Sticks And Stones And Broken Bones

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With the sun setting on another Remembrance Day; I took a walk along an unplanned route on the Isle of Luing, where I live. I had in mind getting some fresh air after several days spent indoors, finding some new sources for photography and some peace.

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Coming across this skull, picked clean, amongst a circle of strewn feathers and other bone fragments; I paused to wonder on the nature of peace. Even here in this wild place it is hard to find – for members of the bird and animal variety that is.

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Here on this heather-clad knoll has been created a tiny, natural garden of remembrance. At least I will never forget the bird that once soared graceful and free in the skies above this beautiful island.

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Peace for humans will never be achievable while we allow sticks and stones to break our bones, and the word of others to hurt us.

Helen Thomson Finnie 10/11/2019

Any One Thing

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You are not any one thing.
As fire-lit trees pierce sky above.
You are the gentle dawning purpose
And explosion
Of my love.

You are not any one thing
But the curving track of light undone.
Terrible diamond shards of laughter.
Blue-eyed
Mirror to my sun.

You are not any one thing.
Granite calls out to the shore.
See me? There! I’m in the water.
Look, along the burns
I pour.

You are not any one thing.
Hind, and doe, and time, they run.
Over granite, amethyst creeper
Finding cracks where there
Were none.

You are not any one thing
Speaks the sunset, cries the sun.
Find you there beyond the hillside.
Laugh and clap as though
I’d won.

You are not any one thing.
You are earth, sky, moon and sun.
Laughter of a beautiful daughter.
Flashing blade of a steely son.
Marking time.

You are not any one thing.
I watch you map your memory.
Challenging demons, stalking pathways.
Walking with head held high,
Riding storms.

We are not any one thing.
Sailing oceans, finding light.
Up, in the landscape of the eagles
Here, I dare you. Love.
Take flight.

Any One Thing.

Helen Finnie

07/02/2019.

Stand And Drink The Rain

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Pour away the Iron Bru’
Stand and drink the rain.
Put away the footspa
And tread the sand again.

Turn off the t.v.
Turn down your mind.
Put aside the d.v.d
Open up the blind.

Get off the sofa
Stride along the shore.
Throw out the painkillers
They’ll only lead to more.

Turn off the mobile phone
Throw it in the pond.
It’s time now with people and
With Earth to make a bond.

Hang up the haute couture.
Auction the bling.
Wipe away the make-up
Let your beauty sing.

Little Owl

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Outside my window
In the leafless night
The little owl calls.

From this window,
The owl and I
Reaching for the moon.

I too call out to my mate
Not knowing when I will
return to him.

The owl and I together
Calling to the night.
A small wind begins to stir.

Mine’s a silent call
But – together – the owl and I
Tremble in the treetops.

Helen Finnie
11th December 2017
Little Owl Image by David Chapman

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Heron On A Post

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Today I saw a heron on a post.
Viewed at eye level from the back
of a motorbike.

Upright, stood to attention.
Watching. But not watching me
behind my visor.

Not watching me – human on
two wheels going as fast as I can.
Without wings.

The heron flies
aligning head, body, legs.
Stream-lined, stream bound.

I align my head,
body, legs with
man and machine.

We ride for the ferry, he for the fish.
One world, two elements.
I see you heron. I want to be seen.