Saturday, 10 November 2018

Soldier's Meditation


Dear Reader,


As it is 11th November today, Armistice Day, and all my thoughts are for the fallen in WWI,  I always think about my father, Harold Huth, who was a soldier in that terrible war.  He served as a major with the Royal Army Service Corps and was mentioned in Dispatches on three occasions.  I have a letter written in January 1916 congratulating my grandparents, from a Colonel Harrison and his other officers, on their son's distinguished conduct and gallantry.  So today I am thinking of you, Dad, and thanking you for the part you played to give us the freedoms we now enjoy, and am sending you my love.


                                                                               *
When you go home,
tell them of us and say:
For your tomorrow
we gave our today.

                                                                               *


Soldier's Meditation

My cigarette time-burns,
my body trembles,
only minutes now
until the action starts.

Am I brave? No, not brave
I am shit-scared,
my body reeks.
The last drop of whisky
wets my parched lips.
I light another cigarette.

I hold this gun to hide behind.
With it, I will aim and slaughter
someone unknown, someone's son,
mother, father, daughter.

If killed, I want no part in bands playing,
or speeches glorifying my sacrifice.
I want no weeping, seen or unseen,
pitying those who were,
those who had been.

Go, action, ready, time to start.
Dear God, do leaden wings always fly
a universal soldier's heart?

                                                                                 *

With very best wishes, Patricia

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Bath, Somerset

Dear Readers,

I am going to be away in Bath this weekend so won't be able to write a blog.  It is a small holiday after traumatic summer in hospital and in recovery.  I am stronger now and hope to see some wonderful  things in Bath with Francis, my good friend.

I will be back on Sunday, 11th and hope you will join me then.

Best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Misconception



                                                              Samuel Pepys 1633-1703

Dear reader,

Apparently people who lived in Restoration England (1660-1700) had a very strange sense of humour.  Practical jokes and any sort of jape that exploited someone's foolishness or ignorance were considered most amusing.  Reading about Samuel Pepys it seems he didn't do humour or his jokes are either very poor or in very poor taste.  For instance an uproarious joke for Pepys was that a man might helpfully offer to gut another man's oysters to stop them stinking. 

One Nick Ward was in a London coffee house listening to someone playing the violin badly when two sailors, spying a stout hook driven into wall above the fireplace, seized the fiddler and hooked him up by the back of his breeches.  Eventually he got free and fell to the ground, hurting himself, and everyone laughed and laughed.  The same ill-shaped humour was found in almost every inn, tavern, alehouse and drinking establishment in the country.

A society lady, Catherine Sedley, is most surprised that James, Duke of York, the future James II - takes her as his mistress.  She wonders what he sees in her,  saying "It cannot be my beauty for he must see I have none. And it cannot be my wit, for he has not enough to know that I have any."

                                                                       *


Misconception


The woman thought when she left
the office building would explode,
blood from her willing heart
would drip from the ceiling,
pieces of her goodwill,
her ready smile
possibly her arms and legs,
would drop into waste bins,
flow out of filing cabinets,
strew the carpet with bits of herself.
The atmosphere would be dank
with tears for the loss of her.
She knew her worth.

In the spring, Sandra met her.
Karen, from Accounts,
now has her job, she said.
She is brilliant, everyone loves her.

The woman walked away,
mantled in her goodness,
surprised at what poor judgements
people make.

                                                                   *

With best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Pleasures great and small

Dear Reader,

Here I am back again after a two month absence due to illness.  I hope you will now be with me from time to time when I write my weekly blog.  I will try to catch up with any seagull news of interest, and find other things to amuse or captivate us during the week or, perhaps, even something that happened thousands of years ago. 

Just a thought.  Whilst in hospital I found what was needed was patience and courage.  I hope I found both of these attributes in myself whilst I was there, but I am not sure, I just hope so.  My partner, Francis, came every day,  and generally helped me to get through the ordeal.  Thank you, Francis, your warmth and kindness overwhelm me.

