OCTOBER ROSE

Claire Austin: myrrh scent, repeat flowering, late afternoon sun.

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Poets, writers, mythical tales have used the rose as symbol of many things – a single red rose, a white rose, peace, remembrance, love, blood, war, passion. I use Louis Macneice’s poem, ‘SNOW’ to accompany my photographs. I love the way he expands a simple and diverse image into a world of everything.

SNOW

The room was suddenly rich and the great bay window was

Spawning snow and pink roses against it

Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:

World is suddener than we fancy it.

 

World is crazier and more of it than we think,

Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion

A tangerine and spit the pips and feel

The drunkeness of things being various.

 

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world

Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes –

On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of your hands –

There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Louis Macneice1907 – 1963, Irish poet and playwright

 

                                                       IN CONTRAST . . .

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William Blake: 1757 – 1827; Painter, Poet, Printmaker.

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spider                                            Picasso: ‘Histoire Naturelle

September again and spiders in house and garden. Conker time too! I have thrown them into corners and crevices in the hall, sitting and dining rooms to keep spiders out. Only having last year’s shrivelled conker remains last month, I jumped the mile when a black, spiky feet, fat bodied, big as a dinner plate house spider, shot across the sitting room floor. James Bond and the shoe . . . that was me without the hammering soundtrack. There was another crouched on the bedroom curtains a few days ago, obliterated with a hastily fetched Radio Times and I now have conkers upstairs in the corners, on and under the windowsill. It may or may not be an old wives’ tale. But I sleep better.

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Webs hang like traps in the garden. unseen unless the sun strikes them, or one spots the black carcass of a fly, suspended, eye-level.

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It’s an unusual autumn, the blossom of a spring-flowering, evergreen clematis is blooming. The scent is heavenly, like frangipangi and honey.

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John Keats: (31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821). ‘To Autumn’, was written on 19 September 1819 after a walk near Winchester.

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To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
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In Praise of FATNESS in Women

 

 

Sunday morning watching TV at breakfast. Football news is on with the sound off, a footballer is having a paddy on the grass, I’m waiting for to weather even though I can see it through the window, now – a fat woman with impressive hips, I saw one yesterday in town whose hips were amazing. Seems to be a big down on fat. I make a sudden resolution – no more news! There it’s done.

 

Here are two views on FAT which differ from TV news where opinions are bundled and dished up, ‘fat accumplee’.  One view of ABUNDANCE encapsulated in an iron age statue could be a woman today, seen clothed,  walking around, shopping, chatting, taking care of children, sculpting, painting, writing playing the cello, singing . . .

Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is a 4.25-inch (10.8 cm) high statuette of a fertile, female figure, estimated variously between 28,000 and 20,000 BC, or 30,00 – 27,000 BC. It is carved from oolitic limestone, and was covered with red ochre when found in Lower Austria, 1908.

 Another view of such MAGNIFICENCE is created in a fairy story, (keeper of the soul). 

The Butterfly Woman

La Mariposa  is old, very, very old. one of her shoulders is bare she is wrapped in cloth of red and black. Her body is heavy and she has tiny feet. She is the butterfly woman arrived to strengthen the weak. she is that which most of us think of as not strong; age, the butterfly, the feminine.

Butterfly woman’s hair reaches to the ground, thick and stone grey. Her hips are two baskets and the fleshy top of her buttocks is wide enough to ride two children. She dances and waves a fan of feathers, spreading the earth with the pollinating spirit of the butterfly.

Her shell bracelets rattle like snake, the bells on her garters tinkle like rain. In one breast is the thunderworld, the underworld in the other. her back is the curve of planet earth the back of her neck carries the sunrise and the sunset. Her belly holds all the babies that will ever be born.

Butterfly woman cross-fertilises, the soul with dreams, the mundane world, she takes a little here, puts a little there. She transforms. A little is enough.

‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’; Clarissa Pinkola Estes; (Rider Books)

‘There is no ‘supposed to be’ in bodies. Does it have happiness, joy, can it move in its own way? Dance, step, wiggle?’

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The Summer Day

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Not quite summer but it feels like it. The garden is overflowing with light, warmth and colour, blackbirds, blue tits, dunnocks and two fat pigeons, cicadas, bumble bees.

I found this poem and love it, It matches both me and the day. Enjoy!

The Summer Day

by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?