Tag Archives: faith

A poem for International Disability Day

Today is International Disability Day and here is a poem I have written today especially for it.


The Flower of Disability           by Neil William Holland


Sometimes a flower lies waiting there

sometimes fine blooms lie latent there

but there they are and there they bloom.


Some flowers take longer in our care

but love and heart can grow them where

they reach for life that they may bloom.


How rare these flowers that take a while

who ask so little, just love and care,

who bear such pain behind their smile,

young lives who simply want to share

a chance to grow and bloom.


With rainbow smiles of every hue

who just love life like me and you,

embrace them now in all you do

that you may bloom.


Respect is all that’s asked of you

support and mere civility,

that all may grow and we may share

the flower of disability.

A Poetry Recording

It has taken me a while to post this but it relates to my fairy recent (for me) post The Fastest Poems Ever Written and this is a recording I made of Looking At An Arthur Berry Exhibition. The tone of it  is about my response to his paintings, which are very dark colour-wise, and very reflective of life in a raw sense, a bit like Lowry which Arthur’s works were exhibited with.


Here is the final tone-poem I recorded in response to my tour of his work. You can read more on my earlier post if you wish, The Fastest Poems Ever Written.


Poetic Splinters

Poetic splinters, you can get them for sure, many poetry enthusiasts have dared to guide their poetry to left of centre in one way or another. The Beat poets for example, and often this doesn’t sit too well with ultra traditionalists. Without new views on poetry however there are no new developments and I can’t help thinking that word-smithing such as Rap and Slam Poetry to name but two splinters have helped many young people to engage with the sacred art.

For my own part, try as I may, I cannot peel my poetry away from a sound enhanced treatment, and I am now pretty sure that what may be best described as digitally enhanced poetry will be around for quite some time yet. I am though also keen to keep myself in a straight line down that central poetry course we call traditional poetry and to this end I have tracked down a local Poetry Stanza of The Poetry Society and when I am able I intend to be a regular at the group (if they will have me of course).

Why am I continually fascinated by digitally enhanced poetry? The answer lies in what can be done with it, how it can colour the reading, give it atmosphere and nuances, how it can interplay and bring mood, how it can render a partnership with the imagination. That is ok I think, yes? It’s another way of rendering the essence of what otherwise may be plain unaccompanied prose. Does poetry need this? No of course not, but we live in the age of the digital world and it seems a shame not to let poetry in on it. I am hoping to continue the work in 2016 and add to my Bandcamp collection, but I am also hoping to develop my traditional skills and if you want to improve your game it plays to be in a good team surrounded by good players, preferably better than yourself, hence my aspirations towards my local Poetry Stanza. It seems like a sensible plan methinks. I’m enthused by the thought of it at least having lost my poetry mojo somewhat when everything in the world seemed to be pushing me away from the thing I know I love.

So, anyway, have a listen to the last thing I’ve done, Under The Stars. It is poetry about my dad, something we shared together on special nights. I hope something of those moments can be found by listening to it. I hope too, that you may see how the words and sound-atmosphere can work in synergy. It is almost essential to listen through headphones, as that offers the nuances really. Peace to all.

Currently reading

Poems of the Second World War..
edited by Dennis Butts& Victor Selwyn.

In particular the poem The Shelter (extract) by Wilfrid Gibson.

I love the lyrical language that opens the poem and which continues to unravel the story contained therein, a cameo of life at that time.

‘In the air-raid shelter of the Underground
Stretched on the narrow wire racks ranged around
The walls, like corpses in a catacomb
With brows and cheeks cadaverous in the light…’

What follows in the poem is a lyrical narrative containing a story that is a hugely compassionate boy-meets-girl theme that rises above the ordinary due to the circumstances of it all. The poem is both a poem, a narrative prose and also a signpost to what may matter in life philosophically, all at the same time weaving a spell on me as a reader.

On the opposite page to the poem is a full page black and white photograph of people in the air-raid shelter right in keeping with the theme which strengthens my enjoyment and appreciation of the poem’s setting, but of course you don’t need it to enjoy this lovely poetry.

Enjoy…Neil William Holland aka Soloneili, the poet in the car.


Hello, this is a poem I wrote and recorded about one of my grandchildren. I hope you enjoy.


In the hierarchy of sound
I place the ticking
of my late grandmother’s clock
as middle C.
The purring of Sooty
her black cat sits
somewhere below,
Its meow sits considerably higher,
as do all the sounds of Noah,
my grandson
now three months old.

Asleep on the smokey rag rug
the crackling pops and whistles
of the coal fire reassure,
as do the buttons, buckles, and RAF wings
I play with in their cream coloured tin.
I effortlessly slide from my childhood
to Noah’s as he lies listening.

I have no ticking clock for him.
Only my low grandfather voice,
and my burning desire to ensure
his life is full of music and me,
desperate to be his middle C,
wishing for him,
a world of beautiful polyphony.

poem by Neil William Holland. a.k.a. Soloneili

Words for Peace

Words For Peace

If I could leave my words for those I love, to understand,
lay me down where grass is sweet and flowers grow,
that I may share the life our meadows know
and spend eternal peace in my beloved land.

In silent prayer I wish for those a friend to me,
may peace be in your life and quiet waters flow,
to nurture heart in those you love and know
and all conjoin in high serenity.

Alone mere words cannot repay the debts we owe,
nor wishes cleanse the souls we’ve grown to be,
but surely love uplifts when all is low
and binds us in one true affinity.

