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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

larchA5

Larch Breath

Breathe in: through both soles of the feet, up the body to the very centre of the head.

Breathe out: down the outside of the head, along the outside edge of the arms, to the fingers.

“ Delicate touch
senses opening
warp and weft”

Few trees show such a surprising range of aspects as the larch. One of the primary mountain-side trees of Europe, it has become a common forestry tree as well. In winter few other trees look as scraggy, as unkempt as the larch does. It is a deciduous conifer and so loses its needle-like leaves so that rough bare branches thick with small cones disguise the often, graceful lines of the downswept boughs. In early spring, however, new tufts of bright green needles revitalise its appearance, and if one looks carefully, amazingly sculptural little flowers can be seen just as the green appears. Male flowers are domes of bright yellow-orange, female flowers to become the cones, are deep crimson crowns spaced along each branch. In autumn, the whole tree turns copper-orange and in the late autumnal sunlight, a burnished brass. Scruffy, bohemian, surprising to see, but perfectly adapted to shed winter snows. The energy of larch is the expression of creativity, the richness of experience, the enjoyment of contrast, a contrast of the practical and the rarified. Exploration of experiences, enjoyment of contrast, flexibility to get the best from the surroundings, relaxing into places and events. Sturdy but delicately sensitive. The wood is light, fibrous and heavily impregnated with aromatic resins that make it ideal for long-lasting telegraph poles. In the same way as those poles support and enable humans to communicate with each other, larch itself opens our consciousness to the possibilities of exploration, play and creativity. The understanding of existence is the experience of the warp and weft, the interweaving of communication and understanding/empathy, shared senses between beings. When things seem untidy, dull, lack-lustre, the spirit of larch will re-infuse experience with enlivened senses, optimism and a brightened mind bringing fresh vision.

The taste of time
Weaving through cellular senses.
Opening out, uncurling,
Delicately sensing,
Deeply feeling,
Letting go and dancing
Dancing for joy of movement,
Joy of stillness.
Mountain air
Serious and sharp
Aromatic elegance
Mind weaver;
Will spinner;
Cat’s cradle;
Ingenious genius;
Careless creator;
Weaving sensation –
Golden dancer.

*****
larch alps1

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hawthorn kenn churchyard1

HAWTHORN

“warm breath
dark cave
summer stars.”

No smell so captures the atmosphere of early summer in Britain than the hawthorn blossom. It has a heavy, sweet, erotic earthiness that seems ideal for the burgeoning of life around the beginning of May when the branch-tops become laden with a layer of white, cream or pink flowers. Hawthorn is a tree long associated with earth spirits – the fairies in particular – and with the Earth Goddess. It is a small tree that never attains a great girth or height, though it suits its habitat of open scrubland, woodland margins and open moorland. It is one of the main hedging plants as it can survive heavy pruning and forms dense thorny barriers of angular branches. The wood is heavy and fine-grained, though not as hard as blackthorn or other fruit woods. It’s often contorted and expressively gnarled form gives each tree a personality and presence less easy to find in other species. Despite its rugged and wild appearance during the winter months, it has an aura of benevolence throughout springtime, summer and autumn when the branches are laden with small, dark red berries. Hawthorn somehow manages to express the epitome of the Threefold Goddess and the sequence of time marked by seasonal change. Herbally and energetically hawthorn benefits the heart by regulating any abnormal activity. Its generosity of expression in flowers and fruit and the guarded protection of its compact form and fierce thorns perfectly characterises the needs of the heart in opening to relationships with love whilst maintaining appropriate boundaries between the self and others. There are many sub-species and types of hawthorn, all of which work alongside the qualities of the heart, love, expression of emotion, personal path, universal consciousness, intimacy, relaxation, expansion, richness of the senses, relaxing into the experience of living.

*****

hawthorn blossom1

HAWTHORN BREATH
Breathing in: upon a constant stream of moving breeze from the distance in a straight line into the centre of the back (at heart level).

