Autumn garden days

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I love autumn garden days. We’ve had a mixture of rain and sunshine today so everything has a fresh-washed look and a maturity-in-colour that speaks of the passing of time, of life’s changing seasons, and of richness in all of it. During the course of the day I’ve watched the tournesols doing just that, turning their smiling faces to the sunlight. (click photo to enlarge). One cannot help but smile. Cheered. Grateful. Autumn.

Changing hues

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A return from Retreat is to encounter how both we and our environments have changed. Emails and phone calls have been shared about the efforts required to adjust to ‘normality’ after five days and nights on Iona with an inspirational group of writers and poets.

We’re changing all the time, of course, like the lakeland colours above Ullswater close to home this morning. But Retreat helps us to step back awhile, to stop and notice the view.

I enjoy my daily routines – journaling included. But just as I was about to fret a bit about having missed a few days I remembered what this most recent retreat, and every retreat reminds me of: that it’s important sometimes, often even, to simply be rather than just do!

Shades of Ullswater ii

Memories of chewing the cud

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Pipe in hand

There was once an old man lived on Martyrs
Bay who, pipe in hand, told of a foot tall
soul whose hair was green, and – many a long
year since – skittering about the Old Nunnery
garden, he had seen

quiet as a mouse and quite inoffensive, she
whispered in human ears: ‘I’m come from a
schlemaig just West of the highest mountain on
Mars by way of light years, aeons, suns and moons
and stars

and I whisper a missive from Mother
who sent me: though legend and myth
may sometimes purport otherwise, nothing
in the Universe is ever wholly ruined – for
every atom retains

potential, giftedness and grace, ever cheered
anew by Wisdom’s breeze across its face: so on this
rock though your roof be blown off and you’ve
neither window pane nor door, allow the little
one from a Martian schlemaig a paean to more –

for you came here to learn that not only is She
our family name, but Wisdom, dear taller siblings,
is eternally ours’

And I honour the old man on Martyrs Bay sand, who
content with tobacco and pipe in his hand, speaks
gently even now of a skittering he had seen, and of
whispers shared with a delightful pint-sized sprite
with hair of Iona green

Simon Marsh

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Figurehead

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September on Iona

There’s metaphor
somewhere in grey cloud
hung low over Mull on
the other side

not entirely
unattractive –
illuminated even but
nonetheless grey

whilst dappled sunlight
in and on the rippled Sound
issues invitation to a
pilgrim soul

to this side –
entirely beautiful from there
shades of green and Michaelmas
blue

yellow daisy at the door
bench I’ve dreamed upon before
I would stay awhile with you
here rather than there

Now

perhaps I’ll pen illuminated haiku

_______

yellow daisy. door
sunlit soul open to Sound
michaelmas blue

_______

dwellings host watchers
swell carries voyagers home
bring me too with you

Simon Marsh

The Red Boat

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In the late summer of that year we
lived in a house in a village that looked
across the river and the plain to the
mountains

Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms, 1929

Then when autumn mist is come I yearn
for a cottage set high on the hillside
framed by cerulean blue to the left of
a sculptured fountain

Simon Marsh

Aloft

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Stories

Sometimes the stories of
the garden of our lives
are written in ink or
by ribbon or toner and
machine, engineered
instrument or flight-capable
quill

Sometimes the stories of
our flowering and light
are written in soft breath
gossamer touch, sunlit
thread, the sudden
resurrections of graces
we’d thought might be quite
dead

Sometimes the stories of
images arise in our hearts
the aching loves and the
false starts and the hopes
and aspirations turned, as on
a wood-artist’s lathe: formed
resuscitations

And so day by day I return
to the garden to be still –
howsoever the stories are
inscribed, however revealed
my spirit knows that in this place
simple, silent and smiling –
they will

Simon Marsh

Who wants to leave?

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Origins

Origins in timelessness
primal turquoise and tender
held by the softening sigh of
The Sound

born hearing the mothering
sustaining, nourishing seascape
of Wisdom’s womb – our first
teacher suckles, sings, balances

makes connections, blankets
secure and hums lullabies
about our shared sky – teaching
the heart to seek answer to our

eternal why. Yes, I will forever
remain bound to this
mothering sustaining
in the soul of Iona

Depth and flow
and height and breadth
and symphony of
silent music

From her I am born
to move outward
to her – and to Wisdom
I will ever return

Simon Marsh