Poem: ‘English Blue’ (for the fallen at Hastings and beyond)

stickingridge

Walk with me
into the grey breaking dawn

where that sticking ridge of blue –
an English blue

rolls on into soft distances
and strange dancing names

Stand with me
by those set whispering stones

in a steadfast line –
a sore English line

of rasping pipes and howling socks
mouthing our memory

like a warning to tomorrow
a land forlorn to all but itself

Then help me to bury him
not on some crying strand –

in firm English land
where hallows’ calls are grounded

our grief laid open
in the whitening bones of heroes

on this high scoured hill

 

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019, 2011

first published in ‘Poetry 24’ June 23 2011

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Do We Ever Know Our Parents?

dadearth2

My father has been dead a long time now, but I’ve never stopped missing him.

I was brought up in an agricultural community of intensive farming, but with just enough ‘real nature’ around us to appreciate the clean air (usually), the silence, the freedom. I virtually grew up on a bike and cars were relatively rare down our road.

Through all that time my father seemed to be in the background, always there, but quiet, shy. He’d had various jobs before retirement, a butcher, farm labourer mainly, but he was an intelligent man of few words.

And I feel I never really knew or understood him.

I wish I’d asked more questions, about his early life, his family. But we never know or ask enough, do we? We take it for granted that our family are there. For us.

Then one day, one of them is not. It’s too late. Yes, of course, I’m stating the obvious, but most often we ignore the obvious all around us, don’t we?

My abiding memory is of my father on his piece land at the back of our house, digging, simply digging the rich soil, surrounded by the vast fertile fields and eyed by hungry, inquisitive birds.

Thanks Dad.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Haiku: Summer of Love Perspective

dadgad

Don’t give me free love
Love is not free, period
Rules have their reason

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Musings on Pluto’s Mask of Invisibility

Pluto_in_True_Color_-_High-Res
By NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71082408

I have done a little research on and off for a few years now regarding the ‘outer planet’ Pluto and his supposed effects. Put it this way, I have not been satisfied with terms like ‘transformation’.

I shall not go into it too much here as it is ongoing, but suffice it to say that I find I’m in agreement with many these days who think that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the so-called outer planets, only really come into serious play by their placement, their relationship if you will, by either being angular or in close aspect to the true planets, or both. I don’t believe (yes, it is a belief) that Pluto rules Scorpio, for instance.

Demotion

Of course Pluto was demoted from planet status several years ago, it being essentially classed a kind of minor binary system involving a sibling called Charon (the ferryman of Hades in myth), with whom Pluto does this merry dance in the remote, dark reaches of this solar system. Yet, despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of interest in him in astrological circles.

Pluto was first discovered officially in 1930 and many have attributed the dark, ‘underground’, extreme forces that were appearing in the world at the time to the planet’s arrival in the mainstream.

Does he have a name?

Then of course we have the name of the planet. I mean why call him Pluto? The work of Percival Lowell led to the discovery of Pluto, and of course his initials are the first two letters of the name. Then of course we have Mickey Mouse’s dog, Pluto, named after him.

So the question is, did the recognition of each ‘outer planet’ reflect the time of its discovery?

I have seen it said that Uranus, discovered in the late 18th century, coincided with the American and French revolutions, plus the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Well, I suppose Uranus has a reputation for turning things over.

Neptune was discovered in the mid 19th century, though it is far less clear what was going on then (spiritualism?) which we could call Neptunian – but maybe that’s just Neptune being Neptune, hard to make out really.

Synchronicity

And then Pluto around 1930 and the rise of fascism, communism: I get the point. Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek Hades, king of the Underworld. In mythology Hades had a helm, cap, or mask, which reputedly made him invisible, sometimes also called the Helm of Darkness. All these are what we might associate with Pluto. Either way, the mask allowed the wearer to disappear, or be undetectable, a bit like Pluto on his 248 year travail around us. I’m not sure I believe in synchronicity.