Breathing out: upon the stream as it emerges out of the front of the centre of the chest.

TREE TEA
Hawthorn flowers soothe sore throats. The bark is a mild tranquilliser that can help with fevers and malaria. Flowers, leaves and bark all regulate heart function bringing elasticity to blood vessels, reducing palpitations and giddiness.

******

HAWTHORN GODDESS

Attraction of atoms,
Mesmeric swing of electrons,
Neutron heart –
The yearning of gravity.

The constant dance of suns and planets,
The magnetic tide of the years,
Pulling green fire
Furled from rock-bleak branch.

Lying warm in lust nest
Dreaming of you,
Shining one.

Nesting in warm lust,
Weaving dream,
Shining one.

Clasped together
Magnetic dance,
Heart sharp drop.

Star for stone
Blood for thorn
Bud for spring
Attraction, fascination.

Root to soil
Iron to Pole Star
Spiralling inwards
Spiralling outwards.

Dancing hearts
Bud to heaven.


****

A5hawthorn

MIDLAND HAWTHORN

Expansion into heart, growth, direction, awareness, enthusiasm, fractal patterns, inward expansion, thousand-petalled

Inward expansion
Heart mother
Thousand petals.

Expansion inwards
Open fractals
Thousand petals.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal patterns.

Inner expanse
Heart mother
Fractal petals.


****
Midland Hawthorn Breath:

Breathing in: bring the breath in to the heart.
Breathing out: see the breath expanding out from the heart as a growing sphere. At its furthest, outermost edge, there is a sense of stars.

****
The Hawthorns all work with the energy of the heart. The heart is the centre, the core, of a thing, the place from which everything expands and originates. The first often gets swamped by the second, the third, the succeeding experiences that explore and elaborate in greater and greater complexity and originality. It is easy to get swept along with the new until there is so much to experience simultaneously that we grow tired of having to make choices, decisions, changes. We lose sense of control, sense of perspective and are overwhelmed by possibilities. Yet we have travelled so far away from where we started that it seems impossible to find a way back to a simple, honest, central point. Midland hawthorn helps us to experience a return to the centre, focusing energy and awareness in one place so that we can see the chaotic whole for what it is. Chaos and lack of order is simply looking at things from an inappropriate distance. Getting closer or going further away patterns will begin to emerge that we can recognise and follow.
Within infinity every possible point is the central point, and within that central point everything else is enclosed: expanding inwards, remaining in the centre, patterns unfolding endlessly. A small tree that becomes the universe. A wavy-edged leaf becomes a map directly to one’s goal. The music of the heart beating.

****

midland hawthornA5

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silver birch2a copy

Birch Breath

“Bone white
birth reveals
all in beauty.”

The birch is amongst the most graceful of trees. Its white bark and long elegant boughs, often with down-swept branches, make it easy to see from a distance wherever it might be growing. Birch is a pioneer tree inhabiting the poor, rocky soils of heath land and lower mountainside. Living on the edges of the inhabited world of man it is easy to associate the tree with the spirits of the wild, particularly female lunar and fertility deities. In keeping with its character as a liminal dweller on thresholds the birch carries associations that appear contradictory but elucidate its significant role and symbolism.

The ghostly white bark represents both light and life- the power of life to conquer and regenerate, to give birth and flourish – and also of the cold, lifeless bones of the dead, the dwellers of the Otherworld and the ancestors. In the Scottish Highlands the birch is sometimes seen as a benevolent female spirit, a dangerous, devouring witch or a home for the spirits of dead girls. This symbolism may well reflect an ancient association with the Great Goddess, whose aspects included the nurturing fertile Mother at the same time as the ravening destructive force of War and Destruction. She is the Mother who goes to all lengths to protect her offspring from harm.

