Monthly Archives: October 2015

“Sonic Raindrops.”

Like staccato semi quavers outside my window that’s the sonic raindrops that I hear,

Competing with the wind as it howls a choral refrain.

These raindrops on the concrete,like a massive a Timpani drum,

I wonder when the symbol drop will make a strum.

Will the wind and the rain perform for me a percussive symphony?

If I really listen,really listen,really listen!

Can it trust me not to mock its metaphysical elements,

My ears and Brain want to live in these elements just for now,just for now.

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That Look!

He looks at me,

    He looks at his bowl,

          He doesn’t do clocks going back,

                  In his mind,it’s teatime.

                        It’s the only thing on his mind,

                               Of excuses try as I might I cannot find.

                                      I’m off to find food to reacquaint it with the Dogs bowl.

A Memory.

As we say “goodbye” to October 2015,this day in my neck of the woods is,as they say “one for the Ducks.”

It seems set in for the day.When it rains like this,my dogs have to be dragged outside,such is their aversion to it.

Personally,I don’t mind the rain,as it always reminds me of where I was brought up.Like many isolated places on the coast in this country,you get used to it.In fact,when I was a child,you remembered the days fro Autumn through the Winter that didn’t rain,such was the prevalence of downpours then.

Maybe,back then,you knew you had to get on with your life,so you invested in fully waterproof garments that helped you cope with theses adverse elements.As a teenager,I would walk along the beach at “Fistral”,in Newquay in driving rain ,but loving every minute of it.Those were the days in the late 1960s when the beach wasn’t the magnet for surfers good and  bad that it is now.Why yes,it was,as they say,rustic at Fistral,but you could hear the Atlantic roaring,and it energised me somehow.It enabled me to get on with life,my life,as it were.

Bad Weather and Cornwall in the winter tend to go together like “fish n chips”,so you found a way of negotiating with the elements.Many a time if I caught the tides I could walk over to Crantock from Pentire-now there is a small ferry that transports over over the estuary.

Tides have a habit of playing tricks on you if your not used to them.Many times I have seen folk taken out of the beach because of rip-tides,as they can pull you underneath the water and render you completely unable to swim.Its that sort of thing that makes you cautious of the cruel sea.Those references to the sea by Iris Murdoch were never lost by me,and also from “the Tempest” too.

Sometimes the unpredictable nature of the affects of the sea have helped me through life to try to accept what this throws at you.I know that stuff happens,and sometimes very quickly,but you have to somehow accept it.When you have spent hundreds of hours watching waves you are aware of the concept of the freak wave because you have seen them,and witnessed their affect.To say that this has made me risk averse would not be true,but it has levelled me,and taught me not to take anything for granted.We don’t know as much as we would like to think.Yes,sometimes,we might exude confidence but that doesn’t completely hide our inability to really get everything right.At my age,I’m happy with that.

So now,I’m writing this at my home in Dorset and it’s still pouring with rain.Yes,folk are right,it’s in for the day.However,as I write this,I am aware of the countless people who are out in the rain because they have to earn a living in it.My relatives in Cornwall who live by the Sea and earn their living through it will be out if it isn’t too rough.Its an age old thing.Its not that they are crazy,it’s just that this is their life.

As someone who grew up in a community that had very few choices,I am very fortunate to have had some talent in music,and have had the nurturing in it to make my living through it.That isn’t the lot of my relatives down in Cornwall.

So,from thinking about the rain in Dorset,I have drifted back to a good childhood memory,and it’s a golden sands one.

“There’s music in the air.”

Sounds surround my waiting muse,as phrases penetrate my mind,

Polyphonic counterpoint weaves it’s magical spell,oh what joys to find.

From Palestrina to Montiverdi I have devoured their textures,

Rifling through their stories from long ago,from forgotten musicians.

Now,with the onset of application,we forget about the natural acoustics of buildings,

We arrive at the here and now as if we are the superior music makers.

Maybe arrogance and conceit stops us in our tracks,and we don’t know that we’re Pseudo,

Those masters of Plainsong chant teach us much,their spiritual dimension and integrity,

Now we gore around fr new music,new,new,new,new.

In our mad pursuit of the different,we neglect the corpus that is our choral heritage,

But these selfless musicians and composers have a habit of appearing in our consciousness.

Through sheer gravitas,genius,survival,they encourage all to revisit ther cloisters,their nave that leads to the bright light of sonic splendour.

This golden time of music down to Bach,the pride of Eisenach,will make sure that the heritage is never forgotten.

“Colours of Autumn.”