But the mask of invisibility only belongs to Pluto/Hades, others wore it to become undetectable, it is not Pluto himself. So maybe, to conjecture, in astrological terms Pluto by close aspect lends secrecy to whomever he is masking/aspecting? I don’t know, it’s something I’m looking at.

Can you keep a secret?

Nevertheless, we all know how dangerous and devastating secrecy can be, hiding true intent, a bit like the cloaking device used by the Klingons in Star Trek, or even like a ‘bird of prey’ using extreme speed (peregrine falcon for example) to disguise its final, devastating kill.

As an example, take a native with Mars closely conjunct Pluto, might the interpretation be that the Martian energy has the potential to be hidden, yet also potentially more focused and dangerous as a result? And if that energy is hidden, suppressed even, then there may be deep psychological implications too. If Neptune were conjunct Mars we might expect dissipation of that force; with Uranus we could see sudden, violent outbursts of energy.

I will leave the musings there but I intend to try and use living examples in later posts. I’m trying to keep an open mind, with the understanding that the whole truth can never be known. Thanks for your patience – these are just my musings.

Why Am I Doing This?

cropped-door1.jpg

Having been a ‘qualified’ astrologer for over 25 years, I have never openly advertised as such… until now.

Sure, I have kept my hand in, done numerous charts for friends, family and people at large, sometimes charging, sometimes not. Yet, above all this, I have never thought astrology was working for me. So here, right now, at last I am intending to make it do so.

I have done paid jobs of course, changed jobs several times, worked freelance, tried painting (another hobby) as a sideline, but nothing seemed to satisfy. Maybe it’s the lot of nearly all of us, having to make do with our ‘paye’ jobs without ever feeling satisfied let alone fulfilled. Being an astrologer you might ask, well, ‘couldn’t you tell from your birth chart what you would be best at?’ Well yes I could, I have a prominent, disciplined and vigorous Mercury which allows me to write, to communicate well, so that’s one reason why I’m here. But it also gives me a liking for variety. Also, I do have an artistic and musical side which has found release in painting and playing a musical instrument. But none of this makes a living.

So then comes my second Saturn Return (that gives my age away but that’s another article coming shortly) and that, I believe, is the true catalyst. I need to move on, to start doing the things I really want to do at an age which marks the end of life’s second chapter and, hopefully, a move to better and brighter pastures ahead. If I can help others realise their own potential along the way, then all the better.

So here goes, life’s been a bit rocky of late, rugs have been pulled and doors have slammed shut – but for once I may be heeding the call to a different direction. Wish me luck.

Poem: ‘Clothes’

clothes

These are my favourite clothes, I
wear them for days on end.
See?
They retain their shape,
my shape,
even when I toss them
into wardrobes, or hang them from
skeletal frames, dis-
assembled, waiting for warm
odours of my living
return.

So say you’ll never throw them
out, and resist all
temptation to wash. Simply
lay them on a chair or bed – though
mark the creases,
the bulges of cotton limbs, fleshy
legs which have moulded denim,
now hanging in threads. And make sure
to study the greasy collars, precious
oils of my skin. Then take
hold of this shirt, stretch the faded
fabric in your hands and breathe in
the smell of years. Remember
the walks and our talks, when
there was only time to kill. For these
things, which may be nothing now, are
still worthy of note, the relics of
a single life
and not without right

image and poem © copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: ‘Turning’

foam

Is there a point where the tide
stops,
a moment that I could see, or touch?
I’ve been looking
at tables giving times, exact
minutes of apogee, and it was
just here I’m sure,
right here,
where I pointed
and watched
and saw nothing, except
the foam stretch ahead of me
like phantom silk, all
along the buff triassic sand, as far
as I could see or walk.
“That’s where the waves
stop,” you said, “where the tide
turns back to the sea – and me.”

image and poem © copyright David F. Barker