#SundayBlogShare – The Sound of Silence

Some days there’s so much noise around me I think I’m going to lose my mind. Noise from thoughts, caterwauling from the kids, traffic, horns, sirens, TV, radio and so on. Some days I long for silence; to retreat into an inner sanctum, where there’s respite from the onslaught of the world. Meditation helps, and so does playing the violin. Sometimes I long to hear the sound of your voice. But sometimes only silence will do…


The sound of silence, substrate of creation…

Noise of nothingness filling, expanding senses,

Priming them to detect violent vibrations,

Scales of dainty decibels, sonorous caresses.

Listen well; distinguish subtle intonations,

Auditory input on waves of turbulent air,

A tendency to love pulsing impressions,

Emanating forth, emulating, wishing to share…


Silence surrounds; the base note of existence…

Without that peace, would I appreciate sound?

Lilting of inner voice, harmony not dissonance,

A palette on which to speak, sing and listen is profound.

Silence: a constant companion, blank canvas for music,

The space between notes, said Claude Debussy,

Clasping violin, I perform my favourite acoustic,

Exploring the infinite waters of a fathomless sea.


Sounds can nourish – biting into crunchy apple,

Or jangle cells, like long finger nails on a blackboard,

The terrifying cacophony of war, sound of battle,

Some are sweet, like a lover’s kiss, desired, adored.

Some are jolting, startling – a sudden, strident scream,

Soft tears of God; comforting, steady rain drops,

Splashing onto Earth, in relentless, rhythmic stream,

Solace for my soul, time to ponder, until it stops.


Sounds carry me to exotic, far flung places,

Where turbulent waves crash over distant lands,

Creatures howl and cry, endless echoes, many faces,

Inaudible grains of sand slip through my hands.

Floating on a breeze, flowers whisper the joy of scent,

Icy, cruel winds have their own sharp language,

Thunder fulminates across quivering landscapes, spent,

Hear my heartbeat; primordial thud – free from anguish.


Life force emanates from all that is – eternal silence,

Out of the divine shroud a rustle, a breath: quiet, loud,

Familiar sounds bond to heart, enable resilience,

Earth’s endless maelstrom, amorphous as clouds.

Energy fields to immerse in, align with…

No tone goes unheard by the universe,

Flight – the whirring of gossamer wings will give,

A soprano’s broken heart, on an audience does disperse.


Silence sets the stage, from birth to old age,

In-tune with tranquil Self, absorb oscillations,

To travel down memory lane, from same page,

Exulting in emotions of pitch and modulation.

Healing human wounds, retreating back to source,

Stillness resides there, diaphanous spark of essence,

Surrender to the vibrations, relinquish force,

Return always, into the sound of silence…

By Virginia Burges


#SundayBlogShare – Elegy for Earth 🐝🏔🌎

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?” ~ David Attenborough

In many respects the success of the human race has caused as many problems as it has solved for us collectively. Population explosion, the demands for food, pollution, the endless pursuit of profits at the expense of people, plants and animals, (especially the mega corporations such as Monsanto), who produce and use some of the most harmful ingredients known to man and nature.


Governments only seem to care about the environment when there’s something in it for them, such as tourist trade. Don’t even get me started on the destruction of rainforest for palm oil and other ingredients that fuel our ‘convenience’ lifestyle.

So many endangered species in Asia and the Amazon are seeing their habitats destroyed for the sake of a few companies and individuals making more than a few bucks. This is the dark side of capitalism. Making money no matter the cost.

But the end does not justify the means, because billions of people live on this planet. Harvesting huge swathes of the ‘lungs of the earth’ for timber and other land use may give a short term economic gain, but how can we measure the huge cost to humanity in terms of loss of diversity and disasters bought about as a result of such ecological destruction?


We can all do our bit, reducing waste, recycling, walking instead of taking a car, being aware of our buying habits, and asking ourselves, do we support environmentally conscious businesses? Do we buy cosmetics and food that is produced in an ethical and sustainable way?

Planet Earth II

I admire Sir David Attenborough in many ways, he is a brilliant broadcaster and passionate naturalist, but it’s mostly because of the man he is; the way he has dedicated his life to bringing the beauty of nature to the masses. Definitely a national treasure! He has done more in his life than probably any other person (except maybe Darwin), to help us understand and love the natural world, open our eyes to how complex and amazing planet Earth really is, showing us that humans and the natural world are interdependent. Their survival aids our survival.

