Powsowdie at Home

Welcome to Powsowdie at Home. I hope you are all well in these strange times. Powsowdie is a themed reminiscence project, with food and music. Normally we meet once a month at Heron Corn Mill but as coronavirus has led to isolation we decided go online! Please explore, dip in and out. 

October: Friends

September: Journeys

August: Birds and Butterflies

July: Pastimes and Hobbies

June: Childhood

May: The Blossom Tree

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October

Friends

Hello Powsowdie folk! I hope you are all doing okay in lockdown, it is lasting a long time isn’t it but we have a lovely box full of goodies and a soundtrack on the theme of friendship for you. So please do pop the kettle on, grab a cup of tea and enjoy! The track is below and the text and lyrics are also there if you want to read and sing along.

Here are the letters sent in from the group on last months theme of journeys. I have also added 3 stories to the soundtrack below.

These pictures relate to the themes in the poems and songs.

Here is a link to a downloadable PDF of the poems and songs.

It is even called “Friendship”

By Elizabeth Jennings

Such love I cannot analyse;

It does not rest in lips or eyes,

Neither in kisses nor caress.

Partly, I know, it’s gentleness

An understanding in one word

Or in brief letters. It’s preserved

By trust and by respect and awe.

These are the words I’m feeling for.

Two people, yes, two lasting friends.

The giving comes. The taking ends.

There is no measure for such things.

For this all Nature slows and sings.

You’ve Got a Friend

By Carole King

When you’re down and troubled

And you need some love and care

And nothing, nothing is going right

Close your eyes and think of me

And soon I will be there

To brighten up even your darkest night.

You just call out my name

And you know wherever I am

I’ll come running, to see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I’ll be there

You’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you

Grows dark and full of clouds

And that old north wind begins to blow

Keep your head together

And call my name out loud

Soon you’ll hear me knocking at your door.

You just call out my name

And you know wherever I am

I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, to see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I’ll be there, yes, I will.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend

When people can be so cold?

They’ll hurt you, yes, and desert you

And take your soul if you let them, oh, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name

And you know wherever I am

I’ll come running, running, yeah, yeah, to see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I’ll be there, yes, I will

You’ve got a friend

You’ve got a friend

Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend?

Us Two

By A. A. Milne

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,

There’s always Pooh and Me.

Whatever I do, he wants to do,

“Where are you going today?” says Pooh:

“Well, that’s very odd ‘cos I was too.

Let’s go together,” says Pooh, says he.

“Let’s go together,” says Pooh.

“What’s twice eleven?” I said to Pooh.

“Twice what?” said Pooh to Me.

“I think it ought to be twenty-two.”

“Just what I think myself,” said Pooh.

“It wasn’t an easy sum to do,

But that’s what it is,” said Pooh, said he.

“That’s what it is,” said Pooh.

“Let’s look for dragons,” I said to Pooh.

“Yes, let’s,” said Pooh to Me.

We crossed the river and found a few-

“Yes, those are dragons all right,” said Pooh.

“As soon as I saw their beaks I knew.

That’s what they are,” said Pooh, said he.

“That’s what they are,” said Pooh.

“Let’s frighten the dragons,” I said to Pooh.

“That’s right,” said Pooh to Me.

“I’m not afraid,” I said to Pooh,

And I held his paw and I shouted “Shoo!

Silly old dragons!”- and off they flew.

“I wasn’t afraid,” said Pooh, said he,

“I’m never afraid with you.” 

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,

There’s always Pooh and Me.

“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,

“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said: “True,

It isn’t much fun for One, but Two,

Can stick together, says Pooh, says he. “That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

Stand by Me

By Ben E. King

When the night has come

And the land is dark

And the moon is the only light we’ll see

No I won’t be afraid

Oh, I won’t be afraid

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

So darling, darling

Stand by me, oh stand by me

Oh stand, stand by me

Stand by me

If the sky that we look upon

Should tumble and fall

Or the mountain should crumble to the sea

I won’t cry, I won’t cry

No, I won’t shed a tear

Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling

Stand by me, oh stand by me

Oh stand now, stand by me

Stand by me

Darling, darling

Stand by me, oh stand by me

Oh stand now, stand by me, stand by me

Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me

Oh stand by me, oh won’t you stand now, stand

Stand by me…

Travelling

By William Wordsworth – 1770-1850

This is the spot:—how mildly does the sun

Shine in between the fading leaves! the air

In the habitual silence of this wood

Is more than silent: and this bed of heath,

Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place?

