Painshill Park & The Honey Bee Festival

Reading Biddle The Bee at Painshill Park during the honey bee festival http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biddle-Bee-Everything-Garden-Purpose/dp/0992618827

painshill

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was such a treat to read my Biddle The Bee story at The Painshill Honey Bee Festival at the weekend.Painshill Park is a beautiful, 18th century garden near Cobham, Surrey, UK. The landscape garden was originally created by the Honourable Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773. Over 80,000 visitors a year now visit Painshill Park with its iconic follies.

The Honey Bee Festival is hosted every year by members of The British Beekeepers Association. Sandra Rickwood and Marion Cooper of the Weybridge Branch of British beekeepers invited me to participate and read my story of Biddle The Bee. Marion Cooper helped with the final editing of the book, and I can honestly say that beekeepers are very particular that all the facts in a story should be absolutely correct! Biddle The Bee has their seal of approval! Phew!!

www.amazon.com/Biddle-Bee-Dug-Rosie-Everything-ebook/dp/B00GLXM9TA

Biddle The Bee http://www.amazon.co.uk/Biddle-Bee-Everything-Garden-Purpose/dp/0992618827
And Papa jumped up, “Let’s waggle and jive! Let’s be like the bees when they’re in the hive. They buzz to the left, and buzz to the right! They’re dancing a map of their nectar flight, And showing each other just where they have been, To find the best nectar for feeding the queen!”
 My tongue is so long, like a straw, made to shloop! I prod and I poke; I probe and I scoop. I suck up the nectar for my honey tummy. I cook it; I mix it ~ sweet honey, so yummy!  I keep it and store it in my winter pantry, For when food is scarcezzzzz, and nectar is scanty!”
My tongue is so long, like a straw, made to shloop! I prod and I poke; I probe and I scoop. I suck up the nectar for my honey tummy. I cook it; I mix it ~ sweet honey, so yummy! I keep it and store it in my winter pantry, For when food is scarcezzzzz, and nectar is scanty!”

Biddle The Bee is one of a series of Pa Dug & Rosie books, all about how everything in the garden serves a purpose. In my attempt to bring poetry to science, I am thrilled to be involved in raising awareness of the wonderful bee who is under serious threat internationally from pesticides and loss of habitat. Bees are an incredible civilization unto themselves and many things upset their rhythm. As part of my research for this story, I visited an apiary. The fact that bees crawled all over me didn’t phase me a bit!  I trusted them, and they were remarkably calm ~ even when being handled.

Painshill Park is such a beautiful place. Songs from the book were sung, and children wrestled with deliberate tongue-twisters such as: “But the bee buzzed by on busy business!” Well! if you were aged between 3 and 7, you’d have fun pronouncing this! And, of course, we danced the Waggle Jive!!! Children love the musicality and rhythm of the rhyme and hearing it read with me imitating all the different voices…doing the bee voice is fun; doing this at my age is even more fun! And, of course, the little ones LOVE the pictures ~ Originals courtesy of Marta Pelrine Bacon and coloured with added graphics by yours truly!

Find Biddle The Bee HERE in Kindle (GREAT FOR CLASSROOMS). HERE (where the print version is cheaper than Amazon!)

Niamh Clune © 2014, words and illustrations, all rights reserved

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Am I Fractured?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/janetbeasley/8202423703/in/set-72157632059676528/ www.plumtreebooks.co.uk Janet Beasley, Niamh Clune
https://www.flickr.com/photos/janetbeasley/8202423703/in/set-72157632059676528/  www.plumtreebooks.co.uk Janet Beasley, Niamh Clune
Clouds permission of Janet Beasley

AM I Fractured? By Niamh Clune

Am I fractured, when in the wrath of sunlight streaming ‘cross this sky,
I cloak myself in darkness
cool and safe?

Am I fractured if Colour speaks of secrets more ancient than this sun –
of a time before beginning,
when all was yet unformed, inherent,
ready to burst upon this Blue?

Am I fractured when I feel into tacit –
To probe thoughts never heard,
dreams never shared,
tears never shed?

Am I fractured if I return to Creation’s womb
to the fiery, Colour salamanders
that spark and illuminate my inner Heavens.

