CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR EXPANDED VIEWS.
CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR EXPANDED VIEWS.
Flowers have been used to signify peace for millennia. Lavender is said to be the ultimate peace flower, though many others are recognised as symbolising concord and harmony: apple blossoms, lotus flowers, lilies, and white poppies are said to help bring tranquillity and peace to our lives.
Below is a link to a public group on Facebook, Flowers for Peace; you can join and contribute your own photos as the seasons roll by.
The following photos are from an album saved on my computer.
Click on the photos for full screen
Dorje Lama, Kathmandu, Nepal
From: A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems Translator: Arthur Waley
The Four Reminders can help with facing the reality and preciousness of a human life, the importance of impermanence, and the imminence of death:
Ringu Tulku’s words on the Four Reminders, from the Ngondro book:
“Precious human life endowed with every freedom and assets. It is difficult to get and can be easily destroyed, so now is the time to make it meaningful.
The universe and everything that lives therein is impermanent, particularly the lives of beings, who are like water bubbles. The time of death is uncertain, and when you die, you will become a corpse. Dharma will help you at that time, therefore practise it diligently now.
Thirdly, after your death you will have to experience your own karma, having no degree over what happens.
So give up harmful actions, all your time should be spent in the practice of virtue. Thinking this way, evaluate your life daily.
Your are constantly tormented by the three kinds of sufferings. Therefore, samsaric places, friends, pleasures and possessions are like a party given by an executioner, who will lead you to the place of execution. Cutting through the snares of attachment, strive for enlightenment with diligence.
The following photos were taken by Karma Changchub in East Ayrshire.
From the back page of Wasp on the Prayer Flag
Maeve O’Sullivan has an unerring gift for rendering momentary experience – outdoors among weather, flora and fauna, or just pottering at home – into memorable, often beautiful haiku or amusing senryu.
These meditative haiku discover magnificence in the everyday. Alert to how birds, plants and insects revel in weather and the seasons, they connect our human world with the cosmos, and the natural world with the timeless.
Catherine Phil MacCarthy
Wasp on the Prayer Flag is an excellent poetic guidebook for Maeve O’Sullivan’s native Ireland and places beyond.
Maeve O’Sullivan’s poetry and haikai have been widely published, anthologised, awarded and translated. She is the author of five collections from Alba Publishing. Maeve is a founder member of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop, and a member of the Irish Writers’ Centre and the British Haiku Society. She also leads workshops in haiku, and reviews for various journals. www.maeveosullivan.com
The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind happiness not always being so very much fun if you don’t mind a touch of hell now and then just when everything is fine because even in heaven they don’t sing all the time The world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t mind some people dying all the time or maybe only starving some of the time which isn’t half so bad if it isn’t you Oh the world is a beautiful place to be born into if you don’t much mind a few dead minds in the higher places or a bomb or two now and then in your upturned faces or such other improprieties as our Name Brand society is prey to with its men of distinction and its men of extinction and its priests and other patrolmen and its various segregations and congressional investigations and other constipations that our fool flesh is heir to Yes the world is the best place of all for a lot of such things as making the fun scene and making the love scene and making the sad scene and singing low songs of having inspirations and walking around looking at everything and smelling flowers and goosing statues and even thinking and kissing people and making babies and wearing pants and waving hats and dancing and going swimming in rivers on picnics in the middle of the summer and just generally ‘living it up’ Yes but then right in the middle of it comes the smiling mortician The world is a beautiful place to be born into'' by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, from A CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND, copyright ©1955 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Obituary: See The Guardian.
Po Chü-i was born at T’ai-yüan in Shansi. Most of his childhood was spent at Jung-yang in Honan. His father was a second-class Assistant Department Magistrate. He tells us that his family was poor and often in difficulties. (772-846)
My new Province is a land of bamboo-groves:
Their shoots in spring fill the valleys and hills.
The mountain woodman cuts an armful of them
And brings them down to sell at the early market.
Things are cheap in proportion as they are common;
For two farthings, I buy a whole bundle.
I put the shoots in a great earthen pot
And heat them up along with boiling rice.
