“In England’s Green and Pleasant Land”

“In England’s Green and Pleasant Land”

Corfe Bridge

“And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.”
~By William Blake~

As most of you know, I have been back and forth to England many times over the past 9 years. People have often asked me what it is I love about the place and why I always wanted to go back.  There are many reasons, but I believe the main one has to do with this beautiful feeling of being “home.”

The Priory

As a child, I grew up in the Spokane, Washington area among rolling green hills, mountains and lakes. I spent many happy memories wandering through farm fields, playing by streams, and going to the park.  I was happiest laying on the grass under green and leafy trees on a warm summer’s day.  The scent of sun-warmed blossoms drifted on the breeze and in my imagination, I adventured through many distant lands.

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When I first stood on a hill overlooking “the green and pleasant” countryside of England, I felt as though I had found those “distant lands” that I once imagined as a child.  My soul felt at home in a way I hadn’t felt for a long time.

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But why?  I had never been here before.  Why would I feel at “home” in a place that I had never lived in?  Over time, I concluded that it was because I must have wandered its lands as a spirit before I was born.  Had I rambled the pastoral hills with my ancestors? Had I lived in those ruins that so spoke to my soul?  Had my spiritual feet traversed the beaches, fields and moors?

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Was that why the flowers in their ethereal blues and sunny yellows were so familiar to me?

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When I stood upon the ruins of a castle wall, is that why I felt as if I had somehow been there before?

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Is that why I felt such passion when I tenderly caressed the ancient stones?

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When I walked along coasts of jagged rocks and watched the ocean crash on the shore below, is that why I felt a longing for something I could not put a name to?

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Was it the mystery of history that spoke to my romantic soul? Was it me or my ancestors that whispered “Welcome home…”

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Though that chapter of my life is now closed, I will continue to carry with me the memories of extraordinary adventures, dreams fulfilled and lifelong friendships made.  I will always treasure my journey in “England’s green and pleasant land…” and maybe one day, I will once again traverse the well-known paths with those who have gone long before.

(All pictures by me in England, Wales and Cornwall 2015, 2018 & 2019.)

Wallflowers

Wallflowers

I am seen…but I am not seen
My soul moves in and out
of the currents of life quietly
Muted footsteps treading hesitantly

Another wildflower along the banks
Of a stream with its endless eddies
Crowded with beauties
Plucked by the whims of desire

I am simply a part
Of the enhanced background
of this consuming pilgrimage…
Visible…but invisible

Concealed by the clamor
Of acquiescing escorts
Who shrug at a kiss
And mock old virtues.

I am not Esther
In her saving beauty
I am the wallflower
In the twilight hour

Look…I am still here
The ivy of creeping denigration
Has not quite won the day
Will you not see…and stay?

 

Beyond the Horizon

Beyond the Horizon

Walking barefoot in the sand
Carrying white sandals in my hand
The cool water tickles, teases
and nibbles my toes…
Calling “Come play!”
But I am deaf to the laughing waves.

The heart of the sun
breaks light into glorious prisms
Dancing in a glittering panorama
of wordless joy…
But blindly I only see
the painful and negative memories…
listening to lies.

Caught up in my melancholy
I stare out at the horizon
beyond the cerulean sea…
Trying hard to build
new castles in the air…
Failing and feeling nothing but despair.

Yet the ocean is calling…
“Come to me Melissa
and be carefree…
Let me carry
your heavy burdens
And lose yourself in my infinity…”

A wave gives me a gentle nudge
And I finally look up
Seeing for the first time
The sunset colors in painted rhyme
Across an ocean of possibilities.
I am awakened by its boundless beauty.

As the evening star appears
My mother’s voice comes through the years
“You are enough…” she whispers.
I wipe away an unbidden tear.
The wave responds with
a gentle splash and I laugh
seeing my future glimmer once again
Just beyond the horizon…

Worn Out Dreams

Worn Out Dreams

I often take walks in the evening when the roads are quiet and the people are tucked into their homes.  I like the solitude of it and the time to listen to my thoughts.  It’s often at this time that I let the mask slide away and how I’m really feeling will reflect itself on my face.

As I wander along the road, I look at the stars, the shadows the black mountains make against a dark blue sky, listen to the soft rustle of leaves, and lift my face to the gentle night air that cools the sting.  Then, after a while, the difficult thoughts come to the surface and I face my own reality.

No matter how many times I have chased after my dreams, insurmountable roadblocks always seemed to rear their ugly heads. I tried to move them somehow or find a way around them, but I couldn’t…and my heart has ached at one failed dream after another.

Loved ones have often tried to cheer me up by saying that Destiny, Fate or God must have something else planned for me.  I would like to believe that, but sometimes those pretty cliches just don’t work when you’ve gone through a thousand disappointments.  After a while, you just feel worn out and realize that maybe it’s time to let go.

So I begin the letting go with solitary walks, tears, quiet music, flowers and chocolate… always chocolate.

I believed in fairy tales
then reality came crashing through.
Shattering my fantasy into
a thousand glittering
pieces of nonsense

Ah…to learn is to grow
But the growing is pure pain
Forced tender shoots
Through impassable roots
I must struggle upwards again

Tendrils twining
around broken branches
I must find my footing in murky waters
Clinging to an everlasting hope
of the impossible. 

Breathless

Breathless

Years melt away as our eyes meet
Fingertips touch…smooth…lightly caress
The breath between heartbeats
quickening silently
As we struggle not to speak
the naked emotions in our gaze

Feeling the heated intensity of fire
dancing in the air between our lips
Passionate aching
An unspoken desire
Similar, but not the same…
I am veiled Viola loving my Orsino

Breathless yearning
Sweet hunger
We have waited so long…
For this second chance
Will this be the beginning
Or will this be our swan song?

The Man in the Moon and I

The Man in the Moon and I

I sought to walk in the shadows
My heart crying it’s silent tears
The noise of loneliness drove me
The empty walls and unspoken fears. 

I sought to hide my sadness
In the dusk of a quiet night
But his laughing smile found me
The Man in the Moon and I. 

My ethereal friend and my poet
Under cover of night we walk
He sings my soul a lullaby
The Man in the Moon and I. 

What need have I for earthly gems
When cosmic stars are my pearls?
He is my knight in luminous armor
Throughout the waiting years.

Once more his wise and kindly eyes
Have heard the whispers of my heart
Once more he soothes my heavy sighs
The Man in the Moon and I

He gives me strength to start again
So I blow a kiss to my forever friend
I pause and softly say goodnight… 
To the Man in the Moon and I.