Poetry – Honed

Honed

Honed to a point,

Concentrated

So that all else flees

And nothing is more important

That to capture the elusive flow

And ride the wave.

For when the mind is in tune

The harmony of creation

Is sweet satisfaction.

8.2.2017

Honed

Writing is my Zen. To meld with the oneness of the moment and melt into the moment where the words flow through the mind, a train of ideas that chase each other so that I rush to keep up.

When into the moment everything comes together and the mind sings. Perfection is the glow of being lost as the world has slipped away.

Poetry – I am the master miller

I am the master miller

In come the sacks of wheat,

Each grain a sealed globe

Of locked up mystery,

A richness of nutrition

Sealed within its protective case –

It’s cover.

The seed tumbles through my machine

In unseemly haste,

In hundreds of thousands,

As I slowly grind.

Harnessing the energy of nature

To turn my sails,

Working with nature

In the natural way,

For that is the art of the miller.

I break the case asunder

To release the wondrous essence.

It is now free

To dance with new joy

And give life.

There is deftness in my art

As I deploy my tools,

For I must keep up

With the flow of seeds

And never fall behind.

I separate the chaff

From the vital essence

And am happy,

Lost,

Within my work.

The sacks of seeds arrive

In great number

And I transform them

From potential into realisation –

A stream of purity.

For months I toil

Lost in the beauty of the slow art,

As the seeds arrive,

The sails turn,

The cogs engage,

And I am one with the process;

Losing myself in fulfilment

That stems

From the moment it connects –

A timeless balance

All of its own –

That I am of.

I am the master miller.

Waking from the thrall

I look behind

At the sacks of raw flour

I have gleaned,

With a glow of satisfaction.

The fineness of the flour

Is the evidence of my craft –

I run the fine white powder through my fingers.

This is what my hands have made

When I merge myself as one

With the process,

In harmony with the wind,

The wood, the stone and seed.

I transform the rough grain

Into this delicate stream of wonder

And it fills me with fire.

Back home I take the pure potential

And adulterate it with water, sugar, oil and yeast.

I knead and leave to stand.

I place it in the oven

But it is burnt or full of holes.

For I am no master baker.

My fayre is passable at best.

All the beauty of my skill is spoiled

And returns to mock me.

Ideas arrive into my mind

As ephemeral bubbles

That I must catch between the millstones

Of my imagination

So that their essence is released

To trickle out in words.

Those words

Endlessly streaming through my fingers

Across the page

Now need the master baker’s hand

To enable them to rise,

And the heat to do its work;

To release the full flavour they contain

Lest they read as run of the mill.

Every master miller is in search of the master baker

In order to perfect their craft together.

Neither one can produce excellence alone.

Opher 23.10.2016

I am the master miller

A writer works alone but cannot complete their task alone. It requires community in order to perfect the work. Without the feedback of the audience or the honing of the editor the raw product is poor. For the skill set necessary to create a work of art is too onerous and multiple for any one person to possess in full. Few have that range of ability. I surely do not.

A writer sits in solitude catching the globes of ideas that pass through their mind and capturing them in symbols. These words pour out in endless stream across a clean white sheet and build up into page after page. It is a relentless task, to keep up with the flow and translate those ideas into their essence – to liberate the abstract into concrete form that communicates their spirit. I use the word liberate deliberately – for I see those ideas freed from an internal abstraction into a wider world – a world where others might interpret them and taste the abstraction themselves. So while the symbols are reductionary and restrictive, the liberation comes in explosions of realisation in the minds of others as the essence, packaged in the constrained symbols, is released in the consciousness of others. The ideas are liberated from the mind of one into the minds of many.

That is the creative task of a writer.

Yet should the writing process be strewn with spelling, grammatical or structural faults that intrude and prevent that process of communication, like boulders on the highway, then the art is lost.

The writer can rarely see the boulders they have created to block the progress of the reader. It is the task of the editor to identify the faults and smooth the path. That is a skill as adept as any creator.

Alone we are less. Together we are greater. Every master miller requires a master baker in order to create the perfect loaf.

As a writer I am constantly haunted by Paul Simon’s words –

‘And all my words come back to me

In shades of mediocrity;

Like emptiness in harmony.

I need someone to comfort me.’

That is always how I feel – bereft.

Poetry – Field of Dreams

Field of dreams

In my field of dreams it is harvest time.

Ideas hang in bunches on the branches

Of my imaginary trees

And ferment in hope.

They will be gathered with love

And distilled to golden spirits

That exude the flavour of great pleasure.

For every day is a harvest festival –

A celebration of abundance.

The more I gather

The more that grow

Until I am overwhelmed

With the joys

Of my creations.

