Tag Archives: new poetry

‘Invocation’ and ‘Forward to the Americas’ by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #3)

14 Oct

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I hope very much that readers liked my first 2 poetry slots. I have chosen a consistent theme to conclude my showcase: super-human bravery, endeavour in potentially life-threatening conditions, work from May 2014 which was inspired by a modern day ‘Viking’ ie an ex-pupil of mine (Matthew Mason) who, as part of an 8 man team, rowed the Atlantic from West Africa to Barbados. Each shift over 24 hours involved 2 men rowing for 2 hours (for a gruelling 30 days in 40+ heat) They rowed for personal challenge and charitable causes, missing the world record for such a team by a mere 7 hours. Messages and 4 poems were written as encouragement and sent by magic!

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‘Invocation’ was inspired by the name of the boat ‘Titan’ so I imagined how sailors of old would appeal to ancient gods, such as Oceanus, to assist their passage. The second poem: ‘Forward to the Americas!’ is self-explanatory and references ‘as did sailors of old’ hence the link with the Norsemen! 

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Invocation

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“Oceanus!
O son of the sky,
We call to you ….
Oceanus,
Blessed ruler of waters and seas.
With Earth as our mother
We heed you,
We men
Are a different breed.
But accepting our challenge
As Titans,
We set out
On primordial seas.

Oceanus!
Arise with a new dawn,
Re- light the bold fire
In our eyes
And blow with your breath
To inspire us …
And grant us a following wind!”

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Forward To The Americas

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As bare-skinned boys
With a fire in your eyes
You set out
With the heat of Africa
Across your shoulders :
“Forward to the Americas!”
To ‘Ichirouganaim’
(Called by the Ancient Ones)
-Red land with white teeth-
Your ‘Barbados’, tiny bearded gem
Set amongst coral reefs.

Far, far , and fathoms deep
Across an Ocean ridge,
Rowing with the heave
Of your heartbeats.
What do you see and hear
In the Silence?
Earth, Sky, Sea,
Stars, Moon, Sun.
And the sea,
Always, the Atlantic Sea.

You bare-skinned boys,
Armoured now,
With fire in your heads,
Hauling oars,
Against the law & the lure
Of the sea;
Skimming shoals, sharks & turtles,
Time-travelling
Across 200 million years
Of a spreading ocean floor
In the wake of Conquistadores.
Like them, carrying personal faiths
As your talisman.
But your family bonds
Are Your Gold!
As did sea-farers of old ,
You go forward
With navigational magic —
And now satellites — message
Heaven-sent words.

You have marked your place
In this vast Universe.
“Now go on!
Forward, t’ward the Americas!”

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Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

You can find Carol’s previous two FreeSpaces here and here

 

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The Northlands by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #2)

30 Sep

Vikings

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The Northlands

by Carol Whittam

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Out of the Northlands,
From that – huge before time
Before? When the world was new.
From that – ‘Once upon a time…
A deeply woven mythology grew –
When a man’s world was small.

Norsemen created their cosmos
…. As a world tree ….
Yggdrasil

To try to make sense of it all!

Heavens of stars,
Misty clouds and ice,
Dark chasms and wells below,
Whilst in the primordial centre,
A giant Ash tree started to grow!
Betwixt the Heavens & Hell,
Stretching and branching,
– Evergreen –
From gnarled roots
Deeply growing
Yggdrasil
Nine realms find!
Above, around and beneath
The tree’s gigantic girth,
One home in Midgard
For humankind,
The Viking farmers
Of
Middle Earth.

