Category Archives: poetry

Songs Lift My Soul

via Daily Prompt: Song

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In 2013 The Bridgetown Cidery became home to a regular Folk Music Night, where local artists performed both solo and together as a band. In the Photo above we have Daun on percussion, a woman whose name I sadly can’t remember, Mary Myfanwy (who has her own solo career), and Adrian Williams (who can play a number of string instruments) who was a catalyst for the venture. This was taken July 2014 when I was still living in the town. I regularly attended these events because I love folk music, and on occasion there’d be something from the archive of Steeleye Span or Fairport Convention, among others. It was a fabulous time.

When I was around three years old, I have a distinct memory (I can still locate myself by a song, even my mood at the time on some occasions) of the songs of Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan (who I met in 1978 in Perth) and I have ever since had a soft spot for folk music of many kinds. My mother always had the radio on, BBC of course, and through those long English winters, trapped indoors, it was wonderful to be able to listen to music of all kinds. Fats Domino, Lonny Donegan, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Tom Jones, The Platters, Gene Vincent, Sam Cooke and more became known to me by their songs, it would be some years later that I would identify the songs by those who sang them. I loved music, I loved participating too. As with all children I was in the school “orchestra or band” I played the triangle, and eventually graduated to tambourine. I sang in a church choir for a time as a child, but when my voice broke it was deemed better that I not do that anymore 🙂

The sixties music had a profound effect on me. Who could ever deny the impact of the Beatles, but so many good songs and the bands who brought them into being.

My school band days migrated to the Australian school system where everyone was expected to learn to play the recorder (which drove my teachers and my Parents mad)  and every class had a singing session weekly to learn songs. I loved it all. I never did learn to read music, and for a brief moment in time I started to learn to play bass guitar, and was in a couple of attempted start-up bands. I did write some songs, but found I was a better poet than a straight up song writer. It was all good fun.

When I was in my teens, music, like reading, was a great escape, and I found music could also lift my soul, that hasn’t changed, it still does. I have my favourite songs, but I have a broad love of music and genre, from from folk to pop, blues to rock, gospel to hip hop, and classical and jazz. I have really enjoyed fusion, and the collaboration between cultures as pioneered by people like Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, George Harrison, and including Robert Plant, and many others.

I find music affects me body, mind and soul. There are some songs or pieces that bring me goose-bumps, and ecstasy, others are deeply meditative, some energising.

Even the very serious Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

I agree, it would be a tragedy. But thankfully humanity is creative and expressive and we have a vast body of ever growing work to choose from. I wonder what your favourite song is? Perhaps like me you find it hard to choose just one. For me, in this moment, Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin” In 1964, it was a very real song, an anthem. But now it is more – it is my constant hope.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

 

18 Comments

Filed under creativity, history, life, music, poetry, quote

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day Two

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Taken at a junction on the River Walk above Flat Rock, Augusta.

"... Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."

From: 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost

When I chose this one it dawned on me that I had another ‘road’  or direction quote. Well, so be it. Life is indeed a journey along a path – our path. And that is Frost’s point, we have choices, they are our choices as to which way to go. At the heart of these lines is the call to authenticity, will we go the road well travelled – the predictable, comfortable, everybody is doing it road; or the road less travelled – the one that is going to stretch us, deepen us, cause us to question (and question ourselves), enable us to grow, the one that includes pain or discomfort, love and love lost ….?

Frost, ever the subtle poet, guides us discretely to the thought that authenticity is about being true to self and honouring that which only we can bring to the world, to community. This not new, but Frost is original and profound, giving a new angle on life through his own experience. For Frost, the authentic person can only be truly themselves if they take their own path. It is an acknowledgement that no one can carry us or do it for us, no one else can be us. Frost doesn’t preach or moralise, he simply honours his own authenticity with – “And that has made all the difference.”  He rejoices in his choice to go his way, to therefore become himself, no matter what he meets along the way.

