Food for thought from Kevin Morris.
Another of his wonderful poems.
Today I welcome one of my favourite poets to my blog.
Kevin Morris is a poet who writes both humorous and serious poetry. I will hand over to Kevin now, and he can explain about his poetry much better than I can.
Welcome, Kevin. Please tell us about your poetry.
I have, for as long as I can remember, been a lover of poetry. The first poem I recollect having read is Alfred Noyes’s “The Highwayman”, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43187/the-highwayman. I was (and remain)entranced by the rhythm of the poem and how it matches the beat of the horse’s feet, as the Highwayman approaches the inn:
“The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door”.
I find good rhyming poetry profoundly beautiful, and much of my own work is written in rhyme. Take, for example my poem “Autumn Fly”, which appears in my forthcoming collection, “Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) poems”.
“An autumn fly
Buzzes around my head.
Summer is dead
Yet will not die.
We are brittle as glass,
Whilst sitting in my study, in late autumn, a fly began buzzing around my head. This brought to mind the mortality of this tiny insect and also that of man. Hence the above poem was born.
I have many happy memories of strolling through the woods with my grandfather and it was from him that I gained my love of nature. This affection for nature was, I believe encouraged further by my reading of poems such as Keats “Autumn”. Much of my own poetry touches on the theme of nature. Take, for example my poem “Rain”.
Patters amongst these leaves.
I listen again
That it’s the breeze
Midst these trees.
Yet it sounds the same
As with “Autumn Fly”, “Rain” came to me naturally as a rhyming poem. I could not have expressed what I wished to convey had I utilised free verse, as rhyme comes naturally to me, whilst other forms of poetic expression do not.
Whilst there exists some wonderful poetry composed in free verse, to me much free verse is poetic prose rather than true poetry. Many poems written in free verse are beautiful. However, for me their beauty resides in their poetic prose, they are not, in my opinion poetry as I understand it (I.E. with real rhyme and metre).
One can not always be serious, and section 2 of “Light and Shade” is devoted to my humorous verses. Take, for example my poem “Jane’s Sad Refrain”:
“A young lady named Jane
Sang a most mournful refrain.
I could repeat her song,
As it wouldn’t take long,
But it’s copyright of Jane!”
To conclude. Poetry is, for me about rhyme and its rhyme with which I feel most comfortable. There is, as I said, some wonderful free verse poetry out there. However, for me at least much of this (but by no means all) is poetic prose rather than poetry proper.
(“Light and Shade: Serious (and Not so Serious) Poems”, by Kevin Morris will be available in the Amazon Kindle store, and as a paperback in July 2020).
Thank you, Kevin, for telling us more about your poetry. I agree with you about free verse. It’s something I’ve thought for a long time. I have written poetry that doesn’t rhyme, but it always has rhythm. And I love the poem about Jane!
I would encourage everyone to search out your poetry books and to visit your blog.
Good luck with this latest one. I look forward to its publication.
If you have any comments to either myself, or Kevin, please enter them in the comments box. Feel free to reblog this.
I decided, a few weeks ago, to try my hand at writing Haiku. We’d just had a very rainy, wet winter and so I began with 3 about rain.
Gentle rain, sweet rain.
Pitter-patter on the leaves
Helps the flowers grow.
The rain hammers down.
It drenches the sodden ground.
Rainbow in the sky.
The sunshine split by raindrops.
The skies of lead
Press down on the roofs.
The icicles hang
Like teeth in the maw.
Each one a fang
In a wolf’s jaw.
The wind with his knife
Cuts through to the bone.
Soon snow will arrive
And the swallows have flown.
The trees that were green
Are now turned to white,
And everything’s seen
In a glowing bright light.
But look what I’ve found!
A tiny green shoot
Pushing up through the ground.
A snowdrop, no doubt.
It tells of the spring
Not so far away,
And how it will bring
All the flowers of May.
This story is set in Britain, in what is now Yorkshire at the time of the Danes and tells of the trials and tribulations of Helgha. This is a saga told by a scald (the Danish equivalent of a bard.) It tells of how Erik won Helgha from her father.
“Erik loved the beauteous maiden, Helgha,
The most beautiful maid
Amongst all the Danes.
Her flaxen hair flowed like moonlight on the seas
And her blue eyes glowed like the sky in summer.
But they could not marry.
For Erik was promised to another.
He visited his love often
Until her father challenged him
To a battle.
Sword rang on shield.
Axe split the air with sound like thunder.
Young and strong, was Erik,
Older and wily was Biorn.
Who would win?
Youth and strength or
Guile and Experience?
Biorn struck first with his axe,
But Erik raised his shield.
Biorn’s axe glanced off.