From thence sailed the brave,
– Leaving warm home fires –
Not knowing where they’d go!
Hauling wooden longships
Away from fire-stone, ice and snow;
Across serpent-ridden seas,
Steel-eyed, warrior minds,
Searching horizons, learning tides,
Battling storms, risking lives!
Crossing Utangard
Never knowing what they’d find!
Not knowing where they were going,
But knowing from whence they came:
Created from giant Ymir
Whom Odin ripped apart!
In sacrifice and renewal
He became their ancient sire.
In homelands formed of volcanic stone
Such folk were born with hearts of fire!
Their land was of his flesh,
Sacrificed to make their home.
Blood of blood and bone of bone.
O how his eyes made the sun glow!
O how his mind made the moon!
Powerful blood became water,
Breath of life the airy wind!
In this elemental world
Such Norsemen were born:
Born to be farming the land,
Born to be tested by waves,
Born with fire in their hearts,
They who were valiant and brave!

And Ymir, the life-bringer,
Sacrificial source of Earth,
The Heavens, the pounding waves of the sea!
And at the World’s centre, Firm and strong,
The mighty Ash: The Yggdrasil tree!
From this elemental world
Of the Northlands
These Vikings came!

 

 

Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

The poem above evolved from taking that approach and looking at some of the lovely Viking imagery and visualisations of the Yggdrassil tree on line. I had fun writing them and offer them retrospectively!

 

Watch out for a third piece from Carol in the near future….

A Mother Sings To Her Fatherless Child by Carol Whittam (FreeSpace #1)

22 Sep

yggdrasil-bronze

 

 

A Mother Sings To Her Fatherless Child

by Carol Whittam

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You came as our human child –
How can I make you understand?
For you are just a boy
Who fights to become a man.

So soon – you are knowing!
Growing, in this harsh North land of ice and fire,
Our earth, this realm of Midgard.

You came from valiant seed
Planted in a warrior’s tryst
Where Dragonboats, moored in rustling reeds,
Set out to sea
In the thawing of the year.

That year no ships returned.
Then sorrow crowned your head
As you were born my fatherless child,
Protected by his homestead fence.

In the glory of the midnight sun
We sensed his strength, now living on –
In you, my special one!

And you received his spirit
When bedded deep
In steaming straw, in warrior halls
Where mead ran sweet on victors’ lips
And the dark walls sang.

Sharpen to ancestral tones,
Tune your ear to heroic tales;
Round Thingstead fires hear wisdom
As your Father’s name sounds loud!
Your time will come!
You too will be a Viking king!

Watch hauled ships
On turning tides
Proud-set for lands anew,
See his face in valiant men,
Understand the things he knew:
Runic stones bring portents good,
Whetted swords raise battle cries,
Ever on, t‘ward lands afar
And the unknown chaos of Utangard!

Gaze South
O’er sunlit waves
On serpent troubled seas,
Dream wild
Strange shores,
You Viking boy –
This future – Yours!
Your time will come.
You will be a Viking King;

Yes – You will hear Valhalla ring!

 

Carol is a retired 3/4 Irish teacher of English, from Accrington, Lancashire, aged 62. Her love of drawing and painting … was overtaken by writing in the hectic course of her career. For 34 years she had the fun filled privilege of creating and selecting pieces to stimulate and facilitate children’s writing. Particularly fond memories remain of collaborative workshops ending in much appreciated performances….so, although she is not actively involved in social media …she was inspired to collaborate off the scene, becoming a ‘pupil’ by responding to the info posted by ArtiPeeps ( last year on Transformations) and for this year’s much bigger extravaganza on the Vikings. She found that following the crescendo of progress by tuning in, tends to promote infectious enthusiasm and the question: What would I make of that? (Who knows …but it is likely that there are others out there who had the same reaction!) In this situation, she says, “I find myself still thinking like a teacher considering a narrative style, offering a way in for the uninitiated by choosing a suitable voice which will address the reader directly whilst paying homage to the factual and emotional aspects of the subject. 

The poem above evolved from taking that approach and looking at some of the lovely Viking imagery and visualisations of the Yggdrassil tree on line. I had fun writing them and offer them retrospectively!

 

A second of Carol’s Norse-themed poems will be posted on Wednesday 30th September. We’re so pleased Carol has found The Nine Realms a springboard for her creativity. 