Am I mad for seeing into that other realm?
Then, so be it.
Far more beautiful is that Sun.
Where I unchain my weary spirit from this violent dawning.

Copyright Niamh Clune 2013

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430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

My Declaration Of Independence.

I am not governed by a foreign power; I am self-governed.
I am as free as I can be from the control of others.
I am influenced by love and beauty, kindness and compassion, yearning and striving.
I am self-reliant – an independent mind that cannot be reigned in, repressed or shape-shifted to please the status quo.
I do not depend on someone else to decide whether or not, I can express my voice in the world.
I am not determined by fashion – not the next J.K. Rowling – not trying to write the next Fifty One Shades Of Lighter Grey.
I am not determined by the outcome of statistics or the result of a study, or the promise of a guaranteed 5,000 advance sales.
I will not be watered down, nor have my chocolate sweetened.
I am cocoa, Marmite, chilli and garlic ~ an Independent Artist, Writer or Publisher who creates – simply because I can. I must. I will die if I don’t.

I am poor for my art but rich in my soul.  I cannot DO anything other than express the inner urgings of my vision. I am driven, living in wait for that one person able to recognise that what I create has merit. I crave recognition that will, for a moment, exalt the beauty that’s in me. Then I shall no longer hide for fear of derision or being left exposed, naked and alone.

But if I never receive your acknowledgement, I will not falter.  I will remain the bastard child and grow thin waiting for that which nourishes my soul – that golden patronage that stands against the sky and says, “I see you. I see what you are doing. You are the new adventure, the subversive, pure of voice untainted by the fickleness of the board (bored) room. You interfere with the syntax. You interrupt the narrative. You punctuate like a Jazz Drummer. You make me think, feel, wonder anew. You break the rules ~ because you can ~ because you must. It is your destiny. ”

I am an independent artist ~ harder on myself than others ever could  be, working hard day and night sending my voice out into the wilderness.

– Niamh Clune © 2014, essay, Niamh Clune, All rights reserved 430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Some Levity For Dog Lovers!

cat poems Niamh Clune www.plumtreebooks.co.uk

dog-cartoon-clipartA thin black cat
got suddenly fat
and jumped through a hoop
at the end of a loop
but the cat got stuck
and was suddenly struck
by the limits of girth
now too big a berth

His whiskers twitched,
his midriff itched.
He tried to wiggle ~
not even a little
could he prize himself free.
In cat misery,
he wailed up a storm
just as loud as can be

and the dog did chuckle
at the state of the muckle
of the cat in the middle
now caught in a riddle
what should a dog do
when a cat is in glue
should he try to unstick it,
or maybe just lick it?

Well! if you were a dog
what would be your action
to go where no dog
might venture a fraction
to wrest free the cat
from unsavoury bind
or laugh till you cried
and shove from behind?

Copyright poem Niamh Clune 2013; dog cartoon clipart courtesy of Karen Arnold, Public Domain Pictures.net

Editorial note: We’re serving up something on the light side today from Niamh’s growing collection of goodies for children and for the child in all of us.

 

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

 

Ssssh! Don’t Tell Anyone!

dr-nanaplum-amazingbooksforchildren.com

dr-nanaplum-amazingbooksforchildren.comShall I let you into one of my secrets?

When I was little, fairies lived at the bottom of my garden. I used to talk or sing to them quietly (as fairies don’t like shouting). And when dew covered the grass and made it glitter and sparkle, I knew the fairies were preparing for a shindig.

Everyone knows that when dew is on the grass, fairies have their choice of the most beautiful sparkles imaginable. Fairies might wear peony, iris, or rose sparkle. Boy fairies wear shamrock and breeches made of bark ~ be-dewed and made smooth and slithery ~ great for sliding down mole-hills!

Fairies love nothing more than dew! They drink it; it makes them giggle! They wear it; it makes them shimmer. Dew really is the diamond in the fairy-queen crown.

Apart from anything else, dew means the dawn of a new day, when fairies can flit and dart ~ flicker and start; hover and whiz ~ zip and fizz; float and flash ~ make-a-dash; tease and prance ~ skip and dance; hurry and scurry ~ all of a flurry; rush and rail ~ skim, speed and sail!

