Tag Archives: philosophy

The Pocket Of My Life…a poem

The Pocket of My Life a poem by Neil William Holland

In the pocket of my life I found there was a tear, I could feel it.
I think that grief and sadness had worn the fabric.
I probed within, something I had never done before.
In the lining of my life things had gathered.
I pulled them out one by one.
First came the dream, from younger days
when dreaming mattered.
Oh it was somewhat faded and somewhat tattered,
but I recognised it.
I knew it was my dream, still there, still wanting fulfilment.
I pulled out happiness.
I hadn’t realised how much happiness had slipped
into the lining of my life.
In truth, I never realised how happy I had been
on so many occasions.
How sad that I should let happiness slip away.
I pulled out choice.
Somehow I let the power of choosing slip into the lining of my life.
The Lord has always given me this precious gift called choice.
I laid them out in front of me, side by side,
all within my grasp again.
My coat of life suddenly felt lighter.
The dream was brighter now that I could see it.
Now that it was free.
I removed my coat of life and studied it with fresh interest.
I hadn’t realised how tired I’d let it become.
I kept looking, reflecting.
My life looked new and bright again.
My dream intense, alluring.
I carefully wrapped my dream in choice, it felt empowering.
My dream, my power of choice, my happiness meant to be.
I found my spirit again.
I found my purpose, my reason for being,
the reason I was me.

Advertisements

Like A Bird On A Nest

Sometimes, most times, I sit on poems like a bird on a nest. I look at them quite proudly, warm and variegated in their colouring, turn them, fiddle them, incubate them. Then, even with all that tender loving care maybe they just don’t hatch. There comes a point where perhaps they are simply not fertile enough, never will be ready to hatch and fly as poems do once they are fledged and ready for a life of their own. it’s what we do, poets, we give something life only for it to fly away and have a life of its own. It’s what we hope for.

Sometimes though, you just want to soar, free from the burden of it all, but deep down you know you must start all over again, trying to perpetuate that species of writing you know simply has to exist. It’s inside, eternal, a driving force. Ok, perhaps not all eggs lead to magnificent birds, but if only one, just one of those eggs finally hatches and soars with all of those other magnificent birds it will be something to truly marvel at. Your own D.N.A, a piece of you up there silhouetted against the sky like a printed letter on a blank page and a natural testament to you as the provider. Sometimes such creating, such giving, seems a lonely thing but still you must fly and nest and incubate, hoping. Always hoping.

In reality, most of the time, I line my nest with the feathers of other birds, each one a phrase or a line that fired my imagination, wanting to nurture and hatch my own complete but original bird from all those collected. I line my nest with them, warm in the knowledge that they truly are fine feathers. Warm in the knowledge that hopefully, one day, all my eggs will hatch, warmed by the fine feathers I surrounded them with. Now, I sit, and write, and incubate. Just don’t try and tell me it’s pointless, for what is a world without birds?

Madeira Through A Poet’s Eyes.

Some things in life just leave their mark on you, affect you. On our first holiday in Madeira we chanced upon a flower festival and I saw a lady selecting blooms from a display which people were allowed to do as it was ending. However, they were not for herself, she promptly walked up to my wife, a stranger to her, handed the bouquet to her and then walked off down the street. I watched her go, this small elegant elderly lady and I am sure she was just a member of the public in Funchal. What an act of kindness, a thought for someone else, a creator of memories. Isn’t it good to be human sometimes? How far does an act of kindness and selflessness reach? I’ve held on to this memory until finally I produced a poem from it which I like to think is my gift back to the lady, the island and its people. We had the flowers in our room for our whole two week stay. The actual flowers are in the vase below. My poem they led me to create is also below. Sometimes the world can be a truly wonderful place.

DSC00912.jpg

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.

On Holiday With the Poet Laureate

It’s not every day you get to go on holiday with a Poet Laureate, but I managed it, well, sort of. The Poet Laureate in question is the very amiable Bert Flitcroft, who is the poet laureate for Staffordshire for 2016. It was actually two poetry books he has published that accompanied me to Dubrovnik in Croatia, but by the time I’d finished two weeks with them, I felt like he was indeed there with me.

I met Bert recently at a reading session he did for our writing group. He read some of his work and allowed us, invited us, to make it an informal occasion. Brilliant. The comments and questions flowed and Bert gave us a remarkable insight into how he writes and how he sees contemporary poetry. It was a very rewarding afternoon. Bert with his confident assured readings and ourselves with the audience interaction. What strikes me about Bert’s poems is how accessible they are, anyone can reach into them very easily.

