Trust is delicate as a flower,
and as easily crushed.
A foolish young boy for a dare
Crept into the lair of a bear.
The bear, tired of meats,
Took the boy’s bag of sweets:
Bah, humbug! – the mints made him swear.
The bear held its cheek in regret
For its tooth badly needed a vet.
Not-a-one who would dare
Pull the tooth of a bear:
So don’t try keeping one as a pet.
Now the boy thought he knew just the thing:
Tied the tooth, closed the door with a swing.
The bear was relieved,
The boy was reprieved.
And the bear slumbered on until spring.
* * *
This week’s 100wcgu: Bah, Humbug!
Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Spring had its moment of sunshine and mirth;
We witnessed the wonder of nature’s rebirth.
Summer was splendid, we laughed and we danced
In squares and on beaches from Finland to France.
For glorious Autumn did nature explode
In radiant colours: scarlet and gold.
Now the leaves have all fallen, the skies turned to gray,
We can hardly remember a bright summer’s day.
Spirits are drooping as nature grows stark,
Nighttime comes early, and morning is dark.
But be not despondent and winter will bring
Christmas and snowflakes, skating, and spring.
* * *
Jake’s Sunday Challenge: City.
Sing a song of sunshine,
A pocket of delight
To last us through the seasons
Of artificial light.
When the winter’s over
And birds begin to sing,
Won’t it be a joy to see
The harbingers of spring?
I owe the idea of rerhyming Mother Goose to Melody Lowes.
This week’s Travel Theme challenge from Wheresmybackpack: Foliage. Who could resist a challenge involving trees?
I am sure the current WP writing challenge will spark a shower of poignant stories on family heirlooms, balding teddies, gifts from lost loves, and other memorabilia. Which possessions do I most treasure? An album of childhood photos with my mother’s drawings in it, perhaps? A flying wooden seagull my sister gave me years ago?
It dawns on me that, sitting on my coffee table, I have a little bird sculpture. Perhaps this bird and its cousin, the broken fish, are my favourite possessions. They were my first experiments with soapstone – opus n°4 and opus n°1, respectively – and they made me understand the truth of the old story:
The famous artist <insert name here> is asked how to create beautiful sculptures, like this lion here. The artist replies, “It’s easy. You take a block of stone and chip away everything that’s not part of the lion.”
When I made these figurines, I did indeed puzzle over what could be hidden in the stone. And carving these creatures did feel strangely like setting them free.
But their status as favourites probably isn’t due to these memories. Rather, they are two of only very few pieces I’ve created in any medium that I’m truly happy with. (Well, the fish was a bit fragile. Lesson learnt: make soapstone figurines have a minimum thickness of 1cm everywhere.) I wonder how “real” artists deal with this. Do they keep their secret favourites? Or can they let them go because they are confident of being able to produce more work as good, or even better?
We need to let things go, to make room for the new. Not just in our homes, but in our heads. Yet we hang on to the old because it holds our identity. I know that the self and identity are fictions. Yet they feel so real. I know that by defining myself through my past, I am holding myself back. Nevertheless I’m proud of having carved this bird. I know we need to learn to loosen our bonds to this world and to everthing in it, if we are to die at peace. But the love of life and all it contains pulls at our heartstrings. Relentlessly.
We are drops of spray
Cast up by the surf.
We fly through the air
In the sunlight,
Meeting other droplets,
And parting again.
We revel in our freedom
Look at me:
My shape, my path,
Look, how fast I am going,
How high I can fly!
And as we are
To the ocean below,
We fear losing
Our unique self,
We will become
Once again one
With the deep blue sea.
There was an old lady who lived in a shoe
But her sister’s tale, do you know that too?
A charming old lady she was and so free
Towards all and sundry with biscuits and tea.
You might call her eccentric: believe it or not
She so loved her tea that she lived in a pot.
But take foibles too far, and there’s danger about
When you see what it is, it is too late to shout.
For one day when the water was boiling and hot
She forgot to go out, so she stewed in the pot.