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Friday, 27 April 2012

The Ocean

When you live on a small island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, the ocean is bound to have an effect on your way of thinking and your lifestyle. From your 'fun in the sun' beachside activities, right through to your 'hurricane worries', the ocean is an ever-present factor in your thoughts and everyday living. It teems with an abundance of life. It plays out its own rhythms. It sooths, comforts, rejuvenates, revitalizes...at times, it can even menace. The ocean is a constant factor which cannot be ignored. The members of the Writer's Circle acknowledged this fact through this sampling of writing exercises begun in July of 2010, and continued periodically up to today.




Nor’ wester Days

I love the wild and windy damp
when a strong Nor’ wester blows,
the sea with its white capped waves,
crash on the ironshore.
The blown spume fills the air
with mist, and scent of oceans far.
South of Hog Sty Bay,
the waves are breaking, building higher,
carrying debris from the ocean depths.
Sand and seaweed,
broken shells and coral,
carpeting the roadway,
all traffic has ceased,
only onlookers stand at a safe distance
above the road.
The sea in shades of green and aqua,
and many other hues,
nature in all its forms,
is truly wonderful to behold.

By: Brenda Quin




The Sea, a living canvas

This morning,
I watched a display,
put on just for me,
a living canvas
of so many blues,
with sprites bright like snow,
leaping up,
as joyfully as lambs.
They paused,
suspended in air,
thendissolved into mist.
The sea, inanimate?


Never.
By: Fiona Pimentel


 Image Link:  http://transitionscoachingcayman.wordpress.com/



South Sound Beach.

Small, dark coloured
birds feeding at the ocean’s edge,
clouds, feather like, above
the turquoise sea.
Casurina branches swaying on
the North East wind,
I stand upon the rock strewn
shore, lean against a drift log,
and watch small ghost crabs
emerging from their holes.
Alone, but not lonely, surrounded
by nature’s beauty. But yearning
for someone who sees as I
see, to share this precious
peaceful hour beside the quiet
sea.

By: Brenda Quin



I wish
I wish I had talent to write
About the smell of the sea,
Calling me to the cove,
How the wind lashes my face
And the fantastically huge waves
Splatter me with spray.
I wish I could swim at a hundred
Miles an hour, or surf over the horizon.
I wish I could rise up and fly.
So exhilarating….
I wish there could be no more tears…


By: Fiona Pimentel





15 Meetings with the Ocean.

I
The azure reflections call to mind
the deep sea recesses and
slow solitude of horizon, yonder.

II
A turquoise calm casts its spell
across the mirrored surface
of a windless ocean morning,

III
Lapping waters reach with
soft caress to sooth
tired body, and furtive
eyes, bringing sweet calm
of safe retreat.

IV
At three this morning
relentless pounding
of crashing waves
calls me from sleep, down
to the nearby cove.

V
I looked at her and recognized
the deep blue emptiness
of her eyes, the vast ocean
wasteland of her mind.

VI
Words sputtered out:
frothy foaming
of an exhausted ocean gale.

VII
Sounds of laughter
carry on a breeze,
good friends and small
children cavort together
on the edge of a point
of sand.

VIII
Weathered boat tied up
at the wharf, unloads
a bounty of life gathered
from the ocean depths,
men of the sea
mutter simple words.

IX
We gaze,
the ageless panorama of
a coastline scene framed
within the edges and panes
of summer cottage windows.

X
Lines of white horses
gallop over the reef
and ride up into the nestling cove
below the cliffs.

XI
My tongue circles above and below:
the salty lick of the old dog sea.
 
XII
A restlessness rustles beating beneath
my sweater; an irrepressible
desire drives my feet
across the sands of deserted
beachhead.

XIII
Fast eddies and shallow rock pools;
tidal waters retreat leaving
playgrounds for the inquisitive,
a harbour of hope for the
small creatures of the shore.

XIV
Dark clouds line the sky;
at water’s edge
my eyes meet the surly mood
of a stormy North Atlantic Sea.

XV
Within the glow of setting
sun, the tentative touch
of lovers in the evening hours,
a quiet walk along the
shoreline sand.

By: H.M. Peter Westin

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Stars

At night, sometimes we look up into the vast sky and gaze at the stars and other heavenly bodies. It helps give us perspective on our lives. The immensity of nature is so strikingly apparent. Our cares and worries pale in comparison to the scope of the rhythms of the universe. We are so small, so seemingly insignificant, yet we have assurance that we are important and that our creator has knowledge of even the number of hairs on our head. Members of the Writer's Circle tackled the topic of 'Stars'. Here are some of the related efforts.