Opher 24.8.2016

Field of Dreams

I have a notebook in which I scribble my ideas and projects. I am constantly scribbling.

I used to worry that I might run out of ideas but I never seem to. They constantly pour forth so that I have trouble keeping up. That is good because I get bored easily. I like to have a number of projects on the go just as I like to have three or four books to read simultaneously. I am grateful to have so many ideas. Though it makes no sense in terms of progressing my art into a commercial form.

My friends and family become frustrated. They feel that I should focus on one project at a time and finish that before moving on. They think I should spend time marketing and seeking but that is not my way. I get bored. I have to unload my head. If I do not grab the ideas as they pass they wriggle away and are lost. It is more important to harvest them than market them. That is where the joy is.

There is nothing more fulfilling than having a head full of dreams and visions and having a creative outlet to give them life.

Poetry – Far Horizons

Far Horizons

I’m always amazed by the creativity of humanity. Our minds are incredible. We are so new yet we have harnessed our astounding minds to create the world we live in. We exploded out of Africa to dominate the world. We overcame obstacles and destroyed our enemies. No creature has ever been so resourceful. The original ideas and solutions come flooding out of that jelly in our heads.
We are a duality: a strange mixture of compassion and altruism and callous barbarity. Future history will show which of the two sides is the greater. I believe in the caring side. I believe we build the zeitgeist that will see us through.
Our intelligence came out of such mundane things as an opposable thumb and binocular vision. Our amazing ability to question why and find solutions, we conjure them up out of nowhere. Our imagination is our only limit.

Far horizon, curve of sky

Thumb and finger – wonder why?

Out of Africa – black as pitch,

Ever pondering – which is which?

Hunting, gathering – wandering far.

Following on high seas the only fixed star.

Spreading outwards, like a vivid splash.

Overcoming obstacles in a neuronal flash.

Devising, solving, challenging the how

With ideas and inventions for which we take a bow.

Arrogant and vicious yet gentle and kind

Honing the body, instruments and mind.

Vast cities, many colours, the bomb and the gun,

Religions and cultures, music and fun.

Sources of hope and scattered profanity

We are the animals we named ourselves

Humanity.

Opher 17.8.2015

Far Horizons

I’m always amazed by the creativity of humanity. Our minds are incredible. We are so new yet we have harnessed our astounding minds to create the world we live in. We exploded out of Africa to dominate the world. We overcame obstacles and destroyed our enemies. No creature has ever been so resourceful. The original ideas and solutions come flooding out of that jelly in our heads.

We are a duality: a strange mixture of compassion and altruism and callous barbarity. Future history will show which of the two sides is the greater. I believe in the caring side. I believe we build the zeitgeist that will see us through.

Our intelligence came out of such mundane things as an opposable thumb and binocular vision. Our amazing ability to question why and find solutions, we conjure them up out of nowhere. Our imagination is our only limit.

Writing in progress.

Yesterday I completed my rewrite of my new Sci-fi novel – Farm 703 – The Human Project.

That was a huge effort. I have been working non-stop.

I shall lay that one aside now. I need to gain a little objectivity.

So I am turning my attention back to the other Sci-fi novel – Schizoid.

I am starting work today on the final edit. It has been put out for reading and I am eager to hear what people think. So today I shall immerse myself in another world or two. Wish me luck.

If you would like to read one of my books they are all available on Amazon. Below are some links to a selection:

 

In the UK:

 

Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Nick+Harper&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_28?keywords=opher+goodwin&qid=1584522597&s=books&sr=1-28&swrs=8CA1CF015D23C1B999212425353077BC

 

In Search of Captain Beefheart

 

 

Sci-fi as Ron Forsythe

 

Neanderthal

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neanderthal-Ron-Forsythe-ebook/dp/B082WL81DH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522147&s=books&sr=1-1&swrs=17C3F1C42D8DCBDBBA4459BE44B869C4

 

God’s Bolt

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gods-Bolt-Ron-Forsythe/dp/109271359X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522214&s=books&sr=1-2

 

Reawakening

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reawakening-Sequel-Gods-Ron-Forsythe/dp/1094954586/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522266&s=books&sr=1-3

 

Education as Christopher Goodwin

 

A passion for education – The story of a Headteacher

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=stripbooks&k=Christopher%20Goodwin%20Headteacher&ref=nb_sb_noss&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks

 

In the USA:

 

Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years

 

https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Harper-Wilderness-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B083CQT6Z5/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Nick+Harper&qid=1584374165&s=books&sr=1-2

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=Opher+Goodwin&qid=1584522858&s=books&sr=1-8

 

