Philosophy, Real Toads, Spirituality

who looks?

Kerry is hosting at Toads. Greetings to all! Today is the day we put the “mini’ back into the Sunday Mini-Challenge, and return to the option of form poetry. The object of this challenge is to write a poem in no more than 10 lines (but you may write in fewer than 10 lines all the way down to a single American sentence). Choose your own form or write in free verse, if preferred.

This weekend, our frame of reference is “Uncomplicated Things” – from the second line of the poem, The Moon, by Leonard Cohen. I look forward to reading a number of short poems, from Saturday through to Monday. The link does not expire, so please feel free to write more than one poem, and a return to comment on poems linked later would be appreciated.

I am going with an American sentence this  morning. I didn’t know that until I finished writing. Funny huh? This may appear complicated. It is not.


from here i look outward

don’t see my face

but am aware that i look

Paul's Rhythm Journey, Poetry, Spirituality

find your way

Two nights ago I was fortunate to see Rising Appalachia live in Glasgow. I have followed their journey from afar for some years and have taught a version of a traditional West African song called Sunu in my drum classes, which they have recorded so beautifully….so this was a special night for me. They did not disappoint. So moved was I that I cancelled my plans and jumped on a train the next morning to Leeds to see their next gig and surprise Mrs Scribbles who could not make Glasgow and thought I could not make Leeds. Another treat was in store for me. Sadly all my plans cannot be cancelled and work/play at festivals beckon me so I will most likely (never say never!!!) not catch them again on this tour. Here is a poem i wrote inspired by the two gigs and my brief encounter with these lovely folk. Haste Ye Back.


life affirming

soul sound

aimed right

at your heart



at the

frequency of love



and determined


affect change


blessing us with

music rooted in

a deep-down and dirty

Southern Sista(hood)


and in the Earth

THIS our only Earth

and her people


those who have a seat at their table

for a stranger

a cup spare to fill up

a plate of food

a bed for the night

a lift along the road

the diggers

the dreamers





bardic vibrations


and ancestral


before us

as the songs rise up


some say spirit shines here

bright and alive

and they’d be right


but what

moves me the most



this deep






borne out of


a life loved

and lived














and out of a walk

of talk


of purpose


of power


this ain’t no show

this shit’s for real


harmonies of the whole lift

you and your

new found soul cradle

up to a place

on the bough of

the world tree

that you only thought

could be dreamed



to rock you



and so soulfully


smiles a mile wide

eyes deep and light

a flame burns there


and you catch the fire


hearts connected by blood

pumping Sista -love through the veins of it all


strings that collide

both thick and thin

in an ecstatic dance

woven into majestic


that wrap a melody

around us all


like a hug

from the inside out


and pull us into the heart of this


rhythm that is full

but spacious


funked up

and breathing


flowing from the


and finger tips of





this is not just music

nor art


but an echo of life’s very pulse

throbbing and vital




i am altered

by this


taken away

but simultaneously


right back


to here


to the



i bathe in this

drink it in

knowing it must pass


i swallow it whole

and hold it there


like that glorious dawn moon-rise

that lingers

in the photograph

i never took


and i walk on

with a song in my heart


reminding me


keep on








dVerse, Spirituality

a blessing

Tonight it is my turn to host Poetics over at dVerse and my prompt is to write a Blessing Poem. Here is my second.


May the wind at your back

carry with it the hopes and dreams

of all your tomorrows


May the rain that falls

wash the sorrows and pains

from all of your days


May the sun that shines

upon your countenance

bring with it lightness for your soul


and in all of this

May the beloved hold your heart

as you walk upon this earth and beyond

dVerse, Spirituality


Tonight it is my turn to host Poetics over at dVerse and my prompt is to write a Blessing Poem


There is a flow


a kind of unfolding

a wave like thing

that will


if you step aside from it

and from yourself


proceed outwardly

and inwardly

at once


it brings in its wake



and awe


and the knowledge that


it has precisely



to do with you


you may witness it

be touched by it

be held momentarily

in the beloved’s gaze

in this gift of grace




when this occurs

this rapturous blessing

that falls gently upon you

as light rain in a parched land


become as open to it


as that flower which waits in hope

as that embrace for an old friend

as a heart burst by a lovers touch

as a tear for a loss too deep for words


bring it fully to your being

and let it overcome you

so that you no longer are

without it


for all the senses of it

will expand your without-ness


so that when this grace has passed


a shadow borne of light

will linger


causing you to smile


and in remembrance


of that which binds us all

Poetry, Real Toads, Spirituality

anam cara

Marian hosts the Tuesday platform at Real Toads this morning offering a wonderfully inspiring read by Patti Smith.

Good Tuesday morning, poets and poetry lovers. This video gave me a serious case of the goosebumps. Click and be inspired!

Please link up and share a poem with us, and visit to read the writing of others. Have a great week, everyone. Hope you all have the chance to slow down and savor some poetry.


trees appear to



as i walk in

the deep silence


my reverence





or just the wind

which seems to answer

my breath




as it falls

from the sky


through cedar


swooping hawk

fluting nature’s



there is a sense here

of the other


of called in beauty


of Anam Cara


ancestral whisper


echoes of time


soul tides



and flow


moss hums me

green medicine

as i tip-toe

through this sacred landscape


heart open

and growing


heart bursting

in measured beats


a symphony of soul

my tears are joy filled


gratitude’s crucible

has me gripped

and bound






According to John O’Donahue, poet, philosopher and one time Catholic priest…” You are joined in an ancient and eternal union with humanity that cuts across all barriers of time, convention, philosophy and definition. When you are blessed with an anam cara, the Irish believe, you have arrived at that most sacred place: home”

If you have the time this interview with John is well worth a listen.


