Ode to Laughter

I found this little poem in an old book of my mother’s called Philosopher’s Notebook. It was compiled by Monty Blandford and published by Hallcraft Publishing Company in 1952.


A laugh is just like sunshine,

It freshens all the day;

It tips the peaks of life with light,

And drives the clouds away.

The soul grows glad that hears it,

And feels its courage strong,

A laugh is just like sunshine

For cheering folks along.

A laugh is just like music,

It lingers in the heart,

And where its melody is heard

The ills of life depart.

And happy thoughts come crowding,

It’s joyful notes to greet,

A laugh is just like music

For making living sweet.


flowers from Tom 002 (Copy)


A poem: Magpies by Judith Wright

wild life 004 (Copy)

Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white.

They look like certain gentlemen
who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served — and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!

But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise — no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.

Magpies by Judith Wright was published in Poets and Poetry by Sadler/Hayllar/Powell. Published by Macmillan, 1992

* Judith Wright was a prolific Australian poet, critic, and short-story writer, who published more than 50 books. Wright was also an uncompromising environmentalist and social activist campaigning for Aboriginal land rights. She believed that the poet should be concerned with national and social problems. At the age of 85, just before her death, she attended in Canberra at a march for reconciliation with Aboriginal people.


A poem from “Word From Home” – an Anthology

Word from Home is an anthology of prose and verse compiled for THE KING’S FORCES by Lt. General Sir Tom Bridges and published by English University Press.

I often pick up books that look interesting and this is one such book. It came out in 1940 and has a diverse range of poems and poets. I have selected one to share today.   It is called The Sunken Garden by Walter De La Mare.

Speak not – whisper not;

Here bloweth thyme and bergamot;

Softly on the evening hour,

Secret herbs their spices shower,

Dark-spiked rosemary and myrrh,

Lean-stalked, purple lavender;

Hides within her bosom, too,

All her sorrows, bitter rue.

Breathe not – trespass not;

Of this green and darkling spot,

Latticed from the moon’s beams,

Perchance a distant dreamer dreams;

Perchance upon its darkening air,

The unseen ghosts of children fare,

Faintly swinging, sway and sweep,

Like lovely sea-flowers in the deep;

While, unmoved, to watch and ward

Amid its gloomed and daisied sward

Stands with bowed and dewy head

That one little leaden Lad.


Weekly photo challenge: Abandoned

I wrote a poem this morning as part of the writing course I am doing.

It just so happens that my school experience links with this week’s photo challenge. As it is a PHOTO challenge, I have chosen an old school photo to match the theme. I really DID feel abandoned on that day. It didn’t take long to get used to school, but I still didn’t enjoy it. I have only learned the joy of studying in recent years 🙂


Mum left me in a big room

Boys, girls, Sister Kevin

I struck out in fear

I had to stay – Mum left me


Boys, girls, lunch boxes

The stale smell of unwashed flannels

Banana sandwiches every-day

Awful warm milk at playtime


Spelling is fun h I p p o p o t o m u s

Cuisenaire blocks – to add up and take away

A prize for top of the class

Maybe school is OK


Latin Mass, First Communion

Rosary beads, confession, and penance

The smell of incense

Not at Mass? Line up for the strap


Decades have come and gone

Back to the same church

This time it is saying goodbye

To my loved ones and to my past



Poetry among the stained glass windows – a virtual opportunity to participate

I haven’t written any poetry for years! I love to read other people’s  original works and may be tempted to write some of my own.

detail of a stained glass windows with the CoA...

detail of a stained glass windows with the CoA of royal France in the chapel of Château de Breteuil, France. XVIIIth century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s blog presents a unique opportunity to take part in a writing exercise. There is special provision made for VIRTUAL participation. This is thanks to my neighbour, friend and fellow WordPress blogger, Ted.

Your poem may be selected for inclusion in an anthology, the copyright of the poem remains with you, and you are free to re-print or publish your poem elsewhere at any time.

I have included a link

http://stainedglasspoetry.wordpress.com/ that will tell you all you need to know to take part. I have also copied the information about Virtual participation to hopefully encourage you to look further at the WordPress site established for the Writing Morning.

If you would like some historical information about this beautiful old church then go to: Some historical information is HERE

From Ted’s blog:

‘Virtual’ participation

If you are unable to come to Busselton to take part in our writers’ morning, then participate online.

Click on ‘HOME” and explore the windows by scrolling down and down. On the ‘HOME’ page, you will find the windows and a brief description of each.

Or, click on ‘WINDOWS – IN THE CHURCH’ or ‘WINDOWS – IN THE PORCH’ where I have uploaded a thumbnail of each window.

The images are high-resolution, so you can look at each window in detail by clicking on the thumbnail or smaller image.

Then write any poetry inspired by the windows – or by the church itself.

It helps if you can fill in the ‘Submissions Form‘ electronically and send it with your poems. Otherwise download the Submission Form and entrust your poems to the postal services.

Or click here ….Submission sheet

I hope you will take part. I think I will make a virtual contribution as well.



PS If you have any queries you can leave a comment for me and I can pass them onto Ted for you 🙂

Why blogging is important to me

so many interesting blogs around the world!