Come!—let me see thee sink into a dream

Of quiet thoughts,—protracted till thine eye

Be calm as water when the winds are gone

And no one can tell whither.—my sweet friend!

We two have had such happy hours together

That my heart melts in me to think of it.

The Soul unto itself

By Emily Dickinson – 1830-188

The Soul unto itself

Is an imperial friend  

Or the most agonising Spy  

An Enemy  –  could send  

Secure against its own  

No treason it can fear    

Itself  –  its Sovereign  –  of itself

The Soul should stand in Awe.

Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. While she was extremely prolific as a poet and regularly enclosed poems in letters to friends, she was not publicly recognized during her lifetime. She died in Amherst in 1886, and the first volume of her work was published posthumously in 1890.

Your Catfish Friend

By Richard Brautigan – 1935-1984

If I were to live my life 

in catfish forms

in scaffolds of skin and whiskers 

at the bottom of a pond 

and you were to come by 

   one evening

when the moon was shining 

down into my dark home 

and stand there at the edge 

   of my affection

and think, “It’s beautiful 

here by this pond.  I wish 

   somebody loved me,”

I’d love you and be your catfish 

friend and drive such lonely 

thoughts from your mind 

and suddenly you would be

   at peace,

and ask yourself, “I wonder 

if there are any catfish 

in this pond?  It seems like 

a perfect place for them.”

With a Little Help from My Friends

The Beatles

What would you think if I sang out of tune?

Would you stand up and walk out on me?

Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song

And I’ll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away?

Does it worry you to be alone?

How do I feel by the end of the day?

Are you sad because you’re on your own?

No, I get by with a little help from my friends

Mm, get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?

I need somebody to love

Could it be anybody?

I want somebody to love

Would you believe in a love at first sight?

Yes, I’m certain that it happens all the time

What do you see when you turn out the light?

I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

Mm, get high with a little help from my friends

Oh, I’m gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?

I just need someone to love

Could it be anybody?

I want somebody to love

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Oh, I get high with a little help from my friends

Yes, I get by with a little help from my friends

With a little help from my friends.

 

September

Journeys 

Hello Powsowdie folk! I hope you are all well. This month our theme is Journeys. We have poems, songs, a bassoon piece and a reminiscence about birds and butterflies. We will be travelling over land, sea and to outer space! So please grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair and enjoy.

Here is a 27 minute track of the poems, songs and bassoon piece. If you like, you can click play and then scroll down to read the poems and lyrics as you go.

The Rolling English Road

BY G. K. CHESTERTON

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,

The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.

A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,

And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;

A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread

The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,

And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;

But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed

To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,

Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,

The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run

Behind him; and the hedges all strengthening in the sun?

The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,

But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.

God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear

The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,

Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,

But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,

And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;

For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,

Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.

Sea Fever

BY JOHN MASEFIELD

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Stopping Places

by Molly Holden 

The long car journeys to the sea

must have their breaks, not always

In towns where there’s no room

to park but at the pavement edge,

in villages, or by woods, or in lay-bys

vibrating to the passage of fast cars.

The seat’s pushed forward, the boot’s lifted,

the greaseproof paper

rustles encouragingly. The children

climb to the ground and posture about,

talk, clamber on gates, eat noisily.

They’re herded back, the journey 

continues.

What do you think

They’ll remember most of that holiday?

the beach? the stately home?

The hot curb of the promenade?

No. It will often be those nameless places

where they stopped, perhaps for no more

than minutes. The rank grass

and the dingy robin by the overflowing 

bin for waste, the gravel ridged by

numerous wheels and the briared wood

That no one else had bothered 

to explore, the long inviting field

down which there wasn’t time

to go – these will stick in their memories

when beauty spots evaporate.

