Owl in the Night

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Owl in Flight

For years now I haven’t done sketches, convinced that I could not draw sufficiently well I stuck to only drawing what I knew. Houses were the thing which came more easily to me, but recently along with stepping outside my comfort zone I felt compelled to draw an owl just after I wrote this poem. 

The owl flew past in full stealth mode,
As we walked along the road.
And just as I had time to say,
He’d landed there and spied his prey.
His wingspan wide, his body white,
He glided off into the night,
And once again since it was dark,
Upon the woods, he made his mark.
Touched by his magic then he was gone,
He never stays around too long.
A reminder that the woods are not mine,
Whilst sharing with me a moment in time,
I looked there again but he’d flown away,
Wishing that for longer he’d stay.
Oh beautiful owl with feathers so white,
No need to worry and take flight.
Perhaps returning to the farm.
Where you’re again safe from harm.
I’m glad that you felt safe to just be,
While he was walking along with me.
I hope that you found a plentiful store,
And we will see you again once more.
Followed your flight across the ridge,
Across the fields towards the bridge.

 

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Advice to the Free Spirit.

I wrote this poem in August but published in September on my other blog it is another that I recently read out at a Poetry Night which is a monthly event in my hometown. I was conscious when travelling out to deal with my Brother’s passing that so many of his colleagues may, like him not have even thought about such things and it is written for them. I had originally intended to print it and leave it somewhere for them to read.

Advice to the Free Spirit.

While you are being a free spirit,

Take a moment to think of the ones that are left behind.

The ones who will take care of things in an emergency,

The ones who will bring you home if it ends suddenly.

Make some arrangements so that they know

What you would have wanted,

If they are doing the right thing,

Or where to find the important things.

Save a little to provide some security,

To cover the cost of a bad decision, or an accident.

Share with them more than just your fun,

Let them know when you are fulfilling your dreams,

Or chasing new ones.

For it will help them in their grief

To know that you were happy,

Loved and cared for,

Had friends in your heart and at your side,

Who will share your last moments.

That you did not die sad or lonely.

Whilst you are being a free spirit,

Remember them and tell them they are loved too.

That you aren’t running away,

But that you are just chasing your dreams,

Living the best life that you can.

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Adventure Awaits

In Memory of Joseph Lawrence Brown 14-02-70 to 03-08-18

Welcomed for Christmas – A Poem by Esther Brown

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“Merry Christmas!”

I know that now Christmas is technically over, but it is the Holiday Season still. I wanted to share with you this poem which I wrote a couple of years ago.  It is one which I chose to read at a local spoken word poetry night recently and was also read out by Santa Claus at a local children’s hospice and was also well received. I was reminiscing about the preparations in our house, both growing up and since then for Christmas. I thought that I would also include this recent sketch I’ve done, which may turn into Christmas cards at a later date. In the meantime, I wish for you all a Happy New Year for 2019.

Welcomed for Christmas a Poem by Esther Brown…

Excitement abounds it’s Christmas Night,

As you imagine their delight,

Presents and gifts piled on the floor

As you stumble through the door,

Cinnamon and spice waft round the house,

Peace and quiet as a mouse.

They hope you found the largest tree,

So all around your friends will see

Trim the tree and decorate

All done by midnight, don’t be late!

So many baubles shiny and bright,

Don’t forget the twinkling light,

Topped with an Angel or even a star,

Shining its welcome from afar.

Around and about the swathes and swags

You are surrounded by paper and tags

There’s decorations all over the hall,

As you feel you’ve done it all.

Go to rest your weary head,

As you clamber up to bed.

Mince pie and carrot placed at the ready,

For Santa’s arrival, keep watching Teddy!

If you wake you might see him eat,

I wonder if he’ll wipe his feet.

Or if there’ll be soot all over the floor,

Where he tumbled down the chimney once more.

Will there be something for you to enjoy?

When the last child opens their toy.

More roast potatoes if you are able,

Unable to move from this table.

Roast with everyone’s favourite trimming,

There’s no chance here for Christmas slimming.

Time to enjoy a moment or treat,

As you rest those tired, sore feet.

Some wonderful smelly for the bath,

A comment or joke to make you laugh.

Time with the family here at last,

Such preparation and yet, over so fast.

It’s Christmas time, be of good cheer,

As you look to welcome another year.

Politics – A Poem

It’s hard to believe that I wrote this poem back in January 2017.  It is not my usual style of poetry at all as I tend to normally steer clear of politics in my writing. However, in the current political climate, it still seems to resonate with me so I wanted to share it.

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Out there dressed in twin set and pearls.

Shaking hands as the country unfurls.

So much hatred we’ve gone to war,

Who knows what horrors there are in store.

Down the line what we will find.

Now that democracy changed our mind.

 

Off on junkets they will often race,

Attempts at how to just save face.

We married at leisure now repent in haste,

Try as they can to trim the waste.

Skirting the issue, they start to hedge,

On the precipice out on a ledge.

 

Will others decide to sever all ties,

Or see the truth behind the lies.

So busy whilst they cover their tracks.

They fail to reach, such an anticlimax.

They thought that they were such cutting edge,

But the base of the barrel they will dredge.

We worry about it and rue the day,

That our parliament voted Theresa May.

Gaining Confidence

It has taken a while, quite a while when I come to think of it. My self confidence had taken several hits over the past few years but generally I refuse to be beaten by things and in a moment of loss and grief I decided something. That I was going to make it better again.

