For Ted Hughes
How they hounded him
in his obdurate silence
on the subject of Sylvia’s suicide
When fame struck hard
with massive disregard
for his-her female craft
he swamped her as he loved her
a very crushing boatman
waited on domestically
by her out-dated sanity
He slept around
in down-trodden Primrose Hill, late fifties,
plentiful with sparrows’ eyes
that bed-sitting existence with mouths to feed
Where have all the sparrows gone?
No wonder then the pre-poetic raw dawn happened
Camside, old English crooked river,
by Cam when two were one together, however briefly
that kind of love is transatlantic
And, then, years later
these astonishing stanzas emphasising barely bearable grief
beneath the slated silence
Who knew such forces were at warring play in the after-life?
quivering with numbed shafts of pure meaning
etched in a grief-stone, the heart,
with a poet’s mind harder yet
than the granite-weighted memory of Zoo wolves howling
at poor Ted’s, primitive, hidden, remorse.
7th December – in response to the laying of the Ted Hughes memorial stone, Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey.
could change the axis of our love
the well-spring of desire, however,
is a constant thing of passing
6th December 2011, Cambridge
I liked Seamus Heaney’s observation on Radio Four when he remembered that spending time with Ted Hughes made him feel like himself – and after seeing Hughes he felt ‘even more himself’ than he did when he was spending time with him.
Lovely way of putting it.
(Seamus Heaney paragraph ammended 8/12/2011 – humanism, my creed, if I have one.)
The other item I particularly enjoyed on yesterday’s Radio Four Today Programme was the invitation for listeners to submit a question for Stephen Hawking to celebrate his 70th birthday in January.
As long-term Nick Ward Scenarios fans might have guessed, my question for Professor Hawking is: What was philosophy before it died?
‘theatre man’ photo by Sylvie : The Corpus Clock, Cambridge – and reflected in the glass the spires of King’s College Chapel which D.H.Lawrence memorably described as resembling ‘an upturned sow’.
Stephen ‘anti-gravity’ Hawking
I am seeking unambiguous retraction on behalf of furtherance of the Univesity-level study of Philosophy and the humanities ref. ‘Philosophy is dead’.
‘transformational kisser 2010′ painting by Nick Ward
August 4th 2010:
‘Chomsky’s Grief’, painting by Nick Ward (2010)
2 more questions for Professor Hawking.
Do thoughts move faster than the speed of light (telepathically)? (ie as instantaneously as gravitational force – ie magnetically(?))
Do the great cosmolgists visualize in colour?
How does this look? ‘.’ = . ref ‘The God Particle’, Professor Hawking? simulaneity (:=~) Post Einstein (October 1-3)(added here 14-15th December)
Note to ‘Where have all the sparrows gone?’
The evening before the early-morning writing of ‘Where have all the sparrows gone?’ I was speed-reading Simeon Potter’s Our Language (1950, Penguin Books) in which he writes on pages 18 and 19: ‘Latin did not displace Celtic in Britain as it had displaced Celtic across the sea in Gaul. To the English intruders the Celts offered neither friendship nor culture, and little by little the latter were driven westward. The English victory at Deorham (577) separated Wales from Cornwall and that at Chester (613) separated Wales from Cumbria or Cumberland. Many of the Cornish Celts found new homes in Britanny, where Breton or Armorican is still a living language, whereas Cornish died out in the eighteenth century. Welsh, Manx, Erse, and Gaelic are living tongues, though most Welshmen are all Celtic-speaking, Manxmen are bilingual. Many English river-names are Celtic: Aire, Avon, Dee, Derwent (Darent, Dart), Don, Esk (Axe, Exe), Ouse, Severn, Stour, Tees, Thames, Trent, and Wye. Several of these, like Avon, Esk, and Stour, mean just ‘water’, but some, like Cald(er) ‘violent’, Cam ‘crooked’, Dee ‘holy’, and Dove ‘black’, are descriptive. Some names of cities and towns are Celtic: London, Dover, Crewe, York, Leeds, Catterick, Penrith, and Carlisle. To a Celtic name Latin-derived -chester or -cester may have been added: Dorchester, Gloucester, Leicester, Manchester, Rochester, and Winchester. Upon the Old English spoken language, however, Celtic left few marks.’