Was it worth the expense?

but

these are the rewards of travelling.

There must be an end in sight

for the transient stopping places

to be necessary, to be memorable.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

Westering Home

Westering home and a song in the air

Light in the eye and its good by to care

Laughter and love and a welcoming there

Isle of my heart my own one.

Tell me of lands o the Orient gay

Speak o the riches and joys of Cathay

Ah but it’s grand to be walkin a day

To find yourself nearer to Islay

Westering home and a song in the air

Light in the eye and its good by to care

Laughter of love and a welcoming there

Isle of my heart my own one

Tell me of lands of the Orient gay

Speak of the riches and joys of Cathay

Ah but it’s grand to be walkin a day

To find yourself nearer to Islay

The Wild Rover

I’ve been a wild rover for many’s the year

And I’ve spent all me money on whiskey and beer

But now I’m returning with gold in great store 

and I never will play the wild rover no more.

And it’s no, nay, never

No, nay, never no more 

Will I play the wild rover 

No, never no more.

I went into an alehouse I used to frequent-

And I told the landlady me money was spent-

I asked her for credit, she answered me “nay”

“Such a custom as yours I can have every day”

And it’s no, nay, never

No, nay, never no more 

Will I play the wild rover 

No, never no more.

I then took from me pocket, ten sovereigns bright-

And the landlady’s eyes opened wide with delight-

She says “I have whiskeys and wines of the best

And the words that you tolt me were only in jest”

And it’s no, nay, never

No, nay, never no more 

Will I play the wild rover 

No, never no more.

I’ll go home to my parents, confess what I’d done-

And I’ll ask them to pardon their, prodigal son-

And when they’ve caressed me as ofttimes before

I never will play the wild rover no more.

And it’s no, nay, never

No, nay, never no more 

Will I play the wild rover 

No, never no more.

And it’s no, nay, never

No, nay, never no more 

Will I play the wild rover 

No, never no more.

Homeward Bound

To Liverpool docks we bid adieu

To Suke, and Sal, and Kittie too

The anchor’s weighed and the sails unfurl

We’re bound to cross the watery row

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

The wind it blows from the east nor’east

Our ship will scud ten knots at least

The purser would our wants supply

So while with life we’ll never say die.

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

And should we touch at Malabar

Or any other quarters far

Our purser he will tip the chink

And just like fishes we will drink.

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

And when we’re hauled into Liverpool docks

Them bloomers all come ’round in flocks

Them pretty girls, we hear ’em say

“Here comes Jack with his twelve-month pay”

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

And when we get  the Dog and Bell 

Where there’s good pies and for to sell

When in comes Archie with a smile

“Drink up me boys, it’s worth your while”

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound 

And when and poor Jack’s money is gone and spent

Nor more to be had, no more to be lent

Then in comes Archie with a frown

Saying “Rise up Jack, let John sit down”

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

And so poor Jack must understand

There’s ships in the harbour needing hands

So stows his gear like he did before

And says farewell to the Liverpool shore.

For we know we’re homeward bound

Hurrah, we’re homeward bound

Fly me to the moon

Fly me to the moon

Let me play among the stars

And let me see what spring is like
On a-Jupiter and Mars

In other words, hold my hand

In other words, baby, kiss me.

Fill my heart with song
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you.

[Instrumental Bridge]

Fill my heart with song
Let me sing forevermore
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, in other words
I love you.

The Skye Boat Song

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing.

Onward, the sailors cry!

Carry the lad that’s born to be King

Over the sea to Skye.

Loud the winds howls, loud the waves roar,

Thunderclaps rend the air.

Baffled our foes stand on the shore.

Follow they will not dare.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing.

Onward, the sailors cry!

Carry the lad that’s born to be King

Over the sea to Skye.

Many’s the lad fought on that day

Well the claymore did wield,

When the night came, silently lay

Dead on Culloden’s field.

Speed, bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing.

Onward, the sailors cry!

Carry the lad that’s born to be King

Over the sea to Skye.

