The Art of Poetry 2014

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Obsidian Art “The Art of Poetry”

Colin Slater

Black Nene Willows

Black Nene Willows Dusk falling Black willows weeping Silently Colin Slater

01296 612150

21st March – 23rd April 2014

Obsidian Art, Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, HP22 5XJ

“The Art of Poetry”

“The Art of Poetry” 21st March – 23rd April 2014

With heartfelt thanks to all the contributing artists and makers, and to the poets whose words inspired them.

Obsidian Art

Tamsin Abbott

The Way Through the Woods

The Tyger Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forest of the night What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? In what distant deeps or skies Burnt the fire of thine eyes? On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand dare seize the fire? And What shoulder, and what art, Could twist the sinews of thy heart? And when thy heart began to beat, What dread hand? and what dread feet? What the hammer? what the chain? In what furnace was thy brain? What the anvil? what dread grasp Dare its deadly terrors clasp? When the stars threw down their spears, And watered heaven with their tears, Did he smile his work to see? Did he who made the lamb make thee? Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? William Blake

The Two Trees Beloved, gaze in thine own heart, The holy tree is growing there; From joy the holy branches start, And all the trembling flowers they bear. The changing colours of its fruit Have dowered the stars with merry light; The surety of its hidden root Has planted quiet in the night; The shaking of its leafy head Has given the waves their melody, And made my lips and music wed, Murmuring a wizard song for thee. There the Loves a circle go, The flaming circle of our days, Gyring, spiring to and fro In those great ignorant leafy ways; Remembering all that shaken hair And how the wingèd sandals dart, Thine eyes grow full of tender care: Beloved, gaze in thine own heart. Gaze no more in the bitter glass The demons, with their subtle guile, Lift up before us when they pass, Or only gaze a little while; For there a fatal image grows That the stormy night receives, Roots half hidden under snows, Broken boughs and blackened leaves. For all things turn to barrenness In the dim glass the demons hold, The glass of outer weariness, Made when God slept in times of old. There, through the broken branches, go The ravens of unresting thought; Flying, crying, to and fro, Cruel claw and hungry throat, Or else they stand and sniff the wind, And shake their ragged wings; alas! Thy tender eyes grow all unkind: Gaze no more in the bitter glass W.B Yeats

Sue Wookey

The Owl Knows

Iris Milward

Brenda Hurley

Morning Hug

Simon Morning Hug Morning warmth, from morning cuddles, When baby lifts his head, The cry that tells not of pain or hunger, Only, I’m awake instead. Those arms that stretch around the neck, And legs locked around the waist, And the softness and the warmth When the cheek touch on the face, And pressed like that for a moment That wonderful baby smell Reaches up and touches my spirit And relaxes me as well, Then the baby stirs into action, Wriggling, twisting, wanting down upon the floor, And then to breakfast, tea and toast To start another day, once more. Brenda Hurley

Sue Burne

What is a Weed?

Flora McLachlan

The First Leaves

Dew evaporates and all our world is dew‌so dear, so fresh, so fleeting

In these dark waters drawn up from my frozen well‌ glittering of spring



Sophie Bruen

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As Kingfishers Catch Fire As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves -- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came. I say more: the just man justices; Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces; Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is -Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his To the Father through the features of men’s faces. Gerard Manley Hopkins

Suzy Drake

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

Kim Major-George

Your Firelight

Your Firelight I went deep in search of you, felt heat from streaming magma and stumbled through the strewn casings Of mankind’s discarded experiment. Your vision failed you at the last: as your dreams were charred, you were scorched and crumbled, and were lost to us. You became nothing more than fuel for our fires; (you were never spirit, after all, No more than witch and faerie were),

and your earth fires have no magyk left in them. So men delve deep and angels soar, igniting the world, turning their faces from yours. You are almost faded when I find you, spent and hellfire weary. I take your hand, your eyes turn, And there is a spark in the turning. Ignite! Tinder! Kindle! Flame! Something rumbles deep; your magma starts to flow again. And someone (you or I) whispers hope. Steve Thorp

Kim Lim


Extract from “Ode to the West Wind” Make me thy lyre, ev’n as the forest is: What if my leaves are falling like its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth; And, by the incarnation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? Percy Bysshe Shelley

