To the End of Love

There’s so much going on in my head right now that I can’t get my thoughts in order, so I’ve been having a YouTube session with Leonard Cohen. It’s so good to hear his voice again – I didn’t listen to him for a while after her died, since I didn’t want to wallow in grief. I’m over that now, and ready to celebrate his life.

I don’t know whether I’ve posted this video before, but if I have, I make no apology. I love this song, I love movies which feature dance, and this is one of my favorites. The film is The Scent of a Woman, the song is Dance Me to the End of Love, and Al Pacino’s character is blind. Watch Al’s face  – his expressions are mesmerising. Once again, he proves he’s The Man.

When I first watched the movie, I didn’t know this was coming…


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I’ve just returned from a holiday in Spain, so…

words_for_peace

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Spain.

Peace in Spanish: 

Paz

Find the pronunciation HERE.

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©Jane Paterson Basil

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Carrying the Message

I had to reblog this, written by recovery advocate, Vanessa Day. All of her post are inspiring, but this one is particularly touching.

Free to Be V

I met a woman once, when I was volunteering in a women’s prison, who had spent the last 15 years of her life as a prostitute in active addiction.

She didn’t want to be at my meeting. She was one of the ladies who was required to be there. I could see it on her face the moment she walked in. She was hardened and probably took one look at me and thought, “What the hell does this little blonde lady think she is going to teach me about life?”

I wouldn’t be surprised if she thought that, and I wouldn’t blame her either. I don’t look like society’s picture of an addict, not anymore. Her feelings toward me were probably the exact same feelings I felt when I found myself in the rooms for the first time. All I knew how to do was compare myself to others at…

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Devastation

Michelle #103

A furyed lake of rain recedes,
surrendering domestic secrets and children’s treats
smashed and sullied by nature’s ruination.

The silvery stars,
too far away to see the devastation,
are innocent of blame
for their untimely celebration.

Fair-weather trees in mock jubilation
display a tactless splash of freeze-framed fireworks
proclaiming sham victory
as if sarcastic imagery is a witty way
to cover up the tragedy.

Shattered lives are revealed by eyes
reflecting desolation,
as friends and strangers nobly rise
to aid the restoration.

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Written for:

 Michelle’s Photo-Fiction 103 – with a bit of poetic licence; the above image doesn’t display a hurricane’s devastation, but I feel it’s appropriate,

and  The Daily Post’s Word Prompt: Witty

©Jane Paterson Basil

A Speck of Energy

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

Reena-week-6

With grateful thanks to Reena who this week asks us:

What is it that makes you feel powerful? What is that strength which makes your time on this planet worthwhile?

A SPECK OF ENERGY

When Spring rains tease, and make believe
this year there’ll be no splashing seaside days —
no beach ball play, no sandy feet, or plastic spades —
I smile to hear my friends’ predictable complaints,
then, when fickle summer deigns to show its heated face,
I bathe in its flirtatious fleeting phase.

When sunny haze gives way to skittering breeze
that flutters fading flags from yawning trees,
to drop them all in heaps
on forest floors and fields and lawns,
it saddens me to see them crackle in the gardener’s autumn blaze,
and turn to ash as if they have
no valid place in fenced-in, trim hedge symmetry,
yet even boot-black ash has energy,
and with a ready partner, synergy ensues.

The winter wind and snowy cold bring mixed emotions to my bursting soul,
but all in all, each season has its virtues.

I’m humbled by the size and quantity of life. I often wonder how I signify,
impotent as I am to rectify the cruel wrongs I see,

but then I feel approaching storm
whose electricity, far from numbing me with fear,
elates each atom of my fumbling frame.
With rising thrill I lock my door and run outside to face the gale
and find a hill to climb
that I may watch the angry might of lightening
illuminate the sky, and hear the thunder rumbling to remind me:
this is power, and it is mine.

It may strike me down,
or it may let me live, but whatever the decision,
I am an invincible, though infinitesimal, grain of matter,
an intrinsic speck of the energy of this astonishing organism
we call Planet Earth,
and, having been created at her birth,
Neither you nor I can be destroyed,
only repeatedly altered in form.

