IF I COULD DO IT ALL AGAIN by Barrie Purnell

Barrie’s response to the trigger ‘fall’:

IF I COULD DO IT ALL AGAIN by Barrie Purnell

When each year seemed forever
And I was young, as I recall
Nothing was beyond my reach,
I thought I had it all.

All my silver and all my gold,
That emerald egg by Faberge,
If I could do it all again
For her I’d give it all away.

Just one of Casanova’s congregation,
Scavenging for love they may let fall,
Pretending I’m still in the game
But knowing I’ve lost it all.

Alone I lie here waiting
For the darkness that will fall,
If I could love her just one more time
She could have it all.

If I could do it all again
There would be no more lies,
No more insincere goodbyes.
I would kiss her lips more sweetly,
Love her more completely.

It was she who had the need
I could not see beyond my greed.
With so many lovers still to find
The register remained unsigned.

Back then our love was newly born,
Now the wedding dress is torn.
I had my chance, I chose to hide.
Now it’s too late to turn the tide.

I squandered far too many years,
I was the cause of far too many tears.
The sad rain falls, night winds wail,
I see her face through a funeral veil.

I am where death will come to die,
Where each tormented breath’s a sigh,
I fear my prayers will be in vain
For time to do it all again.

When she came to me in sorrow
I offered her everything that’s mine
She said she never coveted my riches
All she had wanted was my time

Now I’m getting near the end,
Close enough to hear him call,
Look at the beggar I’ve become
When I could have had it all.

Inside my world of pain
Her love is all I know,
If I could do it all again
I would have never let her go.

Fallen by Angela O’Connor

Angela’s response to trigger ‘fall’:

Fallen by Angela O’Connor

Nothing ever lasts forever, truly lasts.
Like that night we walked together.
By the twinkling beck I fell into your arms,
aching for your lips. Against the skeletal Sycamore
your very being wanted much more.
But I was only fifteen.
That protective coat you had once offered
was gone. Pulled from my body like a hulled
Rapeseed husk. Now discoloured shapes
lie in my muddied heart like leaves.
In the deep brown crevices of a tilled land.
Nothing ever lasts forever.

WILD WORDS by Margaret Moreton.

WILD WORDS by Margaret Moreton.

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Words are not always spoken – they are there to formulate our thoughts and afford them expression. To me, many of the most expressive come from the wild; from the natural; from the unfettered and the uncultivated. They are there, expressing beauty, docility, strength, continuity, freedom and much more.

I look in my little garden patch and see the yellowing leaves of my plum tree. They say to me “We have fulfilled our purpose – we have collected water; we have sheltered fruits from wind; we have added grace to your tree and now our work is nearly done – except that we will fall to earth, decay and feed your tree for next year.” Continuity is assured. And then, I look over the wall to a holly tree, growing wild, where nature planted it and is giving so much. He has a message to my young plum tree. “You take a rest now – me? I have my busiest time of year ahead -1 nurture my fruits now and they, in turn, nurture so many bird friends. More, I give a haven to those friends on cold, icy, wind-swept days as they hunch among my closely-packed branches and shelter until better times.” The holly can be decorative too and in much demand at Christmas-tide to decorate our homes and churches. In the latter, it surely represents immortality and its evergreen quality makes it invulnerable to the passage of time.

‘Anchorage’ ‘support’ ‘quiet advancement’ are all words which come to me – from the wild – when I think seriously of the ivy and how it symbolises those words. And then I think of the carol of the holly and the ivy, and marvel at how the Christian faith has dwelt upon and used this combination from Pagan times, where the holly and the ivy represented the male and female elements of life. It underlines how intrinsic is nature to our beliefs and customs, and indeed our very needs.

The natural world – the wild – comes up with the sense of freedom and the image of beauty in strength. Again, I look to the trees and think of the oak or the yew. The word ‘oak’ is synonymous with strength and indestructibility. Reflect upon its uses in today’s world as divorced as breakwaters on our beaches and as casks maturing our wines. All this with rich, under-stated beauty in its grain. Nature, in her wildness, has given us much.

In my life I need beauty; beauty of form; beauty of nature and indeed, beauty of expression. I can find these facets in so much of the wild and natural. And I look so often to the plethora of trees to afford me the fulfilment of these needs. The sight of silver birch foliage, caught in the wind is very special – it tells me that nature unfolds beauty in the humblest of habitats and the most normal of circumstances – and my heart gives thanks. Look to the weeping willow for sheer grace and beauty of conformation, with the elegant sweep of its long, flowing branches in a gentle breeze. I see beauty in nature given to us, uncultivated as it is, in the glorious mahogany of the copper beech tree. There is real majesty in its vibrant, arrestingly rich colour. And then, the modest familiar apple tree expresses much; there is promise in the oh-so-delicate, yet strong, blossom. The fulfilment comes, expressed in the rounded bloom of the ripe fruit. In the gift of such a universally popular blossom and fruit, there is care expressed; there is practicality expressed and there is popularity expressed.

We are but one species of God’s world – given to learn and be learnt from. If we respect the wild and accord it its place, then we may enjoy it and be helped and favoured by its presence.

Photo – King’s Park, Retford, by K P Murphy