Of the Sea by Emily Dickinson

Mick Waterhouse

Jenny Hoole

Poem Triptych

The Seventh Triangle Perchance to perceive a dream reality To touch ensuing quintessence Like sand through an hour glass Timeless against instilling darkness veiled as the ethos by the ozone density The path through the clouds – A dove of pure white snowflakes transpiring beyond consciousness To free a forgotten imagery. I held this in my hand....13.01 85 Jenny Hoole

Adrian Hobbs


Snowflakes Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow. Even as our cloudy fancies take Suddenly shape in some divine expression, Even as the troubled heart doth make In the white countenance confession, The troubled sky reveals The grief it feels. This is the poem of the air, Slowly in silent syllables recorded; This is the secret of despair, Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded, Now whispered and revealed To wood and field. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Annet Stirling

‘A ship, an isle, a sickle moon’

‘A ship, an isle, a sickle moon’ A ship, an isle, a sickle moon-With few but with how splendid stars The mirrors of the sea are strewn Between their silver bars! An isle beside an isle she lay, The pale ship anchored in the bay, While in the young moon’s port of gold A star-ship--as the mirrors told-Put forth its great and lonely light to the unreflecting Ocean, Night. And still, a ship upon her seas, The isle and the island cypresses Went sailing on without the gale: And still there moved the moon so pale, A crescent ship without a sail! James Elroy Flecker

High Flight

Barbara Grafton

High Flight John Gillespie Magee, Jr Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air... Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark or even eagle flew -And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was an American aviator and poet who died as a result of a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire during World War II. Born: June 9, 1922, Shanghai, China Died: December 11, 1941, Lincolnshire

Louise Firchau

Casting Nets In my mind I see them standing in the Pacific sea water along the beach with the sound of the waves falling, waves falling; and the tang of sea and seaweed, my feet feeling the sand, puka shells and hot lava rock. against the sea against the sky colours and light; the air moves across my face tasting salt. Was it morning or evening they cast the nets? The light is low and the men are silhouetted the nets are sparkling as they curve and float and fall casting nets the fisher men, the nets attached to the wrists, again and again they throw the nets. The nets curve and float and fall, and are gathered in with sea dripping treasures. As the nets dance through the air, light makes rainbow jewels of the sea caught in nets.

Dripping dancing nets again and again the nets dance till they catch the catch and folding, gathering up the wet nets - gathering up the sea’s gifts, the debris the sea’s stories the men turn away from the sea sparkle light and carry home the sea harvest, sea hoard fish to feed the body and shells to make a necklace images of sparkling sea jewelled nets floating in the air to catch the stories for their lives memories caught in nets. Barbara Sedassy 12.9.09

Barbara Sedassy

Casting Nets

Eleanor Long

View from Jungfrau, Bernese Alps

Alone Looking at the Mountain All the birds have flown up and gone; A lonely cloud floats leisurely by. We never tire of looking at each other Only the mountain and I. Li Po (also known as Li Bai) 701-762

Eleanor Long

Still Light I

Extract from Ovid’s ‘The Metamorphoses, Book 1’ before air and sky Arched over all, all Nature was all Chaos, The rounded body of all things in one, the living elements at war with lifelessness; ! ... Earth, Air, Water heaved and turned in darkness, No living creatures knew that land, that sea Where heat fell against cold, cold against heat Roughness at war with smooth and wet with drought.!

Teresa Munn


Hush In the forest Stillness lures Hush beckons Tread softens Heart quickens Silence answers In the forest. Š Teresa Munn 2013

Sue Clegg

Crossing The Bar

Crossing The Bar Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When that which drew from out the boundless deep Turns again home. Twilight and evening bell, And after that the dark! And may there be no sadness of farewell, When I embark; For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face When I have crost the bar. Tennyson

Irene Foster

A Light Exists in Spring

A Light Exists in Spring A Light exists in Spring Not present on the Year At any other period -When March is scarcely here A Colour stands abroad On Solitary Fields That Science cannot overtake But Human Nature feels. It waits upon the Lawn, It shows the furthest Tree Upon the furthest Slope you know It almost speaks to you. by Emily Dickinson --------------------------------Then as Horizons step Or Noons report away Without the Formula of sound It passes and we stay -A quality of loss Affecting our Content As Trade had suddenly encroached Upon a Sacrament. Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

