Letters of Life

Poetry & Songs rss

Poetry is mastery of words, language, and emotion. Some originals, a lot from the masters of long ago and today.

These Golden Hours (Part II)

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9:52, Monday, 9 July, 2012

Here is my song for the asking Ask me and I will play So sweetly, I’ll make you smile This is my tune for the taking Take it, don’t turn away I’ve been waiting all my life . . .                              … Read More ›

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Pink

The last in a 12-part series on colour.  Wonderment Then a wind blew; And he who had forgot he moved Lonely amid the green and silver morning weather, Suddenly grew Aware of clouds and trees Gleaming and white and shafted, shaken together And blown to music by the ruffling breeze. Like flush of wings The… Read More ›

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Brown

The eleventh in a 12-part series on Colour. It’s not a colour you notice. It’s a wood floor you stand on, it’s a door you walk through, it’s the trunks of trees whose leaves you look at. And when it’s on cats, it’s the classiest, most inimitable shade of brown you can find.

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Orange

Part Eight in a series on Colour. Babylon The child alone a poet is: Spring and Fairyland are his. Truth and Reason show but dim, And all’s poetry with him. Rhyme and music flow in plenty For the lad of one-and-twenty, But Spring for him is no more now Than daisies to a munching cow;… Read More ›

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Purple

Credit: Wikipedia Part Seven of my series on Colour.  Our lives are made in these small hours These little wonders, these twists and turns of fate Time falls away but these small hours These small hours still remain    —  Little Wonders, Rob Thomas, musician There is a keyboard riff of a tune by one… Read More ›

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Green

Part Five of my series on Colour. What is Green? Green is grass And the leaves of the trees Green is the smell Of a country breeze. Green is lettuce And sometimes the sea. When green is a feeling You pronounce it N.V.

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Blue

Part four in a series on colour.  The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night air!… Read More ›

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Gold

  Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf, So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day Nothing gold can stay. Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay This beautiful poem, when heard with Stevie Wonder’s… Read More ›

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White

The second in a 12-part series on colour. Each post will feature a colour poem.  White is black’s perfect counterpart, is everything black pretends not to be. It is clean and serene, calming too, and optimistic. Unlike sand or beige, white is not a neutral, for this colour of all colours always makes a statement…. Read More ›

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Black

Of all the colours on the earth, the one I love and turn to the most is black. 1. You can put on black and then forget about it 2. Black makes you look thinner and better dressed without really trying 3. Black is calming 5. When getting a present, choose black 6. It hides… Read More ›

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Sakura

black boughs of pink snow sway like pines in a crisp wind fall like monsoon rain

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Night

The sun descending in the west, The evening star does shine; The birds are silent in their nest, And I must seek for mine. The moon, like a flower In heaven’s high bower, With silent delight, Sits and smiles on the night. — Night, William Blake

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Day 31, Lent 2012

The last lap, as it were, of the Lenten season. Just nine more days to go. I will be writing about my insights of Lent 2012, the lessons I learned, etc after Easter on April 8th. As it stands, it appears that numbers are acquiring an unsual significance this time round. For instance, this happens… Read More ›

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D flat

I leaned on you today I regularly hurt but never say I nearly wore the window through . . . Where was air-sea rescue? The cavalry with tea and sympathy? You were there, — Puncture repair. I leaned on you today I regularly hurt but never say You patched me up and sent me on… Read More ›

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Spirit Song

Seventeen days til Easter. It’s the eye of the storm; a lull, a borrowed peace. There’s a line in an old, old song Let Him have those things that hold You And have I? Then His Spirit like a dove Will descend upon your life And make you whole In some ways, yes. I used… Read More ›

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For A Monday

And if it rains all day, ‘Call on you, I’ll call on you Like I used to slide down beside And wrap you in stories Tailored entirely for you . . .   Spitfire thin and strung like a violin I was; Yours was the face with a grace From a different age You were the… Read More ›