Planet Earth II has been compelling viewing! Some highlights:

The last episode of Planet Earth II is airing tonight on BBC One, and it focuses on animals in urban environments. Here’s the trailer for Cities:

I hope you enjoy my poem, Elegy for Earth. It’s a bittersweet musing on what we’ve done to the animal kingdom and the planet we call home – Earth.

Elegy for Earth

Gravity pulls us to your perfect, rounded bosom,

Our feet, able to walk in soft earth, grass and sand,

Your endless bounty is a gift, pure and fulsome,

Evolved have we, to wield a greedy, grasping hand,

Eager to harvest, destroy and plunder your riches,

We continue to rape and pillage; burn nature’s bridges.


Many of our people appreciate and value such utopia,

Those who do not, give no thought to rainforests or

Wildlife; they are deaf to earth’s cry of melancholia,

No longer can she sustain this global ravage before

We reach the point of no return – alas, this is it.

Improve stewardship, or spin on a barren crypt.


Industrialisation supported our growing population,

Without thought of the consequences for our home,

We paused not, to notice the result of human invasion,

We lost the wisdom of our forebears, who used to roam

Mother Earth. Her resources are finite and dwindling fast,

If we heed not nature’s warnings; humanity will not last.


Poisonous fumes, silent smoke lace the air; breathe death

Plastic and detritus fill oceans deep and clog sunny shores,

Living rainforest cut-down, decimated, with startling breadth,

Pyres of man-made rubbish, polluting Earth’s pristine pores,

How far we have strayed, in the name of material progress,

We reap what we sow, our ultimate destruction to manifest.


How much wiser, to preserve this green and vibrant land,

As indigenous tribes have done, no need for fossil fuels

Instead we mine, we frack, we drill, we kill; be damned,

Pause, notice our impact; let’s protect our precious jewel.

Climate change accelerates, while man still procrastinates,

To continue unabated means the end of the master-race.


Ancient, tall trees and rolling seas offer healing escape,

Mountain air revives, soul solace, fresh foods replenish,

Let’s not take more than we need – replant and replace,

Waste is unforgivable when so many, from hunger, perish.

What polluted wasteland will we create for our descendants?

In all haste, will we act, to save Earth’s divine resplendence?


If thriving pastures and woodlands are turned to dust,

As we wage chemical warfare on all that is pure and good,

Complain we cannot, about modern plagues’ relentless thrust,

Wars, droughts and floods; apocalypse no longer misunderstood,

Through hardship of experience, source of harmful disease,

Species wiped out; no fish, no tigers, no monkeys or bees.


The ghost of Christmas past says, stop! Look! See!

How hunting made animals extinct, and smog is choking,

The spirit of the present says, you will not get off scot-free,

Serious consequences to stand and face; no point hoping…

For the ghost of Christmas future, to bring good tidings,

Redemption lies only in ceasing madness; our silver linings.


Imagine hell on Earth; no pristine wilderness left to explore,

No clean seas to sail on or swim in, surf polluted waves,

Dante’s Inferno would be a nightmare reality to deplore,

We have the power to do our bit, our planet to save,

Halt the mindless massacre, before it’s too late,

If we do nothing together, then we seal our fate…


By Virginia Burges

#SundayBlogShare – Honouring The Fallen on Remembrance Sunday

The Fallen

The fallen have no voice, our freedom is their sign,

Oh, brave heroes, selfless deeds claimed your prime,

Your words were left unspoken, on hellish frontiers,

But we still hear you, even after all these years…

History has veiled your suffering, sacrifice never to forget,

So many wars, too many battles; faced by general and cadet,

Greedy death, your serpent like tongue, too fast ran,

Devouring life after life; from cruel carnage of man.

The Somme’s sodden, bloody fields saw many a charge,

Cut down by a hail of bullets, bombs small and large,

Pounding hooves, feet and tanks, cover pestilent ground,

Ear splitting screams, explosions, to stealthy silence sound.


When the smoke has cleared, gritty eyes cannot bear indignity,

Of mangled and missing bodies; but in courage lies nobility,

A debt we can never repay, you faced evil, settled the score,

Faces we cannot see, but your deeds are the stuff of lore,

Our hearts fill with gratitude, for your unwaivering duty,

Concrete shells of empty buildings, stripped of beauty,

Serve as reminders of lost limbs and shattered homes,

Your graves tended, sought are your lost, scattered bones.

