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Monday, 25 July 2016

The Turning of the Seasons, by Fiona Lloyd


Those of you who read my post last month may remember I wrote about a poem I had started at Scargill in early June. Well, it’s taken me longer than I thought (largely due to my tweaking addiction) but it’s finally finished...just in time for this month’s blog.

I should point out that the visit referred to in the poem was my first trip to Scargill, almost five years ago. I’d also like to acknowledge Wilfred Owen’s poem, Strange Meeting, which inspired my first line and got me going.

Anyway, here goes:


The Turning of the Seasons

                       

From escalating darkness I escaped,
And took the road that wove through sculpted vales;
Where hamlets carved from honeyed Yorkshire stone
Gave way to lofty crags and soaring fells.

Fragmented rays of amber kissed the fields:
A verdant quilt – criss-crossed with dry-stone walls –
Whose supple folds ran rippling down the slopes
And flanked the bustling Wharfe within its course.

Late summer’s lavish reign was evident
In softly shimmering streams and hedgerows bright
With berries; while above a shaded copse,
A kestrel hovered, etched against the sky.

Yet here and there the stately sycamores
Wore freshly-furnished cloaks of red and gold.
They bowed and swayed before the stiffening breeze,
As autumn waited, watchful, in the wood.

The turning of the seasons cruelly stirred
A closely-guarded anguish in my soul.
The looming threat of winter’s icy grasp
Wrought deepening despair as grief unfurled.

I journeyed on, down tightly twisting lanes,
And found a rank of pine-trees, proud and tall.
Their stern façade concealed a sprawling house
Set close against the contours of the hill.

And so I came at last to Scargill’s door,
And hesitantly followed on behind
The band of cheerful pilgrims on the stairs,
Ascending to the chapel overhead.

We entered to a space infused with light:
It seemed a thousand votives flamed and shone.
Celestial music tumbled all about,
As reverent flutes joined sweeping strings in song.

I heard no voice, yet whisperings of grace
Spoke solace there, amidst the glimmering;
And hope – that had lain crushed in sorrow’s grip –
Afforded me a glimpse of endless spring.
                        



Fiona Lloyd works part-time as a music teacher, and serves on the worship leading team at her local church. Fiona self-published a violin tutor book in 2013 and blogs at www.fjlloyd.wordpress.com. You can find her on Twitter at @FionaJLloyd. Fiona is vice-chair of ACW and is married with three grown-up children.

19 comments:

  1. Wow! Beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Well done for such a great poem.

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  2. Oh Fiona. This brought tears to my eyes too. You have such a talent. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem.

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  3. That's powerful stuff. I love the verse about the pine trees especially.

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  4. Your words and rhythms have great power.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  5. Beautiful, melodious and moving. Brilliant stuff, Fiona. Thank you. x

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    1. You're so kind, Helen. Thanks you!

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  6. Extremely powerful writing here. Gorgeous imagery. And it conjures up the Scargill experience perfectly: a place where it not only safe to 'say dangerous things' but to visit, or deal with, dangerous emotions and occurrences and where the deep stuff of life is taken seriously, accepted, and honoured. Good to be reminded why it is such a special, special experience to be there.

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    1. I think that's one of the reasons it's such a special place for me: I had a very moving experience at a time when I really needed it.

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  7. Extremely powerful writing here. Gorgeous imagery. And it conjures up the Scargill experience perfectly: a place where it not only safe to 'say dangerous things' but to visit, or deal with, dangerous emotions and occurrences and where the deep stuff of life is taken seriously, accepted, and honoured. Good to be reminded why it is such a special, special experience to be there.

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  8. Superb! I hope to hear you recite it at the place itself next time!

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    1. Now there's a challenge! Thanks for reading.

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  9. Gorgeous, Fiona. Well done! I don't know, but it seems to spring from your musician's heart?

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  10. I like to think that my musical training helps me with rhythm and metre - although I suspect I'm a bit too obsessive at times!

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