Monthly Archives: Nov 2012


I long to see you naked, baby

Just the way it is destined to be


I long to see you laughing, baby

Beneath the dancing sycamore tree


I long to see you dreaming, baby

Of beauty alive in Galilee


I long to see you crying, baby

Sacred tears filling the barren sea


I long to see you swimming, baby

At ease in a lake of honesty


I long to see you moving, baby

Lissom limbs outstretched in carefree glee


I long to see you talking, baby

Limpids streams of words in ecstasy


I long to see you smiling, baby

At the truth there is in endless tea


I long to see you watching baby

Wanting and wondering, walk with me.


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I Want to Know

I want to know the joy of how you laugh

I want to know the way in which you dance

I want to know the joy of how you move

This need to know I cannot leave to chance


I want to know the beauty of your style

I want to know the kindness that you wield

I want to know the grace that gives you charm

This need to know protects me like a shield


I want to know the song of how you sing

I want to know the wisdom of your talk

I want to know that it doesn’t matter

This need to know follows me as I walk


I want to know your gentle breath at night

I want to know how you withstand the fears

I want to know the essence of your touch

This need to know is love that dries the tears.


(After reading Rumi’s line: “I want to know the joy of how you whisper”)


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Poetry for the Soul: Verses of Freedom

A Review of Wild by Ben Okri

This is a collection to stir the mind, fire the heart and energise the jaded soul. Ben Okri writes from the heart, exploring subjects most people can relate to – love, identity, war, conflict, terror, humanity, the universe – that it is impossible not to fall under the spell of his writing. In many ways this book of 47 beautifully resonant poems is a paean to the natural world as indicated by the title, “Wild” – but it is also a song of praise to the natural aspect of mankind – the pure beauty that lies within – which sometimes gets lost in the strife of life and maelstrom of living. There is music to be heard, if we but listen, “a richer music revealing the whole” (The Soul of the Nation) and if we but open our minds and hearts, “the world is rich/with great love unfound” (The World is Rich).

Okri is a writer who not only revels in the musicality of language but in the symbolism that the word can evoke. In many ways, poetry is the most appropriate medium in which the plea for tolerance, beauty and acceptance of the earth’s incredible riches can best be expressed. Like his other poetry collections “An African Elegy” and “Mental Fight”, Okri’s unfettered spirit shines through. Whether describing the vibrancy of Africa or the diversity that surrounds us, these are poems that have been forged with intense wonder, yet acutely aware of the elements that underpin our very existence.

Dylan Thomas once quipped that “poetry is what makes my toenails twinkle”. Well, if that’s the case, then this is poetry that will make your hair flare. Reading these poems encourages the reader to embrace the boundless capacity of the human imagination and the indomitability of the human spirit. Life, at times, can be bewildering, chaotic and incomprehensible but resilience and the possibility of hope is always present, if we see, feel and listen with our heart and senses. This from “Dreams”:

                                                        “Today is a new chaos

                                                         A new journey. A new city:

                                                         Needing new paths. And new standards”

 A constant echo that struck me as I read this collection was John Donne’s message that “No Man is an Island”. Nowhere is this made more explicit than in the titular poem, “Wild”, “everything should connect with everything”. It is often stated that poetry can act as a lifeboat for the weary soul; give this book to anyone you know who might have fallen out of love with life, living and giving and their joy may be rekindled. Hope springs eternal, as long as there is life. In the midst of despair – in the dark night of being – there is always some magic to be found, “a melody of light that transforms the night.”

The overriding philosophy that shapes this book is best encapsulated in “I sing a New Freedom”:

                                                   “Only those who remain free in spirit

                                                     Will find their way out of the maze.

                                                     But we are children of the stars,

                                                     And we ought to amaze.”

 Okri’s ability to impress upon readers is most clearly demonstrated in the powerful and luminous phraseology he deploys. Freedom of self is a constant theme (if one was going to choose a song to accompany the verse, “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley would be the most appropriate), “In our minds we swim or sink” (from “As Clouds Do Drift”).

“Wild” is bookended by poems to his mother and father, which seems entirely in keeping with the message of the poetry – that the cycle of humanity and life lives on, “my turn has come round at last”, the wisdom that is handed on from generation to generation, and which is refashioned in turn, helps give sustenance to this beautiful gift that we have been given:

                                                “Plant the secrets of the way

                                                  That I may live

                                                  More wisely every day.”

 Read this collection, let the words wash over you, absorb the optimistic refrain that permeates the poetry and you – the reader – will feel refreshed, eager to embrace a world, that whilst occasionally baffling, is, most of the time, still beautiful.


Filed under Books, Culture, Nature, Reading, Reviews

What are Days for?

Days are where we live:

Days are wicked

Days are cool

Days are lots of fun.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday

Days trip off your tongue,

Thursday Friday Saturday

Days speak for themselves.


Sunday, Lord of days

Maintains a merry ship

Afloat on a sea of surprises.

Days are like treasure hunts.


They make you dance,

They make you cry;

Some day we will all die.


Where would we be without days?


(Inspired after reading Days by Philip Larkin, from The Whitsun Weddings)


This poem is from Upon the Inward Eye. My next collection is provisionally titled, “A Quickening Love.”

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Filed under Philosophy, Poetry, Thoughts




Scuttling across the threshold

Like an impish guest

Aware of an inner purpose

Surfing on a crest


(The photo is of the sculpture “Maman” by Louise Bourgeois)

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I spot you through the window

Hopping, on a secretive mission

In full flight, cheating surprise.

How devilish to see, digging the grass

And I knowing it will not last;

Our eyes momentarily meet, but

The purpose of your action is

Concealed – who should steal?

Which leads me to conclude how

All of us are trying to pave a

Way, to withstand the drum.

Squirrel, come back another day.


Filed under Nature, Poetry