Reminisces: Birds and Butterflies
As a child growing up in a rural village in the Leeds area during the 1950’s, I have several recollections concerning birds and butterflies.These include:Visiting Leeds City Museum to gaze at the stuffed exotic birds in glass bell cases or in tableaux reflecting their natural habitat.The butterflies were located in all their myriad glory within the polished mahogany cabinets containing numerous drawers, each drawer when opened a wonder to behold.I still have to this day, a Victorian bell shaped glass vase containing circa a dozen exotic stuffed birds, which was given to me by a friend of the family when I was eight years old!Vivid memories of nature walks with my mother( born in Ambleside and well versed in country matters).She would point out the flora and fauna and identify the various birds and butterflies we might see on our walks down country lanes. The sun always shone or it seemed to.Strong memories of the sky filling up with flocks of starlings and crows, plus rooks perched in their precarious nests at the top of tall trees.Occasional sighting of kingfishers, which had added significance in that the family engineering business founded by my great grandfather in the 1860’s in Leeds was called KingfishersIt is still a family business to this day and I have same first name as my great grandad, namely Greevz.As children in the house that we grew up in, we were surrounded by several carvings and illustrations of kingfishers.I hope these reminisces may have a resonance for others as well.To have had a rural upbringing in the 1950’s was now with the benefit of hindsight, a very special and privileged opportunity and one I reflect on with a great deal of happiness. Greevz Fisher

Ps Photo of the glass bell case of birds and a silver ashtray with the kingfisher emblem.

August

Birds and Butterflies 

Hello Powsowdie  folk! This month we are inspired by birds and butterflies. We have poems, songs, bassoon pieces, a meditation and a story from last months reminiscences. So pop the kettle on, grab a cup of tea, put your CD on and enjoy exploring your box.

Here is a 30 minute soundtrack of the poems, songs, bassoon pieces, meditation and a reminiscence story from last month.

Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it , the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.

Here are some of our reminiscence letters on last months theme of pastimes and hobbies.

Here are the poems and lyrics. 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – 

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –

And sore must be the storm –

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –

And on the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

To a Butterfly

‘To a Butterfly’ is a lyric poem that William Wordsworth wrote in 1802. In the poem, he recalls how he and his sister Dorothy would chase butterflies as children when they were living together in Cockermouth, before they were separated following their mother’s death in 1778 when he was barely eight years old.

William Wordsworth wrote two versions of the poem “To A Butterfly,” one in March, the other in April. Both versions of the poem are about the memory that the sight of a butterfly brings back, not so much a memory but a feeling the poet gets upon seeing this butterfly. 


By William Wordsworth (1770-1850) 


To A Butterfly – version one

I’ve watched you now a full half-hour; 

Self-poised upon that yellow flower 

And, little Butterfly! Indeed 

I know not if you sleep or feed 

How motionless! – not frozen seas 

More motionless! and then 

What joy awaits you, when the breeze 

Hath found you out among the trees, 

And calls you forth again! 

This plot of orchard-ground is ours; 

My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers; 

Here rest your wings when they are weary; 

Here lodge as in a sanctuary! 

Come often to us, fear no wrong; 

Sit near us on the bough! 

We’ll talk of sunshine and of song, 

And summer days, when we were young; 

Sweet childish days, that were as long 

As twenty days are now. 

To A Butterfly – version two

STAY near me–do not take thy flight! 

A little longer stay in sight! 

Much converse do I find in thee, 

Historian of my infancy! 

Float near me; do not yet depart! 

Dead times revive in thee: 

Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art! 

A solemn image to my heart, 

My father’s family! 

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days, 

The time, when, in our childish plays, 

My sister Emmeline and I 

Together chased the butterfly! 

A very hunter did I rush 

Upon the prey:–with leaps and springs 

I followed on from brake to bush; 

But she, God love her, feared to brush 

The dust from off its wings. 

Morning Has Broken

Cat Stevens

Morning has broken like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken like the first bird

Praise for the singing

Praise for the morning

Praise for them springing 

fresh from the Word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sun kissed from heaven

Like the first dew fall on the first grass

Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden

Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight

Mine is the morning

Born of the One Light Eden saw play

Praise with elation, praise every morning

God’s recreation of the new day.