STARS – essay/story

Just as there are many hundreds and thousands of people on this rock we call Earth, so there are many hundreds and thousands of other rocks, some just like this one, many not, scattered through the wide canopy of the sky.

Hundreds and thousands of rocks reflecting light for their many suns and it is these luminous refractions which cause them to glimmer and shine so that creatures, like us, who live on this rock, and those, unlike us, who live on other rocks, can see them and wonder.

Now, we being human, tend to live in clusters, firstly of family, secondly in societies, and stars being scatterings of shattered planets and rocks, live in clusters called constellations, all gathered in fractured groups of individual lights forming a mass, making a cosmos.

Like in our societies and groups there’s the big boss, the Sun, the one that is fierce and deadly brilliant and the world revolves around them. Then the North Star, a constant point from which we take our bearings to venture out into the world, then, the dependable one, the who watches, like Venus, a planet which is also dependable and faithful and has the brightness of true love – coming early, way before anyone else, and staying way after all the others have gone to sleep…
Just as there are those in our world who can’t or do not survive, so too are there reflections of this star world. Some, like us humans, fall into black holes and never emerge from that depression, other stars released from the orbits which kept them grounded, release themselves from all care and throw themselves with abandon into the night, going out in a blaze of glory. Which, from the distance of the observer, is always much paler and insignificant.

By: Juliet Garricks



Sun – haiku

Ra; father of earth,
Lonely Daystar marks time and
Chases Mother Moon.

By: Juliet Garricks




THE STAR

By: C.G. Wilson

I’m like a speck of dust,
Just a ray of light
Shining on Earth’s crust
Only seen at night.

I sparkle like a diamond
A magnificent precious jewel
Around me all is darkened
Encasing me in a capsule.

I twinkle when I shine
Looking down on you below
I even see the coastline
Where the sea reflects my shadow.

I proclaimed the birth of a baby boy
Thousands of years ago
Who brought you peace and much joy
Though some thought Him a foe.

When next you look up in the sky
And see the thousands of stars
Somewhere amongst them I lie
I’m the nearest to planet Mars.



“Night Fall”

The night falls silent,
moon and stars illuminate,
the ocean peaceful, sleeps.

By: Brenda Quin




Haiku 3

Starlight shining down:
Heavenly reminder of
watchful angel eyes.

By: H.M. Peter Westin

Treasures

Life is full of 'treasures'. What one man treasures, another takes for granted, or sometimes looks down his/her nose at. Oftentimes, memories are some of life's most precious 'treasures'. These treasures we can carry with us through life, and beyond. They become part of us, shared trophies that help us summon up the warmth of friendship, or the beauty of one of life's moments amidst the grandure of nature. Writers have their own 'treasures' and ways of experiencing and reflecting upon them. Here is a sampling of some of those from members of the Writer's Circle:





The Ancient Relic at Boatswain Beach.

It stands perhaps grotesque in
its antiquity.

Root bound to the ironshore,
bereft of branch or foliage.

The massive trunk sun
bleached to shades of driftwood
grey. Scarred by fires, eroding
from termite trails. Broken
pieces lying scattered in the
surrounding scrub.

This monument, to ages past, its
history unknown.
I visualize a seed ripening,
falling from its mother tree
on the banks of the mighty
Amazon River. Tossed,
swept away by the current,
always towards the ocean sea.

The seed, fertile, seeking a
place to grow, mature and
reproduce, finds its home,
but the seed, still unknown,
resides on the shore
of Grand Cayman.

By: Brenda Quin






Life

By: C.G. Wilson

A peck of seed
A grain of dust
A drop of rain
A ray of sun
A breath of air.

Life needs all these
And more
Life struggles
To survive
It does.

Too much of one
Is as bad
As too little
Life itself
An act of balance.

Where did it all start?
Will it all come apart?
Is there a God?
Why should we be good?
Is evil so bad?

Why do we make friends?
Why do we have enemies?
Why do we come and rescue persons in distress?
Why do we make war upon them?
Why do we try and blow up this world?

We use 4 letter words
Most disgust
A powerful one is HATE
But the most powerful
The most beautiful one
Is L-O-V-E.




At Miss Lassie’s House

I stand beneath a massive group
of sea grape trees.
Their gnarled and tangled growth,
survived over countless years.
Their roots, buried deep amongst
limestone rocks, and sandy soil.
Enduring nameless storms, but now
supporting young, new growth.
I look up at this magnificence of
Nature, the awe-inspiring
natural art forms –
knowing that without them,
there is no life, hope.
These we cannot create,
but nurture them we must.
The air perfumed by fallen
purple fruit. New seed will sprout,
the circle of life continues,
endlessly.