Although I am only recent on this road I am at last making headway and gaining confidence once again. I see glimpses of my old self that are returning at last.

I mentioned in a previous post about the recent loss of my brother and that at his funeral I shared some of my poetry in front of the assembled throng. It was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. It was also a first for me and was well received. It got me thinking, was it just a one off or would I feel able to get up and do something like that again.

I was also facing another personal hurdle recently. Giving evidence in a court trial for criminal damage against my property caused by someone who has harassed and abused me for the past two and a half years. In the weeks leading up to the trial, I suffered more threats and did not know if I felt strong enough to deal with it, but knew that I had to if I was to get any justice at all. It was time for things to change, for the better.

So once again I stepped out of my comfort zone. I attended the trial, gave my evidence and came out of the court having helped convict the person who caused the damage. It gave me a huge boost to know that I had succeeded after being bullied and feeling daunted for so long.

Getting back to the poetry. At the funeral I was told by several people that I should write more and share it with people. Soon after that I was invited to a spoken word poetry reading at a local venue. I thought that I would go along and see how it worked. It happens every month and you turn up and share your words with other poets it’s like an open mic night.

I took my sister, she is used to performing since she is a professional musician. I went with a few poems tucked in my bag just in case I had the urge to join in. We sat and listened and what struck me, is that poetry affects people in so many different ways. Some was bawdy, some of the language strong, some I didn’t understand at all and others performed in song.

Since we arrived rather late in the evening I was one of the last to read. Many of the others had left by then and my nerves were trying to get the better of me. I was shaking like a leaf, the symptoms of my health letting me down again and wracked with pain. But I was determined not to back down. I had decided I was going to do this, so I owed it to myself to follow it through.

I had not practiced or rehearsed beforehand. But read out two of my poems, The Vivid Sky and Wild Horses to applause from the remaining people. At the end of the evening a few people came and asked me if I had done this before. There was one person who said he wished there were more, that they were longer as he hadn’t wanted them to stop. He said he’d enjoyed them and asked about my writing. We talked for a few minutes. I had also enjoyed his poems earlier in the evening. I was invited back next month and decided that I would return. I would also take the time to improve my presentation to make my voice clearer, there is some work to do for my own peace of mind.

It gave me a real sense of achievement to realise that at last I am slowly gaining confidence again to do things that I may not have considered before. Pushing my boundaries again. Something I have battled with in the past was getting people to listen, feeling that I could not hold their attention for long enough to make my point.

In the past week alone, having achieved these two separate things I have now realised that if I can stand up in front of a room full of strangers then I will become a better public speaker in time and this will expand my capabilities.

Who knows where that will lead me?

One of my bosses once said to me that I could do anything that I wanted. At the time I did not believe in myself to imagine that it were true. Thankfully I have someone else in my life who believed in me even when I did not and over the years I have been encouraged to try new things. Occasionally I follow my instincts and go and do the new things and am amazed when it works out. But to know that it’s there all along is a wonderful feeling.

The Daily Post – Gingerly

Creative Abandon

The Daily Post – Messy

Like many creative people my house can get pretty messy when I am busy making or doing a project. The key to this is to return to some order again once I am done. Admittedly sometimes this can take longer than I planned.

Yesterday I took over the kitchen as is often the case this time of year and made Winter Syrup. This will form the basis for some of my handmade Christmas gifts for friends and family.

As you will see in almost every hedgerow that you pass this time of the year in the Uk there is a plentiful supply of Rosehips just waiting to be utilised. After the first frost has softened them is the best time to use them. I love foraging for fruit and berries.

For the past three years I have made a Winter Syrup of varying ingredients. It is usually because I haven’t kept the recipe in one place and I strive to improve it each year. All have been based on a Rosehip recipe and are my first resort when sore throats hit since these wonderful fruits are packed with Vitamin C.

The first I made was the best since it was Elderberry and Rosehip and was what my brother who was a chef, described as “a little bottle of Christmas”. It was lovely with cake, ice cream and in sparkling cocktails. I resolve to make this version next year and not miss out on elderberries as I did this year I was just in the wrong place when the fruit was available. But for now, here’s the recipe for this year’s if you want to make some of your own.

1kg of Ripe Rosehips with stalks and ends removed.

2 litres water

1 Lemon with peel on, halved.

2 inches of Fresh Ginger root, sliced.

1 teaspoon Ground Mixed Spice.

2 tsp Ground Turmeric.

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon.

1 tsp Cloves.

Honey.

Mix all ingredients in a large pan, with 1 litre water lightly mash the Rosehips to break up the fruit and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Use a Muslin cloth in a colander and a bowl to separate the fruit from the liquid, leave to stand to drain as much liquid as possible out. Because Rosehips have fine hairs within them which can irritate the throat you have to separate the fruit from the liquid.

Return the liquid to a clean pan and add another 1 Ltr water and 1kg Sugar. I used both Demerara and white sugar since it was what I had to hand. Add 2 tbsp honey.

Bring the liquid to boil until all sugar has melted then simmer until it has reduced to half its volume.

Bottle it into sterilised glass bottles. I got 8 small bottles from this recipe.

It makes a wonderful sore throat remedy. You will notice that there is a slight sediment in the bottles, this is due to the use of dried spices. Shake before use and once opened store in the refrigerator.