Ode to a Nightingale

John Keats – 1795-1821

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

  My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, 

Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 

  One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 

‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,

  But being too happy in thine happiness,— 

    That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, 

          In some melodious plot 

  Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 

    Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been

  Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth, 

Tasting of Flora and the country green, 

  Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth! 

O for a beaker full of the warm South,

  Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 

    With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, 

          And purple-stained mouth; 

  That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, 

    And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 

  What thou among the leaves hast never known, 

The weariness, the fever, and the fret 

  Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; 

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,

  Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; 

    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow 

          And leaden-eyed despairs, 

  Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, 

    Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.

Away! away! for I will fly to thee, 

  Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, 

But on the viewless wings of Poesy, 

  Though the dull brain perplexes and retards: 

Already with thee! tender is the night,

  And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, 

    Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays; 

          But here there is no light, 

  Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown 

    Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet, 

  Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs, 

But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet 

  Wherewith the seasonable month endows 

The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;

  White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine; 

    Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves; 

          And mid-May’s eldest child, 

  The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, 

    The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Darkling I listen; and, for many a time 

  I have been half in love with easeful Death, 

Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme, 

  To take into the air my quiet breath; 

Now more than ever seems it rich to die,

  To cease upon the midnight with no pain, 

    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad 

          In such an ecstasy! 

  Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—

    To thy high requiem become a sod.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! 

  No hungry generations tread thee down; 

The voice I hear this passing night was heard 

  In ancient days by emperor and clown: 

Perhaps the self-same song that found a path 

  Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home, 

    She stood in tears amid the alien corn; 

          The same that oft-times hath 

  Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam 

    Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell 

  To toil me back from thee to my sole self! 

Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well 

  As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf. 

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades

  Past the near meadows, over the still stream, 

    Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep 

          In the next valley-glades: 

  Was it a vision, or a waking dream? 

    Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

Love is like a Butterfly

By Dolly Parton

Love is like a butterfly 

As soft and gentle as a sigh 

The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings –

Love makes your heart feel strange inside 

It flutters like soft wings in flight 

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing-

I feel it when you’re with me 

It happens when you kiss me 

That rare and gentle feeling that I feel inside –

Your touch is soft and gentle 

Your kiss is warm and tender 

Whenever I am with you I think of butterflies-

Love is like a butterfly 

As soft and gentle as a sigh 

The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings –

Love makes your heart feel strange inside 

It flutters like soft wings in flight 

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing-

Your laughter brings me sunshine 

Everyday is spring time 

And I am only happy when you are by my side –

How precious is this love we share 

How very precious, sweet and rare 

Together we belong like daffodils and butterflies-

Love is like a butterfly 

As soft and gentle as a sigh 

The multicolored moods of love are like its satin wings –

Love makes your heart feel strange inside 

It flutters like soft wings in flight 

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing-

Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing

The Cuckoo

Song by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

Oh the cuckoo she’s a pretty bird

She sings as she flies

She bringeth good tiding, she telleth no lies

She sucketh white flowers

For to keep her voice clear

And never she sings ‘cuckoo’ til summer draweth near

As i was a-walking and talking one day

I met my own true love as he came that way

Though to meet him was a pleasure

Though the courting was a-woe

For I’ve found him false hearted, he’d kiss me

And then he’d go

I wish I was a scholar and could handle the pen

I’d write to my lover and to all roving men

I would tell them of the grief and woe that attend on their lies

I would wish them have pity on the flower, when it dies

Oh the cuckoo she’s a pretty bird

She sings as she flies

She bringeth good tiding, she telleth no lies

She sucketh white flowers

For to keep her voice clear

And never she sings ‘cuckoo’ til summer draweth near

And never she sings ‘cuckoo’ til summer draweth near

Blackbird

The Beatles

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see

All your life-

You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly

Into the light of a dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly

Into the light of a dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Bassoon pieces

Morning has Broken and Feed the Birds.

Meditation

Our meditation is to the dawn chorus.

Stories 

This months stories are a selection of extracts from last months letters in response to the theme of pastimes and hobbies. 