Paul Butler

“Heaven” Has Different Signs—To Me

“Heaven” Has Different Signs—To Me “Heaven” has different Signs—to me— Sometimes, I think that Noon Is but a symbol of the Place— And when again, at Dawn, A mighty look runs round the World And settles in the Hills— An Awe if it should be like that Upon the Ignorance steals— The Orchard, when the Sun is on— The Triumph of the Birds

When they together Victory make— Some Carnivals of Clouds— The Rapture of a finished Day— Returning to the West— All these—remind us of the place That Men call “paradise”— Itself be fairer—we suppose— But how Ourself, shall be Adorned, for a Superior Grace— Not yet, our eyes can see—

Emily Dickinson

Jeremy White

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

Daffodils I wander’d lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host of golden daffodils, Beside the lake, beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretch’d in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay In such a jocund company! I gazed - and gazed - but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought. For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth 1770-1850

Kate Newlyn

Auguries of Innocence by William Blake

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 William Blake

Mike Perkins

Shadwell Stair

Shadwell Stair I am the ghost of Shadwell Stair. Along the wharves by the water-house, And through the cavernous slaughter-house, I am the shadow that walks there. Yet I have flesh both firm and cool, And eyes tumultuous as the gems Of moons and lamps in the full Thames When dusk sails wavering down the pool. Shuddering the purple street-arc burns Where I watch always; from the banks Dolorously the shipping clanks And after me a strange tide turns. I walk till the stars of London wane And dawn creeps up the Shadwell Stair. But when the crowing sirens blare I with another ghost am lain. Wilfred Own

Peter Stocker

Song of the Open Road

Extract from “Song of the Open Road� Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose. Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road. Walt Whitman

Philip Hearsey


Wave It stands Frozen in the moment Power The beauty of the curve Held The hand crafted that line Firm The eye saw it True The mind understood its strength And I Reach out to touch that instant To trace its immensity To feel its strength It is here for me now And always Fixed in time Gussie Hearsey

Charlotte Smithwaite

Sisters of the Springtime

Sisters of the Springtime In the dark and dismal morning When the icy hands of winter Tighten in their death grip\on the g reen of Natures nightdress

Far below the crystal blanket Of Winters frozen helper The sisters of the springtime Lay within their bedclothes warm



In the monochrome of snowscape Like anaemic patient waiting For the warm caress of summers Gentle breezes through the land

And in the bright March mornings With golden trumpets calling The ticking clock of Nature Marks the hour and sounds the chime.

= Chris Smirthwaite

Pirjo Keene

Slow Wind

Slow Wind Wind stirring at the water’s edge Bends time and space – I remain transfixed Pirjo Keene

Pirjo Keene

Darkness and Light

Darkness and Light Autumn light in the faded grass – Silver shafts piercing the darkness Battle won – for now Pirjo Keene



Leisure What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at Beauty’s glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this is if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. William Henry Davies William Henry Davies or W. H. Davies (1871- 1940) was a Welsh poet and writer. Davies spent a significant part of his life as a tramp or hobo, in the United Kingdom and United States, but became one of the most popular poets of his time.

Jan Ruddock

The Raven

Extract from “The Raven” Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. `’Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door Only this, and nothing more.’ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, `Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,’ I said, `art sure no craven. Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’ Edgar Allen Poe

Tony Ashton

Beauty and Beauty

Beauty and Beauty When Beauty and Beauty meet All naked, fair to fair, The earth is crying-sweet, And scattering-bright the air, Eddying, dizzying, closing round, With soft and drunken laughter; Veiling all that may befall After -- after -Where Beauty and Beauty met, Earth’s still a-tremble there, And winds are scented yet, And memory-soft the air, Bosoming, folding glints of light, And shreds of shadowy laughter; Not the tears that fill the years After -- after -Rupert Brooke

Tlws Johnson

A Shropshire Lad II: Loveliest Of Trees, The Cherry Now

A Shropshire Lad II: Loveliest Of Trees, The Cherry Now Loveliest of trees, the cherry now Is hung with bloom along the bough, And stands about the woodland ride Wearing white for Eastertide. Now, of my threescore years and ten, Twenty will not come again, And take from seventy springs a score, It only leaves me fifty more. And since to look at things in bloom Fifty springs are little room, About the woodlands I will go To see the cherry hung with snow. A. E. Housman