The purple nodules broken,—like an old brocade;
The white skin opened,—like new pearls.
Now every day I eat them recklessly;
For a long time I have not touched meat.
All the time I was living at Lo-yang
They could not give me enough to suit my taste,
Now I can have as many shoots as I please;
For each breath of the south-wind makes a new bamboo!
“Those who speak know nothing;
Those who know are silent.”
These words, as I am told,
Were spoken by Lao-tzŭ.
If we are to believe that Lao-tzŭ
Was himself one who knew,
How comes it that he wrote a book
Of five thousand words?
I have been ill so long that I do not count the days;
At the southern window, evening—and again evening.
Sadly chirping in the grasses under my eaves
The winter sparrows morning and evening sing.
By an effort I rise and lean heavily on my bed;
Tottering I step towards the door of the courtyard.
By chance I meet a friend who is coming to see me;
Just as if I had gone specially to meet him.
They took my couch and placed it in the setting sun;
They spread my rug and I leaned on the balcony-pillar.
Tranquil talk was better than any medicine;
Gradually the feelings came back to my numbed heart.
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Prelude to poem ‘March 1st, 2020, St David’s Day’
This poem was written last year, just before the World Pandemic 2020 exploded in the UK, during a time, when all we had to worry about was ‘differences of opinion’! That still remains, of course, and for me, my ongoing ‘fight’ is over ‘styles of gardening’ which impact on our environment and the wider picture.
For nearly a decade, I have come up against a regime, driven by an allotment Committee, whereby diversity and heritage is not celebrated but, indeed, has been virtually obliterated! Order and uniformity is enforced, with apple and pear trees cut down, bushes removed, glyphosate used to kill weeds, and generally a ‘scorched earth’ approach, the idea being that each plot-holder can ‘start afresh’, with a blank canvas…
I have my own triangle-shaped, half-plot, with two Morello cherry trees, apple, plum and pear trees and, my pride and joy, a beautiful Cydonia quince tree! I have a cultivated blackberry, red, black and white currant bushes, six blueberry bushes, and gooseberries too.
There is a small pond: new people are not allowed ponds now! I have frogs, an earthworm rich soil, a visiting fox, blackbirds, long-tailed tits, robins, great tits and the occasional pigeon! I can’t ever leave this piece of ground, as the Committee will cut down my trees! I am passionate about my style of gardening and know that increased diversity produces the greatest abundance.
My plot is an oasis amongst devastation. Those who have suffered badly from this regime have left. I’m holding out for as long as my health and strength can manage!
PS I’m looking for a toy-boy who likes gardening, romance would be nice, but, if they are of my way of thinking, I would like them to inherit my piece of paradise, to continue fighting for our beloved green spaces!
March 1st 2020, St David’s Day by Ianthe
Sister- sun’s warm touch soothed my left shoulder,
Deep, comforting heat…a gift, now I’m older!
Served to remind me of jewels, still to unfold,
Bright, longer days, some relief from the cold…
And, yet, daffodils nodded their yellow ‘Hello’
Bees sought mauve crocus beneath branches below.
I beamed, as I walked on this rain-sodden earth
Revealing its bounty, declaring its worth.
Harvesting broccoli, rhubarb, leeks and sorrel
Caught Mr Blackbird scutter low, by the laurel.
Robin perched on a twig, stretched out his fine wing,
Long-tailed tits gathered, flitted, enjoying their sing,
On turning, to glance down amongst parsley and sage,
Was frogspawn clear-glistening behind the wire cage!
Couched down in the pond, Marsh Marigold mingled
It brought a flush to my face: my gloved-fingers fair tingled!
I smiled, as I heard the ‘wreckers’ break glass,
As this patch of land maintained its own Class,
Undisturbed, full of life, “Hell! … Just pure Heaven!”…
Counted spent summers here, at least ten years, plus seven!
All this planning and building, the soil and its treasure…
The hours of watching, listening, the joy and the pleasure,
Fruitful promise, sure harvest, delight and surprise,
Were all there…unfolding…in front of my eyes.