By: Brenda Quin




Colour of Love

What is the colour of love?
Is it the deep blue-black of the
ocean depths, or the dazzling bright blue
of a cloudless Caribbean sky?

Perhaps it is the brilliant red of the
Poinciana blossoms at the start
of the rainy season, or the
deep red drops of precious blood,
spilt in a sacrificial rite?

Then again, it could be the lush
gracious green of springtime meadows
and fields, as new life fills the
void of winter emptiness.

Or perhaps it is the blinding yellow
of streaming sunlight, that
basking glow that surrounds and
holds us in warming rays of promise.

But I think it is most likely
the splash of rainbow colours
streaked across the misty sky
after life-giving rains;
puncturing the atmosphere and
seeping into the parched soil;
the promise of “never again”.

By: H.M. Peter Westin




ENCYCLOPAEDIA AND CYCLOPAEDIA

By: C.G. Wilson

My father kept very few “treasures” except for two very old “huge” books kept in the side shelf of a wooden black cabinet with glass door kept in the hall of my first house. I say first house because it was the house I grew up in until I was nine years old and then it was a procession of always moving. By the time I married at the age of 23 we had moved another six times! What happened to the two huge books in the moving process is a mystery. They just disappeared and I have not thought anything about them until this exercise at our last Writer’s Club Meeting. And when was that? It seems a long time ago. Two, or was it three weeks?
I am digressing, as I always do, and just a few lines become a book! Well, books – huge books. To me, as a child they were huge. Just two of them filled the shelf in the cabinet. I had great difficulty in getting them out and for a number of years I would sit or lay down on my belly upon the floor by the cabinet and read them. Not really read them at first – just turn the pages and look for pictures, and they both contained plenty of pictures. Coloured ones, glossy and there was yellow faded transparent paper between the leaves. In fact even the printed pages were yellow. To me, that was even more of an attraction.

I learnt to read at a pretty young age and I loved reading so it wasn’t long before I moved from just viewing the pictures and read the text. The books were of similar size but one was a greyish blue and the other was a burgundy red with gold lettering and lines. This book was an encyclopaedia and the other was a cyclopaedia. To this day I don’t know what the differences are and a check online and dictionaries hasn’t helped. They seem to be the same. However, these two books were very different, or so they seemed to me, at least physically. The print, the style, the binding and the thickness of the paper was as like as chalk and cheese.

The cyclopaedia’s paper was thicker and the print style was clearer to read. There weren’t so many photographs as the encyclopaedia but there were more drawings accompanying the words. The words in bold type were in alphabetical order. Then, there was the date, 1856. Almost a hundred years older than me. The encyclopaedia had a date of 1920. Even that was old. As a child, twenty years was very old and did not seem a long time away from an hundred.

These two books fascinated me until I grew out of them, I suppose, and when they disappeared I didn’t really miss them until now.




Collections

Seashells, small select shapes,
interesting bits of colour.
I gather and carry them
home; placed in a bucket
on a shelf, amongst
a thousand others:
faded, washed out
without the water.

By: H.M. Peter Westin



Friday, 13 April 2012

Putting it in Print

Various members of the Cayman Writer's Circle have taken steps to have some of their work put in to a printed form.

C.G. Wilson writes editorials and articles for the iNews paper which has both a printed form for sale daily, and an online site. Editorials can be viewed at the following site location:

Site Link:  http://www.ieyenews.com/category/editorial/





Brenda Quin and Peter Westin co-authored a book of poetry, published in paperback in August 2010. Book information is available at the following location:

Site Link: http://thatstillsmallvoicepoetry.weebly.com/




Amazon has Kindle versions of this book for a very reasonable rate. The Amazon site address is as follows: (Note - Site says cost is $5.99 but actual cost is $3.99 USD)



Joan Wilson authored a book of poetry published in August of 2008. It was available in local bookstores and from Colin or Joan Wilson directly.





Support local writers. Ask at one of the local bookstores if they carry these books. Peruse the books. If you like them, support a local writer. Give them as gifts to friends.




Monday, 9 April 2012

Imagination.

Imagination is a key tool of any writer. Sometimes we start with an idea, sometimes we begin with a character, real or imagined. We open our minds and creative juices flow. We weave words and ideas into poems and stories that take us on fantastic journeys that touch our emotions and elicit responses.


In January 2010, the members of the Writer's Circle engaged in one such writing adventure. We talked about the idea of 'waiting', and we introduced a fictionl character, Dorothy, and waited to see what fabric we might spin from those threads. The following are samples of our efforts.




Waiting for Dorothy

Who is Dorothy?
We wait, speculation rife;
She does not arrive.