The dice has been shaken; the dice has been rolled,

Your number is up; time to cross the eternal threshold,

You went into danger, knowing you may never return,

A mission impossible, no easy final sojourn…


Last post played, last drink downed, from life’s bitter-sweet cup,

If lucky, you could savour the taste, before going up,

Was it sweet? Was it sour? Did you know we wear your flower?

Red petals bloom in a sea of crimson; your poppies empower.

You drew a line in the sand, to defend our cherished homeland,

But the tragic loss of life, is hard to fully understand,

Our freedom is won, and the many thank the few,

Conflict resolved, because of what you went through.

Stories of the fallen continue to be told; as is just,

Their tales must not pass unknown, into shadows and dust,

The fallen show us the true meaning of extraordinary bravery,

So that we may never again, be shackled by tyranny and slavery.


You answered the call; sentinels of the skies, preserving lands,

Plummeting the depths of oceans, with protective hands,

Platoons, divisions, armies of ordinary men and women,

You saw and did, more of your share, of spying and killing.

Infiltrating enemy lines, up against cold, hunger and snipers,

Risking it all, to intercept and thwart, cleverly coded ciphers,

Through ninety percent of human history a war has waged…

Worthy causes hailed by leaders, for followers to engage.

The fallen will cry no more: anguish and pain disappear,

The fallen paid the highest price for valour through fear,

The fallen fought for peace: to preserve a free society,

Honour and respect the fallen, by living with humanity.


By Virginia Burges

#SundayBlogShare – The Paradox of Polarities 🌞🌛☺️😭

Lately I have been trying to make sense of how I act unconsciously. Watching to see what happens when I allow certain situations or people to push my buttons!

It has been a busy and somewhat stressful time for me over the past few weeks, and to get through this intense phase I know I need to be more aware of the emotions that I have disowned in myself, and therefore rub me up the wrong way when other people display that very ‘thing’.

To shine the light of awareness on my my own internal state is not easy, but it is helpful. For when we become conscious of a hidden belief or shadow that is driving us, we can integrate and ‘own’ it, and the dysfunctional behaviour that surrounds it will drop away. We rarely act in a way that is detrimental to our well-being once we are conscious of it.

Writing about this subject in the form of poetry has helped me to understand the concept better and apply it in my own life. I hope you enjoy the poem in its own right, along with the sublime art (which always reflects beautifully the human condition).

Long may the light shine on you (and your shadows!) Happy Sunday!

The Paradox of Polarities

Juliet lamented to Romeo: ‘parting is such sweet sorrow’,

Yet we love…yearning to insatiably consume,

Maybe fearing, perhaps craving the morrow.

What will fate serve us: fortune or doom?

Whatever may manifest in these given hours,

That which we truly see, is endowed with powers…

The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet by Francesco Hayez

The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet by Francesco Hayez

Where our vision dares to go, energy will flow,

Born are we, into the realm of black and white,

Intrepid into the shadow side, we must not go.

To survive this masquerade we stay in the light,

Reprisals in childhood make us afraid to venture,

As adults, what is perceived as dark, we censure…

Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld by Peter Paul Rubens

Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld by Peter Paul Rubens

Lurking somewhere beneath, dark soils unconscious mind,

It cannot be disowned, denied and repressed forever,

Expressing covertly as dysfunctional, not kind.

To exhibit that which we thought of never,

The voice we accept not in ourselves, or in others,

Speaks the loudest, drowns out, and smothers.

Othello and Desdemona by Christian Köhler

Othello and Desdemona by Christian Köhler

Despite our best efforts, eventually in vain,

We never will destroy shadows; our other side,

As night follows day, with pleasure comes pain.

The vast spectrum of life is not easy to divide,

Opposites attract, nay, depend on each other to exist,

Demarcation is purely conceptual, shrouded in mist…

Hamlet - Act IV Scene V - Ophelia Before the King and Queen by Benjamin West

Hamlet – Act IV Scene V – Ophelia Before the King and Queen by Benjamin West

How humans define polarity is arbitrary,

Endless primordial cauldron of emotion,

Good against evil can be so contrary.