The best Leprechaun fiddlers play the most lively jigs! Elf harpists pluck at your heartstrings and weave magic in verse. Goblins are the best drummers, whilst meadow sprites have very high, reedy singing voices. Usually appearing on percussion are the cobbler gnomes ~ with a-clink and a-clank, whenever needed. All in all, fairy gatherings are a sight to see ~ for those able to see them.

I spent many an early morning dancing fine jigs to the tunes of the little people, singing long songs or reciting poems, all of which are of very great interest to fairies. They taught me some of their secrets about bees and butterflies, worms and magic bears who know such an awful lot about everything. They also taught me how to grow up into someone who is wise. I like to share some of those mysteries with boys and girls (and grown-ups who still have magic in them) who are inquisitive but can also keep a secret.

Sssssssssh! Promise you won’t tell anyone…

Find me on dr-nanaplum-amazingbooksforchildren.com if you would like more stories!

© 2014, illustration and story, Plum Tree Books, All rights reserved

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

A Nairobi Lesson!

Recently, a friend of mine, Patricia Tilton, reviewed a lovely little book for children on her blog: My Paper House by Lois Peterson about a little girl who comes from Kibera in Nairobi.

Reading her review, memories of my first impressions of the frantic, noisy, city of Nairobi inspired me to write something for my Insights Corner. At the time, I was doing a consultancy for Oxfam. I rode in my air-conditioned Toyota Landcruiser (until it was stolen) through the then-failing traffic system with its drive-on-the-left, traffic lit, roundabouted road infrastructure ~ a testament to Pre-Uhuru British colonialism.

Heat bounced off the pot-holed, tarmacked roads, causing them to soften and shimmy.

I remember driving through the parts of town where the rich lived. Roads were lined with mansions and gated-compounds guarded by Askaris. Pepper trees and Bougainvillea grew everywhere. I knew I was in Africa because of the glaring, daring colours ~ flowers and vibrant Kangas worn by local women. Only they can wear such colour. Their blue-black skin makes that of a white person’s seem bleached, devoid of life.

The relentless sun forces everything to exude its fragrance. house nairobihouse nairobi

I drove to another part of town. Glinting corrugated tin roofs bounce the sun back into your eyes ~ mirroring something of the reality of contrasts in that part of the world. The Kibera slums occupy a space not quite as large as Central Park. Kibera is jammed full of ramshackle tin huts. Beneath those roofs, men, women and children live in unimaginable poverty. Urine and feces run in open ruts across the ground. There is nowhere to walk, no streets, street lights, or running water. The walking paths (if you can call them that) are filled with rubbish and human waste.

1,000,000 men, women and children live there. There are approximately 1300 people per toilet. If a toilet is occupied, a person squats over a plastic bag (which is a rare commodity) tries to tie it, then jettisons it into space (“flying toilet”).

Kibera is a breeding ground for Diptheria, Malaria and Typhus. Many children don’t live to see five years.

Kibera is an eye-sore, stinking, outrageous and offensive in every way imaginable.slums

Yet, I learned something from my visit (which does not make it right, justify its existence or create a holier-than-thou chance to evangelise in search of a raison d’etre.)

A child of about nine years old approached me. “Mama!” she said. “Give me that.” I looked at what she pointed to. I had a plastic container that I considered rubbish and would (being ecologically minded) recycle. “Give me that,” she said again in English.

I gave it her, and she smiled her thanks. She seemed delighted. I learned later that this little raggedy girl lived on rubbish. Every day of her life, she foraged in Nairobi rubbish dumps to find anything of value that she might then sell on for a few shillings. I had given her something that, for me, was worthless trash, but to her, meant she could eat Ugali that day.

Interestingly, my house-girl (I didn’t invent the terminology or the servant-driven economy) had a plastic container just like it on the window-sill of her hut (of which she was intensely proud). Once, it had been filled with succulent strawberries, now, it was Crosby’s bead box. And she thought it beautiful.

Insight? Apart from the outrage I felt/feel that this goes on in the world and we, collectively, do nothing about it, I looked into that little girl’s eyes. I saw a look of achievement, hope, pride. I did not see failure or despair. She had survived that day. She wanted to survive, thrive, live. Only 8% of girls in Kibera are educated. Just think what this child might achieve if she were given the chance!