The name ‘birch’ derives from the same Indo-European root words as ‘light’, ‘shining’, ‘bright’. But birch also shows that all beauty is balance, for the white purity of the bark splits to reveal black underneath. There is no birth without death, no light without darkness, no beginning that is not also an ending. We cannot rest our eyes on true beauty until we accept the whole interaction of life with death, until we stop favouring, stop judging, stop comparing. The oldest traditions of the Great Mother are uncompromising in their clarity. All aspects of human experience, good and bad, are manifest in Her forms and faces. There is no possibility of compromise with human frailties or wishful thinking if we want to attain a true state of clear, birch-like awareness.

Breath:
Breathing in through the solar plexus.
Breathing out, imagining the breath swirling around the inner walls of the body(as liquid swirls around a vessel).

Tea: All parts are useful, including the rising sap in early spring which can be tapped to make an excellent wine. The bark is diuretic and laxative. The leaves are high in potassium so taken together with the bark can prevent the sodium-potassium imbalance that can occur when taking other diuretics. Both the leaves and the sap are anti-inflammatory and are useful for arthritic conditions and skin irritations like psoriasis. The buds can be used in cases of cystitis (the alkalising effects of potassium helpful here as well).

birch boughs

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copper beechA4

COPPER BEECH CHARM

In the darkness

glimmer rainbows

In the emptiness

and hollowness,

comfort.

In the Earth,

a blessing for everything

In the light,

a balm, a cradle.

In the shadow,

a rest, a murmur.

In my shade an answer,

a seed.

copper beech closeup

A6copper beech

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Ivy clad

And if I am a worm, I am the worm of the world
Enwrapping the roots, gnawing my fill.
So tell me then: which came first, life or death?

Well, (you might say) , first came life
For how could an end come before a beginning?
But I say:
Call death by a better name,
Call death “change of state”, in a more proper understanding,
And see then death arising first,
For how could life arise
Without a change from nothing to something?

But again, this is only one eye’s view:
Light without dark, sun without shade
So cannot be.
Life is change and dies remaining still,
Death is at the heart of life
As life is nothing without death.

So let me be the parasitic worm, the cloth of graves,
The burden of the ancient.
I walk in light and shade, deal death to live,
Bring change to remain.
I am the worm that weaves the world,
A stitch in time, a fearless heart
That will not needlessly divide.
Clasping the axis, seeing the round view.

A heart in light
A star in darkness
A rope to reach
A road to follow.

Ivy clad:
The world wreathed in glory.

20130303-203911.jpg

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20130303-200230.jpg

IVY. ( eye vee why)

I
No mistaking that first eye, seeing straight.
An arrow dividing light from dark,
Both equal offspring of the sun.

V
Opening iris: understanding mind.
A mouth to engulf, to hold firm
Sharp advice.

Y
Tongue tasting life,
A right rod to divine, chooser of paths,
Division sign
Conciliator, binder.

Slow spinning searcher.

Heart and stars of winter’s world tree.

20130303-201156.jpg

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Mimosa (Silver Wattle)

mimosa2A5

“ Synaptic elegance

radiant suns

interstices of light.”

interstices of light

light arcing

synaptic elegance

synaptic elegance

million suns

interstices of light

eloquence

radiance

radiant suns

arcs of light

million stars

limitless flow.

In the cold winter days of the Northern hemisphere nothing is so delightfully surprising as the fragrant clouds of yellow spheres that burst out from the delicate foliage of the mimosa. Originally from the temperate zones of Tasmania and Southern Australia, the wattles, or mimosas, have been planted wherever they can escape the harshest of winter winds and frosts. They are a common street tree in the Mediterranean area and they flourish in sheltered areas of southern Britain. They have a light wood and very rapid growth.

Breath.

Breathe in : through the fingertips and the insides of the thighs to the spinal column.

Breathe out:  up the spinal coumn and into all the sinuses, chambers and cavities of the head.

mimosa sky

Mimosa (Silver Wattle) : sensuality, internal awareness, intuition, expression, peace.

mimosa clear

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