Poem: Sonnet 17, Pablo Neruda (my favourite)

Sonnet 17

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

-Pablo Neruda

Poem for the day

by William Morris

O love, turn from the unchanging sea, and gaze
Down these grey slopes upon the year grown old,
A-dying mid the autumn-scented haze,
That hangeth o’er the hollow in the wold,
Where the wind-bitten ancient elms infold
Grey church, long barn, orchard, and red-roofed stead,
Wrought in dead days for men a long while dead.

…Come down, O love; may not our hands still meet,
Since still we live to-day, forgetting June,
Forgetting May, deeming October sweet–
–O hearken, hearken! through the afternoon,
The grey tower sings a strange old tinkling tune!
Sweet, sweet, and sad, the toiling year’s last breath,
Too satiate of life to strive with death.

…And we too–will it not be soft and kind,
That rest from life, from patience and from pain,
That rest from bliss we know not when we find,
That rest from Love which ne’er the end can gain?–
Hark, how the tune swells, that erewhile did wane!
Look up, love!–ah, cling close and never move!
How can I have enough of life and love?

Writing Prompt: Missed Opportunities

There are some key moments in everyone’s life where a single decision can change things. Sometimes opportunities come to us that we miss and spend the rest of our lives regretting. I’ve had so many chances to change certain parts of my life and I don’t know how many more will come. There are a few big choices dangling in front of me right now and the path I take will determine my future happiness. I’m scared to get it wrong.

If I think back, I can pinpoint specific decisions that lead me to where I am and I wonder what would have happened if I had gone in a different direction each time.

Think back to the key incidents of your life. What would have happened if you’d gone left instead of right?

Writing Prompt: Does someone need a hug?

It’s funny how everyone responds differently to physical contact. With some friends, people I’ve known for years, I can’t bring myself to hug them. Their whole being projects “ask me anything, but don’t touch”, where others seem to want a hug every hello, goodbye and opportunity in between. Some people are desperately ticklish, others don’t feel a thing but annoyance. I know some people who touch my arm for a moment before they begin to speak.

Personally, once I get to know people and can call them friends, I love to be hugged. It makes be feel connected and safe, like everything is ok.  The only thing that makes me edgy is when a stranger tries to hug or kiss me hello. With friend, I’d be hurt if they didn’t. It’s also worth noting how different cultures treat familiarity.

Try this, write a scene where physical contact is involved between strangers where one is uncomfortable. What kind of comedy and/or misunderstandings result?


Missing you could turn from pain to pleasure, if I knew you were missing me too.  ~Author Unknown

Writing Prompt: To sleep, perchance to dream

I can barely keep my eyes open. There are tears making their way from my eyes, across the bridge of my nose, eventually landing on my chin. I yawn, over and over and it makes my eyes water. The screen is a blur and the cat, asleep at my feet is giving me ideas.  I keep trying to recall a dream I had the other night and it frustrates me to know that I can try as hard as I wish, but I won’t have the dream again to see how the story will end. It ended with daybreak when the sun hit my face.

Just the same, I’m going to try to sleep now and when I wake, I plan to write the first thoughts that spring to mind.

Have a go at this, leave a notebook by the bed and write for five minutes about the first thing that enters your head, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense, just have fun.

Good night. 🙂

Writing Prompt: Random acts of writing

I looked through the bookshelves and it struck me that there are thousands upon thousands of word printed within the pages of my books. These are people’s thoughts, stories, heart-felt gems of creativity. There is courage and perseverance on every printed sheet. The covers are works of art.

Sometimes I’m guilty of speed reading through my books to get from one to the next, without taking the time to really appreciate the work and craft that has gone into the thing in my hands.

I pick a book at random and open it in the middle and begin to read.

“I leaned back and closed my eyes – and instantly the whole day danced before me. I wasn’t merely remembering, it seemed to be trapped inside my eyelids; the City, the traffic, the shops were all there, shimmering, merging. Then my brain began to pick out the bits it wanted to think about and I realized how the day made a pattern of clothes – first our white dresses in the early morning, then the consciousness of what people were wearing in London, the Aunt Millicent’s poor dead clothes, then all the exquisite things in the shop, then our furs. And I though how important clothes were to women and always had been.”  – From “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith

Here we have a wonderful description of how the main character is remembering the events of the day.I’ve read the book loads of times and never quite appreciated the words beyond getting to the point of the story.

Try this – pick a book at random, open it to any page and slowly read it. Try to work out what you like or don’t like what’s on the page – whether it’s the language, phrasing, the story itself. Make a list of words to describe the above.

Poem for the day: My True Love Has My Heart, Philip Sidney

My true-love hath my heart and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given;
I hold his dear and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a better bargain driven.
My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

His heart in me keeps him and me in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides.
My true-love hath my heart and I have his,

This made me smile today

Love's Philosophy

The  fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the ocean;
The winds of heaven mix forever,
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle;--
Why not I with thine? 

See! the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister flower would be forgiven,
If it disdained it's brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea;--
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?

Percy  Bysshe Shelley

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