Alfheim: Movement and Light 4/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

24 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Karin Heyer and Mina Polen

 

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Hope

by Karin Heyer

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Long ago the same moon and
the same sun lay before us,
just like now and
and the three-strand rainbow bridge
that spanned then
from Asgard to Midgard
was meant for men
to fight and walk across
into a future life!

What life?
A life where the elves of light
should shine over the dark,
where men become real, visible men
with sharp wits and a feeling heart,
responsible for their actions:
accept the cross,
live for love and peace
to all men.

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Shining

by Mina Polen

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Shining
it might be just a dream
a little voice small and fair
a blinding sun inside of you

moving
it might be just a parasite
………………………an idea
a voice that it isn’t there

becoming
something at every step
something that you might deny
something that you might follow

growing
it might be just a cloud
………………………………expanding
something like a blinding mist

shining
it might be just a maggot
a little bit of light ……….moving
something that you might ignore.

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Find out more about Karin and Mina here:

Karin Heyer

Contact ArtiPeeps

Mina Polen

aldebaranylosnarvales.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/minafiction

 

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As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 3/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

15 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Nat Hall, Lenka Monk and Jim C Mackintosh

 

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Guardian Angel from the Ninth Realm

by Nat Hall

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You,
luminous loving being,
so much more than a thousand suns in
darkest corner of my head,
you are sensitive to
my tears,
so far away from fern, foliage,
evergreen feel of
thick forest,
Light Bokeh style –
the untouched side of Freyr’s world…
To
avoid eyes,
hiss and whisper from
haunting mare,
my mantelpiece littered with stones
I once collected from a now
dormant volcano where
hardened rock dances with salt,
leaping fury from young ocean,
I light candles night after night,
chisel your smile out of cold wax, and
seek wisdom out of
a match.
You,
luminous loving being,
you rescued me from the cliff edge.

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And lead me to temptation

by Lenka Monk

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Inspired by story of Freyr and Gerðr

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Through the eyeglass, inner mist
Tempted fate, now I can’t resist
Lips that haunt, curves that taunt
A tortured sigh.

In a drunken fog, endless hunger
Bittersweet taste, spell I’m under
asunder bursting mind, lifetimes find
A Divine comedy.

Wrong feels right, heartbeat elevates
one lustful look, reason obliterates
Resonates with force, no remorse
A string less puppet.

The heart, the insurgent of reason
that beautiful face, led it to treason
seasoned sixth sense, forget consequence
A complete surrender.

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under the heavens dome

by Jim C. Mackintosh

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under the heavens dome
the halls tower in this place
where maddened spirits bind
the claws of ravens haunting
blind trees and bright rooms
enclosing his hypnotic power
unseen to those for whom life past

beneath the high throne of Freyr
circled by meadow throngs
floating on pillows of gold
the words of the wish-giver
in bundles tied with sinews
of outlaws crucified on the way
speared in the crossfire of elf shot

felled in the grapple of light where
dark elves stripped them of belief
a thin path winds through briar rose
where a thousand eyes, black spots
in the gloom sense the fear
dripping from the pilgrims folly
seeking to kiss the feet of Freyr

yet destined to leave empty handed
happy to escape the elven grasp
to answer their quest elsewhere
and rid themselves of this brothel
built in the tangle of angels hair
nourished by the rot of souls
quietly disappeared, lost forever

in remote corners of all realms
where the light elves prey upon
battle weary warriors, robbing them
of their exhausted glory to light
the bloodied moss halls of Alfheim
their fine mesh weave of gold to
line the dark walls of winter nights

under the canopy where Freyr sleeps
and confused sayers fall at his gaze
fighting over the scraps he scatters
in return for the lure of his mystery
/ so why are you still here?
so why do you believe this sermon
will lead you to anything but your betrayal?