Today’s Nominations:

On A Mission

Soul Therapist

Moira

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under bush walking, community, Country, life, mindfulness, poetry, quote

The Four Quartets

Quartet

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I love music of many kinds, so quartet brings to mind the Norwegian musicians – Vertavo String Quartet, or from a jazz perspective, the John Coltrane Quartet. However, What is forever etched on my mind are four poems,  the ‘Four Quartets’ by T.S. Eliot.

The ‘Four Quartets’ are reflective meditations on humanity’s relationship with time. Eliot engages spiritual themes, and philosophy, and includes such influences as John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich (mystics), presocratic thinkers (Greek philosophy), and the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu).  The poems were written between 1936 and 1945 and originally published separately, until 1948 when Faber published them in one volume. The period in which he wote these poems is perhaps indicative of the content. The threat of war, followed by the long war and the blitz, which he endured, must have impacted his sense of mortality and time.

The Quartets are: ‘Burn Norton’, ‘East Coker’, ‘The Dry Salvages’, and ‘Little Gidding.’

My favourite of the four is Little Gidding, simply because it contains a profound observation of the human condition that is neither perfunctory, nor damning, but rather, somehow, encouraging. That observation of Eliot’s comes in part five of ‘Little Gidding.’

We shall not cease from exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

As I’ve quoted before, Proust puts it well when he says: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Eliot is not at odds with Proust in this. He too is suggesting that we humans are curious, we are seekers of truth, of belief, fact, geography, place and space, and more. But, in spite of great travels and in spite of much learning, eventually we return to our roots, our beginning points, and see them afresh.

For me that means seeing the horizons of body, mind and soul with new inner eyes, being able to see with the eyes of wholeness, forgiveness, love, kindness, compassion, and self-giving. Eliot also speaks of how experience is transformative (if we allow it to be so). He also speaks to how we mature in those experiences along life’s journey, and how time affects us, that aging and experience might afford us opportunity to see ourselves afresh. We engage with our youthfulness and “kick the traces” as we used to say, rebelling; we turn to masks, we invent personae for the public I, denial is the trope of our lives. But in the end, at our very core, there is only ever, our true self, if we but look carefully. And if we attend to our true self, accept our self, loev our self, we see ourselves whole as if for the first time.

In a stark reminder, he’s also suggesting that, as with the story of Adam and Eve, so with all of us, we never leave the awkwardness of self-awareness, separation, and a sense even an anxiety, that we could do better we could be someone. All of us strive to overcome those things, but find that we were/are, perhaps, a little too hard on ourselves and that we just need to see ourselves as good. The journey we engage is one to be whole and perfect, but yet, the end of our searching leads us back to where we began, that we were indeed whole in the first place, and that nothing is ever perfect.

Paul,

pvcann.com

22 Comments

Filed under history, life, mindfulness, Philosophy/Theology, poetry, religion, Spirituality

Assay Love

via Daily Prompt: Assay

I say, I never thought I’d write an essay about assay!

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Coober Pedy, South Australia, the opal capital of the world. More than enough assaying going on to determine the quality of the rock and ore turned up.

That’s easy these days, assaying is well provided for with pleanty of laboratories vying for work in the mining industry.

But how do you assay love? Is it a look, a movement, a scent, a kiss, a touch, a word?

The lab of love is to experience the liminal, to hear the heart, to know its beat, to feel it, and to gaze into the soul of the other. The proof therein is the gaze returned, the love enjoined, the pulse of love reciprocated. Love is only ever real if you give it and receive it. The real proof of love is how you live it.

I ached for you,
my gaze held you in my eyes,
the proof was your lips

©Paul

pvcann.com

16 Comments

Filed under Country, life, love, mindfulness, poetry, Senryu

Senryu: Puzzled

via Daily Prompt: Puzzled

Science informs
But coal mining continues
Ever so cleanly.

