I am pleased to say that I will be reading poems from my new book Hearth on Thursday July 5th at 7.30 with Telltales in The Admiral Benbow public house in Penzance. Along with other writers and pirates.
by Mary Oliver
My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird— equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever. photo Rose Cook
Lone Hawthorn On The Moor
For you are ancient and withstand terrible weathers.
For you make a dark shape in winter, carry a nest.
For I saw you sheathed in frozen snow, your berries hoar.
For you grow on the crest of a slope.
For you are potent, with medicinal properties.
Wands made from you hold great power.
For in spring you are covered in white blossom.
For you are the May tree and shake confetti on the girls,
who dance around your trunk.
For you are most erotic and bless love and fertility.
For you teem with life, insects that fly and crawl, lichen
and every kind of bird wants to shelter in your branches.
For you fill with the hum of bees.
For you must never be broken, nor taken home,
For you are hope, which remains wild.
For you have thorns and red berries, which imbue meaning,
though children make itching powder, babies are fed your syrup.
For you offer protection.
For you are grizzled and grow low to the ground.
* this poem is in my new book Hearth which is available from me or http://www.culturedllama.co.uk/
May something small, green and beautiful grow
in your hearts