Life and death, clarity and confusion,

Appear they, to be separate ideas of reality,

Isolated by social convention, for the sake of sanity…

Macbeth and the Ghost of Duncan by Theodore Chasseriau

Macbeth and the Ghost of Duncan by Theodore Chasseriau

Thus, one ‘thing’ is split into a patchwork field,

We can only appreciate health because of illness,

Energy delineated, to create our journey we wield.

We can harm or heal; by practice, learn to witness,

The inner states with which we play the game,

Be we happy or sad, empty or full, of pride or shame…

The Illness of Antiochus from Antiochus and Stratonice by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

The Illness of Antiochus from Antiochus and Stratonice by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

To avoid any experience is to fall on our sword,

Better to watch and feel, then move forward,

Enjoy passion, shun apathy, either inspired or bored.

Awareness frees us from stagnation and being cornered,

To surf the panoply and panorama of tides,

Waves of dichotomy ebb and flow from all sides…

Tristan and Isolde by Herbert James Draper

Tristan and Isolde by Herbert James Draper

The paths we take are followed in physics,

Nature’s eternal, divine laws unfold regardless,

To deny a part of the whole is to set limits.

What is buried, resisted and guarded will surface,

Dip into darkness again; find a flicker of light,

A single, bright, dancing flame expands in sight…

The taking of Christ by Caravaggio

The taking of Christ by Caravaggio

We make up right and wrong as we go along,

Physical forms of the infinite, quantum reality,

Both here and not here; is a part of our song.

For singing softens the immutable tree of polarity,

Rotting roots, scarred bark, broken branches, lofty leaves;

Wild forest, shaped into desired topiary: thus life weaves…

By Virginia Burges

Socrates tears Alcibiades from the embrace of sensual pleasure by Jean-Baptiste Regnault c. 1791

Socrates tears Alcibiades from the embrace of sensual pleasure by Jean-Baptiste Regnault circa 1791

#SundayBlogShare – A British Summer 🌳🌺💨☔🌞

After waking up with a bit of a hangover I felt the urge to write about the weather… How very British! I was also pondering on how the collective unconscious affects our perception of nature. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps even relate to it on some level.

As I love the work of Joseph Mallord William Turner, Britain’s most prolific and famous landscape painter, I have used his art to help illustrate my prose.

Happy Sunday!

A British Summer

Heavy grey clouds claim the sky, suffocating hope,

Reflecting the changing moods of the nation,

Temperatures fluctuate; oppressive then cool,

Winnie-the-Pooh’s blustery day is upon us…

Raby Castle, the seat of the Earl of Darlington, by JMW Turner

Raby Castle, the seat of the Earl of Darlington, by JMW Turner

Towering trees adorned with lush, verdant leaves,

Shimmer, bend and wave in nature’s breathy puff,

Wild flowers populate meadows and hedgerows,

Colourful petals spread succour for broken hearts

Thomson's Aeolian Harp by JMW Turner c. 1809

Thomson’s Aeolian Harp by JMW Turner c. 1809

Rays of sun breakthrough, beaming sporadic warmth,

Threat of violent showers always present, looming,

A green and pleasant land supports uncertain steps,

Whether bold or timid; blades of grass in their billions.

Abergavenny Bridge Monmouthshire by JMW Turner

Abergavenny Bridge Monmouthshire by JMW Turner

Pimms and tennis distract weary, outraged citizens,

Quintessential Hundred Acre Wood of our nation,

Still holds surprises. The worker bees hide not;

Streams babble and burst lowly banks.

Arundel Castle on the River Arun, with a Rainbow c. 1824-5 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Arundel Castle on the River Arun, with a Rainbow c. 1824-5 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Life abounds in forests, fields and flowers,

Towns and cities go about their daily grind,

Forgotten worms thrive in velvety brown sludge,

Birds soar above gardens, manicured or wild.

Oxford High Street by JMW Turner

Oxford High Street by JMW Turner

In times of trouble the land is earthy and stable,

The cycle of death and rebirth ceaseless, reliable.

Gain strength from longer, lighter days, be

Fortified by the season of playfulness and revelry.

Pope's Villa at Twickenham by JMW Turner

Pope’s Villa at Twickenham by JMW Turner

History lives on in ancient stone walls,

Land of democracy and freedom decays,

Only to grow back around human drama,

Scenery of ups and downs: metamorphosis.

Stonehenge by JMW Turner c. 1827

Stonehenge by JMW Turner c. 1827

Lakes and mountains, coasts and cliffs,

Magnificent island refuge to everyday strife,

Spires look upwards over quaint village greens,

Season of vitality to revive cynical souls.