What I always like about poetry, is that poems allow you close to the poet. Poems always seem to have something of the poet entwined within them. This I think is particularly the case with Bert, he invites you to witness a marital moment of disagreement in Sonnet For A Bacon Sandwich and makes me smile broadly at the wry observation in Naked. Fishing is presented in a completely new light in First Contact and in my view he has written the best ever poem about retirement in Finished.

There are loads more, so many easily read poems but still poems that kept calling me back. It’s not the poems speaking, it’s Bert himself, and the words let me plug into his intellect. Believe me it’s worth it. Keepers for sure. Singing Puccini at the kitchen sink.  ISBN 978-1-907741-03-6   and Thought-Apples  ISBN 9780956551870 both by Bert Flitcroft. Go on, treat yourself.

 

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.

2230371_1489_2

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.

 

Currently reading no.2

I like to find time to pursue something akin to ‘Continued Professional Development’ with my interest in poetry. Hence this post, which is perhaps more of a ‘Continued Poetry Development’. The book I’m reading today is The Lost Works of William Carlos Williams by Robert J. Cirasa.(also subtitled as ‘The Volumes of Collected Poetry as Lyrical Sequences’). I’ve got two reasons for this, firstly anything that mentions lyrical and poetry grabs my attention because of my own creative leaning, and secondly, in his autobiography William Carlos Williams said, “The longer I lived in my place, among the details of my life, the more I realised that these isolated observations and experiences needed pulling together to gain profundity.”

There is, I think, poetry even inside that quote, I mean how gorgeous is the inward looking concept of living among the details of one’s life? The very way of thinking in those worded terms seems to negotiate to that ‘other layer’ which all good poetry seems to possess. It says a lot about him I think, especially how he wrote in a small-detail way. Profundity seems to be something I also occasionally try to negotiate almost without realising it. (the concept of trying to be profound seems saturated with ego somehow, oops!) Perhaps my efforts are more like a journey though through my own self awareness. Maybe my own attempts at profundity is a way of sharing myself, I think it is probably, a passing-on of something. It would be nice to think my kids read my ‘profundity’ one day, although I’d probably have to throw in a free holiday to get them to read my poetry.

I digress, what matters is that reading books like this puts me a bit closer to the man, the poet and what he gave out to the world, his “details of my life”, his way of seeing. And that can only help my own growth and love of writing and reading poetry. I’ll give the last word on this post to the man himself, a quote from the book:

“It is a flower through which the wind
combs the whitened grass and a black dog

with yellow legs stands eating from a
garbage barrel. One petal goes eight blocks.

That’s only an extracted few lines of course, but I just love that sentence “One petal goes eight blocks”. It subconsciously connects me to the concept of a journey, and all living things are on a journey and within each journey are many other journeys. I do find even that short sentence lyrical. The word ‘petal’ is the only two syllable word in that sentence and in a creative writing sense, and a musical one too, I seem to focus on that word, it seems to gain strength from itself sitting within the monosyllabic rest.

So, there we are, me and my book, a rare find in a second hand bookshop with a bell that tinkles when you open the door, another lyrical note on my poetry journey. Nine quid well spent I reckon.

Cheers all…Neil

Whales, a Poetry Reading

There is a strange but compelling attraction to Whales for me. I don’t really know why only that it is there and very strong too. It feels like an emotional bond of some sort and I am struck by the way they do not set out to attack people, in spite of much persecution by people. It’s as though they are wiser. Maybe they are the custodians of something. I’m sure the scientist and biologist will give me the cold explanations of their presence, place and purpose, but it will never shake my belief that there is something very special about whales, something intangible. I hope you enjoy this poetry with sound. It is my own poem read by me and the music is my own playing and composition. What I’ve tried to do is impart to the piece something of what I feel. Enjoy and best wishes….Neil I’ve called the poem Thermoclines Thermoclines a poem by Neil William Holland. a.k.a. Soloneili What am I following, this pull call pull of something higher? Rising and bellowing thermoclines mellowing deep subsonic viscous noise, resonating through rib-cages, grasping aortas, whale song. Blues, Minkes, Orcas.

Noah

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

Noah

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

I Fish For Seatrout In The Dead Of Night

Another poem I wrote based on personal knowledge. Standing on one’s own in a river to fish, then letting the darkness fall through its various stages until its final and complete blackness envelopes you, is a sobering and thoughtful experience. It is the way to catch the ultra shy seatrout, but one’s world certainly transforms with even the slightest rustle or splash. Whilst waiting for the fish the world is transformed and blurs between reality and reflection. I hope you enjoy this audio poem. Best wishes. Neil