SallyJ on Found – for dVerse shanyns on Found – for dVerse SallyJ on Found – for dVerse billgncs on Found – for dVerse SallyJ on Found – for dVerse
Share on Twitter
Where blizzard swept in ceaseless spindthrift
A suffocating tourbillion
Now shards of shale form harsher drift,
Fathomless, frozen shroud quite gone.
In prostrate pose of dedication
Mallory worships at his altar,
Arms outstretched in supplication,
Cast into perpetual prayer,
By avalanche and cold ice shriven,
Surrendering to their cruel caress,
Success or failure still unproven,
Atman at one with Everest.
I wrote this is 1999 when an avalanche exposed Mallory’s body on the slopes of Everest. It is I think , one of the sparest poems I have written ….although I have included qualifiers.
I have resurrected it for the dVerse challenge at http://dversepoets.com/2014/01/16/banish-boredom-rx-verbs/.
This year, in company with many other people, I sent Christmas cards that I had made myself and far fewer than ever before. I also cut back drastically on the number and size of the presents I gave.
As a compromise I gave what I think of as my ‘When a card is not enough…’ gifts to those people to whom I wanted to give more than a card, but for whom I could not afford a gift.
I took two of my favourite poems, In a Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti and When the North Wind Doth Blow, traditional rhyme I remember from my own childhood and which I taught to my children many years ago. I painted robin pictures to illustrate the nursery rhyme (and these also became my Christmas card designs) and searched out chilly pictures from last years’ snowy time to illustrate a modified version of the Rossetti poem.
With some fiddling on the computer I fashioned small A6 books, printed them and sent these as a card and gift combined. And so, for the price of a second class stamp and a little printer ink, I had sent gift and card combined.
Imagine my delight when I received a phone call this morning from an ecstatic friend who had received one of these ‘more than cards’. In the post I also received a thank you note from a recipient of the midwinter book. What a surprise!
The compliments paid made me blush and do not need to be repeated, but suffice it to say that a little thought …not to mention the happy time spent painting the cheeky robins and searching out just the right image to suit Rossetti’s words…had produced a more dramatic result from my friends than any present I have ever bought and given before.
The moral of this little tale is twofold I think. Firstly home-made gifts become treasures and secondly a small thank you goes a very, very long way.
What a great way to end 2013…Happy New year to anyone reading this.
We are excited to announce that the reading event you have been waiting for – the chance to read your winning poems to the world will be held on Valentine’s Night at the Poetry Place in Betterton Street, Covent Garden.
Once again we have been privileged and lucky enough to book the venue that fronts the Poetry Society in central London. This means that, with the easy transport routes into the city and to Covent Garden from the mainline termini, we should have an amazing line-up of prize winning poems to be heard, read by the poets themselves.
This event will be free to attend and doors will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start…though the Poetry Cafe itself is open all day and serves great snacks and drinks for those who arrive early.
Invitations will be sent to all poets in the anthology ‘Slants of Light’ giving further details for the performers…this is a heads up to keep the date free.
If you do not have your copy of the Slants of Light anthology yet a very few copies are still available from behindthehighstreet.co.uk/product/slants-light/.
Watch the Paragram website for more information about the Slants of Light event…we will update you as fast as we can.