Tag Archives: nature

Let it Be

Earlier today, I went for a walk with a friend in Spa Wood, (a woodland which is just a short stroll from my home).

My friend had not seen the woods since 2019 and remarked that the canopy was not as thick as was previously the case. She also noted, with regret that a number of trees had succumbed to the axe.

A number of trees (including holly) have been removed, the reason given being that the conservationists wish to return the wood (so far as is possible) to it’s traditional state, in which trees such as the great oak held sway.

Whilst I understand the perspective of the conservationists, I liked the wood as it was prior to the clearance of holly and other plants which where not part of the original forest. Whilst the woods still contain a delightful blend of light and shade, the dark heart is not as dark as was previously the case, and that I regret.

I am, by temprament a Conservative. I like the familiar, whether that be my favourite local pub with its open fire, or the woodland close to my home. That which exists gives me pleasure and I am one of those individuals who, when someone advocates a change requires to be convinced of it’s necessity.

Of course some might argue that my Conservative disposition should incline me to support the restoration of the woods as they were in the past. However there is a difference between the Reactionary and the Conservative. Whilst the Reactionary wants to return to some “golden age”, the Conservative is inclined to revel in the enjoyment of what exists rather than to wish to put the clock back to some former time.

The person of a Conservative frame of mind does value institutions, tradition etc for they have stood the test of time which demonstrates to him that they possess value and, as such they inspire loyalty.

Given my Conservative disposition, I wish to preserve the beautiful old oaks. However I also relished the variety provided by the (now largely removed) holly.

My friend (who is no Conservative in the political sense of the word) feels the same as me, as regards the woodland, which goes to show that conservatism (with a small c) is an important component of the human condition.

Some time back I wrote “A Dialogue”, which does, I think touch on some of the issues outlined above:

There is a frame of mind
That says “leave as you find.
Let the great Oak alone
And spare the ancient stone
For they serve a purpose
If one looks beneath the surface
Of things”.
Others bring
To bare a mind
Which no beauty doth find
In oak and stone
“For they stand in the way
Of a brighter day”.
“But if you pull the tree down
What then supports the ground?
For the roots go deep
And people weep
When the oak falls
On ancient halls”.
“Let us wield the axe and be glad
For the old ways are bad.
New seed we will sow
The past must go”.
They are arguing still
As the sun sinks
O’er vale and hill.

“A Dialogue” can be found in “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”, which is available here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AF5EPVY/

“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats, read by Stephen Fry

Yesterday evening, I ran a quiz for friends on Zoom. One of the questions I posed was who wrote these lines:

“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease”.

The answer is, of course John Keats, the poem in question being “Ode to a Nightingale”.

Along with “Autumn”, “Ode to a Nightingale” is one of my favourite poems, written by a poet who died at a tragically young age.

You can find a wonderful reading of “Ode to a Nightingale”, read by Stephen Fry here,


.

Caught Up in Thought

Caught up in thought
Amidst these spring flowers.
How many hours
Have I spent
Denying that our time is lent.

Then, birdsong
Breaks through my useless thought.
And I recognise
That human eyes
Do not see for long.
And that I ought
To fill my mind
With birdsong.

Yet, I find
That my brain
Oft runs like an express train
And will not be still.

But, sometimes, its just the sky
And I
And the poignancy of birdsong,
That will not last long.

Autumn Fly

It may seem strange to repost my poem “Autum Fly” in the spring. However, the weather was cold yesterday. Indeed it was autumnal and, for a time wintry in nature. The change in weather brought to mind “Autumn Fly”, which is reproduced below:

An autumn fly
Buzzes around my head.
Summer is dead
Yet will not die.
Seasons pass.
We are brittle as glass
This fly
And I.

A Poem Inspired By My Walk in Spa Woods

The path taken less often than I should,
This tranquil track through a nearby wood.
A spot with trees for walls
Where sunlight through the branches falls.
An oasis from the urban din
I find a quiet place within.
An inner space where the heart can be still,
A peaceful spot on this wooded hill.
The path to the road ascends.
A cloud of gloom on me descends.
I must return to this rented land
Where advertising hoardings stand.
A world where empty vessels make most noise,
And people play with broken toys.

“The Path Through the Wood” can be found in my collection, “Lost in the Labyrinth of My Mind”, which is available in the Amazon Kindle store, https://www.amazon.com/Lost-labyrinth-my-mind-Morris-ebook/dp/B01AF5EPVY/.

A Sitting Long-nosed Bear or Wolf Sculpture

The poem was inspired by my walks through Spa Woods, an ancient area of woodland which I am lucky enough to have very close to my home. You can find out about Spa Woods here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spa_Wood.

Butterfly Sculpture

The photographs show wooden sculptures in the woods

The Changeless Wind, in the Bushes

The changeless wind, in the bushes.
Civilisation rushes
Ever faster.
Then, the disaster
Of corona, makes everything, slow.
Yet I
See bees go,
Busily by.

I Walked The Woodland Path

I
Walked the woodland path
And passed
By
Tall, slender flowers.

Now I
Traverse, in verse
That self-same path,
And grow flowers
In my mind.

The flowers
May be gone tomorrow.
For I find
That we borrow
Time.

True, many a rose
Has been emmortalised in rhyme
But the poet knows,
That he has limited time.