built in the middle ages. We think we don’t have the ‘time’ to spend years and decades building them (except for the Familia Sagrada in Barcelona, of course).

Listen to some Bach and then some modern composer. One is sublime, the other–not.

Look at a painting by Titian or Rembrant. The work and talent that has gone into it is tremendous. Unlike the painting of black and white stripes I saw many years ago in the Fitzwilliam museum, Cambridge.

We have become lazy in our art as in much else in life these days. So much, I think, that much art the majority of people could do. I could put random notes down on a manuscript and say it’s a piece of music, or record random noises for the same thing.

Anyone can paint squares, on a canvas, or drop a pile of bricks, or leave their bed unmade, or cast sheets into a stream. (Yes, I read someone had got a grant to do this very thing.)

Anyone can string words together and call it a poem.

There’s no skill in that. The skill comes in being able to convince everyone else that it’s art. That’s the true art with these people, not in their works.

Spring. A poem

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Dandelions, like gold, cover the meadows.
Newborn lambs frolic in fields.
New leaves on the trees are casting their shadows
And winter’s cold grip quickly yields.

At the edges of woodland the primroses glow
And cowslips their scent fills the air.
Anemones dance when the breezes do blow
And birds sing with never a care.

Then bluebells and campions come into bloom
Their colour the blue of the sea.
The cuckoo, that herald of spring, will come soon
His call echoing over the lea.

The song of the blackbird is like molten gold.
His notes are so pure and so clear.
Hearing him seems to banish the cold
And brings joy to all those who hear.

Robin is nesting, and other birds too,
The hedgehog is active once more.
The young of the deer and the badger and shrew
Play their games as in old days of yore.

The sun climbs higher and higher each day
Giving more of his heat and his light.
It sparkles like stars fallen into the bay.
All smile at the beautiful sight.

Hope and excitement come with each spring morn.
What blessings will come with this day?
New starts can begin once again with each dawn
And send us all hopeful away.

Winter Night. (a poem)

This ought to have been published in the winter, but I didn’t get round to it, so I’m publishing it today. Anyway, it’s still technically winter! Hope you enjoy it.

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Snow covers the ice-hard ground
And ponds and lakes are frozen.
All is muffled, every sound.
The birds are silent in the trees,
No moths or butterflies or bees
Just snowflakes by the dozen.

The moon is full and her pale light
Shines gently through the flakes.
But creatures shiver through the night.
The icy wind makes branches quiver
And every living thing to shiver
In trees and hills and lakes.

Across the field there trots a fox.
An owl flies by on silent wings.
On the frozen lake, some ducks.
As snow falls gently on them all,
And cattle low within their stall
We are waiting for the spring.

I welcome all your comments, so please add yours.

I Am Earth. A Poem

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I am Earth.
I am your mother.
I gave you birth.

I gave you a nest.
A wonderful home
On which you can rest.

I gave you food .
Plenty to eat.
You waste all that’s good.

I gave you the seas
And forests and hills,
But you chop down the trees.

You think you’re so cool,
But you pollute the air
By the burning of fuel.

You heat up the air
And care not a jot
For the poor polar bear.

Animals die
Because of your greed.
You hear not their cry.

I teemed with life,
Both great and small.
Yet extinction is rife

Like a cancer you spread
Throughout the whole world.
It won’t end till you’re dead.

But I’ll make you pay
For all you have done.
You’ll be sorry one day.

I’ll shiver my skin.
Your buildings will fall
And bury your kin.

The land I will flood
By raising the seas
And drown all in mud.

My mountains so high
Will belch forth their flames
And you will all die.

I am Earth.
I am your mother.
I gave you birth.

BUT I WILL DESTROY YOU.

Crisalisk, The Red Dragon (a poem)

Today is the third Tuesday in the month, and so it’s poetry day.

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This poem is about a dragon who you can meet in my next book, yet to be published. Crisalisk and her mate Monarlisk are separated by Monarlisk losing a fight to another male dragon for the attentions of Crisalisk, but this poem refers to a time before that.

Her scales are the red
Of sunset in Autumn,
Her eyes are the gold
Of midsummer sun,
Her horns are as white
As snowfall in winter
And she dances on high
Like the birds do in spring.

Her beauty is evident
To all who do see her.
Her grace in the sky
Is a joy to behold.
With pinions spread wide
She dives then she soars
But beware, if she sees you,
Her flames she’ll release.

She thinks she’s the queen
Of all that surround her.
All other things living
Are there just to serve.
If any refuse her
She roars out her challenge
As Death on wide wings
Dives down from the skies.