If all could leave their words for those they love to understand
and lay their thoughts in meadows sweet where flowers grow,
we’d nourish all we hope our children come to know
and place true peace in our beloved lands.

The above is a poem by me, Neil William Holland…a.k.a. Soloneili

Free Gift of friendship.

Thanks to all who follow me, I truly appreciate it and I’m only just learning about the etiquette involved of blogging so my humble apologies if I’ve not acknowledged anyone, I’m sorry, but I hope you enjoy this track which, if you like it, is free to download and indeed free to everyone who comes across it. There is something about all religions that attracts me in terms of the wisdom contained within them, and Buddhism particularly holds a fascination for me, even though I’m a christian. I believe that there is good in the true essence of all faiths and that with faith comes hope, and a life with hope is a life that is always filled with promise.

When I put this track together I wanted to convey a sense of serenity and voice which reaches out through the mystery of its sound and when I came across the throat chant I knew I just had to use it and this is the end result. There is also much to be heard on the wind and that too is embraced in the concept of this piece and in my mind the gradual unfolding of the throat chant is an unfolding of consciousness that seems to carry a feeling inside me of some sort that is hard to define. I often find this with sound and I love the way sound can reach into every crevice of a room and perhaps it can reach in to every crevice of our lives in the same way. I have a Tibetan singing bowl which I love to strike and allow its resonance to do just that, to resonate inside me on many levels and to enter every crevice of my life. These nuances of sound, the interaction between the physical qualities of sound and the spiritual, more abstract qualities, of life maybe speak of things we don’t yet understand but which are as important and as relevant as the food we eat. After all, I believe it is truly important to feed our soul just as much as our body, and what can possibly be wrong with having faith and hope, nourished by what we believe and what we place our trust in, whatever religion it may be. It’s not about being enthusiastic about religion, it’s about being religiously enthusiastic about life. Please enjoy and best wishes. Neil

The Poet In The Car

Yesterday it was one of those days, one of those poetic days in the car, driving on easy roads unrolling inside their English country fields and hedgerows past ancient churches, the light coloured stone set against the deep greens of the landscape and all under one glorious bright sun. I notice the birds pairing up and see my first lark holding station above a roadside meadow. I love the drive to the medieval town of Shrewsbury and what a treat it is once there to walk around those streets of fascinating and inviting architecture so full of nooks and crannies and little architectural surprises. I love the smell of the deli by the church with its ripe cheeses and gazing through the window seems to take me back in time somehow. In the town there are courtyards and lovely coloured doors to peruse and as always I found my way to the Oxfam bookshop where I just could not resist the six hundred odd pages about the Crusades and while thumbing through them I saw the word Templar and connected immediately with my former holiday in Malta and the graves of the Templars in Valetta and once again I was with the little boy lowered inside the grain stores of the mighty walls during the great seige reliving every moment of the marvellous history of it all. Valleta harbour, sigh… Here I was, connected to Shrewsbury, to words, to ancient voices calling me and beckoning my attention to their story and who am I not to hear it so I buy the book and start my pilgrimage alongside the Knights wondering if I will be horrified but knowing too that I will be fascinated. I sit for a while on the street bench and read near the beggar-man playing his penny whistle next to his sleeping dog who’s heard it all before. On the way home I play a beautiful childrens’ choir album and try to make no sense of life but rather simply just let it happen to me under the magic of one of those warm sunny poetic days that just have something indefinable within them as the road unfurls meandering like the river I had not long walked over via the wobbly bridge, admiring the weeping willow curving according to its purpose, just as I was I think at that precise moment. I call it poetry.

Remember Harry Patch

A photo of Harry Patch

I always wanted to pay my own tribute to this remarkable man, and always felt that one day I could perhaps find the words to create a poem. However, since embarking on my journey to explore imagery and feeling, that may amount to a ‘poetic’ feeling using tone and sound alone, I have grown more and more to appreciate what seems to be an almost hidden form of language enshrined in sound which is capable of stirring emotions in the same way that crafted poetic words can stir emotions. I apologise if I’m not articulating this as well as I hope but I suppose that all I’m trying to say is that if a title points the listener in a certain direction then it seems possible to generate the same emotional response in a listener that I feel myself.
Ever since seeing the late Harry Patch talk on a TV documentary about his experiences in the great war I have remembered the man, not daily perhaps, but he seems to crop up in my thoughts at odd moments and this is something that gives me pleasure. I never want to forget Harry Patch, nor the many others who endured the war and including of course those who paid the ultimate scrifice for all of us. I seem to be on a parrallel journey of poetry and music where both are perfectly capable of leading my mind into strong imagery and strong feelings too. How this all works on someone like myself creatively I’m not too sure, but one day recently I sat down at my electronic keyboard and selected a certain sound, the tone of which resonated inside me and then I started to play. I cannot read music and cannot play any instrument, but by ‘feeling’ my way forward testing notes and combinations I heard that something was emerging that reflected how I felt when thinking of Harry Patch. I will never forget how he relayed in the documentary the moment he cradled a dying soldier in his arms and suddenly the soldier cried out “Mother”, just as though she had appeared there before him. He then passed away. I hope you feel what I feel inside this musical piece which it seems is composed, arranged and played by me even though I cannot read music or play a musical instrument. It seems odd to me that this can happen. Thanks for listening and best wishes. Neil