20 Comments

Filed under environment, nature, poetry, Senryu

Profusion of Endings

via Daily Prompt: Profuse

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Poor Mother My Earth

I strain to rise,
but I cannot move,
I'm leaden.
The pressure on my throat is growing,
I can hardly breathe.
I'm slowly choking,
consumed by a profusion of gases.
I'm diminished by seas,
not of water, not now,
instead, 
a dryness stretching out across my surface.
Forests, once verdant, my crowning glory,
gone.
Icecaps spent.
Diversity lost.
I was an object to be plundered,
no seduction there.
They lusted after me till I was spent,
too late was I loved, 
truly loved,
as me.
Come rescue me my lovers,
that you and I may be.

©Paul



pvcann.com

 

19 Comments

Filed under community, life, nature, poetry, Uncategorized

My Cavity, My Cavity

via Daily Prompt: Cavity

With apologies to T.S. Eliot 🙂

My Cavity, My Cavity

My cavity's a mystery pain,
it's called the hidden hole.
My cavity, my cavity,
there's nothing like my cavity.
It defies diagnostics,
it isn't anywhere!

The dentist seeks it here,
the dentist seeks it there;
but my cavity, my cavity, 
well, it's not anywhere!

To all intents and purposes,
my mouth still looks quite right.
But underneath that pearly grin,
the enamel's worn very thin.

Some say its all the acid, 
others claim alkaline.
Well it could be all the sugar! 
But whatever may be the science,
my gums are sunken in.

My cavity, my cavity,
the Scarlet Pimpernell.
How long till they find you,
and fill that crater in?

Paul,
pvcann.com




14 Comments

Filed under poetry

Inscrutable You

via Daily Prompt: Inscrutable

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Photo: i.ytimg.com via Bing

It's that look, the blank look, 
the unreadable you. 
I wonder what you're thinking, 
what you're hiding.
Why? why don't I,
Why can't I know?
Will you show your hand when I call?
Maybe I'm bluffing,
but you, you're impenetrable.
I can't beat the dab hand of your inscrutable look, 
that look,
that keeps me wondering.


Paul,

pvcann.com

8 Comments

Filed under life, poetry

That Sound, That Feel

via Daily Prompt: Undulate

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The waves are gentle, 
a rythmical undulation 
like inward and outward breaths of meditation, 
a life giving force that captivates the heart, 
and takes prisoner the mind and thralls it with wonderment. 
Gliding along I enter a new space and feel refreshed. 
There's something about being on the water. 
It's not possession, 
because this is a privileged and shared space, 
no, it's about surrender to the water, and all that it brings. 
The water rythmically laps the sides of the kayak, 
the undulation, beautiful. 
Nothing profound, 
simple, joyful ... gift.
It is late, and yet the day is just beginning, 
undualting,
water,
soul friend.

©Paul Cannon 2018

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

28 Comments

Filed under kayaking, life, nature, poetry

Almost Auld Lang Syne

via Daily Prompt: Almost

Well it’s almost 2018. Days and years roll into one another too quickly for my liking. But every so often a year comes along that is not like other years, and 2017 has been a difficult year in many ways. There are the dearly departed who I miss, the friends who have parted company, the institution I am engaged with which has overly corporatised itself, the strain of the economy, and so on. But the strain for loved ones who have battled in body, mind and spirit in 2017 has been great and has left an indelible mark on me, on family and on friends. The old Persian adage: “This too shall pass”, is pertinent.

Of course, there has been an equally positive side to the year, with much achieved, loved, enjoyed, celebrated and realised, but it has been difficult, and more so than recent years. I don’t hate 2017, I won’t be glad to see it go because time itself has not made the difficulties, indeed, time is a mere construct.

I prefer to think in seasons, as many ancient cultures have done.

But there is something about marking out a new year as a new personal beginning, a new opportunity, a chance to alter the mindset, set new paths and goals, and release the negatives of recent time. So in that sense, it is almost time for me to set my inner compass and see what holds need to be loosed.

Walt Whitman puts it so well in ‘Song of the Open Road’

From this hour, freedom!From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of the limits and imaginary lines,
going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

It’s almost 2018, I hope yours will be blessed and your holds released as you need them to be.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

6 Comments

Filed under Alt-Religion, community, life, poetry