A poem inspired by two people:
Rumi – ancient poet extraordinaire
Craig – Grassland Scientist and almost poet, but nonetheless extraordinaire
and a photo…
I see you there, underneath the sky,
that huge and glorious high.
And in-between, a sea of green
that cuts this apparition into two;
that sits upon a world that, once we knew,
would ask can there exist utopian space
in any other place;
Elysian field, whose life is sealed
by rhizosphere, rooted verdant gold,
on ancient land that’s older than the old.
Is this the vision of a higher mind
that shall reveal the kind
of paradigm that frees, sublime,
the spirit of a seer; a poet, whose strains,
in sight of soaring eagle, dancing cranes,
will elevate the spirit beyond rightdoing;
redeem the soul’s wrongdoing.
Where will we meet and tread our feet
and lie down in the grass, in pastures green
whilst still we have our breath…
…take in this scene.
(Read the author’s commentary on this poem)
© 2011 John Anstie
“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult”
As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life.
His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream!
His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man.
What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
Strong write; was wondering if you’d fixed your sonnet meter issues you were wondering about?
Take it easy
Gosh, didn’t reply to your comment (computer problems for over a week!). Thanks very much, Luke, and yes I think I have answered my sonnet metre related questions; to be honest I think I had it pretty much nailed; it seems to be the subtleties of where lies the ‘stress’ on each iambic (or trochaic) foot that presents the challenge. You might want to take a look at my latest sonnet “Rose Petal” (https://poetjanstie.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/rose-petal/) to verify whether or not I’m right about that :-). Thanks again for calling in at my site, Luke.
This is a stunning poem, John. You do justice to the sacredness of grass spaces. Craig is a poet. A lovely one! And so are you, John. Q x
You’re right, Q, he is a poet; he more than justifies his place among poets, and certainly his place on our team. I was at first held back by slightly guilty feelings about stealing some of his words! But being a tribute to him (as well as Rumi’s Field) as it is, I think it was justified.
Ah, John…this is a beautiful poem. Full of grace and majesty. Love it!
Thank you, my wise-ass New Yoyker :-). It felt special writing it for Craig and Rumi at the same time.
Thanks John a brilliant piece I love the word “Rhizosphere” I assume from the rhizome…Love it.j
Thanks, JS and yes you’re right. The rhizosphere is the narrow region of soil that is directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms and rhizome is the rootstock basically (I think). I’m sure Craig will put us right. How learned we become as poets!
I agree…very special.I like to think these places bring you closer to God. For me anyway…lovely poem, John.
I entirely agree, Lou. This poem goes in all sorts of sacred places and a closeness to God is particularly one of those places.
John, this is very, very special. Will print and frame it so can reflect upon it often. Thank you.
It is a pleasure Craig. The poem was germinating itself from the moment you posted those photos of the place on FB, which you described as “Up in a high verdant valley near here where man first learnt to fly a glider, and the eagles soar, and the cranes dance in the light, warm breeze…”. So you are very close to becoming a poet, my friend.