Scottish landscape by JMW Turner

Scottish landscape by JMW Turner

English rose, soft symbol of beauty and summer,

She attracts us with her sweet, heady scent,

Draws blood with her protective, thorny fingers,

But we love her essence and fullness of life.

The Old Library: A Vase of Lilies, Dahlias and Other Flowers 1827 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

The Old Library: A Vase of Lilies, Dahlias and Other Flowers 1827 Joseph Mallord William Turner

Is this the summer of our discontent?

Rough winds do shake wounded spirits,

Sprites commit their mischief then sneakily retreat,

But Bacchus’s bounty exists for all who seek it…

By Virginia Burges


Petworth House and Park by JMW Turner

#SundayBlogShare 🎼🎻🎹🎸🎷🎧 Music: An Unsurpassed Social Gift

“All art aspires towards the condition of music.” ~ Walter Pater

Playing a musical instrument is the best workout I know for my brain, as well as for invigorating my whole body. Meditation follows a close second alongside some other pleasurable activities…

The Music Lesson by Manet c. 1868

The Music Lesson by Manet c. 1868

During a practice session I feel totally alive; my mind seems to be at its most creative, and yet clear of life’s ‘junk’. I can be myself when I’m playing my violin; happily ensconced in a ‘flow state’ with no judgment or expectation other than to enjoy my activity.

I may not be on stage in a world-class concert hall, (only in my imagination), in reality I’m in my lounge and completely engaged in a joyful fusion of physical and mental exercise.

The thought of not being able to play inspired the premise for my novel, The Virtuoso.

Music score to accompany The Virtuoso by Tim Johnson

Music score to accompany The Virtuoso by Tim Johnson

While I’m playing Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi my brain is doing the ultimate multi-tasking, coordinating on an epic scale:

It’s enabling me to read the notes, to perform challenging passages of semi-quaver notes, to react quickly with tricky  incidental notes, trills and possible key changes during the piece, let alone changing position on the fingerboard, deciding what digit goes where, what bowing technique is required, the dynamics of the music and, of course intonation and my unique interpretation based on how the music makes me feel as I play it.

Jeanne Saint Cheron - violinist

Violinist by Jeanne Saint Cheron

Imagine coordinating that many processes in a split second. Brain plasticity is an incredible process. It must be an orchestra of simultaneous sparks, a symphony of synapses in there, lighting up all over the place!

Science has backed me up on that one. How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins:

Afterwards I find myself in a special space, my mind is empty yet energised and I just write. Ideas flow. It doesn’t last forever, but I try to make the most of it! Those alpha brain waves are the good guys, they usher in our most creative moments when we’re in a state of relaxed concentration.

The Music Lesson by Caspar Netscher

The Music Lesson by Caspar Netscher

Music really is instrumental in improving brain function and cognitive ability.

You may relate to my joy if you play an instrument. I don’t mean to be unnecessarily sombre, but if music disappeared overnight, for whatever reason, what would become of our species? I don’t think I could live in a world devoid of such a rich, cultural heritage…

A fascinating talk from the late neurologist Oliver Sacks – Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain:

This short video shows Dr. Sacks’s brain activity as he listens to music by Bach, his favourite composer compared with that of Beethoven:

A great excerpt from a talk about the history of music by Dr. Daniel Levitin, who argues against Steven Pinker, asserting that music preceded language:

I wanted to share with you my own verses; poetry which most certainly does not compare to the likes of Keats or Shelley, but which is nonetheless genuinely reflective of my love for music; both playing and listening.

Music Makes Me Feel…

First came the hypnotic rhythm of Beethoven,

Moonlight tones passing through my mother’s womb;

Loving piano gently infiltrates fleshy oven,

Beautiful harmony surrounds the warm, watery tomb

My whole being is receptive, active, listening,

Later in life, it will make my spirit sing.

Woman at the Piano by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Woman at the Piano by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Orchestras fill our home, my education starts,

Lessons begin on the violin; fun but hard,

Before long I am hooked, for joy it imparts,

Bowing, scraping, hand stretching on fingerboard,

The right note eludes me, again and again,

Eventually, fingers know their place more than pain.