Sometimes all we need is a chance. That little girl would grab the taken-for-granted thing and run with it ~ for years and years ~ propelled by its value.

– Niamh Clune

© 2014, essay, Niamh Clune, All rights reserved; photo #1 courtesy of Mwanamwiwa; photo #2 The Guardian News Service; photo #3 © Nairobi Slumbs Schools Project Trust;

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Why not write a poem about your mother?

img118April has been declared International poetry month and The Bardo Group* are celebrating with all things poetry. Plum Tree Books will participate in interNational Poetry Month by publishing a new anthology of poetry.

Because we love all things children and all things poetry, I would like to bring together two marvellous themes: International poetry month with the recent celebration of Mother’s Day. Our anthology will celebrate all things MOTHER! Would you like to write a poem for your mother? Are you a mother who would love to encapsulate the experience of mothering? Would you love to write a poem for your child that will live forever? Or maybe, you are a child who would love to send in a poem about your mother?

This anthology will celebrate the essence of mothering. Send in an image to accompany your work, if possible…(details below)

I am also calling on artists and illustrators who would like to participate by helping us to illustrate this anthology with original work. All copyright and acknowledgement will, of course, be accredited to all contributors. Submission automatically licences Plum Tree Books to publish your work for the sole purpose of this publication only, but you always own your copyright.

We will also promote you!

Please submit your contributions to: niamhclune@plumtreebooks.co.uk

This anthology will be published as an e-book first. Proceeds of sales will go towards seeing your work in print. This will make a wonderful coffee table gift, or to use for self-promotion.

Encourage your children to participate and send in their drawings too!I will also be looking for the perfect image for the book cover.

All submitted images should have full copyright permission and be in high resolution (At least 300 dpi’s). Images should be scanned.

Submissions by June 5th

Publication as e-book by July 5th

Help us make this a thing of beauty and a joy forever!

Best, Niamh Clune

* Editor’s Note: Link HERE for The Bardo Group mission statement. The Bardo Group – an informal noncommercial collective – and Niamh Clune/Plum Tree Books have a casual nonfinancial friendship based on a shared love of poetry and the humanities and a desire to encourage peace and understanding, individual creativity and appreciation for the arts.

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

The Artist

Book Art by Brian Dettmer
Book Art by Brian Dettmer

The Artist

You are the poem and the rhyme,
The reason for created time;
The song, the sung, the singer too;
The truth that is the deepest you.
So ask not why you paint the rose,
Or write of love’s heart-wrenching prose ~
And steal the light from Heaven’s hand,
To write a poem in the sand.


© Niamh Clune 2013

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

For My Mother

For My Mother
Found_10764992_153120

I want to reach across the sky
to mists beyond the blue
to where you are imagined still
and I remember you

Your face was soft, your lilting tongue
a brogue of Burren’s air,
a flute that danced upon the wind
from Erin’s County Clare.

You danced a Hornpipe, kicked your heels,
smiled with not a care ~
With rocking ankle, turn of calf,
And ribbons in your hair.

Wild and exiled, mother mine
you beat the flaggy ground
with rhythm of the rebel coast
battering the sound.

I do miss your bluest eyes
and long for when you were
an orchid in a field of tare ~
the girl from County Clare.

Copyright, poem, Niamh Clune 2013, All rights reserved

Editor’s Note: Yesterday, May 30, was Mothering Sunday in the UK and Niamh’s lovely poem is posted in honor of the day. Best wishes and gratitude to moms in the UK and everywhere from The Bardo Group and thanks to Niamh for sharing this lovely homage to her own mom with us in celebration of this special day.

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore By Niamh Clune

Sir$20George$20Robey$202I grew up in London Irish pubs where music was inwoven into the fabric of daily life. One of my father’s few redeeming features was that he was a good musician, some would say fabulous, even. He played big band swing and bebop on sax and clarinet. When he wanted to torture my mother, he played Irish jigs on the silver flute (should always be played on the simple wooden flute) without feeling or nótaí ghrásta(grace notes). Basically, according to my mother, a bepob player should leave the traditional alone.

