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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Long Drove


Uncannily, all I can hear
is the gentle ‘shwersh’ of my tyres
as I pedal luxuriously,
with the wind at my back,
the long straight fenny drove
that stretches into unseeable infinity.

Suddenly, the distant trees
fall away to reveal
a cathedral’s tower, way, way, way away.

I pause to try and imagine
the puzzlement of ancients
watching this edifice
climb mysteriously
above the forbears of my trees.

Only an adventurer’s tale,
or the proud assertion of a wandering divine,
can reveal the story
of this Goliath,
towering above mud and wattle hovels.

‘Tis the great Prince-Bishop’s seat of power’,
proclaims the adventurer, ‘And I have been there’

‘Tis the City of God atop the fens’,
sings the divine, ‘And I will be there’.

But for me, it is time to turn
into an unexpectedly hostile wind,
which would make me late for my next engagement,
as I head frantically away from
the age-old symbol
of the still presence of the Eternal One,
into the din of my little world.

Original introduction
From last week’s post starting in plains of Arabia, I come sharply home to the Cambridgeshire Fens. Last night we were present at an excellent concert by The Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Garbarak in the magnificent Cathedral at Ely. Sitting listening, I marvelled at how the columns of air reverberated around the huge stone columns of the Cathedral and its walls – to produce quite exquisite sounds from the two tenors, counter-tenor and baritone, woven together with the amazing improvisations of Jan Garbarak on the saxophone. Other than while the sax was playing, the sound might have been similar to that of monks in centuries gone by – who knows? If it was, I guess the pilgrims and residents of Ely got a similar thrill from the choral music in those long past days.
And those stone columns must have been almost beyond belief to anyone living in tiny hovels in the Fens as they saw the Cathedral rise into the sky from miles away.
We live eight miles from Ely and along one of the droves – long, flat, straight paths where livestock were driven to market in times past - I was cycling …
and these thoughts came to me. 

(Regular visitors to the blog will recognize, in the second lineof the poem that follows, a reiteration of the theme in ‘Sounds’ which you can access HERE)




Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'