Berthe Morisot - The artist's daughterplaying the violin

Berthe Morisot – The artist’s daughter playing the violin

Pulsing air waves elicit ecstasy, and poignant lingering,

Oscillations match to memories from the deep,

Such moving melody, well-spring of suffering,

Black notes on treble or bass clef; ready to leap

From musicians instruments, creating composer’s passions

Hypnotism says Ludwig van, to force same emotions.

The Kreutzer Sonata by Xavier Prinet

The Kreutzer Sonata by Xavier Prinet

Major or minor key, varying dynamics and tempo

Music mirrors every sacred moment of life,

Soft, soothing adagio or a galloping allegro,

Good vibrations comfort me when in strife;

Open your heart to its flowing, healing tune,

And fill your soul with rapture, thrilling croon.

Music - Ancient Greek vase - music lesson

Ancient, divine sounds, evolving over millennia,

Effect is more visceral than art, sculpture, literature.

No mode of communication stirs like an aria;

Universal language communes with our nature,

Eclectic music of mankind, such profound apotheosis,

Ultimate expression of humanity: Quo Vadis?

The Music Lesson by Jan Vermeer

The Music Lesson by Jan Vermeer

Apart from the sound of my mother’s voice, this timeless and peaceful composition by Beethoven that my mum used to play was probably one of the first things I ever heard:

Sound when stretched is music.

Movement when stretched is dance.

Mind when stretched is meditation.

Life when stretched is celebration. ~ Sri Sri Ravishankar

#SundayBlogShare – Benediction for Bluebells

In honour of time spent in nature’s bright and gentle company yesterday, I wanted to share some reflective verse and photographs:

Benediction for Bluebells

Woodland floor, engulfed in precious purple petals,

Hues of magical violet softly illuminate my sight,

Shine forth, ye gathering crowds of bluebells,

Your springtime violet copse spreads pure delight!

Fragrant faces of flowers, grace the sodden ground,

No greater English beauty; there can be found.

By Virginia Burges

22 April - Bluebell carpet6


The Bluebell ~ by Emily Bronte

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower

That waves in summer air:

Its blossoms have the mightiest power

To soothe my spirit’s care.


There is a spell in purple heath

Too wildly, sadly dear;

The violet has a fragrant breath,

But fragrance will not cheer,

22 April - Bluebell carpet5

The trees are bare, the sun is cold,

And seldom, seldom seen;

The heavens have lost their zone of gold,

And earth her robe of green.



And ice upon the glancing stream

Has cast its sombre shade;

And distant hills and valleys seem

In frozen mist arrayed.

22 April - Bluebell carpet distance

The Bluebell cannot charm me now,

The heath has lost its bloom;

The violets in the glen below,

They yield no sweet perfume.


But, though I mourn the sweet Bluebell,

‘Tis better far away;

I know how fast my tears would swell

To see it smile to-day.

22 April - Bluebell path

For, oh! when chill the sunbeams fall

Adown that dreary sky,

And gild yon dank and darkened wall

With transient brilliancy;


How do I weep, how do I pine

For the time of flowers to come,

And turn me from that fading shine,

To mourn the fields of home!

22 April - Bluebell carpet4

#SundayBlogShare – Impressions of Cornwall on my Cornea… 🐚🌊⚓

Well, strictly speaking I guess it should be retina, but it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it! After a week exploring yet more of south Cornwall I felt compelled to pen some prose about all things Cornish.

Porthcurno - wave

Cornwall reminds you in sometimes very bleak, stark terms, that away from urban spaces humans are vulnerable. Exposed to the elements we are at the mercy of nature, but for the most part, we are furnished beyond measure with every conceivable bucolic blessing.

Ancient, Celtic landscape demands attention and respect,

Ethereal, translucent light, any roaming spirit lifts,

Illuminating land of lighthouses, coast of craggy cliffs,

Treacherous, rocky graveyards to long wrecked ships,

Barrels of rum and sailors drowned, washed ashore…

LE - looking out towards longships lighthouse

Looking out to the Longships Lighthouse at Land’s End

Cold Celtic sea pounds sandy, surf-battered beaches,

Rolling waves – inevitable – powerful, break again and again…

Spewing white, foamy fingers as they meet rock and grain,

No land can defy its constant relentless erosion,

Every crash roars ‘brave me if you dare’!

Porthcurno - girls in water

Stunning sights around every curve, inlet and bay,

Quaint fishing harbours safely enclose painted boats,

Peeling, wooden hulls bobbing, heeling, always afloat

Gulls swoop and cry over glassy, glinting ripples

Delight in pasties, Cornish-cream teas and ice-cream.

