Uriel's Token

 

'Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.'   
Song of Songs

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

To capture images
of a summer garden
is like culling fruit 
to preserve and savour
parade on the screen-shelf
fit for winter, when sap drains
colour shrinks from truant sun,
and the fulsome songs of birds
and fevered insects are muted


This once was
and will be again
an ever-amplified rebirth
 

Though sticks of winter
cringe in silent frost
bones ache in cruel winds
that claw at heartbeats
and circumvent the frame
cocooned in quilting,
the Archangel of Summer
will one day appear 
and reveal his abiding realm

 

©RosyCole2019 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Memory

"I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened."   

        Mark Twain

Autobiography

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The Butterfly and the Bee

As we all know, I have a low threshold of fascination. Today for example as I have been working on a book, I have also been keeping an eye on my petunias. I have never had petunias before, so perhaps that accounts for some of the fascination.  But really what garnered my attention for the last few hours is two visitors: a butterfly and an bee.

Initially actually I was watching a pail of water. It’s very hot today and I had set out what I hoped would be a makeshift birdbath. As I watched the pail, the water looked still and undisturbed. But the bright sun threw a reflection of the water onto the roof of my porch. In the reflection I could see the water moving, from the wind or maybe convection currents as the water heated in the brutal daylight. The reflection also showed the rippling waves as my gift evaporated. I felt like I  had my own little Plato’s cave, except the reflection was truer than the actual. Though I suspect that was true of Plato's as well. 

But then the butterfly appeared, a large one, likely a swallowtail  (my older brother would know), black wings with blue and gold spots. She (I think) kept flying around the weeds in my little garden. I have weeds in my garden, a lot of them this year. I leave them there because I don’t hurt anything if I don’t have to and they seem to feel the same. Anyway, the butterfly kept landing on one after another of the weeds, continually disappointed I assume, and completely ignorant of the cornucopia of petunias in the hanging basket not five feet overhead. Every once in a while she would float up and I would think—there, now she’s finally got it! But, so far at least, she has not made the leap. Perhaps it was an aesthetic choice and green is her preference. But the purple and pink treasure remained unclaimed. By the butterfly anyway.

The bee came later. A tiny one—though as scarce as bees have become around here I was glad to see any—found the petunias. But instead of gorging on the large full flowers, he instead insisted on trying to make his way into the nearly closed nearly dead blossoms, skipping entirely the glorious siblings. I watched him disappear into the narrow passage, and could see the from the turbulence outside the tunnel how difficult his passage was. I don’t if he made all the way it in, nor what he found when he got there. Maybe he just wanted a challenge. Or maybe the ripened juice is sweeter. Perhaps the bee knew his business better than I.

There are many morals that could be drawn here. But I will leave it to you, and the butterfly, and the bee. My wish is simply this: May you be  fascinated by flowers.

(Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay )

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Paris, 14 Juillet

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We were in Paris this time last year.  I was enjoying the buzz and feeling shortchanged: we don’t have national holidays in England, at least none that carry any kind of historical significance.  No religious holidays except Christmas and Easter, and even the country’s patron Saint, George, doesn’t warrant a day off.  That’s Protestant work ethic for you.  If our May and August bank holidays do have roots somewhere in history, then they have been forgotten by the common man (and woman) and appear to have been randomly tacked on at the end of three weekends, almost like a grudging concession by an employer related to Ebenezer Scrooge.  We have no dates when we celebrate freedom from oppression, change of regime, the end of a conflict or independence.  No day that unites the entire country in a civic celebration.

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Almost all the shops were closed and there was a mildly festive ripple in the summer air.  Notre Dame was crammed with tourists.  Noisy invaders with little respect or awe for this ancient church or its prayer-soaked walls.  Calling out to one another in loud voices, stomping around in large groups.  Too loud to be able to hear her voice or her heartbeat.

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Once again, I longingly tried to imagine what it would be like to stand in an almost DSC00275deserted Notre Dame, listening to Mediaeval voices rising to the Rose Window, singing Léonin or Pérotin, music composed for a perfect marriage with Gothic architecture.  I went to smile at the stone Virgin and Child, one of my favourite Madonnas.  I like her delicate features, her gentle, youthful smile.  A few years ago, I translated a crime novel by French novelist Alexis Ragougneau, The Madonna of Notre Dame, and it brought this beautiful statue to my attention.

When we approached the cathedral exit, the noise of the crowd was suddenly drowned out by a loud roar.  A row of fighter planes tore across the sky, a trail of blue, white and red in their wake.  I find the sound of fighter planes eerie and something in my chest always seizes up when I hear them slicing through the air above Norwich, where I live, but there, in Paris, as part of the Quatorze Juilletparade, I stared and marvelled with the other tourists.  I felt strange, standing inside a church, a building symbolising peace and compassion, while above me, there were these war machines, designed for war.

DSC00280We strolled to Île Saint-Louis and stopped in a café for a late breakfast of crêpes and coffee.  There was a television broadcasting the parade on the Champs Elysées (Elysian Fields - nowhere would be called this in England).  We were the only customers and the manageress started chatting to us.  “Macron’s been lucky with the weather both years since he’s been elected,” she said. “It’s been lovely and sunny on 14th July.”

“Oh, is that unusual for this time of year?” I asked, surprised.

“Under François Hollande it always seemed to rain or something would go wrong whenever there was some kind of event.  That’s why he was nicknamed  le chat noir.”

The black cat.  How funny.

We ended up staying in the café, following the live coverage of the parade, President Macron and guests watching as what looked like the country’s entire human fighting force and arsenal processed before him.  Tanks, military vehicles, men and women in uniform, weapons of every kind, the Garde républicaineon horseback, helmets and swords gleaming in the sunlight.

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As always when watching a national parade – in any country – I felt a sense of wrongness, or at least of incompletion.  I always look at all that military personnel, at all those tanks, fighter jets, weapons, and all those politicians, and I want to ask out loud, Where are the country's writers? Where are the scientists and the scholars? Where are the all the medics? Where are the actors? Where are the farmers? Where are all the other people who contribute to the country? Have they not also played their part in forging history?

Is the nation not proud of them, too?

Scribe Doll

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Living Poetry

"There is nothing inorganic... The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit -- not a fossil earth, but a living earth"

Henry David Thoreau

Walden

 

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Latest Comments

Rosy Cole Paris, 14 Juillet
08 August 2019
Yes, I feel confident that 'The Government' does not essentially represent the British people. When ...
Stephen Evans Memory
29 July 2019
Very kind!
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
In view of the above theme, I feel bound to add this:Back in the theater again after too many years....
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
Katherine Gregor Paris, 14 Juillet
25 July 2019
I don't blame the Queen or the monarch. They have little say in Government decisions. I hold Her M...