Elemental, Love, Paul's Rhythm Journey, Spirituality

Music Medicine



grieving for that which i had let go of

and never knew i had let go of


until now


grieving for time i cannot get back

as i never knew i had given it away


until now


grieving for a dream that somehow could

have been but was not


until now


wishing for a world that dances in beauty

and holds  it’s people

tenderly in love


but has not

does not

will not


until when


when will we hold ourselves dear


all my relations


when we will honour all of creation


all my relations


Father Sky

Mother Earth

and all who dwell between


all my relations


when will we learn

to sing our song

of silence


all my relations


to drum out the rhythm

of our


heart connection


all my relations


to come together with a




all my relations


to stand together in



all my relations


as if a great tree

moving in the moment


strong but flexible

present but fluid

rooted but free


all my relations


my heart bleeds

for the world i live in today


red tears stain this Earth


dropped tears


of beauty

of re~union

of re~membering

of re~minder


all my relations


today is that day


call in beauty

call in sacred community

call in love

call in the medicine of our souls

call in the music


all my relations



NaPoWriMo2017, Real Toads, Spirituality

Go n-éirí an bóthar libh


how to pen {ultimate} tales

or begin to measure that sweep and curve

which slows time to an almost




parable(ic) heights arc to

bend light homeward




we turn


bound to where back was forth


journeys end     it is their way

journey’s end       never is


so to the heart of it


our soft



onion heart


exposed layers

weep tear and tear strip

off colored skin


to paint

whirled and  wild

to bind word to soul

to bring blood

cursing to flesh


to body this ink

to call songs of tides

siren like to lure


then another

to the nib of it


to lay ourselves bare



brightened by it all



to laugh at the bard

in the mirror

while muse smirks

in the corner



threads can be


flayed ends borne on winds

to new ends

we cannot know


we never really do

not really


and here is the courage in it all


despite the gaping chasms

of nothingness

of not know-





we ride on


we do



journeys end     it is their way

journey’s end       never is



to paraphrase the Buddha


‘fuck the destination’



napowrimo 29/30


Go n-éirí an bóthar libh (addressed to two or more people)

Literally “May the road [i.e. the journey] be successful for you”. Popularly mistranslated as “May the road rise to meet you”.

Better to Travel Well

Photograph of Rhumm from Mull by me, words by the Budhha ( allegedly)

Today’s poem brought to you courtesy of this prompt from Brendan at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Here we are, almost within sight of the end of our month-long journey in verse. What a strange road it has been! Along the way we’ve seen boats, sprouts, physics, children, signs, sketches, Twitterings, villains, rain, passageways, paintings, crows, bogeymen, outsiders and shoes: If months could sing journeys, April in the Garden has been operatic.

Today we are presented with this penultimate daily challenge.

Myths tell us that the next-to-last station of a journey is often its richest, pregnant with meanings which often don’t reveal themselves until we have turned some corner—given up on a quest, let go a loved one, endured through, made it home.

The penultimate is as far as we can get to perfection on this earth. As Joseph Campbell writes in The Power of Myth, “It has been well said that mythology is the penultimate truth–penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond that bounding rim of the Buddhist Wheel of Becoming. Mythology pitches the mind beyond that rim, to what can be known but not told.”

In the 12th century Dutch version of the Voyage of Saint Brendan—the survival of a tale stretching back centuries to Ireland—St. Brendan burns a book of wonders of the world, saying such things could never be true. Immediately an angel appears and tells Brendan he must pay for his offence against God. For penance he is bid to set sail for seven years to see all the things he had denied, thus to prove the veracity of the ancient manuscript.

Brendan gathers his monks and sails off into the unknown, and his discoveries are legion. There is a heathen giant; a dragon; a fish the size of an island; a magnetic sea; a hermit who has lived in the middle of the sea for centuries; Hell; a siren; Judas; burning soul-birds; a magnificent citadel atop a high mountain; and strange creatures with the head of a pig, legs of a dog and neck like a crane, dressed in silk and who say they witnessed God in heaven before Lucifer’s fall. On each isle a wonder either heavenly or monstrous, hallowed or harrowing.

But Brendan doesn’t know that the point of the tale is that he must return home and write it down—in essence, fill once again the book of wonders he had burned as untrue. In the penultimate chapter of the tale, Brendan encounters a tiny man sailing by on a leaf whose errand it is to measure the sea with a drop-sized spoon. He’s been at it for a long, long time, and Brendan wonders if his errand, too, might be endless.

The saint’s ship is then becalmed in a vast misty sea, the boat’s anchor gripped by invisible people singing below. As no Christians can find Paradise on this earth, so too this is as close as mortals get to finding the Otherworld. The penultimate reveals the foolhardiness of the quest, and yet by doing so magnifies the endeavor. It whispers in one ear, you’re done now, while at the same time exclaiming in the other: But what a journey it was …

Brendan has seen enough; it’s time to write that book. He is boat is set free and sails back to Ireland, setting up shop at a copyist’s desk. When the book is finished Brendan dies, finding passage at last to Paradise.

If our month of poetry has been a journey, what do we find in this penultimate challenge? What is it that allows us to turn our boats finally toward home?

Write a poem that describes the penultimate in some fashion. Describe the door (or island) which opened to (or shored) a final realization. Stay with the turning of things before your vision cleared, the dream before you woke. Do you remember the next to the last kiss? What was in the foreground of that climatic event or turning point which shaped the way you see things now? And looking back, has that moment grown more fraught with meaning somehow? (OK, of course it has, you’re writing a poem.)

With home barely out of sight on the horizon ahead, help us discover what journeys as this are really all about.