 

July

Pastimes and hobbies

Hello Powsowdie folk! This month we are exploring pastimes and hobbies. We have all sorts of things for you: poems, songs, bassoon pieces, a mediation and a reminiscence letter from last month. That’s just the CD and soundtrack, your box is also full of things!

Here is a 30 minute track of me presenting each bit in a very relaxed way, so get the kettle on, relax in a chair and explore your box.

Here are the poems and songs if you want to read or join in as you listen.

Leisure 

by William Henry Davies

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

The Call of the Stream 

by Charles H. Crandall

I am sitting to-day at the desk alone,

And the figures are hard to tame;

I’d like to shift to a mossy stone

Nor bother with pelf and fame.

I know a pool where the waters cool

Rest under the brawling falls,

And the song and gleam of that mountain stream —

Oh, it calls, and calls, and calls!

There are hooks and lines in a wayside store 

Where the grangers buy their plug, 

And the loggers swap their river-lore 

For a jag they can hardly lug.

I wonder how long that tackle will lie

As useless as any dumb fool

Unless I happen along to buy,

And sneak for that mountain pool.

Oh, bother the flies, I guess I’ve enough,

I know where the worms are thick

By Billy’s old barn — Oh, they are the stuff —

You can dig a quart with a stick.

The reel is all right and the line is tight,

And if they should happen to fail

There’s little birch rods that are fit for gods

When they follow the trout-brook trail.

I jing! the demon has rung me up —

The “central” up in the woods —

Waders, and creel, and a pocket-cup!

I’m after the only goods.

Wire for Hank and the old buckboard —

The secret, I guess, is out —

Don’t bother me now — you’ll get in a row —

I’m catching the train for trout.

Fishing

by William Henry Dawson

I just take a bamboo pole,

Linen line and Limerick hook,

Make a sneak for some deep hole

In the creek, in shady nook.

Seat myself upon a stone,

Bait my hook and throw it in,

Sit there, quietly, alone,

And wait to see the fun begin.

First a nibble, then a take,

Then my float goes out of sight,

Then a sudden swing I make—

Got him? Well, you’re mighty right.

Bass, by jingo! Weighs four pounds;

Won’t I have a toothsome fry?

String him on this rope, by zounds!

Make him safe or I’ll know why.

Once again my hook I bait,

Once again I cast my line,

Seat myself and watch and wait.

Catching bass. Oh, gee! it’s fine.

Soon the float begins to sail,

Then it makes a sudden dive;

Holy smoke! I’ve hooked a whale,

Just as sure as I’m alive.

Pull, you sucker! Bet I’ll make—

Stop! You’ll surely break the pole.

Splash! and suddenly I wake,

Up to neck in swimming hole.

The Garden 

by Rudyard Kipling

OUR England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You’ll find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dung-pits and the tanks,
The rollers, carts, and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you’ll see the gardeners, the men and ‘prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise ;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows ;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:-” Oh, how beautiful,” and sitting in the shade
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner In the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away !

Tchaikovsky Swan Lake the oboe solo played on the bassoon.

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For messin’ about on the river

 

When the weather is fine you know it’s the time
For messin’ about on the river
If you take my advice there’s nothing so nice
As messin’ about on the river
There’s big boats and wee boats ands all kinds of craft
Puffers and keel boats and some with no raft
With the wind in your face there’s no finer place
Than messin’ about on the river
There are boats made from kits that’ll reach you in bits
For messin’ about on the river
And you might want to scull in a glass fibred hull
Go messin’ about on the river
Anchors and tillers and rudders and cleets
Ropes that are sometimes referred to as sheets
With the wind in your face there’s no finer place
Than messin’ about on the river
Skippers and mates and rowing club eights
All messin’ about on the river
Capstans and quays where you tie up with ease
All messin’ about on the river
Inboards and outboards and dinghies you sail
The first thing you learn is the right way to bale
In a one man canoe you’re both skipper and crew
Messin’ about on the river
Moorings and docks, tailors and locks
All messin’ about on the river
Whirlpools and weirs that you must not go near
Messin’ about on the river
Backwater places all hidden from view
Mysterious wee islands just waiting for you
So I’ll leave you right now, go cast off your bow
Go messing about on the river.
 