By: Brenda Quin






Waiting …

“She’s back…” One upon a time these words would have filled me with joy, signalling the return of my mothet as I once knew her: alive in mind, feisty, and independent, a terrier of a woman, ready to take on anybody to make the best life for her daughters, afraid of no-one. Now, she was alive in body only. Now, these words spoke of pain, a slow torture and perpetual, unrelenting loss. The single, despondent look from my sister made my eyes close and the breath hurt in my chest. I felt older, wearier, and sadder. Pre-warned, I slowly pushed the door and entered my mother’s room. Robbie hurried away down the flickering light corridor. I wished the frail, hunched woman with scared eyes was a stranger to me as I was to her but this disease was not merciful. Mt mother looked nothing like the woman who’d brought me into the world. I felt the breath in my lungs start to flutter as I looked at her and fought my feelings.

“Mama? It’s me, Lynne” I bent down so as not to scare her into the chair that she had sunk into. “Tell her to say hello. Why doesn’t she say hello?” My mother stared deep into the mirror in front of her, too anxious to see me or register my entrance. “She never says anything. She scares me. Why is she doing this to me? I’ve never hurt her. Have I? Have I? Help me, nurse, help me”.

I knew my sister Roberta had already gone to alert the night nurse that Mum was getting increasingly agitated. When Mum’d first come into this place, I’d been alarmed by the high level of sedatives she was given. Although I felt guilty about it now, I was increasingly grateful for them. They seemed to be the only thing to smooth the deep worry lines on my mother’s face; the only way of lessening her anguish. I had another go, “Mama, it’s OK, I’m here. She won’t hurt you, I promise…” I reached over to tentatively stroke the soft skin on her hand, knowing as I leant closer that she would more than likely pull away from me, another stranger in this baby pastelled room. Surprisingly, she didn’t this time and I felt even sadder that this woman who had once carried me had no recognition that it was her daughter talking, her daughter touching her, skin to skin, pain to pain. This cruel illness robbed families; it took everything and left only unrelenting anguish.

Hoping to distract her and stop the inevitable escalation of anxiety, I looked at some papers on her dressing table and asked, “What’s this Mama? A shopping list? Robbie said she’d help you make one. I’d love to get you some things to brighten this place up, we both would…” My mother’s screaming stopped my rambling. She had half-risen, I don’t know how, and was pointing at the mirror, her legs shaking. “Get out! You bitch! You…” the effort of standing, the strain of this strange woman invading her space sapped her energy and she fell back into the chair, covering her face, a dry, unearthly keening coming from her mouth. I knelt down and put my arm around her little, bony shoulder. It took every effort not to sob, every effort not to escape. “Mama, it’s OK, I’m here. She won’t hurt you. I’ll take care of you, I promise, I’m here for you. I won’t let her harm you, I promise, I’m here.” No reaction. Robbie and I had tried everything to sooth her, to guide her to whatever part of her brain that could still make links, still recognize the truth: that the stranger she was so terrified of, the alien she saw in her room, the woman who she screamed at for not saying hello, was her own reflection.

By: C. Pilgrim





Dorothy, a dear old Black Lady.
(Inspired by a photo seen at
Creekwood, Nashville, Tennessee.)

Dorothy sat in the long used chair,
on the sagging veranda of her
little shack.

But Lord ! How she smiled
and her eyes lit up,
and the most  beautiful words
that she spoke, were the ones
that came, as she gazed lovingly,
up at the evening sky.

“Child,” she said, “I think
a star fell on me when I
was born, and that’s why life
is so good.”

By: Brenda Quin


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Movement

Being alive means undergoing change. We grow, physically, spiritually and mentally. We move from one place to another, from one level of understanding and consciousness, to a higher level, a deeper understanding. We perceive at greater depths. Back in early 2009 the Writer's Circle looked at the topic of 'arrival'. Here are some of those efforts:




Learn to Move From One Experience to Another.


At the end of the day I sit and look with wonder at the feast that lies before me on the coffee table. Not an edible feast, but a visual one, of treasures from the shore, gifts from the ocean, carried here on crests of surging foam and spume, blown by the North West winds of winter.

Fragile and colourful, bereft now of the occupants who worked so laboriously to create them. But beautiful still, they live on, and so I look at them and thoughts rush in. Of the hand who fashioned the beauty that surrounds us everywhere if we see, not only with our eyes, but our heart’s also.

I stand in awe as I hold these treasures in my hand daily, I carry them home gently, to enjoy for years to come.