Moonshadows A huge white moon, full and fit to burst, Hanging heavily over the frost silvered trees, Creating long elegant moon shadows across the twinkling glade. Morning still has sleep in its’ solemn eyes As my footsteps crunch up the grassy hill, Leaving tell-tale spoor like an individual fingerprint, Signing my wandering route for those with eyes to see. Pink morn bursts triumphant across the sky, Colours splashed like radiant paint, Coaxing diamond sparkles from leaves and branches, Coating the livestock with gentling rosy dawn. Dog panting, excitedly scampering, Droplets of pearl on whiskers and breath. Light creeping into the hollows and hedges, Lifting hidden pockets of low lying mist. And gradually looming up from the gloaming half light, Wonderful gnarled and twisted trees, Standing like ancient sentinels At the borders of our worlds, Protecting us with huge spreading boughs Woven with dripping ivy and lush, soft moss. I stand at the crest of the hill ,watching in wonder As the suns rays race across the somnolent landscape, Devouring greedily the soft pre dawn, Banishing the mysterious, mystical moon shadows Until eventide, when the suns’ battle is lost And darkness returns to reign again. Annette Elizabeth Sykes

Annette Sykes


Jennie McCall

The Tree

The Tree The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. William Blake

Claudia Petley

The Nightingale

Extract from “The Nightingale” No cloud, no relique of the sunken day Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip Of sullen Light, no obscure trembling hues. Come, we will rest on this old mossy Bridge! You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, But hear no murmuring: it flows silently O’er its soft bed of verdure. All is still, A balmy night! and tho’ the stars be dim, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers That gladden the green earth, and we shall find A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. And hark! the Nightingale begins its song “Most musical, most melancholy” Bird!

A melancholy Bird? O idle thought! In nature there is nothing melancholy. --But some night wandering Man, whose heart was pierc’d With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, Or slow distemper or neglected love, (And so, poor Wretch! fill’d all things with himself And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale Of his own sorrows) he and such as he First named these notes a melancholy strain: And many a poet echoes the conceit; Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme

William Wordsworth

Glenn Hart

The Orchard

The Orchard Midst bitten mead and acre shorn, The world without is waste and worn, But here within our orchard-close, The guerdon of its labour shows. O valiant Earth, O happy year That mocks the threat of winter near, And hangs aloft from tree to tree The banners of the Spring to be. William Morris

Jay Nolan-Latchford


Hope “Hope” is the thing with feathers -

That could abash the little Bird

That perches in the soul -

That kept so many warm -

And sings the tune without the words And never stops - at all -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land And on the strangest Sea -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

And sore must be the storm -

It asked a crumb - of me. Emily Dickinson

Patricia Rozental

The Nuthatch

The Nuthatch In summer showers a skreeking noise is heard Deep in the woods of some uncommon bird It makes a loud and long and loud continued noise And often stops the speed of men and boys They think somebody mocks and goes along And never thinks the nuthatch makes the song Who always comes along the summer guest The birdnest hunters never found the nest The schoolboy hears the noise from day to day And stoops among the thorns to find a way And starts the jay bird from the bushes green He looks and sees a nest he’s never seen And takes the spotted eggs with many joys And thinks he found the bird that made the noise John Clare (1793 – 1864)

Antonia Glynne Jones

Moonlight Shadow

Moonlight It will not hurt me when I am old, A running tide where moonlight burned Will not sting me like silver snakes; The years will make me sad and cold, It is the happy heart that breaks. The heart asks more than life can give, When that is learned, then all is learned; The waves break fold on jewelled fold, But beauty itself is fugitive, It will not hurt me when I am old. Sara Teasdale

Eamonn McGovern

The Girl I Left Behind Me

The Girl I Left Behind Me The girl I left behind me standing so still. A crown of thorns upon your head and stars beneath your feet. A weary moon your halo and the summer breeze your comb. Street lights become your shadows Where love is bought and sold. Eamonn McGovern

Osvalda Teiser

Pierrot Lunaire

Extract from “Pierrot Lunaire” Pierrot! my laughter have I unlearnt! The picture’s brightness dissolves. Black flies the standard now from my mast, Pierrot, my laughter have I unlearnt O once more give me, healer of spirits, Snowman of lyrics, monarch of moonshine, Pierrot, my laughter! Albert Giraud

Obsidian Art “The Art of Poetry”

Colin Slater

Black Nene Willows

Black Nene Willows Dusk falling Black willows weeping Silently Colin Slater

01296 612150

21st March – 23rd April 2014

Obsidian Art, Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, HP22 5XJ

“The Art of Poetry”

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