Musicians such as The Dubliners stayed with us in the pub we ran in Finsbury Park, The Sir George Robey, then known as The Clarence, and now derelict, and drank us out of house and home. Many exiled and lonely young men full of music, poetry, politics and idealistic intellect passed through our ever-open doors ~ bees to honey, the honey being my mother’s sparkling blue eyes, astonishing charm, and generous supply of home-cooking. They came also because the craic was great. Music pumped out of the bar every night, from Jazz and Bebop, to Blues, Country and Traditional Irish.

At a young age, my father hauled me up onto that stage to “sing us a song” to make the auld fellas cry and drown shamrock memories in copious amounts of the ‘black stuff.’ Children and mammies were remembered. Many had been abandoned for years and left to fend for themselves back in the auld country where there was little hope of employment. Paddy was forced to seek work in foreign, English climes. The lure of digging London’s Victoria underground tunnel superseded all other needs. Earn the Queen’s shilling and put a crust of bread on now distant tables, was the prayer of the day. Home parlours were replaced by my mother’s public bar, where navvy’s found refuge through smiling, non-judgmental, Irish eyes that lit cold souls and warmed exiled hearts.

As was the way with most Irish families, if you could sing, then sing. It was expected. If you could recite a poem, then recite. If you could make a speech and blind all with the power of your oratory then “Fair play to ye!” Just make sure it was passionate, rousing, fired with history and enough whiskey to whet a verbose whistle and incite the nationalist soul.

Because today is St. Patrick’s Day, I will sing you a song I recorded a while back. It’s on my CD Touching Angels…https://soundcloud.com/niamh-clune/red-on-white May the Uilleann Pipes fire your blood and make you get up and dance!

 

Sparrow on the wind

You speak of death.Giovanni_Da_Udine_-_Study_of_a_Flying_Sparrow_-_WGA09431
But when death finally reaches out his hand
to snatch your soul,
he will find a little bird
fluttering and singing in his palm.
Entranced, he will stroke your feathers
and set you soaring to the winds.
They shall not buffer you
but lift you higher than the moon
to that distant star, dreamed by you
many Spring moments ago,
when in your imagination,
you flew into Jupiterian blue.
As a tiny chirping, delightful sparrow,
you shall make your exit.
And death shall hear your last thought.
And it shall make him jealous
of how you lived.

– Niamh Clune

(c) 2014, poem, Niamh Clune, All rights reserve; illustration, Giovanni Da Udine (1487-1564), Italian painter, stuccoist and architect

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Into The Blue

would I were sure-footed,precipice
not stumble, fall for you,
be exposed on craggy precipice,
tumble into blue.

would the wind might carry me,
to distant, silky shore
holding my heart tenderly
breaking it no more.

then would I dance lightly,
arabesque with perfect poise
never losing my sure-footing
never hear the rushing noise
of pulsing rivered life-blood
coursing through my veins
as fool, I step off madly
to break my heart again.

copyright 2013 Niamh Clune

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

When The Dreamer Meets The Dreamed.

I thought I might tell it in music. I hope you enjoy listening.

From the CD Touching Angels:
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/touching-angels/id511597931

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

The Legend of Tír na nÓg by Niamh Clune

niamh
First seen in The Hulk Comic #18 1974

Niamh Chinn Óir mounted her white stallion to ride the warm, west wind. Her golden hair, wild and free as horse’s mane danced in gay abandon. This journey, fit for none other than she of the faery folk had not been made for centuries. Leaving Tír na nÓg far behind, she crossed the perilous ocean.

What lover’s call had summoned her?

What sweet voice, carried on sea mist had entered her slumber? She would know his name.

The Giant's Causeway.
The Giant’s Causeway.

Oisín, son of Fionn mac Cumhaill sat on a rock gazing over the crashing sea. The young warrior-bard paused from his labour, disturbed as he was by unquenched longing. His father, fierce and wise chieftain of the Fianna had conquered the Scottish giant Cú Chulainn. Oisin was tasked to write the victory for posterity making it known to all those who were destined to belong to the future.

A wind stirred his hair, just a whisper that carried sweet, unfathomable promise.  He was lifted up into the air, dazzled by golden streams of sunlight. He looked upon the face of Niamh and knew the one for whom he had longed.

celtic-horseShe carried him across the sea to Tír na nÓg, the land of Eternal Youth. The journey was the passing of a second. No mortal had ever crossed the perilous ocean to the edge of time, to the furthest, western-most reaches of the world where faery and mortal knew no distance or fear between them.

