|Hazel Saville is from Carmarthen, Wales, in the UK. She has been writing poetry since her early teens. She has worked as a social worker and since 2000 as a hypnotherapist/psychotherapist. Amongst other things, she is a visual artist, a songwriter and plays the Celtic harp. Hazel likes exploring ideas in her work. She particularly enjoys the musicality of poetry. Her poems have been published in a number of UK magazines and anthologies.
If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring
Every heart would have a new song to sing
And we’d sing of the joy every morning would bring… (The song is transcribed in full below)
When I was a child, this was one of my parent’s favourite songs, sung by the Welsh baritone Harry Secombe. When I sat down to write on the topic of today’s prompt, on how you would wish the world to be and what solutions you’d suggest to the world’s problems, this song immediately came to mind.
I wouldn’t wish to rule the world–
the song inspires– it stamps on me
an image of desire… yet would we
soon tire of such eternal spring?
I wouldn’t wish to rule a world
where sun shines in all skies.
I’m from a land of scudding clouds…
a cobalt patch small as a hand,
amidst broad back cloths
washed with yellowed-grey…
a sun blessed day is treasured.
I wouldn’t wish to rule this world
where trouble’s never far away.
Through pain I find a way of love
the only way that brings change in…
and yes, it’s loving my own heart
for me that changes everything.
I look at those who lack for love
spill out their need upon the world,
see greed that tows destruction
in its wake.
No law can make
The heart will groan,
the heart will break…
the earth will shake…
Only when people live in love
will this world turn, will this world take
a new trajectory.
Then, maybe, we are content with everything.
Then, maybe, we enter this eternal spring
where everyone wears the smile of a child.
If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring
Every heart would have a new song to sing
And we’d sing of the joy every morning would bring
If I ruled the world, every man would be as free as a bird
Every voice would be a voice to be heard
Take my word we would treasure each day that occurred
My world would be a beautiful place
Where we would weave such wonderful dreams
My world would wear a smile on its face
Like the man in the moon has when the moon beams
If I ruled the world every man would say the world was his friend
There’d be happiness that no man could end
No my friend, not if I ruled the world
Every head would be held up high
There’d be sunshine in everyone’s sky
If the day ever dawned when I ruled the world
ORNADEL, CYRIL/BRICUSSE, LESLIE
Poem 29 – Pastiche of Love
Water ripples like angel’s wings.
Where the waves have gone quiet is her voice,
settling between ordinary and miracle.
She sings, coloured with hues of hope,
and the melody holds me upright…
her voice like the forever winds.
That one song runs passionately
inside my soul…still song from beyond,
and life is lifted in the humming…
I will tell you of beats pounding,
of a heart nearly exploding with joy
at the sound of its own captive emotions
finally being released.
She blesses us into the centre of moment…
the struggle, the journey, discovering light!
Unfolding we trace our path,
behind us the tails of a kite soaring.
Lilies and trumpets…
the dove of love hums in our heart,
it echoes so quietly
as it rides the morning air.
Life opens its eyes,
eyes of dark almonds
in a face that lives.
I reach out and find a kindred heart.
See the gleam of friendship all around…
it is precious…representing
strength that comes from within.
Poem 28 – Despite Everything We Dance
Ask me of the song and I will tell you,
how the music tuned the chords of my heart,
how the voices lifted with words
that hummed through my being,
ancient and strong,
singing of struggles long past
and of joy at another spring.
I will tell you how
our feet stamp out the beat,
how the body sways
in the way of the dance.
Yes, I tell you it rises,
from the broken bones of yesterday,
it rises…and the whole body
becomes one with the song.
Poem 27-Moving on
(Somatic Movement Therapy)
Today I learn to walk with a new grace…
I still remember tottering toddler steps,
me clutching a wooden trolley
filled with new painted blocks.
I must unlearn the damage of the years
of muscles pulling taut and tight with trauma…
old patterns of protection hiding fears
must now be made most conscious.
As I struggle with this therapy,
with movements in profusion,
I’m told “you’re discombobulated…”
words add to my confusion!
Practice has brought me to this day…
focus on extention and contraction,
my intention calling muscle groups
to synchronise all action.
I must adjust my knee, my foot,
endure awkwardness with every step,
until I walk with grace across the room,
each movement smooth and sure.
Poem 26 – The Ancient Refrain
They call to me still,
the old songs of my childhood,
of the Cymry, the Welsh,
whose words and images
have roots in the liminal,
in the voice of Taliesien,
redolent with magic,
rich with mystery…
On winter evenings
gathered with family,
my uncle at the piano,
his swift fingers flying
over notes that called the tune,
his deep baritone
leading us on.