Pretty Porthleven Harbour

Pretty Porthleven Harbour

For respite from epic, elemental coastal landscapes,

Seek out misty moors, carpeted with prickly heather,

Inviting inns provide shelter from inclement weather,

Discover the literary heritage of a proud pirate past,

It’s every hiker’s trail and a smuggler’s paradise.

Gunwalloe Church Cove

Gunwalloe Church Cove

Half ruined, silent chimneys protrude from green meadows

Home to birds, since their halcyon days of mining,

Rich seams of copper and tin, now empty lining

Deep shafts delve down from deserted engine houses

The wheals closed, bereft of investment and profit.

Wheal Coates, St. Agnes

Wheal Coates, St. Agnes

Windy lanes and high hedgerows separate patchwork fields,

Undulating hills adorned by herds of carefree cows,

Gnarled old trees hold secrets in their boughs,

Lost gardens, manicured lawns, flower filled biospheres,

Yet more views beckon to greedy irises…

Emily and Ruby on tree

Hidden horseshoe coves bask in sun and breeze,

Secret caves found, as gushing, tidal oceans bare,

Invigorate senses, inhale pure, salt infused air,

Tingling droplets moisten parched, urban skin

Sweet scent of the sea fills burgeoning lungs.

LE - view of coast

Lofty, stone towers and Church spires are dwarfed,

By tall wind turbines, with sharp white blades,

Solar panels reflect and fill farmers’ glades,

Ancient, rooted, mossy riverbanks trickle by unhindered,

Revel in her diversity and ever present views.

Clowance - Emily and Ruby on bridge

Irreverent skies change like chameleons, clear one moment,

Foreboding the next; clouds morphing into gangsters,

Cotton white puffs swell into angry grey monsters

Filling your vision as they darken and loom,

Ready to suddenly release their vast, watery weight.

Porthleven - dramatic skies and sea

Land before time; shaped by eons of cosmic forces.

Iconic, coastal scenery captures hearts and imagination,

Last bastion of English Riviera, gritty, island nation,

Before I depart, Cornwall bestows her treasure:

A lasting impression on my cornea…

View towards the Minack Theatre from Porthcurno Beach

View towards the Minack Theatre from Porthcurno Beach

#SundayBlogShare – The Joys of Spring 🌷🌾⛅☔

The Joys of Spring

The chilly, desolate air of winter is abating,

It’s time for frolicking; animals are mating,

Softer grounds yield bounty to probing beaks,

A sprightly dawn chorus will lift flagging spirits.

Springtime Awakening by Luc Oliver Merson

Springtime Awakening by Luc Oliver Merson

First splash of rowdy pigments signals awakening,

The patient spirit of spring, indefatigable, unwavering,

Bright yellow daffodils, pretty pink blossom, and

Vivid purple crocuses, give pleasure to gaze upon.

A song of Springtime by John William Waterhouse c. 1913

A song of Springtime by John William Waterhouse c. 1913

Rebirth and transition occurs all around us,

Unleashing fervent growth – stillness to flux,

Hibernation is over, sleepy eyes can refocus,

Once again, life is animated, freshness permeates.

Springtime at Giverny by Claude Monet c. 1886

Springtime at Giverny by Claude Monet c. 1886

Release and use your body’s reserves,

Shed your winter coat, it no longer serves,

Momentous celestial maneuvers fire up creation,

This very day ushers in the Spring Equinox.

The First Day of Spring by Alfred Sisley c. 1889

The First Day of Spring by Alfred Sisley c. 1889

Longer days give rise to abundant energies,

Green leaves will soon clothe barren trees,

Regeneration sparks quiet, dormant hearts,

Welcome the bifurcation of old and new.

Spring by Gustave Loiseau

Spring by Gustave Loiseau

None can escape the March Hare’s madness,

It’s time to bid farewell to winter sadness,

Warm, hazy sun beams now and then,

We can venture forth from our snug cocoons.

Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Narcissus by John William Waterhouse

Morning mist hangs, layered in pale cloud,

Illuminated by light, casting ghostly shroud,

Soon, like a parting season, it will evaporate,

Just as sky reflects blue, imbued with clarity.