My blogging journey has a few twists and turns, steps forward and steps backwards, sometimes around in circles. It is true that I write to express some of my  inner most thoughts, feelings, fears and ideas, however I don’t want this blog to be one long rumination into “who am I and what am I doing here?” That is ok for a journal that I can write and no-one ever sees. My blog is for sharing with others, so I hope to rise above rumination! Sometimes it is harder than others 🙂

I started blogging to practise writing often and seem to have achieved that. Over the past 12 months I have posted around 250 topics. I really love doing the Weekly Photo Challenge too – that is a bonus because initially I had no interest in photography and now I get a real buzz out of it.

Today I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs. I subscribe to a diverse range of blogs and I really get a lot from each of them – the occasional sharing of an idea, a fear or a belief – a meeting of minds. Thanks to those of you who read mine.

Sometimes I love to share a poem through my blog. That is another bonus for me as I had forgotten how much I enjoy poetry and now I find myself poring over a poetry book for hours until one resonates with me. Sharing photos in my regular blogs is fun, however most of my electronic photos are of family and friends – I am slowing building a bigger choice of photos to use with my daily posts.

I wish I was funnier than I am  –  I would love to write blogs that brought a smile to people’s  faces 🙂

The greatest thing about blogging for me is to have an avenue to:

* express an opinion

* share an experience

* express my feelings

* tell a story from the past

* share a poem or some wisdom found in philosophy

* to converse with like-minded people

* learn about other parts of the world through the blogs I subscribe to (thanks Cocomino for  your fantastic blog about Japan!)

* contemplate some of the big questions in life

These are some of the many reasons that keep me blogging along. What inspires you to keep blogging or reading?

cheers for now


A poem by A.S.J. Tessimond

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

Image via Wikipedia

Reading one of my poetry books today (Mainly Modern published by Rigby) I found a poem called Houses, that I would like to share with you. It is a bit obscure but I felt that the poets words said something important about the human condition. It is fairly dark and speaks to me about vulnerability. Can you see it from any other perspective?


People who are afraid of themselves

multiply themselves into families

and so divide themselves

and so become less afraid.

People who might have to go out

into clanging strangers’ laughter

crowd under roofs, make compacts

to no more than smile at each other.

People who might meet their own faces

or surprise their own faces in doorways

build themselves rooms without mirrors

and live between walls without echoes.

People who might meet other faces

and unknown voices round corners

build themselves rooms all mirrors

and live between walls all echoes.

People who are afraid to go naked

clothe themsleves in families, houses

but are still afraid of death

because death one day will undress them.

 Thanks for reading – go to A.S.J. Tessimond to see some more of his work.



A time to remember those we love

English: Blow Up Santa Claus Christmas Español...
Image via Wikipedia

Christmas time! We panic as the days and weeks fly by and we have so much to do. We have cards to send, presents to buy, people to visit. We worry that we may have forgotten someone or something.

It can be a lonely and a sad time for some people who are far from those they love. I lived a long distance from my extended family however I always found ways to make the most of the Christmas season with my three lads. Little traditions like setting up the Christmas tree, making the Christmas puddings, counting the sleeps until Santa comes.

I came across a little poem I would like to share with you today. It is called “Those We Love” and  written by Dorothy Quick in Philosopher Reflects and first published in 1955.







They say the earth is round – and yet

I often think it square,

So many little hurts we get

From corners here and there;

But there’s one truth in life I’ve found

While journeying East and West,

The only folks we really wound

Are those we love the best.

We flatter those we scarcely know,

We please the fleeting guest;

And deal full many a thoughtless blow

             To those we love the best.


As I reflect on many people in my life today and those in years past, I hope that I haven’t dealt any “thoughtless blows” but have been a faithful friend and family member. If I have failed and hurt you in some way, my humble wish is for your forgiveness and a fresh start.

With my good wishes to “those I love the best” and to all my fellow bloggers 🙂



A poem from my past

Cover of "The Consolations of Philosophy&...

Cover of The Consolations of Philosophy

 I wrote this poem in 1986. I decided to share it through my blog today. I would love to start writing poetry again. Sometimes it is a vehicle for expressing feelings that are difficult to write about. This poem has no title.

Your love, so new and fresh and giving

Came to me

Gave me a reason for living

What joy, ecstasy…

But now, gloom…

The sky is grey, my heart aches

It twists within me

What pain, sorrow…

In desperation I ask why?

Time and time again I cry

I get angry and curse you

Then sob and desperately want you.

But now it is over

Energy is all gone

No longer have I a reason to live

I died within.

(Lorraine 1986)

Isn’t it amazing the effect that love and loss has upon us. Surprisingly though, we come back for more. I can recommend reading a book by Alain De Botton, called The Consolations of Philosophy. He talks about many philosophers but one in particular really spoke to me about the types of emotions expressed in my poem above. The philosopher is Arthur Schopenhauer and he was born in Danzic in 1788 and died in 1860.

Schopenhauer helped me to understand the evolutionary power of love and attraction and how it is so important for the continuation of our species. He says we should not be surprised at the enormity of our feelings of love and joy but also of the pain that comes from lost love.

Knowing that these emotions are all part of being human, makes them a little easier to accept.

All good wishes


The courage to love




In February 1988 I began to wonder in despair if I would ever find love again. I wrote these words:

I had the courage to love

I was touched by its exhilaration

I was encompassed by its arms

But no – it was only an illusion.

The deep needs of my heart found a home in imagination.

Why does love make such a difference?

It is so bittersweet.

So many tears have been shed;

Yet I still have the courage to love again.


It not hard to fall in love with “love”. It is an exhilarating experience and life can seem so empty without it.

I hope you experience much love in your life today.