Poetic Photography

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Poetic Photography is using a picture to inspire a thousand words.

Photography is a pleasure I allow myself whilst I am exploring the outside world. It is a guilty distraction when I could be immersed in nature, totally absorbed by the spirit of the natural world. But, looking for the photographic opportunity encourages me to see what is around me. I tend to “feel” places rather than “see” them, so having my camera-phone prompts me to look.

A few years ago, I posted a photo of an old battered boat on social media. My daughter-in-law challenged me to write about it: Poetic Photography was born!

Poetic photograph.A rotting boat which was once someone's pride and joy. Mistley/Manningtree. I called her Daphne.  Whole Life Poetry


She was always my girl....my Daphne.
Other women came and went...some I missed, 
Some I happily sent on their way;
And spent a silent day with my love when they went- 
My angelic Daphne was heaven lent. 
She was there when clouds grew grey -
My peace, my solace, she was always my way, 
No judgement, just sun and azure skies
My gentle golden blonde with fluid, blue eyes.
Across the water, we would fly,
My rest - my peace - my life floating by. 
And like the river it flowed on through
And so our days dwindled to a few, 
Yet she remained in my heart- 
My love, my pride,
Broken, torn apart, grounded like me by the tide of time. 
I wish my last ride was mine to choose...
Lay me in my Daphne's arms and set us free 
To sail  with my muse to the seas above...
Bon voyage my love.
A man and his boy, whole life poetry Poetic Photography

A man and his boy

We stood and watched the lights go out, one by one,
 Me and my old man
 As the world drifted off to sleep before another day began.
 The night air, thick with muffled sounds and scents, 
 Wrapped itself around us, a damp blanket, and no-one could see
 The man and his boy, inhaling the darkness,
 Breathing in its secrets without needing to understand
 That those whispered insights would disappear with the morning along with the stars. 
 In the distance, a dog barked a warning,
 A single sharp shock before the unheard grumble at the cat on the wall. 
 A light went on, the light went out. 
 Disturbed slumber.
 I vaguely wondered why,
 But that was not my story to tell. 
 The late train gently rumbled, 
 Brightening a piece of land, a house, a tree
 Before the light travelled on and they settled back into the comfort of blackness.
 Has life been like that for you Dad?
 Moments of illumination between shadows, 
 Flashes of knowing, of remembering – 
 But not understanding the memory.
 Today I stood and watched the lights go out one last time. 
 Now you can  breathe in the secrets of the darkness and understand. 
 Goodbye old man.  

I once very much admired a painting by a renowned local artist. Alas, I had no money for such expenses but by chance was able to buy his original preliminary sketches for the work a few years later. Wind the clock forwards and I was honoured to know this man in his later life and purchased a few of his art works then as I had the available funds. He showed me a book where one of his paintings had been paired with an original poem. Well, here is a flight of fancy into two of his I have. I see them as ends of the same room – a calm and gentle space to sit in. In my poem, they are memories of childhood…a grandparents’ house maybe?

The pictures that inspired The Daydream, Whole Life Poetry.

The Daydream

 I am there again - my past - I close my eyes, 
 At last, the tired fire of the day smoulders and dies, 
 I pull on the well-worn wrap of the vision
 And slide, unbidden, gladly, into the memory.  
 The room becomes real around me, 
 I bathe in its fragrances -
 Ripened fruit in a china bowl, 
 The hearth laid ready with kindling and coal.
 Wood polish lovingly applied by delicate fingers,
 The scent of the duster lingers, 
 And mingles with the perfumed vase of freshly cut flowers. 
 The heavy swing of the tall clock marking the hours in this lucid dream,
 The stream of recollection and a yearning to return to simpler times,
 The past. 
 The chimes have gone too fast. 
 The bell tolls for my childhood ......no! 
 No tears this day!  
 I cannot grieve for what might have been - or what was…
 I turn my mind back to my scene because I was safe there.
 I notice first the lace-covered table, laid for porcelain tea to rest, 
 Reaching out to feel -to test- the spaces in the cloth 
 Without the scolding the child would have got! 
 I smile -my heart full... 
 And give the hole another pull just because I may,
 The mischief taking me further into the play and I turn...
 To see a fragile chair, hand stitched cushion, and a mass of purring white hair - 
 Someone else in trouble there; the cat in the room she was not permitted,
 But now - in my mind -  the adults outwitted! 
 And there shall she stay. 
I touch her warm fur and think my heart may break,
She's long gone but my memory can take her with me,
Her gentle nature can give me the loving calm I miss
And I try to escape into this -
The daydream which takes me out of the world
And into the memories of a little girl. 
Llyn Cau, a volcanic lake on Cadar Idris mountain, Wales.

The Lake

 I saw the lake as the rippled silk of a wind teased banner 
     proclaiming nature’s defiant domination over all who would tame her. 
 And who would fail in the attempt. 
 Those who live in accordance with her laws – 
       those who bend, those who wait, 
           those who float, 
              who fly, 
                  who hide – 
 They know not to fight. 
 They know that they must exist within her rules, dance with her changing moods,
 For to try to escape her means death -  she will gently, soothingly crush them without losing her benign smile.  
A tree overlooks the landscape

The Tree

Stand and watch the sun go down
Without needing to know why.
See the approaching storm 
And know without knowing it will pass on by.
Smile as the rain washes off life’s dust -
Scream with delight with each wind-blown icy gust.
Rest in the winter,
Take time to just be still
Have faith the spring is coming
As it has and always will.
Rejoice in the summer
Full of verdant leaves.
Let them go in golden autumn
Without the hurt of those that grieve.
If you can watch the world just turn
And allow it all to be,
Then my friend, you’ll have the sense
That God gave to the tree. 

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