Tanka: We

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Photo: Pixabay  http://www.pexels.com

When the earth was young
We were put in a garden
We had abundance
We messed it all up big time
We still live the aftermath

copyright Francis Barker 2019

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Poem: The Garth

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The accolades like garlands
all around you,
each flower of the palette
in your soul

I saw suns glint in violet eyes,
such rare colour,
your rose petal smiles
on dew laden sward 

You drew me pastel people,
tore them to pieces,
casting high like confetti
in a lavender breeze

Your delicate hand would
demand I take it,
frog march me around
your patchwork garth 

We’d sit in white stillness 
at Indian summer’s end,
our toes dangling in pools
of murky green

And when the grey winds came
soughing demons around us,
you closed that rickety gate
toward Michaelmastide.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

The Proms: An Extraordinary British Tradition

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

The Proms begin today, July 19, perhaps the quintessential British cultural event, held each year in several venues in London between July and September, though most notably at The Royal Albert Hall.

The word proms is in fact a shortening of the term Promenade Concerts, a cultural phenomena which had its origins in 18th century London, which took place in pleasure gardens where the spectators were allowed to move around the orchestras. The word promenade is a borrowing from the French language, meaning to walk.

Music for the masses

In the 19th century this style of concert moved indoors as well, leading eventually to the establishment of ‘The Proms’ on August 10 1895 at the Queens Hall, Langham Place by the well known impresario, Robert Newman.

The idea was to offer the experience of classical music to the general public, with lower ticket prices in an informal setting. It has to be said that the idea worked, with a comprehensive schedule of performances spanning over two months.

Too English?

However, the Proms do have their detractors. For instance, I have heard it said more than once that they are too English. Whilst there is certainly a great deal of flag waving, a cursory look at the famous ‘Last Night of the Proms’, will reveal flags from all over the world.

What is more, much time and energy has been put in to diversifying the content, with the inclusion of world music, as well as folk music from all over Great Britain and Ireland.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

Photographs: Burghley House Sculpture Garden, Lincolnshire, England.

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copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Poem: Anonymous Lines

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Painting by Leofwine Tanner

Downstairs any morning;
sunlight and smoke
in slow swirling clouds.
The cat wanders in,
cries and wanders out,
flopping down the step
toward shrill sparrow sounds.

An open passage door
through which I follow
into a past, or no time at all.
Gooseberries hairy in the mouth,
that sour shock at the crunch.
Raspberries sweet on the tongue;
peas plucked from the pod,

sitting between rows of green.
His shadow blots out the sun,
a tall silhouette, cap pushed back
as a match is struck.
I follow to runner beans
and strawberry rows,
where the cat rolls over and over.

He is distant now, never hurried,
where it all opens up,
when I cling to his leg
looking down on the dyke
where the moorhen struts.
Out onto prairie fields,
anonymous lines of roads

and pylons. A relentless horizon.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019 and 2011

 

*If you would like personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.

Do We Ever Know Our Parents?

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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

 

Spalding’s Unique Ayscoughfee Hall

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Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding Lincolnshire is simply an architectural gem.

However, I don’t believe it’s known for sure how it got its name (it’s pronounced ‘Ascoffey’ folks).

Nevertheless, recent archaeology has discovered much that was once hidden; stairs, passageways, tiles… all of which are included in the comprehensive museum illustrating the history, not only of Spalding, but of the whole South Holland region and its wonderful agricultural heritage.

Leofwine Tanner 2019