Sedentary Sunday

Sunday morning. Palm Sunday morning.

Reading outside in the sun.

Slowly the town awakens, quite some time after the world had awoken.

Blackbirds are nesting in the bushes that border the garden; jackdaws in the tall chimney pots.

All unnoticed by the people returning from the shops with their six packs to greet the sun with, or driving around the estate on their noisy quad bikes.

Flaubert comes to mind: ‘Civilisation is a conspiracy against poetry’.

Maybe I’m getting old. Given to moan a lot.

The Playthings Of Man

Those of you who have read my book will have come across a namecheck in the foreword of a certain Kenneth White. White introduced the term Geopoetics, the meaning of which has informed both my writing and the way that I see the world for a long time-long before I had even heard of Geopoetics or knew what it meant.

Being an admirer of White’s poetry and his waybooks, this afternoon I was sat outside in what is perhaps the final ebb of summer, reading House Of Tides. This quote, of an old Japanese saying, stood out:

In youth a man plays with women, in middle age with the arts, and in old age with a garden.

I put it in context for myself.

Here I am: happily married; playing at being a poet; thinking about peas.

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June, Early Evening

I saw this photograph on a local Facebook page. The photographer Carlo Fontanarosa gave me permission to share it.

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It is taken from the old cemetery in my home town of Middleton, and the church is that of St.Leonard’s. Standing on the highest part of the town, it dominates the view both spiritually and geographically.

Part of the building dates back to Norman times, and it is built on the site of a wooden Saxon church. There is even speculation that there was a pagan religious site before this.

All those layers, but its greatest historic significance is that it is where I got married!

I love this shot, it has everything: history; place; wilderness; memories. And to cap it all, it is taken at dusk, my favourite part of the day.

Father And Daughter, Summer

Father And Daughter, Summer

The swallows return, skimming the blue.
Hoist up the flag, fluttering in the breeze.
The summer's here, her heralds settled
upon the greening, burgeoning sea.

Full womanhood, now, she draws the eye,
points to the orchard; her hungry womb.
The sun sinks into his scoured face.
The air is sweet, but tinged with myrrh.

Banish the shadows, the star-filled night,
(the clock still ticks the markers down).
The day now reigns, resplendent robes
clothes them both and stakes a claim.

The poet; the painter; the waking muse,
blinks it all in, and turns the page.
Immortalises all, in frozen time,
airbrushing out the parting waves.


©Andrew James Murray


Poem, Early Draft

I haven’t featured any new poetry for a while. This is an early draft of a work in progress, in effect just its beginning. I expect the poem to be considerably longer when completed.

Boathouse

She is painted blue and proud,
shining bright
in night fires;
igniting dawns.

Sitting by the river,
rounded aesthetics
rolling
down a verdigris valley,

herons rising
in glacial drifts
over wooden hives.

©AJM