These songs of hiraeth,
of the deep longing for homeland,
never satisfied until
we return to Her shores,
where the land of song
calls to us, in ancient refrain
sings in blood, through bone,
and echoes in the holiness of the heart,
the Calon Lan, the pure heart,
seat of the passion
that keeps us singing,
of the bitter-sweet love of life.
Poem 25- A New Entirety
swift wind that shifts
over the wide face of the world.
You move on the face of the waters,
Your breath giving form to all…
You sustain and nurture us
through all our days…
in the radiance of sun light,
in the stillness of a quiet moon.
You fall with speed of lightning…
You see the true desire of our hearts.
You guide us on our way,
speaking with symbols in a dream,
or through the pressure of events,
the push of circumstance,
your voice half heard,
a buzz we swat aside,
even when it speaks
into our greatest need.
Where the curlew calls on the long sands
I take my faltering steps
back into life…
My feet bare,
my heart heaving off
it’s layers of hard skin.
Mother of all
take me whole from your cauldron.
Let your breath make
of my fragmented parts
a new entirety.
Poem 24-A Strong Woman
What is in her heart
as she climbs the last stair?
Pulling herself up there
to reach a summit,
a room with a view
looking over a life
yet firmly tied
with knots of certitude.
She has doubted at every juncture,
been tossed like a cat’s play thing
between desire and despair,
she gazes deep into truth’s reflection.
this way it signs to her.
It mirrors her yearning.
Her breath draws her to sanctuary,
where every symbol is a guide.
She lifts her chin and says
“I give my symbols meaning.”
Her voice fills the room with richness…
“My wealth comes as I make
each mark my own.”
Old patterns overturn…
She needs no mirror now
to see her freedom,
a destiny she makes
in shaping symbols
into forms that take her
beyond the chains of yesterday,
into a new identity,
gounded in the centre of her heart.
Poem 23 – A Quiet Light
There is a quiet light that shines in every heart …. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility, and our hearts to love life…[It] enables us to recognize and receive our very presence here as blessing. -John O’Donohue
On this April evening,
sun sinks slow to meet the curve of hill,
the wind has ceased its fretful rage and gentles
the new green of spring.
Tenacious daffodils still bloom
safe in the shelter of the hedge,
a blackbird sings her evening melody
as if each note might be her last,
her heart bursting with the joy of it.
And I…I the grateful recipient,
feel my own heart and mind
illumined by such beauty.
How quickly the sun touches the far hill
and sinks into its darkness.
Yet the light within my heart remains
a love of life,
a flame that burns despite life’s ills.
Even though my feet may fail to bear me up
I will stand and say:
my presence here is blessing,
to me and to my heirs,
be they kin by blood
or those touched by
by my spirit.
Let the passion of my heart
move out to enfold the world.
Let the peace of my heart
bless the world that has blessed me.
While life remains
let each attain
the blessings of their destiny.
Poem 22 – The Path of Gold-A Prose Poem
I was in my fifth, or maybe my sixth summer, the first time I fell in love…in love with the sunlight shining on the sea. I was walking with my father along the coastal path. He stopped for a moment and we both turned, turned to look out over the ocean. I saw a sheet of molten gold reaching to the horizon. The rippling shimmer…the forever glittering glow of sunlight held in the wash of wave… I was entranced, and have been ever since that day…that day when I looked down at the path of gold, spread for me across the bay…like a pathway into the golden kingdom. I am always drawn back to the golden wash of wave, way shower to the eternal light of heaven.
Poem 21 – Spring rises to frolic -A Cento- a poem in which all the lines of the new poem come from poems written by other poets. These lines of poetry were created with lines from my fellow poem-a-thon-poets.
Spring rises to frolic and play
rich colour coming to life
and fertile verdant longings
with woody fragrances.
I am lush and voluptuous
I taste of your sweetness…
She is all bird wings and thistles
the sun meeting-the sky’s end.
In the flow of all my thoughts
there is a time for everything …
lift me towards Pure Light,
this journey is never ending.
Poem 20 – The Witches
Most terrifying of all were the witches.
They lived up on the hill
in a mucky messy house,
and the big girls said “they’ll spill
your guts as soon as look at you.”
They whispered how some men
had heard the witches hoarded wealth,
and they’d ventured, willingly,
into their den.
The girls shuddered as they said
“now no one knows
what came of them.”
We hung on every word,
our fear creating nightmare…
but the worst of it for me
was that I passed that way most days
on my visits to the library.
Their windows were a patchwork
of newsprint bleached to yellow,
and not a single curtain hanging there.
Rubbish piled up outside the door,
as if it never opened…
I prayed it never would.
I crossed my fingers that I’d never see
one of them come out for me.
Until the day one did.
I stood frozen to the spot,
like a rabbit caught in headlights,
seeing all I wanted to avoid.
Her hair was long and hung
down her shoulders in rat’s tails,
all streaked with black, with dirt, with grey.
