If you read part 1, then you will have become aware of certain things: my sometimes rather glum outlook on life and (more particularly) the photographs, which don’t seem to fit the subject. Here is another, hopefully more palatable side of me as well as an explanation of the photographs …

View from The Cary Inn, Babbacombe ... and the Roses
View from The Cary Inn, Babbacombe … and the roses

My wife and I had taken a holiday break in Torquay and, during an overcast, but warm summer’s day, we included a very special Birthday lunch for my wife – gifted and arranged by our daughter and her husband – on the ‘Captain’s Table at The Cary Arms, (‘Inn on The Beach’) at Babbacombe in Devon. In a moment, as we sat relaxing digesting our meal, the simplest, most natural thing happened, which most, including myself, would normally have brushed off, quite literally, and forgotten within seconds. However, on this occasion for some reason, it sowed a seed, which, along with several subsequent prompts, including from other blogs that I read, germinated a series of thoughts that resulted in this blog post … and a poem.

One of several menus at the Carey Arms ... this the most amusing one!
One of several menus at the Carey Arms … this is the most amusing!

It was a small petal – a deep vermilion rose petal – that arrived from somewhere and landed on the left hand sleeve of my folded arms. For a moment, I just looked at it, admired it for what it really was and allowed my thoughts to focus, for some reason known only to my right brain, on what had happened in the human world during the short life of the rose from which it had come. What war, human misery and treachery had occurred in that short time; but also what good had been done; what valiant efforts to keep the peace in war-torn countries of the world; what individual moments of heroism and courage had been demonstrated by a soldier, activist, newshound, medic or aid worker somewhere out there in this dangerous world.

The terraced borders at The Cary Arms are very well tended, including plenty of roses, all of which were in full bloom that warm June day. My thoughts on this event incubated for a short period, after which, early one Saturday morning, they evolved into this poem – a Shakespearean sonnet – entitled … well what else could I call it, but “Rose Petal“..?

This poem is invested with so much that is significant to me; I hope also to you.

Rose Petal

You came to me from rose vermilion red;
so rude and flushed with health you seemed to be.
I was surprised when I discerned instead
your disposition was no longer free;
that, whilst you were so moist and soft, I then
with sadness realised your life was spent;
that you had chosen me for your amen
between your zenith and your final rent.

What price for love you had to pay, and stain
upon your beauteous journey through short life,
so full of human tragedy and pain;
so savaged by our ugliness and strife.

And yet, you gift us your perfume unkempt
and beauty, which our hideousness preempts.

(This was one of seven of John’s poems, which were published by Aquillrelle in the anthology “Petrichor Rising” in August 2013)

Essay and poem © 2011 John Anstie

Photographs © 2011 John Anstie

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This post is a part of our participation in 100,000 Poets – and Musicians, Artists and Activists –  for Change. Details HERE. Our theme is Peace and Justice.We invite you to participate in this global event by linking in your work with ours. We’ll be collecting all the links in a commemorative page shortly after we close this project on October 3. You may use Mister Linky below or include your link in the comments section. Thank you! John_in_Pose_Half_Face3

JOHN ANSTIE (My Poetry Library and 42) ~ is a British writer and poet, a contributing editor here at Bardo, and multi-talented gentleman self-described as a “Family man, Grandfather, Occasional Musician, Singer, Amateur photographer and Film-maker, Apple-MAC user, Implementation Manager, and Engineer”. He has participated in d’Verse Poet’s Pub and is a player in New World Creative Union as well as a being a ‘spoken-voice’ participant in Roger Allen Baut’s excellent ‘Blue Sky Highway‘ radio broadcasts. He’s been blogging since the beginning of 2011. He is also a member of The Poetry Society (UK).

*****

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51w-rH34dTL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_John has also been involved in the recent publication of two anthologies that are the result of online collaborations among two international groups of amateur and professional poets. One of these is The Grass Roots Poetry Group, for which he produced and edited their anthology, “Petrichor* Risingin 2013. The other group is d’Verse Poet Pub, in which John’s poetry also appears The d’Verse Anthology: Voices of Contemporary World Poetry, produced and edited by Frank Watson.

Petrichor – from the Greek pɛtrɨkər, the scent of rain on the dry earth.

 

8 thoughts on “Politics, Treachery and… a Rose – Part 2

  1. John, I have read this poem several times, as you know. It is a treasure for many reasons, not the least its bloom of language that casts hope and wisdom before it like the sweetest perfume. There is nothing more healing than a mindful moment, a sense of total presence. This poem brings us to that and is very much appreciated in this effort for 100,000 Poets for Change. The Change must be wrought in us and will be wrought on the wave of mindful moments as human consciousness evolves. Even in our most profoundly depressed moments we know this. The challenge is keep on keeping on.

    Many blessings and thank you for all you have shared here over the past couple of years. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with you.
    J.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Corina, thank you for your lovely, lengthy and comprehensive essay of a comment. You are so right, it is the smallest things that, if we focus on them for a moment longer than we would normally do so, become so significant. It is, I think, rather like the process of meditation, helping us appreciate our life much greater depth. The effect is wholly synergistic.

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  3. Thanks for the comment, Di. I would hope that petal will always be a reminder of how important it is to remember our effect on others and hope that we do leave a pleasant smell and a pleasing image of our time on earth. I hope my poem will at least be appreciated for its meaning to me to my children and grandchildren. More important, I hope we manage to leave them living in a world with hope, as free of corruption and pollution as can be and with the time and a willingness to learn the lessons of history.

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  4. What a wonderful, evocative poem and essay. It’s funny, isn’t it, how sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impacts upon us? That something as simple as a rose petal could have inspired such a positive, thoughtful poem and post to share with all of us. 🙂 I believe that petal was sent to you for a reason at that particular time and place…and that your mindfulness of it was also pivotal, at that exact moment. I empathize with your struggle to maintain a positive spin and keep hope alive. It gets wearisome, fighting for hope and to keep the Light alive. But it’s worth every second, never doubt that. That petal, your poem and thoughts about it…and how they might inspire others, are proof. 🙂 We light one candle with another, and pass it along so that the light grows. Before you know it…we’ll have a beacon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All of us could be like that rose petal, floating around on the winds, we can choose what we leave behind and hopefully a rare beauty and perfume that is remembered and rekindled in others after we leave… Gorgeous poem.

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