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Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou

Apple blossom time

I love it when the apple blossom appears, especially after the long, dull winter we have just had to endure. It tells me that summer is on its way with the two-tone pink petals happy to unfurl in the warmer temperatures. It also reminds me of one of my favourite poems, Apple blossom by Louis MacNeice;

The first blossom was the best blossom
For the child who never had seen an orchard;
For the youth whom whiskey had led astray
The morning after was the first day.

The first apple was the best apple
For Adam before he heard the sentence;
When the flaming sword endorsed the Fall
The trees were his to plant for all.

The first ocean was the best ocean
For the child from streets of doubt and litter;
For the youth for whom the skies unfurled
His first love was his first world.

But the first verdict seemed the worst verdict
When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden,
Yet when the bitter gates clanged to
The sky beyond was just as blue.

For the next ocean is the first ocean
And the last ocean is the first ocean
And, however often the sun may rise,
A new thing dawns upon our eyes.

For the last blossom is the first blossom
And the first blossom is the last blossom
And when from Eden we take our way
The morning after is the first day.

These words are particularly poignant for me when in periods of extreme low mood as I sense a great deal of hope and encouragement to live in the moment and live life until things get better-which they will.

Apple blossom

Apple blossom

National Poetry Month (US)

April is National Poetry month in the US and the great thing about the global Blogosphere is that we can all share in their celebration.

Regular readers here will already know that three years ago I went public about my depression. One of the results of that admission was a release of creativity which I had suppressed for almost 3 decades. As a child and young adolescent I was always very creative and artistic, but once depression struck, all my energies were focussed elsewhere and I had nothing left for creativity. It was buried deep and long.

My first creative release came through writing. I couldn’t stop writing. I took a notebook everywhere and wrote lots of poems mostly in Haiku format. Haiku is great for me as it combines expression with use of language and vocabulary with a structure.

One of my first efforts was to describe my take on depression.

In celebration of National Poetry month, here it is again.

BeFunky_0014

Depression-what does it feel like?

Wings clipped, feathers oiled
Aborted daily take-offs
Wading in treacle

Lacklustre. Can’t breathe.
Manic inactivity
Encroaching numbness

Confused, forgetful
Endless lists, tasks for the day
Sleep; insomnia

Dark introspection
Fatigue, every effort blanked
Fortified shutters

Rainbow long faded
Black and white and shades of grey
Monochrome living

Endless shivering
Blue ice pumps through veins
This polar cap never melts

Deflated, let down
Weighted to the ground; handcuffed
Every bubble bursts

No winner’s medals
Struggle to the starting line
Not at the races

Creativity
Dries up. Flourishes; small steps
Something from nothing

Callous self-hatred
Stricken senseless. Alien
Crushed by fate. Friendless

First hurdle faller
The conspiracy of life
Odds on a loser

Inevitable
Break down, break up, no breakthrough
Corralled, reined in, trapped

Frustration, anger
Crescendo of emotion
Threatens to burst forth

Regrets, lost chances
Tears of disappointment well
Lost soul, futile search.

That’s what it feels like to me.

BeFunky_0014

Remembrance Day

Regular readers of my Blog will know that poppies are my favourite flower. Not only
are they individually beautiful, colourful and delicate but collectively they are a sight
to behold when massed together in fields fluttering in the early summer
breeze. I have poppies in my garden. I seek out fields of poppies in the summer and
my Blog Poppyposts is named in their honour.

On wider scale, poppies also have great significance at this time of year when we
remember, recognise and appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made by our armed
forces heroes past and present. Swathes of blood-red poppies carpet Flanders Fields
the site of mass slaughter and such human destruction that we hope never to see again.
A river of red reminds us of the lost lives and those of the men and women currently
serving across the world to protect our freedom.

Every year we stand in silence to remember them.

This year is extra special. We will be in unified silence at 11.00am, on the 11th day of
the 11th month in 2011.

11-11-11-11.

In the 90th year of the Royal British Legion, you can also mark this unique occasion
by “planting” a poppy with a personal message at Royal Wootton Bassett. The
poppies will be planted in fields to form 11-11-11-11. The link for you to make a
donation and to plant a poppy is here;

Plant a Poppy at Royal Wootton Bassett

Lest we forget.

In Flanders Fields- John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Poppies- Carl Sandburg

POPPIES

She loves blood-red poppies for a garden to walk in.
In a loose white gown she walks
and a new child tugs at cords in her body.
Her head to the west at evening when the dew is creeping,
A shudder of gladness runs in her bones and torsal fiber:
She loves blood-red poppies for a garden to walk in.

Carl Sandburg

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

It is Shakespeare’s birthday tomorrow, and as it is a beautiful, sunny and warm spring day, what could be more appropriate than Sonnet 18…..

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.