With world Poetry Day in mind I thought I would share some poems which I have recently come across.  World Poetry Day is 20 years old.  One its aims is to celebrate linguistic diversity.

A tongue can accuse and carry bad news
The seeds of distrust and hate, it can sow,
So unless you know that it is the truth,
Be careful of stones that you throw.
( Larry ”Dutch” Woller )

During my school days we had to learn poetry by rote.  It was something I could never do.  Each and everytime although having spent at least an hour memorising the various poems by the next day I had totally forgotten every word.  I dreaded being asked to recite the homework.

Choosing Shoes

by Frida Wolfe

New shoes, new shoes,
Red and pink and blue shoes.
Tell me, what would you choose,
If they’d let us buy?

Buckle shoes, bow shoes,
Pretty pointy-toe shoes,
Strappy, cappy low shoes;
Let’s have some to try.

Bright shoes, white shoes,
Dandy-dance-by-night shoes,
Perhaps-a-little-tight shoes,
Like some? So would I.

BUT
Flat shoes, fat shoes,
Stump-along-like-that shoes,
Wipe-them-on-the-mat shoes,
That’s the sort they’ll buy.

This poem on shoes I came across on https://suth2.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/new-shoes-new-shoes-red-and-pink-and-blue-shoes/

 

However, not being able to remember poems has not hindered my love of poetry.  I really enjoy finding a new poem.  Reading it a few times to listen to the rhythm of the poem.  For me it does not matter that I might not know what the poet intended by the poem.  I do not need to delve into every line and stanza to enjoy a poem.

 

the sun
and her flowers

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

Rupi Kaur

I have enjoyed the poetry of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill for years. This is one of my favourite of her poetry.

An Crann

le Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

 

Do tháinig bean an leasa
le Black & Decker
do ghearr sí anuas mo chrann.
D’fhanas im óinseach ag féachaint uirthi
faid a bhearraigh sí na brainsí
ceann ar cheann.

 

The following is a poem which I came across in an anthology of poems. I often wonder how it would sound in it’s own language. Is there a difference between today’s language and when it was written in 619?

 

Flowers and Moonlight on the Spring River

Yang-Ti, Emperor of Sui Dynasty

Translated by Arthur Waley

 

The evening river is level and motionless —

The spring colours just open to their full.

Suddenly a wave carries the moon away

And the tidal water comes with its freight of stars.

 

Have you come across a poem which has stirred something in you. Perhaps you might like to share?

 

 

Exercise?

Exercise or the lack of exercise has suddenly hit me in the face.

You see I used to walk every day . Even if it was snowing( which very rarely happens in Ireland) or raining (more the norm here) I walked. Sometimes it was indoors following Jessica Smith on YouTube but I was regularly walking. However during the recent awful hot summer  my exercise routine went out the window and disappeared into the stratosphere or somewhere similar and my quilting increased somewhat.

 

Oh yes I really do need to exercise. These ladies are fitter and slimmer than me. Now it isn’t that I don’t start to exercise. I do. I have given myself the 30 day challenge and have got as far as day 10, 18 and on the last occasion got to day number 23.

Now I have noticed those bat wings , which had trimmed up have now got flabby again so at least I have gone back to those 15 minutes of arm exercises. But really that isn’t enough. When crafting I will make sure to set my clock so that on the hour I will move and do some stretching exercises. But I have also noticed that my the number of WIPs  (work in progress) has steadily increased while my mountain of “to be read ” books is now a small hill. Hmm I wonder is there any correlation?

So any tips on how to keep motivated. I do not do the gym; been there and fled. I detest swimming. Cycling is ok provided there are no cars ( and I live in a traffic congested town). I have tried horse riding but if I tried it now it would be called animal cruelty. I tried line dancing which proved to be fun but the only drawback was that I could never remember the steps from one week to the next.

So seriously any tips to keep going at this exercise lark? What is your motivation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girlfriends

Today is National Girlfriends Day and what a fantastic thing to celebrate. I personally think that friendship among women is something very special.

There are those friends who are only in your life for a short period. Perhaps it is during the school years or perhaps during various stages of one’s working life. They keep us going. When those friendships come to a natural conclusion that is fine. Life intervenes and to be honest I think it would be impossible to keep every friendship going.

There are the friends one meets during difficult times. They support you and then as those difficult times ease you both move on with your lives and again that is ok.

There are those friends which one meets through perhaps pastimes, hobbies, shared interest. Perhaps you only meet them during those shared interests, but they are an integral part of the enjoyment of those interests.

Perhaps you have some friends who are years or decades younger and their perspective on life adds to your knowledge as we are always learning.