Prefatory quote to this much-visited ‘future blog 2009’ from Peter Ackroyd’s, highly recommended, Thames Sacred River (Chatto & Windus, 2007), Chapter 4, p 23), added here 14 Decemeber 2011:
‘Thames is an old name. With the exception of Kent it is perhaps the most ancient name recorded in England. It is assumed to be of the same origin as that of the rivers Tamar, Teme and Taff; they may all be derived from Celtic ‘tam’, meaning smooth or wide-spreading. ‘Isa’ or ‘esa’ are both versions of a Celtic root word meaning running water, as in the present Ouse and Exe (Oxford is a corruption of Ousenford or Osenford). So we may construct a provisional translation for the Thames as running ooze. But this is merely informed supposition. The word may have another origin altogether. There is a river Tamese in Italy, and the principal town of the Brutii in southern Italy was called Temesa.
There is also a tributary of the Ganges, known in Sanskrt as Tamasa. It derives from Sanskrit ‘tamasa’, or ‘dark’. In the second book of the Hindu text, ‘Ramayana’, there is a chapter on The Tamasa. So the name could be pre-Celtic. It may spring from the primordial tribes of the mesolithic or neolithic periods, who during their wanderings over the earth, shared a common language. The syllable ‘teme’ may indeed indicate darkness, in the sense of holy or sacred fearfulness. It may be very ancient indeed, going back to the first naming of the world. It is a matter of interest, then, that in the nineteenth centuries the Thames was often described as the ‘dark river’ in unwitting echo of its first description.’
Ours is an oral tradition – hence, ‘Where have all the sparrows gone?’ is a poem designed to be read aloud (as I will be performing it this evening 11/12/2011 at the Portland Folk Club, Portland Arms, Cambridge). What I do admire about Potter’s Our English is the way it shows that the Romans cleared the way for Christianity. If you’re looking for ley-line confluence, look first beneath the churches.
a very big issue for me to publish these indistinct rephotos of my only photo of a wonderful aborginal artist and lawman
…Janangoo Butcher Cherel
Drom Tonpa: Do those who have realised the truth become Buddhas simply by meditating on the view of emptiness?
Jowo Atisha: Of all that we perceive as forms and sounds there is nothing that does not arise in the mind. To realise that the mind is awareness indivisible from emptiness is the view. Keeping this realisation in mind at all times, and never being distracted from it, is meditation. To practice the two accumulations (mind-emptiness) as a magical illusion (from within that state is action). If you make a living experience of this practice, it will continue in your dreams. If it comes in the dream state, it will come at the moment of death. And if it comes at the moment of death it will come in the intermediate state. If it comes in the intermediate state you may be certain of attaining the supreme accomplishment.
The great Dzogchen adept, the Hidden Yogi Dingri Khenchen. Rinpoche’s main Dzogchen guru. He died in 2006 at the age of nearly 100 years. He was a student of Khenpo Kunpal of Dzogchen Monastery (who was himself a student of Patrul Rinpoche) and of Bodtul Rinpoche. Many signs occured at the time of his death, including ringsel and script on the skull.
Roughly 500 years before Hamlet raised very similar questions within the crucifying restrictions of the already shrivelling distortions of the Christian view. The Christian view stripped of theories of re-birth which provide the only credible (logical) exchange between Old and New Testiments, ie Elias-Elija become Jesus-John. Heresy? Roughly 900 years before Nietzsche’s Zarathustra’s outcry: ‘God is dead’. Nietzsche reckoned Buddhism to be a thousand times more complex (interesting) than the Judeo-Christian frameworks of his day in his book The Anti-Christ – beyond good and evil? Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900). I’ll come back to the tantric usefullness of Christianity in the particle-wave time domain.
‘I know what you want’ 2011 (detail 2) painting by Nick Ward – 2xA4 card – watercolour, acrylic, printing ink, pastel, glitter.