Sunday, 3 May 2020

Katie's Angels and Stanmer Park

Dear Reader,

I read a piece in the Spectator magazine about the Rev. David Johnson, an eccentric vicar, which made me think of Robert Hawker, a 19th Century vicar of Morwenstow in Cornwall.

He was the eldest son of nine children and at the the age of ten was left in the care of his grandparents. At this age he was reading and writing poetry.  As an undergraduate, aged 19, he married a woman of 41.  The couple spent their honeymoon at Tintagel in 1823, a place that kindled his life long fascination with Arthurian legends.

He was an eccentric, both in his clothes and his habits.  He loved bright colours and the only black things he wore were his socks.  He built a small hut, which became known as Hawker's Hut, from driftwood on the cliffs over looking the Atlantic Ocean.  He spent many hours there writing poems and letters. One eccentricity attributed to him is that he excommunicated his cat for mousing on Sundays and another for dressing up as a mermaid.  He talked to birds, invited his nine cats into church and kept a pig as a pet.  I wish there were more people about like that today.

Katie's Angels

At dawn, driving eastwards,
mist still covering the fields,
trees ribboned in cobwebs,
sky blue and white,

she saw a rabbit, a pigeon,
and two hen pheasants,
but no cherubs, no bright light.

Much later, lost, tired,
rounding a corner she saw
gathered in the road
twenty white, white doves

The flew up,
a breath of sunshine tipping their wings.
Ecstatic, she recognized the sign;
recognized her angels.


I am putting a poem on the blog this week, Stanmer Park, which was written by Otis Teasley, my nine year old great nephew.  I find this poem very touching, it really speaks to me, which in my opinion, is what a poem ought to do.  "Emotion, recollected in tranquility" as William Wordsworth wrote.  So congratulations Otis.

 Ten Favorite Trees for Wildlife • The National Wildlife Federation ...

Stanmer Park, by Otis Teasley

There is a place near a farm
With bluebells.

I felt the soft leaves
Of the plants.

In the trees, I saw birds.
In the clearing, I heard rustling.

The taste of wild garlic
Was strong, sharp.

The sky shimmered.
The white clouds soared.

Some trees stood proud.
Others laid low.

Each time I arrive, I feel more energised.
Each time I leave, I feel calm.

Thank you Otis.

With very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Eugenie said...

I love your story and your poem this week. And it’s so wonderful to see Otis’ there too. Thank you!