She was his arbour; him, the conqueror of all he surveyed ~ prince of timelessness.

But mortality is ruled by time. And soon the restless spirit summoned him to his father’s purpose. In his deepest heart he was of the blood-line race of Fianna and must return to Ireland to attend his kin.

Niamh warned him of succumbing to his mortal destiny. “If you set foot on Irish soil, it will be your end.” Echoes of her warning called after him on the high-pitched voice of the ill wind that carried him home.

François Pascal Simon Gérard: Oisin.
François Pascal Simon Gérard: Oisin.

Oisín was shocked at how his land and people had changed. He was a giant among men. Fields were cleared, forests cut down. Hunting had given way to farming.   He sighted a group of workers as they struggled to lift a boulder and clear a new tillage. The boulder was of no consequence to Oisín. He leant from his horse to toss it aside. As he did so, his stirrup broke and he fell to the ground. Ageing in an instant, the three hundred years that had passed claimed him and returned him to the soil from whence he had come,

In Oisín’s passing, contact with faery was lost forever. Niamh came no more to the Emerald Isle. Although I hear it told that her name lives still in some of Erin’s daughters.

© 2013, story Niamh Clune, All rights reserved

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430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (Plum Tree Books Blog) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

New Shoots

Martha pushed the wave of hair from her mouth. It curled defiantly, springing back to long-established disobedience. Persistent, she thought, me and my curls.

Grey now, her hair once tumbled in fiery splendour, was alive, misbehaved ~ a shimmering red-gold, tossed easily by whispers of season’s change. Though faded, red gold still flecked her grey.

She had always loved Autumn ~ even in Spring ~ loved passion’s ripening, bearing fruit, swelling, dying and finding peace in Earth’s dormancy.

Gazing from her bedroom window upon the now silent, winter-ravaged garden made barren by endings, she noticed the first thin, green shoot pushing its way through frozen earth in reach of sun. It broke that ground disallowing any weight that might prevent discovery of new life. It pierced the earth, pushed it aside and reached upwards with unashamed vigour.new shoots (1) - Copy.png

Martha remembered many springs ~ the spring in her step, the song in her heart, the smell of freshly broken soil, the scent of blossom on the air, new love ~ the excitement of life begun when there were many springs to come.

The young shoot clamouring for sky stabbed her heart. That green shard ~ that razor sharp needle did not speak of hope or new beginnings ~ nor solace, expectancy, or the trumpeted arrival into a fresh season.

She would not see flowers sown by him; she would not smell soil fresh-turned by him. She would not gather herbs for an evening feast. Birds could not sing her wounded heart awake or delight with soaring melody. Her garden was empty and silent.

She moved across the room. At her dressing-table, she opened the drawer, and taking scissors between her slender fingers, she pulled the offending curl straight, and cut.

Round after round, tinged still with autumn fire, tumbled to the ground, where it lay still and final.

– Niamh Clune

© 2013, story and photograph, Niamh Clune, All rights reserved

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

For the Innocents

emilie-parker-conn-shooting-victim-ap-578kb_606
Emilie Alice Parker

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A year ago today, a man in Connecticut opened fire on innocents and educators. This poem is for them.

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what evil wrought the twisted brier

causing him to open fire ~

slaughter hearts of innocents,

sweetest gifts of angels sent

among us, to remind us of

what’s essential, what is love

twisted mind whose wielded ‘right’

expressed his hate with gun of might

and snuffed them out, the madness toll

killed them twice ~ crushed the soul

put out the moon, pull down the stars

wrap the babe’s unsightly scars

make a shroud of blackened sky

so cold the slab on which they lie

cancel Christmas for all time

leave tears, for this, the greatest crime,

to wash their wounds of powder blast,

then dress them well, for this, their last

sleigh ride, to Santa’s sombred cave

then send them to their silent grave.

(c) Niamh Clune 2012, All rights reserved
Photo courtesy of the Parker Family via AP photo

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Dr. Clune is the CEO of Plum Tree Books and Art. Its online store is HERE.  Niamh’s Amazon page is HERE.