A perfect Sunrise Telling, two (halves) yet one, each half perfection, joined by so small yet so strong a link. Streaks of palest yellow, pink of sunrise, sunset too, and white – separate but each (half) an integral part of the whole. All unique, individual beauty, part of all there is, today, yesterday and tomorrow.

I stood on the small rocky beach in town this evening, expecting, looking for something of beauty – and there, right before me, a wave deposited a wonderful Murex brown glossy fluted edge, so perfect, a safe haven for the little creature who once lived within.

My thoughts are – a safe haven is fine, but it leads to a dull existence, a life without change, a life of stunted impossible growth – no newness, only routine. I believe we should all live, accepting change, taking risks, and learning in the process, from our mistakes. Live with a passion for learning and change.

My thoughts skip as a stone across the calm water to continuity in all – the sun that rises and sets each day, the moon in its cycles. Continuity of friendships, of love always, these are forever – we are eternity.

By: Brenda Quin




We Arrive Without Seeing


I know to be careful…told too many times.
From the eager adolescent, through the wandering years and
to the onslaught of age.

We know it, we hear it,
forward, side, behind and again;
repetitive, monotonous, boring.

Is it looking or seeing?
I always look.
But what of the obvious, the clearest and important things?
My mind is elsewhere, racing ahead;
making connections I have not yet seen.

Today, right now, the lines are connected.

The 2 by 4’s just off the side,
standing proud, naked against the bright sky.
Coming close, they shift and step out as if to surprise;
 I count them, too many.
All I see is symmetry and equal spaces.

Eyes drop back down.
Line, space, line, space…mesmerising.
How many are there? How long are they? Do I count the lines or the spaces?
Too late, too fast to judge.

A blank canvas stretches out in front,
shadows cast from the side;
abstract sketch or an irregular heartbeat?
Again, something is there.

I should be seeing, but find myself pulled away;
that roofline with the sharp pencil points,
children on bikes meandering…blindly unaware;
stray dogs praying, following their noses.

A colour, a noise, a thought, all enough to break my glaze.
Knocked back to reality and a moment’s sudden dread…
Arriving, not knowing what is missed.
We know to look, but forget to see.


It happens, we reluctantly accept it.
Subconscious or instinct; it’s all right then!
And mostly it’s fine…yet…
a spin of the wheel.

And today,
the dog caught a scent on the air…a sudden change in direction…
A stone is sent spiralling, its angle awkward.
An old man catches the curb, twists and stumbles.
The child on the bike tries ‘no hands’.

This world has just changed…
as the larger continues on its own path;
the games or roulette are afoot.

 Time is a series of moments,
each moment a second…
all are precious.

A new reality inevitable,
maybe not for me, or you…but someone.
The price of not seeing…
another moment in time.

By: J. Mark Bailey











Autumn Rumblings

I

Summer on
Price Edward Island
ends
abruptly.
A few cold nights
shake out
the blankets.
Summer warmth
sneaks back
for short daytime
interludes.
At night,
frost claims the
windshields
of dormant vehicles.
A deep quietness
settles.
Mornings,
a tinge
of autumn
stands defiantly
in the air,
circling a mug of
steaming
fresh brewed coffee
in the hand
of the observer.


II

The fields
have turned
hard and metallic.
Their copper tones
signal
the coming of winter.
Colours clash with
the evergreen mantle
of the woods.
Birch and maple
trees splash
vibrant leaves
across neighbourhood
yards,
and throughout
countryside lanes.


III

Driving the highway,
the land is alive
with activity,
and feeding.
Fat geese
lift suddenly from fields
in wedges of winged
formation.
Startled,
the sight stirs
ancient instinct
within.
Eyes transfix
in awe.
The majesty
of the creation:
cold blood
spills across
my spine,
hairs rise
in salute.


IV

Soon
bare trees
with outstretched arms
will call to the
cold moon,
bereaved at the loss
of flowering youth…
I will tramp the woods
searching out the
partridge, asking
companionship
in the fading light
of an early October
afternoon.
The smoke will flatten
as it rises from
fireplace chimneys.
Lingering in the air,
scented memories
of bubbling open vats
of Maple syrup
in the springtime
sugar woods.


V

The squirrels and
chipmunks
have ceased their
incessant raids,
to lay store
provisions for the
interminable winter months,
the fallen acorns and
chestnuts
of my front yard.


VI

The vegetable garden
is long ploughed under.
Leaf, moss
and twig debris,
removed from eave
gutters…
the wood shed
swollen
in anticipation
of definitive purpose.


VII

I wait quietly
for the return
of winter’s
descent;
the long settling.
An ache inside,
hunger building;
and Autumn rumblings
erupting
in nature.


By: H.M. Peter Westin