But who is it comes
On black wings high soaring?
‘Tis Monalisk who
Is her mate and her love.
For him she will bow down
Her arrogance dwindling
For he is her only
True love in the land.

This is a poem that has no rhymes. Poetry does not need to rhyme, but it has to have either rhyme or rhythm or it’s just prose broken into lines.

 

Poetry nowadays seems to be that way, I’ve read many so-called poems that have neither rhyme nor rhythm. One had short lines, then suddenly a long line that took up 2 lines of text. Some of the poems I’ve read are incomprehesible too. I may be old fashioned in my ideas, but those things aren’t poetry!

If you have any comments on this poem or on poetry in general, please add them to the comments section.

Hypocricy. A poem.

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Today is a day when I share some more of my writing. Today it’s another poem.

Hypocrisy

We like our village churches
But we don’t go there.
We love our local pub
But we don’t drink there.
We don’t want them to close
Though no one ever goes.

Our roads, they are congested
With cars for everyone.
The others shouldn’t have them
But we, of course, need one.
It should be other folk
Who give it up and walk.

Aircraft fly above us
Polluting all the air.
We think there should be fewer
But we still fly o’er there.
We need our holiday
No matter come what may

We don’t like highest earners
But want to earn as much.
We eat our meals with wine
But we don’t know too much.
We really like to think
We understand our drink.

We highly praise the classics,
But we don’t read them.
We talk of works of Art
But never see them.
We think we are so highbrow
But brows are really quite low.

We say we all hate rumour
But spread the gossip.
We say we understand things
When we don’t, not one bit.
Hypocrites are we
And we always will be.

A Halloween Poem

First of all, may I apologise for the lateness of this post. I got back from holiday on Sunday at 10pm and had everything to do on Monday, including looking after my grandchildren in the afternoon. I probably should have scheduled it, but I thought I’d have time. Silly me!

Anyway, I’ve just entered the following poem into a Halloween Poetry Competition. I thought you’d like to have a look at it.

 

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Hallowe’en

The moon has hidden her face tonight
Turned away from the Earth.
The clouds are scurrying away in fright
From what the night may give birth,
For tonight the veil is thin.

The wind is blowing the leaves around.
They hide in crannies and nooks.
Cowering, shivering, hope not to be found
By phantoms, ghosts and spooks,
For tonight the veil may tear.

Build a bonfire, create some light.
The spirits are afraid.
They like the shadows, shun what’s bright
And lurk within the shade
For tonight they cross the veil.

Ghouls and spectres, wraiths and shades
Return to Earth tonight.
We’re filled with dread as daylight fades.
The smallest sound will give us fright
For tonight the veil has gone.

I would be interested in what you think of my effort. Please leave a comment, or sign up to my email list.

Dragons Fly

I’ve posted this before, but forgot. I promised aurosjnc I’d post it this week as he’s collecting dragon works, so if you’ve read it before, please forgive me.

 

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DRAGONS FLY

Dragons fly
Soaring high
Tiny specks up in the sky.

Dragons swoop
And loop the loop
Then come together in a group.

Dragons dive
Up there they thrive.
They all love to be alive.

Dragons flame.
It’s just a game
They are wild, they are not tame.

Dragons play
Above the bay.
Dangerous beauty. Do not stay!

Please leave a comment in the comment box and I’ll get back to you.

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Elven Evening Song from The Wolf Pack by V.M.Sang

 

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During their return from finding the Sword of Sauvern, the companions passed through the Elven homeland of Rindisillaran and stayed in the capital, Quatissillaron/ there they heard the beautiful song the elves sing at dusk.

 

Elven Evening Song

Ah equillin ssishinisi
Qua vinillaquishio quibbrous
Ahoni na shar handollesno
As nas brollenores.

Ah equilin bellamana
Qua ssishinisi llanarones
As wma ronalliores
Shi nos Grillon prones.

Ah equilin dama Grillon
Pro llamella shilonores
As nos rellemorres
Drapo weyishores.

Yam shi Grillon yssilores
Grazlin everr nos pronores
Wama vinsho prolle-emo
Lli sha rallemorres.

Translation

“Oh star of the evening
Shining brightly
You give us hope
In the deepening night.

Oh beauteous star
Who heralds the evening
You tell us all
That Grillon guards us

Oh Grillon’s star
As you sink westwards
Return again
To guard the dawn.

Ensure that Grillon
Through darkness keep us
Safe from all evil
Until the morn.”’