Her nose was hooked,
an image of a wicked witch
of storybook. Her lips were thin
She wore a long brown dress
that hung in folds
I could see it, flapping around her
as she flew on moonlit nights
to wreak her dark designs.
She stood rooted like a tree.
Did she even see me?
What could I do?
I’d read of the Welsh women
with the wit to save a castle under siege.
I stuck out my long tongue defiantly,
then turned and ran,
as if the hounds of hell were on my heels.
Poem 19 – The Bogeyman
I never liked rules…
I faced so many when I started school
just after my third birthday.
There were the formal ones the grown-ups made,
and more curious, the informal,
with an imperative they be obeyed.
I walked home with my cousin, four months my elder.
He was an old hand at school,
with one term already behind him.
“Don’t step on the lines or the monster ‘ll get you,”
he told me as we trod the paving slabs
with their rough squares and rectangles.
Then he came to a manhole cover
and guided me to walk wide around it.
In response to the question in my eyes
he said with conviction, “the bogeyman
who lives down there will get you
if you tread on his doorway.”
Soon these rituals became habits,
survival strategies in an unsafe world.
When I was older and had to shepherd
my sisters of three and four years
home from Sunday school each week
I used a similar ploy…
“Run to the lamppost or the bogeyman will get you”
I said to spur them on from lamppost to lamppost
the long mile or more to home.
No one seemed to question
what a bogeyman was,
nor asked what he looked like.
I saw him in many forms,
glimpsed around corners,
wearing a long black coat and carrying a sack
filled with some helpless infant or child
destined for a dreadful fate.
Only in adulthood did I learn
he is a creature of fairytale,
player of pranks on the unwary,
and often used by parents
to terrify the young to good behaviour.
There were no books at home that I recall,
apart from the great family Bible,
with its heavy covers and shiny gold clasps,
it’s silky crisp pages, it’s lists of births,
of deaths of long dead ancestors…
Best were the pictures and the curling capitals
with bright, illuminated script.
In my fourth summer, I announced,
apropos of nothing,
“I want to be a writer when I grow up.”
My father smiled and said “you need.
to learn reading and double writing first.”
That puzzled me as I knew books
were printed without joined up writing…
I’d not let that deter me!
When I reached six the library
invited me in to a new life.
I was the eldest child, regularly sent shopping.
Independently, I took myself every day
to the temple of words.
They called me a bookworm,
as I chewed my way through
the children’s library… I fretted
At the meagre allowance
of only one book a day.
Now I own a virtual library,
a million or more words all stored
in the small space of my iPad mini.
One Last Petal
…Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
~Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”
Today the air is loud with song,
the proud cluck of laying hens
and raucous cock a doodle do’s,
demanding notice…urging action.
A breeze caresses my face.
A bird flies close,
its wings a ruffling beat in quick time.
Bees hum their joy.
Spring colours this day riotously,
from cobalt sky and golden bells,
to purples, violets and blues.
Now is the only moment
to savour it.
Wind blows where it will,
it gentles still for just a day,
‘till evening when it rises high,
as cat with claws unsheathed reminds,
its power can tear
our flimsy fabric,
can shake to the core,
can break our makings.
tomorrow will be too late
to taste the joy that lingers
here and now,
on one last petal.
A Dream of Longing.
I found the sea and stood alone
at its vast edge, stretching beyond
my sight and sound.
I step in and swim in shallow ripples,
the current tugs at me,
pulling me I know not where.
I break free
for I must nurture
this gift to me–
Naïvely I’d thought
it would always serve
without the need
for me to serve it too.
I threw myself in
to frenzied creation,
‘til to my dismay
it bent and broke,
to all appearances
I promised to resist those passions
that charm me still
from cherishing my form–
yet am so often tempted…
I am drawn back
to the vast sea.
Now there is only
a great expanse
A young boy draws close.
“Look it’s coming!” he says,
pointing to a place
where sand boils and bubbles.
Then a great gush of water
spurts from the breach
the sweeping arc of the bay.
“Now we can play,” he says.
He runs whooping into the wide tide.
I lay my clothes with his and follow,
my steps slow but unfaltering
into the cool waters.
In the Dark of the Moon
“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
“Defeat takes us deeper into our heart centered journey. It lets us face what’s been judged and welcome what’s been denied”
Time and again
our Lady moon
covers her face
with a sable stole.
Then shadows rise,
rise to be faced,
as they meet with me
I must fight to be free.
April sun brights this day,
the part that wrestles for my soul
would have me turn and turn away
from hard defeat, from bitter sight.
It seeks to win,
strives for control,
wants to send me
frittering my present joy,
into a dream
where I am free,
free from pain,
a dream where I can even be
free from all that makes up me.
