The instinct of hope

Is there another world for this frail dust
To warm with life and be itself again?
Something about me daily speaks there must,
And why should instinct nourish hopes in vain?
‘Tis nature’s prophesy that such will be,
And everything seems struggling to explain
The close sealed volume of its mystery.

Time wandering onward keeps its usual pace
As seeming anxious of eternity,
To meet that calm and find a resting place.
E’en the small violet feels a future power
And waits each year renewing blooms to bring,
And surely man is no inferior flower
To die unworthy of a second spring?

‘The Instinct Of Hope’ by John Clare.

Poetry is our way, sometimes clumsily, to paint truth with words. I know there are many other definitions and a variety of different poetic forms but at it’s core, like all authentic art, poetry acts in the service of truth.

A walk in Suffolk

I recently enjoyed an early morning walk near Minsmere in Suffolk. The land was touched with a heavy dew and the silence seemed deeper than usual, the bird song louder, my presence more accepted. The stillness encouraged the recognition of connectedness, and it seemed that my sense of awareness and anticipation, time itself, was more luminous and authentic. I am sure many of you will recognise the feeling I am trying to explain and would seek, as I do, to encourage its presence in their life.

The beauty of trees

A woodland with shafts of light falling though the trees.

For as long as humans have walked the earth, trees have been our companions. They have sheltered and sustained us, provided food of themselves and for the animals we preyed upon. It’s no wonder that they have become so entwined in our imagination, and seem to reach out to all our senses; attracting us not only by their latticed beauty but also with their smell, sound and surprisingly their touch (who hasn’t run their hand along the bark of a tree or marvelled over the smoothness of a Horse Chestnut)?

Trees are sometimes a source of fear, not in themselves, but by creating the dark forest that can hide our enemies. They rustle, they crack, they groan. Conversely they offer shelter and shade and life giving oxygen. They are beautiful, inspiring and practical. We hug trees, we play on trees, we destroy them, worship and adore them. We hang people from their branches, burn them for warmth, we make them into tables and whatever else we can imagine. But, despite their utility and beauty (or possibly because of it), trees remain humankind’s conscience and solemn witness.

And I would like to be simple and devout, like the oak tree.