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Eirene

Credit: eilish.deviantart.com/art/Fairies-99603591 The first time I properly heard Chopin was when I was given a casette tape (yes) of the pianist’s ethereal Nocturnes, those will-o’-the-wisps of night music, evanescent and evasive, quite out of one’s grasp if one were only a recreational piano player. I used to pop the tape into my mini-compo (yes), and… Read More ›

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Grassland

Play this work by Frédéric Chopin as you read. When you write about someone whom you love during a bus journey, you write him or her into the landscape.  The young girl in the single seat by the window across the aisle draws the curtains, and outside, the oil palm plantations and the hills etch themselves from… Read More ›

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Rain Running

Every street lamp that I pass Beats like a fatalistic drum, And through the spaces of the dark Midnight shakes the memory As a madman shakes a dead geranium. — T S Eliot, Rhapsody on a Windy Night A rainstorm ran into me on the road today. It was a new experience. The soft rain… Read More ›

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Rain

And I believe there is a time for meditation In cathedrals of our own. . .                                                          Summer, Highland Falls (1976) There is a reigning silence, a quiet,… Read More ›

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A Valentine Song

Three Songs SING me, thou Singer, a song of gold! Said a careworn man to me: So I sang of the golden summer days, And the sad, sweet autumn’s yellow haze, Till his heart grew soft, and his mellowed gaze Was a kindly sight to see. Sing me, dear Singer, a song of love! A… Read More ›

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Light

Most people think that shadows follow, precede, or surround beings or objects. The truth is that they also surround words, ideas, desires, deeds, impulses and memories. —Elie Wiesel, writer, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate (b. 1928) The shadow of a word Is its opposite The shadow of an idea always bigger The shadow of a… Read More ›

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Walking in the Rain

Let the rain kiss you Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops Let the rain sing you a lullaby The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk The rain makes running pools in the gutter The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night And I love the… Read More ›

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A New Year’s Words

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.    TS Eliot The first hour of 2012 found me standing on the esplanade by the Tonle Sap, a tributary that flows into the great Mekong River. The warm and windy air stank of old mud and sewage. We… Read More ›

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Under Grace, In the Flow

Standing still and calm Yet going at jet speed Going somewhere wonderful yet Not going anywhere at all Standing in the flow Awash in streams of light Etched in feathered glass These are my airplane summers. This is my 40th day of a second Lenten season. A quiet day by all accounts, but eventful just… Read More ›

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William Blake’s Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday Twas on a holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean, The children walking two and two in red and blue and green: Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as snow, Till into the high dome of Paul’s they like Thames waters flow. O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London… Read More ›

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Never A Good War

Being distanced from the hot zones of war, we forget what kind of hell on earth war can be. That’s when the stories of war matter. And so do its poems. Before you think poetry is airy-fairy stuff, remember that poetry is a distillation of man’s immediate and direct responses to the world around him…. Read More ›

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You and Me and Katy Perry

It’s the shrillness. The high-pitched vocal frequency teeters at the brink of shattering glass and scattering class. No doubt it is a powerful voice, but not Mariah- or Celine-powerful. These women have something in their vocal tones that start with the letter ‘C’ and it ain’t found in Miss Perry. It’s Jezebel raising the hell… Read More ›

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August Moon

Sometimes it’s fun to compare what you were doing around the same time a year ago. Obviously, the things that got you going a mere 12 months ago seem incongruous if you were to be doing it now. Yes, it’s the what-was-I-thinking blindsight that makes me look back in dumbfounded (the operative word being ‘dumb’)… Read More ›

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Splendour in the Grass

One of my favourite songs by Jason Mraz. Together with an excerpt from a well-known Ode by one of my favourite—because easily accessible—poets, W Wordsworth. . . . The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benediction: not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blest— Delight and liberty, the… Read More ›

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The Key to Living High

I guess it’s about time to highlight Jason Mraz in this space. I try to picture the girl through a looking glass And see her as a carbon atom See her eyes and stare back at them See that girl as her own new world Though her home is on the surface she is still… Read More ›

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The Tiger

TIGER, tiger, burning bright In the forests 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… Read More ›

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