Monthly Archives: March 2012

Your Laughing Face

What I love about you

Is your laughing face

What I love about your laughing face

Is your twinkle

What I love about your twinkle

is your sparkling teeth

what I love about your teeth

Is the way they are neat

 

What I love about neat

Is your innate sense of style

What I love about style

Is how it makes you smile

What I love about your smile

Is the size of it

What I love about the size of it

Is that it fits you

 

What I love about fitting you

Is your feline grace

What I love about your feline grace

Is how it catches me unaware,

What I love about catching me unaware

Is the special surprise

What I love about the special surprise

Is the miracle of you

 

What I love about the miracle of you

Is your natural state

What I love about your natural state

Is its lucid charm

What I love about your lucid charm

Is the lack of pretence

What I love about the lack of pretence

Is your striking beauty

 

What I love about your striking beauty

Is how it’s beyond riches

What I love about beyond riches

Is that it fills the soul

What I love about filling the soul

Is that it keeps one afloat

What I love about keeping one afloat

Is that’s the wonder of life

 

What I love about the wonder of life

Is your laughing face

 

You can listen to an audio recording of Your Laughing Face (which for reasons best known to the author doesn’t contain all the verses written here) on soundcloud,  along with some other poems.

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Some Thoughts after re-reading The Picture of Dorian Gray

Drift beautifully on the surface, and you will die unbeautifully in the depths” (Richard Ellmann)

So wrote the venerable American critic when assessing the artistic message of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Although Oscar Wilde distanced himself from the idea that his works should have a moral message, he would surely have appreciated the artistic flair that Ellmann displayed in his critical writings. Indeed, his biography of Wilde is infused with a love and a largesse of spirit that Wilde displayed throughout his life and proved, in the end, to be his downfall. Wilde once quipped “I have put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works”. However, such epigrammatic brilliance masks that he did indeed put genius into his works. His place in the pantheon of great writers is assured for he mastered many forms: fiction, drama, poetry, children’s stories and critical essays. Wilde didn’t like his stories for children to be classified solely for children, insistent that they could be read whether you were 8 or 80 years of age. This alludes to an intrinsic aspect of Wilde’s writing: his sense of wonder and amazement at the world around him, key faculties that every child possesses and which are very easy to lose as we grow older. These qualities coupled with his fierce intellect mean that to enter the kingdom of Wilde is to be continually surprised, refreshed, entertained and energised.

There are many writers, poets and thinkers who I greatly admire. But if I was to choose a desert island choice, it would have to be Oscar. Having recently re-read The Picture of Dorian Gray (a book which I have given to countless people), I never fail to be charmed and astounded by the radiance of his writing. When it was first published in the early 1890s, critics were in uproar, labelling it a work of “moral depravity”, implying that it was unbefitting of someone of Wilde’s stature to degrade himself by writing such putrid literature. Perhaps the reason why critics were so upset was that the novel probed some uncomfortable truths that Victorian morality was desperate to suppress. Wilde was unafraid to explore aspects of humanity and life that he touches on elsewhere in his writings: the relationship between art and decadence; the dichotomy of body and soul; the mutable nature of the self, to name a few. The genius of Dorian Gray is that it is a timeless classic. One could argue that it brilliantly predicts the hollowness at the core of modern celebrity, that in the insatiable lust for fame there is a desperate price to pay, namely that of one’s soul.

Wilde’s love of language, delight in wit, playfulness with paradox, command of philosophy and foreknowledge of the future never fails to dazzle the imagination. Dorian Gray is a book that can be read on so many levels. If you haven’t, I cordially invite you to read it and then maybe to dip into his other works. His detractors at the time of his sensational trials in 1895 were determined that that would be the last that the world would hear about this giant of a man. Yet, Wilde would have the last laugh. For like the transformation of the Picture of Dorian Gray back to its youthful beauty at the end of the novel, his writings will remain forever young.

Those whom the Gods love grow young” (A Few Maxims for The Instruction of the Over-Educated)

Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

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Muse

The pen in my hand,

now what do I write?

all thoughts are dried up

and you’re out of sight.

 

Be kind to me muse,

shed me your power;

I am in a trance,

trapped in a tower.

 

Dreams sail on the shore,

drifting like seaweed,

in search of a home

let’s dance to the creed.

 

The stars are ablaze,

night has just begun

there’s love in a cup,

plenty to be sung.

 

Let me taste the source,

oozing on the chute;

as clear visions ring

flooding the mind’s flute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fulfilment

One of my favourite poems is Leisure by W.H.Davies. It is a poem that celebrates the importance of observation, contemplation, savouring the beauty of what is around you and living in the present. It could be argued that these qualities are more important than ever in a world that is often fragmented and difficult to comprehend. The poem I have written is in homage.

 

Fulfilment

 

What a life if, full of worry

we rush around in a hurry.

 

Rush around, a life most busy,

time’s precious, it makes you dizzy.

 

Rush around, without time to think,

all those great deals sealed with a drink.

 

Rush around, there’s no time to stop

not even for sleep, be a flop.

 

Rush around, in search of some luck,

keen to please and not a lame duck.

 

Rush around, it’s that special high

that folks of leisure crucify.

 

A great life this, full of worry,

we rush around in a hurry.

 

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Mountain

Majestic mountain of my youth,

Your beauty is pure proof

That a love once born never dies,

Arc of fire, on the rise.

 

A mighty hand, giver of peace

Unfreezing the mind’s leash;

Beyond time’s arrows, proud you stand

Surveying the lush land.

 

Dawn and dusk, grandeur meets the eye,

Outline inked on the sky;

A weathered-hewn hump that beckons,

Man’s conceits can’t threaten.

 

 

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Natural

You, with your natural ways

like sunbeams kissing the waves,

when the world is hard to trace

what brings cheer is your kind face.

 

Like trees, swaying in the breeze

your presence a pleasing ease;

soft, a touch that harbours peace,

light hands holding a fresh lease.

 

After a night cold and dark,

your smile a sight, saintly spark

lighting a fire that burns bright,

no shadows now give a fright.

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