Bardic skills?

During my work with the druid order I never thought of myself as a bard. I always thought I was more aligned with the Ovate work, healing modalities, working with trees and plants. But looking back at what I have done and still do in my life I am beginning to think about my bardic skills.

I have always been a musician, I learned to play the piano at the age of seven and still play seventy years later. In the early years of my teaching career I composed the music for songs for children and remember being interviewed on the local radio while the children sang.

Since I was at school I have always sketched or painted and still do. But what is new over the last 20 years is the fact that I now also write. I have written several books, some of poetry and some about druidry while others are about local and family history.

Looking back at some of the poetry I wrote about twenty years ago I see that much of it also carries a message. Around the year 1999 and also in 2000 I set some of the poetry to music and made a CD. I have been looking at that recently and seeing that I can do better now where the music is concerned so I am busy re-arranging the songs so they have a piano accompaniment. I am also looking at setting other poems to music.

To me these are definitely bardic skills even though I never thought of them that way before. So here is a poem taken from one of my books and a photo taken early this morning.

The hope of Spring

Watching the new spring leaves unfurl
Gives me hope in a chaotic world;
New growth springs from the dark
Of the winter and makes its mark.

Signs of growth are everywhere,
The birds and trees all doing their share.
So in this dark material world
Is there light ready to be unfurled?

Can we look inside our hearts today
To find a better more spiritual way?
To live without such ugly greed
And only have what we truly need.

We do not need large houses and cars;
We do not need to travel to Mars;
Some clothes and food and a rainproof roof
Are really, truly, quite enough.

So watch the new spring growth today
And think about a spiritual way
To live your life with love and care
And cherish all, if you dare!

Spring and miscellaneous things

Spring is officially here. My garden has forsythia and flowering currant in bloom as well as various bulbs. But it has gone cold again here in the UK and snow showers are forecast for early next week.

It has been a rather turbulent time for me personally, a chest infection was followed by an episode of blocked drains, drains shared by 3 houses. These were successfully cleared and I then attended the hospital to see my consultant over long term leg and ankle pain. So now I have my leg in plaster as I have an inflamed tendon as well as other problems which cannot be sorted until the tendon is healed.

This of course means I have to rest but it is a gift in many ways. I will be able to catch up with my reading, write more poetry and work on my second book. I still have a few signed copies of my first book available, so please let me know if you would like one. To whet your appetite here is one of the poems;

Spirit of the Land

The Spirit of the Land, it called to me

As I stood on the edge of the cliff;

The water flowed on deep down below,

While the crow soared high above.

My feet grew roots into the earth

As I stood there on the cliff;

My heart expanded and filled with love

As I became one with the land.

Sacred space

So how do I see sacred space? Sacred space to me is anywhere that I can feel the connection between myself and Mother Earth, anywhere that I can feel the connection between myself and the Universe. So everything is sacred space! But some places are more special to me than others. Many people who are Druids feel that Stonehenge is the place to be and it is very special to them. My feelings about Stonehenge are ambiguous and heretic according to some. I can stand there and admire those who built this circle of stones, feel the essence of their lives as they did this work. I think about their origins; did they come from elsewhere in our Universe? Where did they get their knowledge to build this circle? But there are other places in this country and in others, where my feelings of being connected to the Earth are much stronger and much more profound.

The photo on the front of my book shows a path through woodland leading to a very special place to several dolmens, a very sacred space and the feeling of connection is very strong to me right there.

Much of the poetry in my book is connected with the land, our Earth, and the ancestors.

Here is the photo:

Here are a couple of lines from one of the poems:

‘My feet grew roots into the earth

As I stood there on the cliff

My heart expanded and filled with love

As I became one with the land.’