Some future day my nutrients may feed a seedling
or keep a mighty tree alive;
a tree which will contain me even after its trunk crumbles
and it bows to a fresh partner,
preparing to dance to a new tune
in the megalithic cycle of life.

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Or to put it another way:

STORM11.jpg

awakens my

elecric energy

and makes me feel

powerful1.jpg

©Jane Paterson Basil

Emergence

You may think the string of incidents were diffident coincidence
in a realm of hellish dissidence where a sea of dread precipitance
threatened to consume her as she bowed down in subservience,
her subversive habit stealing all her health and wealth and sense.

You may think the chain of happenings were merely complex happenstance,
but when I confessed her story with an air of stirring urgency,
describing her submergence in that churning pool of murk,
friends and strangers prayed for her, without a word of urging,
and although it seemed at first that recovery was hesitant,
my curled-up girl was rising into gradual emergence
in increasing increments like trilling choruses in dirges,
and every surge built up my trust that balance would return.

You may think the list of incidents were accidents of chance,
when her vicious ex gave vent to his violent vindictiveness,
immediately following a solution I’d been offered
by a kindly friend who proffered his own home as her address
to give her safe support and an escape from this vicinity,
and far from being reticent about a change of residence
to an unfamiliar city, livid marks around her face
gave instant sense of danger, and wisdom took its place.

You may think the string of incidents were no more than coincidence.
You may say that it was happenstance; a strung-up chain of chance,
but whatever the reason, she’s been clean for this last season,
so I kick darkness into innocence, as I freely sing and dance.

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Words for Peace: South Africa.

Peace in Africaans :

Vrede

Find the pronunciation HERE.

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©Jane Paterson Basil

Another Day

You’d like to write, but your cupboards are empty, so you pick up your bag and dash to town.

On the way you decide to drop into Oxfam, but once there you find work to do, so you set to. Soon, all else is forgotten. You buy lunch and carry on.

Someone called Rose phones. You’ve missed a meeting. You say you don’t know a Rose, and no one told you about a meeting.
She mentions the Job Centre
and it sends you

reeling.

“The meeting is on Friday,”
you wheeze, but no, it was today,
and now it’s too late to attend, but
you get away with the mistake
since she knows you’re
halfway to

crazy.

She generously
tells you it’s okay,
and arranges to see
you when you come
back from
Spain.

While helping
carry donations from
a car to the shop you spot a man
slumped senseless on step across the road,
so you check to see he’s not dead,
and discover he’s dead

drunk.

Soon after five o’clock
Karen locks the shop. You check that the man across
the road is still breathing, then go home, where the cupboards
are still bare. You can go shopping after you’ve composed a poem.
The phone rings. You’re supposed to be at a family dinner.
Leaving the flat, you take a route past the Oxfam shop.
You’re pleased that the slumped drunk is gone.

You have a riotous evening,
returning home after

midnight

and you try to write;
try to expand on an idea which
only moments ago
seemed

inspired,

but
you need to
take your

medication,

so you go to the kitchen and
reach for the pills but
the phone rings
you press the
green icon
and
stare
at
the
screen

wondering

what to do next.
A distant voice brings you
to your senses and you hold
the phone to your ear for

fifty-five minutes.

For almost an hour
you must be the oracle,
the one who has the answers
no matter how hard the questions
No matter how your brain
may doubt your

ability.

You are Mother.
You have struggled forever to
see your children well
so you must

know

all the thoughts in your daughter’s brain, and if she can cope
with the unexpected change she made to her care plan three hours ago.
Is she being over-confident? Will her heart stand the strain, will she
collapse, will she weaken, will she sink, or will she rise to the
occasion in the amazing way you think she can? What is she
really thinking, and will the doctor support her
decision, or will he say she must carry
out her plan with precision?
Is it all going wrong, or
is it proving better
than you could have
possibly hoped?
How will it go
tomorrow?
You don’t

know.

You don’t know,
but the questioner must not know that.
Once off the phone,
you start to
write,

then
remember

your

medication.

Tomorrow,
you will

be

focused

.

Words for Peace #4

Welsh:

Heddwch

You can find the pronunciation HERE.

©Jane Paterson Basil