 

English Country Garden

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow 

In an English country garden? 

 I’ll tell you now of some that we know 

Those we miss you’ll surely pardon 

Daffodil, heart’s ease and flox 

Meadowsweet and lady smocks 

Gen teen, lupine and tall hollihocks 

Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots 

In an English country garden

How many insects come here and go 

Though our English country garden? 

i’ll tell you now of some that we know 

Those I miss you’ll surely pardon 

Fireflies, moths, and bees 

Spiders climbing in the trees 

Butterflies that sway on the cool gentle breeze 

There are snakes, ants that sting 

And other creeping things 

In an English country garden

How many songbirds fly to and fro 

Though our English country garden? 

I’ll tell you now of some that we know 

And Those I’ll miss you’ll surely pardon 

Bobolink, cuckoo and quail 

Tanager and cardinal 

Bluebird, lark, thrush and nightingale 

There is joy in the spring 

When the birds begin to sing 

In an English country garden.

 

The Happy Wanderer

Florenz Friedrich Sigismund (1791–1877).[1][2]

I love to go a-wandering, 

Along the mountain track, 

And as I go, I love to sing, 

My knapsack on my back.

I love to wander by the stream 

That dances in the sun, 

So joyously it calls to me, 

“Come! Join my happy song!”

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

“Come! Join my happy song!”

I wave my hat to all I meet, 

And they wave back to me, 

And blackbirds call so loud and sweet 

From ev’ry green wood tree.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

From ev’ry green wood tree.

High overhead, the skylarks wing, 

They never rest at home 

But just like me, they love to sing, 

As o’er the world we roam.

Oh, may I go a-wandering 

Until the day I die! 

Oh, may I always laugh and sing, 

Beneath the clear blue sky!

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

Beneath the clear blue sky!

I love to go a-wandering, 

Along the mountain track, 

And as I go, I love to sing, 

My knapsack on my back.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

With My knapsack on my back.

Val-deri,Val-dera,

Val-deri,

Val-dera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha 

Val-deri,Val-dera. 

With My knapsack on my back.

 

Greevz’s childhood story

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Thanks again for the Powsodie box and the goodies enclosed.

I have been thinking about the theme of childhood and my memories of a rural upbringing in a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the mid to late 1950’s.

I used to help with my older brother on a local farm, which still used horses for ploughing, but also had a gunmetal grey coloured Ferguson tractor without a roll over cage.

We used to help with the harvest following the combine harvester as it churned out bales of hay.

We would help to load the bales onto the tractor trailor, hitching a ride back to the barn, where we would as best we could, help to stack the bales to provide feed for later in the year.

The hay was also made into hayricks or haystacks, which were  often ten to fifteen foot high.

A much more pleasing view, than those obnoxious plastic coated bales which are so sadly common today in the rural landscape.

There were also sheaves of hay stacked at times in the fields too. These were much smaller in size than the more common hayricks or haystacks.

We used to have food and drink carried in wicker picnic hampers, to give us sorely needed sustenance and the weather always seemed better too.

A world away from today, one could say.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reminisce about my childhood and to give thanks on how fortunate I was, to have had a rural upbringing before the nature of farming became increasingly mechanised and on a larger scale.

I like to think that Constable could have painted the same picture of “The Hay Wain” in the fields around my village on the outskirts of Leeds in the mid to late 1950’s, so long as it wasn’t the field within the solitary tractor in it!

Constable’s famous painting of a rural idyil was of course painted in the early C19th, but it does indicate how the pace of change in the rural landscape was much, much slower than the pace of the Industrial Revolution radically transforming the urban environment.

 

June

Childhood

This month we are hand delivering boxes to the group. Each box contains a variety of things relating to childhood. I have also created a CD that the group may listen to whilst exploring their box.

Here are the contents of the box.

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As I sat and thought about the theme of childhood, I noticed the shadow from a dangling-chime in my back garden. I thought the shadow looked like a child skipping down the road in a carefree way. IMG_5680

Here are the 6 tracks.