through the valleys of temptation
they will swoop down and lift your eyes
to where the single, deadly snake coils
hissing promises of everlasting glory
a ticket to cross the rainbow, only to die
under the wheels of martyrdom
to be denied by your band of brothers

where the Gods assemble to divide
the spoils of your blood and tears
gathered by the scrum of vultures
/ let your death join me
in the salvation of our tomorrows, free
from the shores of false dawns
where your heart will awaken

in sanctuary from blunted threats
where the earth and the sea and
the stone and the roots and the rain
are true and the stag will roar again
and the kiss of blood, the unity
of your ken folk will ease
your righteous birth once more

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Find out more about Nat, Lenka and Jim here:

Nat Hall

https://twitter.com/nordicblackbird

nordicblackbird.weebly.com

Lenka Monk

Contact ArtiPeeps

 

Jim C. Mackintosh

bigbaffy.com

https://twitter.com/JimCMackintosh

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 2/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

10 Jul

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Tom Murphy and Eleanor Perry

 

Alfheim

by Tom Murphy

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inside the fence
I know you as I walk towards me
seeing everything through your eye
I see it on my face
as you step into the firelight
we smile the same smile
as you look at me
and see the toll you’ve still to pay
you see the sons we will sire
the daughter we lost
the eye you have yet to lose

in my pocket
I have the apple I will offer you
before you offer yourself
the ninth knot

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washrag nouns

by Eleanor Perry

Snipped washrag

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Find out more about Tom and Eleanor here:

Tom Murphy

https://twitter.com/sandcave

 

Eleanor Perry

https://twitter.com/nellperry

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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Alfheim: Movement and Light 1/4 The Nine Realms- Poems and Writing

30 Jun

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat: a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

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Alfheim

(the realm of the Elves)

Featuring:

Shirley Golden  and  Joanna Lee

 

 Fairer than the Sun

by Shirley Golden

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I feel the pull of it. I slip in through the crack between mortar and sill.

The child sleeps across the room, mouth partially open, revealing the missing lower, front incisor. His bedroom is dimly lit by a nightlight, not that I need light to find my way. I step over an action figure in combat gear, face down, still clutching his gun. I smell mint toothpaste, milk and talcum powder.

In a single bound, I land on the graphic print Superman beanbag. I don’t need wings.

Lego and train track sprawl across the floor. I skip around the boy-sized teddy bear and freeze. Loki points at me with one hand, his sceptre in the other, a green cape flows across bronze-coloured armour.

It takes me a moment to see, he is just another toy. I gain pleasure in pulling faces at him without fear. I step closer, remove his dagger and chop, chop at his synthetic, black locks. I admire my handiwork, not so handsome now, punk god.

I climb a stack of books and puzzle boxes, and make my way along the duvet, towards the child’s pillow. He whimpers in his sleep as if my presence has snaked into his dreams. He’s left a note. Dear tooth fairy, I really good like Mummy told me. Please leave a pound. Sam x.

Fleet of foot and nimble, I search, fingers reaching, clawing until I find my treasure, and I grin.

Back on the window sill, I brush fairy dust off my palms, spit on the coin and buff until it shines. Quite a night’s work; Freyr will be pleased. I slip out of the crack between mortar and sill without a backward glance.

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To light up a sky that never ends

by Joanna Lee

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An early summer comes dappling
over green banks, as hard to cup
in human fingers
on the heels of May’s cruel caress
as the wide-blue of childhood memory;
as a lust poem bathed in riverlight
after all these lonely months;
as heaven to those
with no faith left. Yet

the sunshine is so real you can almost touch it,
and the dawn’s blushing break
like waves on a white sand paradise
holds out the hope
of Ju-ly fireflies luminous
enough to light up
a sky that never ends, enough
to make you believe in magic
once more.

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Find out more about Shirley and Joanna here:

 

Shirley Golden

shirleygolden.net

https://twitter.com/shirl1001

Joanna Lee

 https://twitter.com/la_poetessa
the-tenth-muse.com

 

As always, thank you for your interest.

 

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