Madiba

nelson-mandelae280ac

Madiba was a fire dragon.
We breathe his air
Are shaped of his thoughts and aspirations
That lick though our minds
And light our hearts with fervent adoration

He taught us to see beyond skin
Into flesh, bone and sinew
Into the beating heart of Africa

He taught us to walk the burning ground with courage,
Even when afraid
To make partners of our enemies
And break chains of slavery
With weapons of love, compassion and understanding
Always demanding freedom’s righteousness

He will never die
He is a shaper of men
A man of history
An ancient of days
A World Saviour

(c) Niamh Clune

Photo in general use.

Editor’s Note: We’ve added the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to the links in the blogroll, should anyone care to make a donation in his memory.

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Her Amazon page is HERE.

Shedding Old Skins

Clouds by Janet Beasley
Clouds by Janet Beasley

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My throat is dry from weeping into an ocean
Where a few more droplets will not create a swell.
Nor will the sound of tears spent
Be heard above the curlew cry
Or gulls greedy, dry-throated squawk for morsels.

Can I soar above the false cries, the shouts of fury,
The passion spent and wasted on others?
As I shed my skin and stand again within my core ~ within my light
And see it travel on the wind or move along the glistening wave
Until it reaches the shore?

© Niamh Clune, All rights reserved

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Her Amazon page is HERE.

Preponderance

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When thunder rolls on the mountain, I will remain small;
In a time of humility, I will cherish modesty’s virtue.
In a time of mourning, I will uplift with sombre reverence;
In a time of want, I will be resourcefully frugal.

If I should try to fly too high, my wings would be melted by a greater god.
So I will remain in the nest, where I am safe.

I will strive instead to be to be content with Self.
This is the greatest success imaginable.
I have nothing to prove to me or to others.
Posturing is unnecessary.
Strength lies in guileless sincerity ~
Mourning is selfless compassion.

Modesty is an unshakeable faith
That allows grace to flow to others
With no loss to Self.

– Niamh Clune

© 2013, poem, Niamh Clune, All rights reserved
Photo courtesy of morgueFile

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Her Amazon page is HERE.

Waiting

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wait each day, down by the ocean, sitting on our bench, looking out to sea. The sun is relentless, piercing through my linen shroud like an X-ray picking clean my bones. I turn my face to it in supplication. Still, it beats down on me; whilst gentle waves of sea roll in, slide up the beach and trickle through millions of grains of sand, each of little consequence.

A sand crab hurries away. I know not where. I do not wonder. I think only of you and the last time we met. You were dark that day, your passion spent. You could not love. You could not feel. You stood a distance away, dressed in a long grey coat. The heat never touched you. It did not X-Ray your bones, nor expose the wild, stunted heart that lay beneath that full, bleak envelope. A quiet breeze lifted your hair in billowing wisps, playing with it, tempting you to participate in the beauty of the day. You saw no-thing. Your eyes were black, shrivelled into thin points staring out to sea.

You should not have been there. You looked so out of place. The incongruity of the moment stabbed me like a shard of yellow sunlight bursting through the walls of my heart.

I remember now. A tear rolls down my cheek, splashes into the sand and disappears inconsequentially, as a droplet carried in an ocean of tears.

You will never come again.

That time, you came to mourn me. You saw only an empty bench, a cruel, not gentle sea, and a crab that fed off my bones.

I am here my love, waiting still, in the moments when the wind rustles through your hair to tempt you into seeing the beauty of the day.

– Niamh Clune

© 2013, fiction, Niamh Clune, All rights reserved
Photo courtesy of morgeFile

430564_3240554249063_1337353112_n-1orange-petals-cover_page_001DR. NIAMH CLUNE (On the Plum Tree) ~ is the author of the Skyla McFee series: Orange Petals in a Storm, and Exaltation of a Rose. She is also the author of The Coming of the Feminine Christ: a ground-breaking spiritual psychology. Niamh received her Ph.D. from Surrey University on Acquiring Wisdom Through The Imagination and specialises in The Imaginal Mind and how the inborn, innate wisdom hidden in the soul informs our daily lives and stories. Niamh’s books are available in paperback (children’s books) and Kindle version (The Coming of the Feminine Christ). Her Amazon page is HERE.