Treasured islands…

Escaping is the not – so-hidden theme for our poetry illustration this month,.

What with everything that’s going on in the world a week marooned on a desert island – no masks, no food shortages and the isolation without the pings ? What’s not to love?

Beth was straight off to a blue lagoon somewhere tropical with this clever combination of water colour and collage. Rachel was right behind her with this lovely interpretation of John Betjeman’s ode to Ynys Mon, in chalk pastels. Just floated in on a raft is Gemma with this idyllic blue lagoon…

A Bay in Anglesey

by John Betjeman

The sleepy sound of a tea-time tide

Slaps at the rocks the sun has dried,

Too lazy, almost, to sink and lift

Round low peninsulas pink with thrift.

The water, enlarging shells and sand,

Grows greener emerald out from land

And brown over shadowy shelves below

The waving forests of seaweed show.

Here at my feet in the short cliff grass

Are shells, dried bladderwrack, broken glass,

Pale blue squills and yellow rock roses.

The next low ridge that we climb discloses

One more field for the sheep to graze

While, scarcely seen on this hottest of days,

Far to the eastward, over there,

Snowdon rises in pearl-grey air.

Multiple lark-song, whispering bents,

The thymey, turfy and salty scents

And filling in, brimming in, sparkling and free

The sweet susurration of incoming sea.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by WB Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

The Island

RS Thomas

One particular time after a harsh morning of rain

The clouds lifted

The winds fell

There was a resurrection of nature

And we were to emerge 

With it into the anointed air

I wanted to say ‘we will remember this’

But tenses are out of place on that green island

Ringed with the rain’s bow that we had found 

and would spend the rest of our lives looking for.

If Once You Have Slept on and Island

by Rachel Field

If once you have slept on an island 

You’ll never be quite the same; 

You may look as you looked the day before 

And go by the same old name, 

You may bustle about in street and shop; 

You may sit at home and sew, 

But you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls 

Wherever your feet may go. 

You may chat with the neighbours of this and that 

And close to your fire keep, 

But you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell 

And tides beat through your sleep. 

Oh, you won’t know why, and you can’t say how 

Such change upon you came, 

But – once you have slept on an island

You’ll never be quite the same! 

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