Spring

Oh, sweet spontaneous
earth, how often have
the
doting
fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked
thee
,
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy
beauty . how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover
thou answerest

them only with

spring)


 

Summer

Fairlight Glen

 

Autumn

Golden Sussex sunrise

 
 
 

Winter

Box Hill

On 27 October 2020 Lord Sumption delivered the 2020 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled "Government by decree - Covid-19 and the Constitution".  The disputes over Brexit last year saw an attempt to make the executive, not Parliament, the prime source of authority in the Constitution.  The coronavirus crisis has provoked another attempt to marginalise Parliament, this time with the willing acquiescence of the House of Commons. Is this to be our future?

 

The Hollow Men
T.S. Eliot
1888 - 1965


Mistah Kurtz - he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy


I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other kingdom
Remember us - if at all - not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Picture


II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer -

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

Picture



III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

Picture



IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of this tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Picture



V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.


 

Written by: Bob Dylan
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief
“There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth”

“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late”

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl

 
 

Fragment
Rupert Brooke
1887 - 1915


I strayed about the deck, an hour, to-night

Under a cloudy moonless sky; and peeped

In at the windows, watched my friends at table,

Or playing cards, or standing in the doorway,

Or coming out into the darkness. Still

No one could see me.

 
                                          I would have thought of them

—Heedless, within a week of battle—in pity,

Pride in their strength and in the weight and firmness

And link’d beauty of bodies, and pity that

This gay machine of splendour ’ld soon be broken,

Thought little of, pashed, scattered. …

 
                                                                        Only, always,

I could but see them—against the lamplight—pass

Like coloured shadows, thinner than filmy glass,

Slight bubbles, fainter than the wave’s faint light,

That broke to phosphorus out in the night,

Perishing things and strange ghosts—soon to die

To other ghosts—this one, or that, or I.



 






Dedication

May all beings find happiness and joy

May our own and other's aims be spontaneously accomplished