From Francis Kilvert's diary, 1874

When the Squire came to see John Hatherell last Sunday he reminded the old man of the nights they patrolled the roads together 45 years ago during the machine-breaking riots.  Robert Ashe led a patrol of six men one half the night, and Edward Ashe headed another patrol of equal strength the other half.  One night when Robert Ashe was patrolling the village with his men and keeping watch and guard against the machine-breakers and rioters, who were expected from Christian Malford and other villagers, he seized by mistake old Mr. Eddels, taking him in the dark for a machine-breaker or incendiary.  The old man had come out at night in the innocence of his heart to get some straw from his rickyard.
       

                                                                        *

Pleasures great and small

What pleasure it is to skip,
to jump, run across a field,
climb a tree, to dance,
pour a cup of tea.

But we don't think
about these pleasures,
they are part of us
taken for granted,
not thought of,
used as a right.

When constrained in a hospital bed
I felt great pleasure
when I could move my
head from side to side
from left to right

at all.

                                                                        *

With very best wishes,
Patricia

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Time

Dear Reader,

This is just to let you now how I am since horrific operation and its aftermath.  What I didn't know was that so many complications would occur, and as a result I had to stay 14 nights in hospital and came home last Wednesday.

I think writing my blog is still too difficult for me at this time but hope in two or three weeks I will have enough energy to write it.  And also write some new poems, but not many I hope about hospitals.

Very best wishes to you all,

Patricia

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Perfect Pace

Dear Reader,
                                                                   Old Harry Rocks in Dorset

I am having an operation on 22nd August and so won't be writing this blog again until the end of September.  I hope you all have a peaceful and happy end to the summer and feel refreshed and ready for the autumn to come, and that you will rejoin me then.

And thank you for all your support this year.
                                                                           
  
                                                                               *
   

Perfect Pace




Orphaned, blind
the small elephant,
cosy under kilm rug,
slowly follows the man's tapping stick
on their daily walk
through the bush.

They rest for a while.
The man shields
the small elephant
from the heat of the sun
with a big blue umbrella.
Unhurried, they walk on.

Oh, what envy for this man,
slowly walking, quietly tapping,
sleeping in a stable with the small,
blind elephant.
Each bound to the other,
with love.

                                                                           *
With best wishes, Patricia

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Spirit Suitcase

                                                                             A winter sea in Cornwall




Dear Reader,

This is from Francis Kilvert's diary, August 1873.

Went to see Mrs. Pearce at Landsend, Mrs. James Knight's sister.  She told me her sad story. Born in better circumstances, the daughter of a substantial but litigious farmer, her mother died while she was yet a child.  Then her husband died young leaving her with two children and a farm at Shaw to struggle with.  Her cows caught the distemper and she was forced to drench them with her own hands. Next the rent of her farm was suddenly and greatly raised by her own brother-in-law and she was in consequence thrown out of business and reduced to comparative poverty.  'Twas a sad history and when she had asked me about my own family and learnt that my Father and Mother were both living, she said with a sigh, 'How different some people's circumstances are'.  'I used,' she said, 'to look across the road to the churchyard where my husband was sleeping and think how he was lying at rest while I had all the cares of the farm and the family to struggle with.  And I thought my heart would break.'

                                                                          *
 A little Seagull news:   Apparently seagulls flock into cities when they know that a storm at sea is brewing.  So if you see them in your town perhaps an umbrella would be useful for the outing.

                                                                          *

I put this photograph on today's blog because the weather has been so hot, and it continues to be so,
that I thought the spray looked refreshing and cool.

                                                                          *

Spirit Suitcase

A sturdy key
locks the spirit
in its suitcase.
It floats an dances,
dives low, climbs high,
is forever candle-lit.

The suitcase, new, shines,
leather polished,
locks and fittings brass-bright,
unbruised.
But through use, it gets kicks,
scuffs, scratches, and slowly fades.
Its original shape
is just recognisable,
only just there

while the spirit dances on .......

                                                                       *

With very best wishes, Patricia

Photograph by Kaye Leggett