Introduction

Poems

Songs

Bassoon

Meditation

Goodbye

A meditation film of the garden

Poems

I Remember, I Remember

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!
 
I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!
 
I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!
 
I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Here are some pics of the boxes being made up. We’ll add more pics in the next week.

 

My Heart Leaps Up

William Wordsworth – 1770-1850
 
Crossthwaite, Samuel, 1791-1868; William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Crossthwaite, Samuel; William Wordsworth (1770-1850); The Wordsworth Trust; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/william-wordsworth-17701850-143047
 
 
My heart leaps up when I behold 

   A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

The Bumble Bee 

(and a little film of a bumble bee in my back garden)

By Luke Crookes

Bumblebee, bumblebee,

Where did you go?

I lost my house,

I lost my shoe,

I simply do not know. 

Bumblebee, bumblebee

When will you come back? 

I looked in red

I looked in blue

I looked in gold and black.

Bumblebee bumblebee might you be dead?

I wonder if my bumblebee was living in my head? 

Some photos of Cumbria that may bring back happy memories.

May

The Blossom Tree

I’d like to share this photo of the blossom tree in my neighbours garden. Each year I wait for the blossom and love the moment it blooms. It always surprises me how quickly it loses its bloom and so I wrote a little song to capture that feeling. I also found a poem by Robert Burns called O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair about a man who loves a purple blossom so much that he wishes he were a bird sheltering under it and then he imagines becoming a dew drop resting on a rose petal, only to be extinguished by Phoebus’ light! (Greek god of light; god of prophecy and poetry and music and healing).  

IMG_5794

As sure, as sure as, sure can be,

The pink blooms fill the blossom tree,

Against the sky they bright the day,

and lift the heart and soul away.

As sure as sure the blossoms come,

And then a week the  blossoms go,

As blossom blow from branch to ground,

Like pink confetti all around.

The blossoms gone, the blossoms gone,

Until next year you bloom again,

Thank you blossom tree my friend.

By Luke Crookes.

Here is a recording of the song 

Click here to download

 

O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair

O were my love yon Lilac fair, 
Wi’ purple blossoms to the Spring, 
And I, a bird to shelter there, 
When wearied on my little wing! 
How I wad mourn when it was torn 
By Autumn wild, and Winter rude! 
But I wad sing on wanton wing, 
When youthfu’ May its bloom renew’d. 

O if my love were yon red rose, 
That grows upon the castle wa’; 
And I myself a drap o’ dew, 
Into her bonie breast to fa’! 
O there, beyond expression blest, 
I’d feast on beauty a’ the night; 
Seal’d on her silk-saft faulds to rest, 
Till fley’d awa by Phoebus’ light!

Robert Burns.

Here is a recording of the poem

Click here to download

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Meditation

Here is a recording of meditational sounds that you may want to listen to with your eyes closed. 

Two minute breath meditation

Click here to download

Since sharing this page people have got in touch with links to trees and blossom. I’ll put the links below. 

Paintings of dew drops
An artist friend, Marc Woodhead, listened to the poem and gave me a link to dew drops in art. 

Many, many Dutch still life paintings have drops of dew on the leaves . . . (Tip for viewing. Try the + zoom feature to see the detail of the drops on the petals) click the link below. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/jan-van-huysum-glass-vase-with-flowers-with-a-poppy-and-a-finch-nest.

If you feel inspired by something why not write  your own little ditty, I’ve certainly enjoyed connecting with the tree in my garden, a tree I always quietly notice but it’s just nice to take a longer moment. Do send any pictures, poems or songs but there’s no pressure to do so. 


Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo about the blossoms in Arles . . .
 
 
 
 


Musician James Larcombe sent this link.

George Butterworth set the A. E. Housman poem about cherry blossom. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQeiLNSwekw
 

Please take a look at our film of last years sessions.


The meaning of Powsowdie:
Powsowdie is a Scottish sheep’s-head broth or soup. Traditional preparation of the soup includes sheep’s trotters as an ingredient. Dried peas and barley can also be used as additional ingredients. Powsowdie has been described as a speciality dish in Edinburgh, Scotland.