Spring Morning by Ernest Lawson

Spring Morning by Ernest Lawson

In valley, moor, meadow and plain,

Plants are nourished with sunshine and rain,

The landscape undergoes a metamorphosis,

Once barren soil mutates into pastures fertile.

Small meadows in Spring by Alfred Sisley c. 1880

Small meadows in Spring by Alfred Sisley c. 1880

Stroll in sunny fields, this season do not squander,

Like a stream meanders, free your soul and wander,

With her glorious, lustrous hues, spring invigorates,

Breathe in life, explore nature’s vibrant palette.

Spring in Italy by Isaac levitan c. 1890

Spring in Italy by Isaac levitan c. 1890

Tightly clenched, silken buds suddenly unfurl,

Dancing with wind, sweet petals sway and swirl,

The Earth shares her joy through spring,

Spreading new hope with a canvas of colour…

Spring (detail) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Spring (detail) by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

#SundayBlogShare – Your Inner Goddess 💗🙋

My musings today are for the sisterhood, for the sacred feminine that isn’t celebrated enough in our modern, patriarchal society.

Diana and her Nymphs - Johannes Vermeer c. 1653 - 1656

Diana and her Nymphs – Johannes Vermeer c. 1653 – 1656

I’m showing some love this Valentine’s Day for women around the world; so often mistreated, forgotten, ignored, repressed, used, abused, attacked, criticised, taken for granted, unappreciated, struggling to live in your beauty and power…this is for you, and for all men who agree with these sentiments and love, cherish and admire you for how special you are!

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus - JW Waterhouse c. 1891

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus – JW Waterhouse c. 1891

Your Inner Goddess

The ancient goddess, that mythical, sensual deity,

Archetypal, dwelling in you is she;

Endowing her wisdom, virtue and fecundity.

Use her radiance and effulgence in days,

She presents herself in a myriad of ways.

Venus et l'amour - Lambert Sustris c. 1550

Venus et l’amour – Lambert Sustris c. 1550

Your inner Goddess takes any form you desire,

There is Gaia, Rhea, Madonna, Ninhursag,

Creative energy populates, always on fire.

Heavenly mother, epitome of unconditional love,

Life is in you, ever fertile, below and above.

Madonna in the meadow - Raphael c. 1506

Madonna in the meadow – Raphael c. 1506

From the youthful, sweet singing siren,

Luring lusty sailors to misfortune, to the

Nubile nymph, perched seductively on grassy lichen.

You and nature are one; nurturing and plentiful,

Elemental, ephemeral, eternal, intoxicating, bountiful…

Hylas and the Nymphs - John William Waterhouse c. 1896

Hylas and the Nymphs – John William Waterhouse c. 1896

So it has been; throughout the age of humanity,

In every philosophy, religion, or zeitgeist,

Goddesses of every age, passion and variety;

Were revered and respected to give,

Their gifts: both benign and destructive.

Marie de Medici as Bellona by Peter Paul Rubens c. 1625

Marie de Medici as Bellona by Peter Paul Rubens c. 1625

In business you can call on Athena,

From Rome she rules supreme in crafts and strategy,

For immortal, divine wisdom: Sophia.

Aphrodite and Venus bestow love, pleasure, beauty,

Celtic Brigantia exalts to mountain peaks lofty.

The Birth of Venus - Sandro Botticelli c. 1484-86

The Birth of Venus – Sandro Botticelli c. 1484-86

Huntress Artemis, protector of babies born,

Archer, animal loving daughter of Zeus,

Feel her fury if a warrior goddess you scorn.

Kali, Pele and Enyo destroy evil, unleash war,

Align with your Goddess companion and soar.

The Death of Acteon (Diana) - Titian c. 1559 - 1575

The Death of Acteon (Diana) – Titian c. 1559 – 1575

Seek Minerva for intellect, music and magic,

Connect with your sacred feminine,

To ignore your inner Goddess is tragic.

You are flesh and blood; bone and sinew,

Beauty and brains; but mythology is in you!

Astarte Syriaca - Dante Gabriel Rossetti c. 1878

Astarte Syriaca – Dante Gabriel Rossetti c. 1878

Adapt and use her primordial intensity,

To bless and infuse your uniqueness,

Be it as lover, healer, or essence of vitality.

You are a powerful cosmic sorceress,

Worship your inner goddess…

Athena - Gustav Klimt c. 1898

Athena – Gustav Klimt c. 1898