Yet I must catch the drift of time
and steer my life to safer ground,
I will acknowledge what’s denied,
be with myself, with what I’ve found,
that I may journey deeper in
to my own heart
and knowing there
all I have judged,
embrace each part
as part of me—
Then I see glory all around,
I touch my fingers to its lips,
breathe in the breath of angels
and slip deep into peace.
The New Hen
With quick strides the man is here,
scoops me from my dark hiding hole.
“The Fox will get you here,” he says.
He places me, carefully, into the safe shed
with hens who pinch and peck
and care not for me.
I shy back from their cruel beaks
and sink into soft straw,
covered by quintessence
With morning light, my gizzard grumbles
yet thrust of beak and sweep of claw
drives me from the food I seek.
I hover close and wait
until the heavy hens have had their fill.
They saunter satisfied
away from scattered leavings.
I eat the little I can scratch from soil.
The days pass and I learn
that I am fleet of feet,
swift to swoop up tasty titbits
and to retreat
before the fat ones
shift themselves to strike.
Now I scratch with satisfaction
baring the grass from banks,
fluffing my feathers in the dust
of this green earth.
The Sum of All Advice
When you rant and rail
and fret like a thoroughbred,
when passion erupts
against the tight reins of your pain,
when you fail to take
even a step out from the womb,
of your single room…
then I want to say,
I know our bodies hold secrets
waiting to lead us to wellness.
And there is always hope.
For years I tried to lay
my map upon your own.
The boundaries mismatched…
beliefs clashed with cacophony,
each ‘if only’ fuelling regret.
Can I look on you with love
seeing a small child wanting?
Wanting your way—
as you have taken it.
But more than that,
you are wanting me
wanting me to love you,
to look without judgement
and meet your heart’s deep need,
need so alike my own…
until I see
the sum of all advice
reduced to three small words…
‘I love you.’
A Progress of Pilgrims
Look, do you see the halting steps
I take on this journey?
Do you notice
the way the heart breaks open
a little more with every test?
I must move, I must rest–
I advance At snail’s pace
whether I pass or fail.
But this is no race…
this is a progress of pilgrims
that move from now
into a moment
when love is the only answer
Rising with Hope
“When you are composing a verse, let there not be a hair’s breadth separating your mind from what you write. Quickly say what is in your mind; never hesitate a moment.” Daniel Tobin
I hesitate too often…
opportunities pass by.
Now let words fly from my heart,
from the depths of me,
with not a hair’s breadth
to separate my need,
my thought from deed.
Can I halt the tide of pain
on days when it seems
that nothing can change,
when I’m told
that my life’s sliding down
beneath wild waves?
can peace be found?
I watch the red kite circling high
wings spread, at ease,
through windblown skies.
persistent as perennial shoot
rises through rubble,
resists all cause to bend or break,
rises with hope
from my heart.
She Whom My Soul Would Be
The warm earth shining…
memory running free—
I had just turned three
when the school gates swallowed me–
then I lost
she whom my soul would be.
I turn to seek her now
only to find
black mountains block my way.
Open new eyes she says,
until you see
love amidst the branches
brushing a message
on a slate of sky,
love in the lush grasses,
singing the wind’s high song,
love in the lap of earth—
love, a light to my eye,
revealing to me
she whom my soul would be.
Mother of Mysteries
Mother of mysteries
seated on earth’s rim,
haloed in violet
transmuting the flame
in your womb of darkness.
You see with hidden heart
all that the fecund ground
of being brings to birth.
Peace enfolds you.
The waters of life
flow at your feet.
As I extend myself
to touch your sacred spring
open my inner eyes
and let my heart sing.
A Morning of Resurrection
Sun bright’s the land,
to the heart’ s long winter.
Take a light step
into a morning of resurrection.
Celandines cascade on banks
I know they gleam gold
across the wide meadow
where I walk
only in memories.
This is a day of primaries…
violets and blues
to still the eyes
excited by bright waves
I sit outside
my morning cup of tea
where to tulips tip
pale pinkish petals
to invite the bee…
sip with me,
sip with me.
Let words play with the music of love
Can you create from stillness
and let your being shape the form?
Moulding an unformed clay
with a soft touch of thought
till caught by desire
life is wrought.
Let words play with the music of love
as rhythms sway.
Where Peace Greets You
Spring storms drive down daffodils
until they bend and break.
What does it take to find stillness?
A secret place
where rage blows past you,
where you are sheltered
by your own calm.
Quick beating wings of thought.
Flutter like moths
and press against your flame…
the flame of love
where peace greets you,
greets your open heart.
A Welsh April 1st 2015
Are we fools this day
to wish for better things
then soft-washed April?
Gales blew an end to March.
Winter still stubborn, sifts the land.
Gnarled fingers grip
around the shoots of spring.
Long season of pain
your bitter rule be ended…
for hope must rise again.
Where tears spill
let blossom burst from branch
and new green thrust from bud.
I set my will
to usher summer in.