How to Look at Bluebells

Today I am pleased to host this lovely poem from fellow Holme Valley Poet Vic Slade.


You need a slope not
Too pronounced, then
A levelling off.
Trees help, as useful
Frames, or as woodland
Flavour. Old beeches
With their sandy, mottled boles
Breathe antique distinction, 

Their leaves managing
The sun, to dapple
The light and dissolve
The dark. Now bend a knee
Not too reverentially,
Raise the eyes and
Like a flat shore-pebble
Skimmed across a sea
Enter, slower and slower,
Into its embrace:
An Aegean Sea of
Empyrean blue
And emerald green.
A gentle breeze, if
You can conjure one,
Will send the surface
Sighing like breath.
No quinqueremes of Nineveh
But cargoes of delight.
Beauty is Truth as
The poet said, and, in truth
It may overwhelm us.
Luckily, wrecked on this sea
We, survivors, will make it home
Like Odysseus to his Penelope.

Vic was born in Plympton Saint Mary, near Plymouth, more or less a year before WW2 was declared. Having survived the Blitz, he was one of the first beneficiaries of the 1944 Education Act, becoming a ‘scholarship boy’. He went on to study at the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham, and Leeds, and became a lifelong student, reader, and teacher of literature, language and theatre. He has written the libretti for two operas for schools, both of which have been performed. It is only recently that he has started to write poetry.

pic: Bluebells in Pryor’s Wood, Stevenage by Colin – licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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