Notes On Poems

Thanks for reading Remembrance. This poem was born in Wales on a weekend holiday as I was gazing across a meadow one afternoon, taken by the movement of the wind in the trees and the grass. For some unexplained reason I started to remember friends who have passed on. It wasn’t  a sad moment, rather it was a strong feeling that we are all still part of the same thing and there is a connectedness about it. I guess I felt comforted by that thought and the gentle wind swept towards me and over me before passing on. I could see it coming via the rippling leaves. Hope you enjoy it.

The Cosmic Gardener is my second poem posted on here. It is based on the concept of a cosmos created by a caring hand. The inspiration for this poem came from personal experiences in my professional work-environment and also from watching the news with its constant bombardment of the senses via stories of suffering and hurt. I’d like to think that there is a better place in the cosmos for all the kind and pure people out there who simply have aspirations of leading a decent and good life. If only the poetry in this one could be realised………………. in the meantime, I’ll settle for faith. Where there is faith there is hope.

Incantation, I Call The Whale

Well, if you’ve got this far you may well just be curious, or more hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the poem and want to know more. I’ve wanted to write about whales and their almost mystical pull on me for quite some time and finally I’ve fulfilled my desire. I have also written another whale-poem, a more conventional piece, and I hope to post that too.

I have this feeling that poetry can sometimes be simply about atmosphere, and that is enough, a means of touching senses inside another person without conveying and overt meaning. I think some of my inspiration to complete this project came from the poem ‘Whale Nation’, but as I have said, the connection between myself and whales has always been latent and it just needed bringing to the surface (pardon the pun).

After I had been developing this piece, (I call it a poem) I came across the film Whale Rider, and if you haven’t yet seen it I urge you to as it’s a true gem of a film. It will also convey a further echo to my poem I feel sure. Many of us are what may be termed sea-watchers, in that many of us just like to gaze out to sea for no apparent reason and I’d like to think that there is a primal call of some description that is a misunderstood and an inexplicable (as yet)  aspect of micro cell memory. There is a school of thought that this form of memory at cellular level is what accounts for characteristics of a donor  transmitting themselves to a transplant recipient. Whilst this may be a touch spooky, I would also like to think that there are indeed ancient connections that we all inherit in some way and that they are a good thing. It may be a juncture where spiritual matters meet scientific ones, who knows. What I do know is that something compelled me to create this piece.

I hope you sense the atmosphere, which is one point of the poem, and the rhythmic gentle tone. The epigraph at the start of the poem, ‘the meek shall inherit the earth’ is a signpost to how wonderful but how vulnerable creatures are, many of which were here well before mankind appeared. In may ways they are innocent, they have innocence, in a pure form, much like children have innocence, and if we are not careful with our fellow creatures and with our planet it will return as it once was eons ago.

There is no real sense to the poem, in a logical communicative way, but it is about the ‘call’ we sometimes experience, and for which we have no adequate words that rationalise it. I would like to think that sometimes it is simply nice to trust and surrender to our instincts about things.

In my creative work I could be described as a sound-comber, because I’m always listening for sounds that may help the creative spark. I love sound. In this poem I travelled to the west coast of Wales where I know there is a pebble and shingle beach that has beautiful tones, and I made a number of visits and recordings of the sea as the waves rolled onto the shore (it is very hard to get clean recordings). These have been incorporated into the poem. I created this final version on a computer using a digital audio workstation and a film editing package. I judge the sound through stereo speakers with a subwoofer and two separate pairs of headphones, one Phillips and one Bose in order to achieve some degree of satisfaction with the end result. I often transfer it to CD and listen in the car. This process does, I hope, give me some idea of how it might sound to a listener. It is experimental, but I hope it is at least restful to listen to. Hope you enjoy it. It requires a patient listen, and if you gave it that I am delighted and can only say thank you.

Best. Neil


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