I was listening to someone recently who looked on her local librarian as her friend as every two week she knows that there is going to be a new book waiting for her which will stimulate her, intrigue her or even get her riled. These books have been chosen by someone who cares and that is the definition of friendship for her.

Then again there are those friends who you may be privileged enough to have had them for twenty years or more. They have become part of the fabric of your life.  That is such a special blessing.

I have been blessed with so many gifts of friendship that I am humbled. Today I am remembering with great fondness but also with a heavy heart some friends who have died. I still go to the phone to ring them or I am just about to send them a text, or message them and even had a card made for one friend when I realise “No “they are no longer here. However, their legacy of friendship remains within my heart.

I have been privileged to have received the gift of friendship from so many.

Happy Girlfriend Day.

 

 

Friendship

Friendship is everything in life, 
Life without friendship is like life without air…
Life without friendship is like eats without food
And
Life without friendship is like body without soul…

(excerpt from Friendship by Qistina Zani)

Encouragement

A few years ago, I was introduced to machine quilting.  Let me say from the outset it wasn’t something I would have chosen for myself and I will always be indebted to my husband for purchasing the machine for me.

Quilting will always go hand in hand with the concept of encouragement. In fact, it is not the concept but the reality of encouragement.  Firstly, my husband, getting the proper advice for the sewing machine; secondly the encouragement from two friends to book quilting rather than sewing classes; and finally finding the right location for those classes.

Four, two-hour classes and I had a lap quilt, having learnt how to cut with a rotary cutter, to thread, sew, change bobbins and importantly not to be afraid to make mistakes.  Since then the most important tool I have is a Jemima.  Jemima is a ripper so as this ripper has a name it just shows how often I use it!!!

I have begun to understand how friends have been so absorbed in occupations and hobbies fabric related.  It is so tactile.  From choosing the fabric, treads batting to the actual making of the quilt top each step is tactile.

However, I have digressed here from writing about quilting and encouragement.  Every step along the way I have been encouraged. Roisin telling me get a piece of old fabric and sew.  “Put the foot to the pedal and sew”.

Then there was the utter magic of those four quilting classes with three ladies whom I am telling you have the patience of Job.  Honestly it amazes me when looking back how they survived me and kept their cool.

So, who were these angels?  They inhabit Appletree Crafts in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow.  Their names? Marie, Sinead and Trina.  Now neither their halos nor wings are visible but believe me they are quilting angels who constantly encourage.  Their shop is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of fabric.  So, if you are visiting the garden of Ireland drop in, even if quilting is not your thing. Or, on the web http://www.appletreecrafts.ie

I have continued to try new adventures in this my 60th year.  I am writing this overlooking the Aughrim river on a sos beag (small break) from a Quilting Retreat.  Yes, I am attending my first Quilting Retreat.  It is an absolute blast.  A retreat led by Trina, Sinead and Marie from Appletree Crafts and attended by ladies who have offered nothing but support to each other .  The tips and generosity of spirit has been so special and uplifting.

Generations

I was sent a short video to mark International  Women’s Day and it showed three young women who basically blamed all their ills on the previous generation. It was brilliantly put together and very funny.

However it set me thinking. Was this the way, that women who gave up paid employment in order to look after their family full-time were in fact being judged?

Since becoming one of those women back in the 1990’s, I found that society but to a greater extent working women saw me as something to be derided, belittled or totally ignored. I was told that “I was a pariah on society, taking without giving” .

I have been privileged to have met so many women mainly in the 50 plus age limit who are strong women. These women cared for elderly relatives, reared children, were and some still are active in their churches, started voluntary bodies which have since been taken over by state bodies, supported schools and worked unpaid for all their adult lives.

They have enabled others to have choices and they are still supporting their families with many of them taking on the childminding roles for the next generation. Some are finding  a new source of education through the next generation.

I was talking with a seventy year old lady recently. Dympna was inspired by a young twenty year old woman who communicated, read, interacted all through her mobile phone. Dympna now uses her mobile for everything from emails, to bill paying to basic phone calls. In turn she is now teaching it.

I am firmly of the opinion that there is so much to learn from every generation. No one generation is better than another but just think what can be done when the minds of different generations come together with respect.

 

 

 

 

International Women’s Day

Thursday March 8th is International Women’s Day

So much will be written, talked about shared on this day and in the days leading up to it.

I would ask that this year women would respect each other.

To respect the differences as well as the similarities.

It is these differnces which make us unique.

It is the differences in thinking which lead to new ideas.

However without respect for each other the work and role of women is demeaned.