Driving to a local hospital this morning,I was totally struck by the wonderful Autumn colours that escorted me on my journey there.Sometimes,I have to pinch myself to realise that I am not living in New England,but Dorset,in the UK.

Some of these colours if worn on a garment would,to me,look very garish,but nature manages to transfix us with these pastoral scenes that we forget for a while all the tough stuff that we have to deal with.This is how I felt when I arrived at the hospital.Normally,I tend to get taken up by the sound world,but this scene was magnetic,it really was.Now,as I sit here writing this,I just wonder if I can use that awe inspiring thing to bolster me up when life isn’t too good.It just seems too good just to forget,and  to consign the experience in some waste paper bin of memories.

Sometimes,I feel very fortunate to have all my senses and all my faculties.Yes,there are times when I take them for granted,but in the round I know just how lucky I have been in life.Hospitals have a habit of levelling us that statement “There’s always someone worse off than you “is oh so true.

It’s not a pearl of wisdom that I write,but a salient point nonetheless.

     

“The Piano bites back,owner beware.”

Yesterday,I moved my piano without its permission,

It didn’t like it and refused to move.

As it weights a ton,and no amount of cojoling would get it t co-operate,I forced the issue,

Lifting one end,and dragging,the beast wasn’t taking it lying down.

So now,I’m thinking that the beast bite hard and tough,

Decorating sucks when you have a Piano.

Well it’s tough without one,but you rob ably get my drift.

That is all.

“Today,I moved my Piano.”

I call it,the beast,

It’s bigger than me,and it can bite.

Capable of absolute harmonic wonders,

Dancing it’s capers that are like thunder.

It’s 7 and a half octaves,high octane,sonic Propane,

Weaving it’s ways into my soul,making gains.

Yes,I moved this living,breathing,mutating  beast today,

It’s solid iron frame,it’s over a thousand pieces making my body pulsate.

Hell,this beast is heavy,wth it’s iron frame,it’s overstrung sound board,

My tastes,in beasts maybe not to everyone’s liking,I’m never bored.
The beast is now housed exactly 2 metres from its previously location,

It’s put up a hell of a fight,it didn’t want to be moved touts new station.

From its reaction,it will now need to be tuned,regulated,and generally pampered,

If these conditions aren’t met,then my Chopin playing days are numbered.

“Penny for my thoughts.”

It’s just past 5, it’s getting dark,I’m wondering if this day is really as long as it seems.Its colder here,you feel the weather changing.Trees around here are changing colour.They are beautiful,as if ,in death,their leafs are giving off their life source to us.

Now,I’ve had a day when my pupils haven’t been on my mind.Half term affords me time to think of other matters.When your at school,time happens in the dynamic,and events occur without warning.Working with children is a wonderful thing,but they can,and do,tire you.Although the rewards are great,the responsibilities,the sheer amount of goodwill that the profession demands is quite staggering at times.

It made me think of the Long hours that our Junior Doctors are working,often under huge pressure to themselves,and their families.I know a number of Doctors,and have met numerous ones over the years.To me,everyone of them are heroes,and should be appreciated by their employers,the NHS.Recently,I have been appalled at the problems that they are having with their contracts.It seems to be a constant problem with governments and the NHS.

Althugh teachers can’t be said to save lives,we do,of course,Mold them.We are shapers and our efforts to affect the lives of children are our passion.

While it is true that teachers holidays are generous,our efforts in term time represent a genuine public service that should be understood.

As the children settle down to their half term holiday,I know that there will be teachers come Thursday who will be lesson planning and preparing for the second half of the Autumn term.

Sometimes,it’s the sheer level of support that out pupils need which is a constant drain on your mental resources.This,I feel ,will only get worse as the next tranch of cuts to child tax credits takes their toll j parents.Child Poverty is a real problem,that will get worse as the most vulnerable take the brunt of the ideology of the resent administration.

My fellow teachers will,I am sure,continue to support their charges,as that is why they are Public servants.Howe ear,many teachers are undervalued and stressed to the point of exhaustion.It appears that the Public services are all in a similar position at the moment.Whatever we feel about our fellow humans,it surely isn’t right that so many from all professions are feeling undervalued and used at this time.

One thing I know for sure is this,there will always be teachers,and their will always be Doctors,Nurses,Firemen,and Paramedics,but they surely deserve to be respected in our society.

“An hour to kill”.

As later on you and I will get an extra hour I thought I would do this;Write a poem,polish my Boots,write a song,mend the fence,bake a cake,bath the dog,cuts some logs,write my blog,draw a picture,Play the Piano,Hoover the house,find that mouse.

But then I realised,I’ll probably do what I do every time this happen and that is to sleep my hour away.