Erik fought bravely
Until Biorn’s shield broke.
Biorn hit Erik with the edge and drew first blood.
Brave Erik did not flinch.
Blood streamed from the gash in his cheek
But he fought on, ignoring pain and blood.
The battle continued for hours.
Erik parried the axe with his shield.
His sword longing for blood.
His eyes burning with the pleasure of the fight.
Then Erik saw Biorn tiring
The man’s steps became slow,
His axe dragged
As if reluctant to hit this brave young warrior.
Erik backed into a barn wall and feigned a slip.
When Biorn came with raised axe
To finish the battle and send Erik to Valhalla,
The young warrior rolled beneath the axe
And as Biorn raised his weapon,
Erik sent his sword upwards.
Into the heart of his foe it went.
Blood flowed over both.
As Biorn crashed down, Erik rolled away.
Her lover and her father both drenched in blood.
Who lived and who died?
Then Erik rose and seized the maiden.
He fled to Stjarna, his horse,
And leaped to her back with Helgha.
They galloped all night
Until at dawn they arrived in Jorvik.
Now Erik has a beautiful bed-slave.
And a scar on his cheek
To remind all of his bravery.”
The book is undergoing the editing process at the moment. I’ll keep you all informed as to how it’s getting on. Nearly through the first rewrite.
Today, for a change, instead of posting my own writing I thought I’d let you see a poem written by my Mum. She died in 1992, but would have been chuffed to see her poem on the net. She had a terrific sense of humour.
This one is one of several she wrote about growing old.
Everything is so much further
Then it ever used to be.
The little shop around the corner
Seems twice as far to me.
The buses were always punctual
I could go with the greatest of ease.
But now they seem to be early
And my legs do just as they please.
The stairs are made so much steeper
I’m flat out when I get to the top
Amd the print in the papers is so small
That my eyes are beginning to pop.
I can’t do with the way people mumble.
I only hear half of the tale.
They tell me the news in a whisper,
Or shout till I feel I could wail.
The dresses are made so much tighter
Especially round waist and hips.
And diets are all in the fashion.
No goodies, like good fish and chips.
Even people are different this day and age
They all seem to look so much younger.
Yet people my age seem old and withdrawn
And look to be dying of hunger.
I met with a friend the other day.
She really looked old and withered.
I’m sure I look younger than that, I thought,
And I know I’m not half so bothered.
I looked in the mirror to see for myself.
For I’m really not ready to go on the shelf.
But a grey-haired old woman was looking at me.
Even mirrors are not like they used to be.
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.
I hope you like this spring poem. Please tell me what you think in the comments.
A beautiful poem.
Blackbird, searching the lawn for worms,
Your brood for to feed.
You work so hard from dawn ’till dusk
To satisfy their need.
Your glossy feathers shine so black,
Your beak is made of gold.
The brightness of your eye so clear,
Is a wonder to behold.
But over all, what we all love,
Your song so pure and clear.
The notes that tumble from your throat
Bring joy to all who hear.
They rise above, towards the sky,
And angels when they hear
Know that they have met their match
In your notes so pure and clear.
Art thou a bird or spirit free
Whose throat such notes give out?
No living creature surely makes
Such wondrous sounds, I doubt.
So are you sent from heaven above
That we on Earth might know
Something of that wondrous place
Where we’re destined to go?
So, bird, keep singing out your song
At dawn, at noon and dusk
And make us feel that all that’s wrong
Will turn to all that’s just.
I posted this poem once before, but have decided to post it again as on Sunday it’s 100 years since the Armistice . I hope you enjoy it.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
I’ll never truly understand
How World War I began.
The death of Archduke Ferdinand
Started the deaths of many more,
The young, the old, the rich, the poor.
All died with guns in hand.
My Grandad went with Uncle Jim
And Our Poor Willie, too.
They sent them off, singing a hymn.
Grandad went to Gallipoli,
Uncle Jim left his love, Polly.
Gas in trenches did kill him.
I cannot see, in my mind’s eye
Grandad with gun in hand.
A peaceful man, sent out to die.
He fought for us, for you and me
So we can live and so that we
Safely in our beds may lie.
Grandad came home, and Willie too,
But millions more did not.
Their duty they all had to do.
They died in fear, in noise, in blood.
Everything was caked in mud.
Yet in those fields the poppies grew.
The War to end all wars, they said,
So terrible were the deaths.
The youth of Europe all lay dead.
Yet 21 short years to come
Another war. Once more a gun
In young men’s hands brought death.
One hundred years have passed since then.
What have we learned? Not much!
Too many men are killing men.
Wars still abound around the world.
Bombs and missiles still are hurled
At those who disagree with them.