A New Place Of Exile

Richard Hutton

Tag: poetry

What Is The Sound Of A Thousand Plum Flowers?

Spring has begun
From the mud
On the sparrow’s feet.

The spring butterfly
Has found its own
Flower today.

Spring heat;
The garlic grows
As it wants.

Spring mist;
The sound of the goose
Entering the lake.

The dunnock is singing;
Its small chest
Puffed out.

Branches of the willow
Almost touch
The water.

Evening chill:
Above the frosty heath
The faint moon.

The robin is singing;
Its face towards
The sky.

A spring day;
Even in the sunlight,
It is cold.

Evening chill;
Amidst the brambles,
Sparrows chatter.

The first spider of the year
Has already made
A new home.

The first mosquito
Of the year
Has a hungry look.

The first moth
Of the year
Is lonely.

The first butterfly
Of the year
Looks jaundiced.

Spring mist;
Across the lake
The cry of the moorhen. 

A distant storm;
The sparrow did not
See the hawk.

Three-Line Poems (Assorted)

The street preacher –
A lot of nonsense;
But the spring day.

Were it spiced,
It would be my snow,
Their snow.

Bitter cold;
A bit of a shiver
From the moon.

Bitter cold.
My hands are
The dwelling place of winter.

Bitter cold;
Frost is crushing
The chickweed.

Bitter cold;
The fox
Darts across the snow.

Bitter cold!
Even frost upon
The stars.

Bitter cold.
A slight wind;
The winter moon.

Evening chill;
The moon treads upon
The lake.

Hail falling;
The goose washes himself
Amidst the ice.

Hail falling;
The wife of the goose
Shaking her head.

Spring approaching.
Eating alone
The old man.

Lengthening days.
The voices of
The earthworm chorus.

The battle is over:
The winter wind
Has felled the old tree.

Autumn night.
The spider has had
No luck today.

The sound of the wind
Now and then;
The bright autumn moon.

Summer is over;
The hawk has made
A fresh kill.

Autumn dusk;
All is quiet;
The beating heart of the mouse.

Summer wind.
The flower awaits
The bee.

A winter night.
The spider –
It waited in vain.

Bitter cold!
The frosty leaves
Crackle – snap!

Evening cool.
The wind drifts through
The graveyard.

Robert Burns ‘To A Louse’


(On seeing one on a lady’s bonnet at church)

Ha! Whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly,
I canna say but ye trunt rarely
Owre gauze and lace,
Tho’ faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn’d by saunt an’ sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her –
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

Swith! In some beggar’s hauffet squattle:
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi’ther kindred, jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations;
Whare horn nor bane ne’er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

Now haud you there! Ye’re out o’ sight,
Below the fatt’rils, snug an’ tight;
Na, faith ye yet! Ye’ll no be right,
Till ye’ve got on it –
The vera tapmost, tow’ring height
O’ Miss’s bonnet.

My sooth! Right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an’ grey as onie grozet:
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I’d gie ye sic a hearty dose o’t,
Wad dress your droddum!

I wad na been surprise’d to spy
You on an auld wife’s flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On’s wyliecoat;
But Miss’s fine Lunardi! Fye!
How daur ye do’t!

O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An’ set your beauties a’ abread!
Ye little ken what curséd speed
The blastie’s makin!
Thae winks an’ finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!

O wad some Power the giftee gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

By Robert Burns

Anne Bronte ‘The North Wind’


That wind is from the North: I know it well;
No other breeze could have so wild a swell.
Now deep and loud it thunders round my cell,
Then faintly dies, and softly sighs,
And moans and murmurs mournfully.
I know its language – thus it speaks to me:

‘I have passed over thy own mountains dear,
Thy northern mountains, and they still are free;
Still lonely, wild, majestic, bleak, and drear,
And Stern, and lovely, as they used to be

‘When thou, a young enthusiast,
As wild and free as they,
O’er rocks, and glens, and snowy heights,
Didst often love to stray.

‘I’ve blown the pure, untrodden snows
In whirling eddies from their brows;
And I have howled in caverns wild,
Where thou, a joyous mountain-child,
Didst dearly love to be.
The sweet world is not changed, but thou
Art pining in a dungeon now,
Where thou must ever be.

‘No voice but mine can reach thy ear,
And Heaven has kindly sent me here
To mourn and sigh with thee,
And tell thee of the cherished land
Of thy nativity.’

Blow on, wild wind; thy solemn voice,
However sad and drear,
Is nothing to the gloomy silence
I have had to bear.

Hot tears are streaming from my eyes,
But these are better far
Than that dull, gnawing, tearless time,
The stupor of despair.

Confined and hopeless as I am,
Oh, speak of liberty!
Oh, tell me of my mountain home,
And I will welcome thee!

By Anne Bronte

William Blake ‘The Divine Image’


To Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
All pray in their distress:
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is God our father dear:
And Mercy Pity Peace and Love,
Is Man his child and care.

For mercy has a human heart
Pity, a human face:
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine
Love Mercy Pity Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk or Jew.
Where Mercy, Love & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

By William Blake.

William Blake ‘The Little Black Boy’


My mother bore me in the southern wild,
And I am black, but O! my soul is white;
White as an angel is the English child:
But I am black as if bereav’d of light.

My mother taught me underneath a tree
And sitting down before the heat of day,
She took me on her lap and kissed me,
And pointing to the east began to say.

Look on the rising sun: there God does live
And gives his light, and gives his heat away.
And flowers and trees and beasts and men recieve
Comfort in morning, joy in the noon day.

And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love,
And these black bodies and this sun-burnt face
Is but a cloud, and like a shady grove.

For when our souls have learn’d the heat to bear
The cloud will vanish we shall hear his voice.
Saying: come out from the grove my love & care,
And round my golden tent like lambs rejoice.

Thus did my mother say and kissed me,
And thus I say to the little English boy.
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:

I’ll shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our father’s knee.
And then I’ll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me.

By William Blake

Thomas Hardy ‘The Oxen’


Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
‘Now they are all on their knees,’
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
‘Come; see the oxen kneel,

‘In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,’
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

By Thomas Hardy