In Search of Captain Beefheart

 

https://www.amazon.com/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00O4CLKYU/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=Opher+Goodwin&qid=1584522893&s=books&sr=1-10

 

Sci-fi as Ron Forsythe

 

Neanderthal

 

https://www.amazon.com/Neanderthal-Ron-Forsythe-ebook/dp/B082WL81DH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522932&s=books&sr=1-1

 

God’s Bolt

 

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Bolt-Ron-Forsythe-ebook/dp/B07QB9CFJL/ref=sr_1_8?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522958&s=books&sr=1-8

 

Reawakening

 

https://www.amazon.com/Reawakening-Sequel-Gods-Ron-Forsythe-ebook/dp/B07QQ2PX37/ref=sr_1_7?keywords=Ron+Forsythe&qid=1584522995&s=books&sr=1-7

 

Education as Christopher Goodwin

 

A passion for education – The story of a Headteacher

 

https://www.amazon.com/passion-Education-story-Headteacher-ebook/dp/B00NRC66E2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Christopher+Goodwin+a+passion&qid=1584523061&s=books&sr=1-2&swrs=EC8906D12A2A37C516AE64321C2CA91D

 

If you live in other parts of the world please check on your local Amazon where you will find my books!

 

Thank you for looking!

 

All the best

 

Opher

Poetry – The Master Miller – a poem about creativity

Poetry – The Master Miller – a poem about creativity

Vice and Verse cover 51K9Up4uCYL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ 61U89AzgoAL__AA160_ Rituals, Odes & Mystic anxieties Prose Cons and poetry cover

I am the master miller

A writer works alone but cannot complete their task alone. It requires community in order to perfect the work. Without the feedback of the audience or the honing of the editor the raw product is poor. For the skill set necessary to create a work of art is too onerous and multiple for any one person to possess in full. Few have that range of ability. I surely do not.

A writer sits in solitude catching the globes of ideas that pass through their mind and capturing them in symbols. These words pour out in endless stream across a clean white sheet and build up into page after page. It is a relentless task, to keep up with the flow and translate those ideas into their essence – to liberate the abstract into concrete form that communicates their essence. I use the word liberate deliberately – for I see those ideas freed from an internal abstraction into a wider world – a world where others might interpret them and taste the abstraction themselves. So while the symbols are reductionary and restrictive, the liberation comes in explosions of realisation in the minds of others as the essence, packaged in the constrained symbols, is released in the consciousness of others. The ideas are liberated from the mind of one into the minds of many.

That is the creative task of a writer.

Yet should the writing process be strewn with spelling, grammatical or structural faults that intrude and prevent that process of communication, like boulders on the highway, then the art is lost.

The writer can rarely see the boulders they have created to block the progress of the reader. It is the task of the editor to identify the faults and smooth the path. That is a skill as adept as any creator.

Alone we are less. Together we are greater. Every master miller requires a master baker in order to create the perfect loaf.

 

As a writer I am constantly haunted by Paul Simon’s words –

‘And all my words come back to me

In shades of mediocrity;

Like emptiness in harmony.

I need someone to comfort me.’

 

That is always how I feel – bereft.

 

 

I am the master miller

 

In come the sacks of wheat,

Each grain a sealed globe

Of locked up mystery,

A richness of nutrition

Sealed within its protective case –

It’s cover.

 

The seed tumbles through my machine

In unseemly haste,

In hundreds of thousands,

As I slowly grind.

 

Harnessing the energy of nature

To turn my sails,

Working with nature

In the natural way,

For that is the art of the miller.

 

I break the case asunder

To release the wondrous essence.

It is now free

To dance with new joy

And give life.

 

There is deftness in my art

As I deploy my tools,

For I must keep up

With the flow of seeds

And never fall behind.

 

I separate the chaff

From the vital essence

And am happy,

Lost,

Within my work.

 

The sacks of seeds arrive

In great number

And I transform them

From potential into realisation –

A stream of purity.

 

For months I toil

Lost in the beauty of the slow art,

As the seeds arrive,

The sails turn,

The cogs engage,

And I am one with the process;

Losing myself in fulfilment

That stems

From the moment it connects –

A timeless balance

All of its own –

That I am of.

 

I am the master miller.

 

Waking from the thrall

I look behind

At the sacks of raw flour

I have gleaned,

With a glow of satisfaction.

The fineness of the flour

Is the evidence of my craft –

I run the fine white powder through my fingers.

This is what my hands have made

When I merge myself as one

With the process,

In harmony with the wind,

The wood, the stone and seed.

I transform the rough grain

Into this delicate stream of wonder

And it fills me with fire.

 

Back home I take the pure potential

And adulterate it with water, sugar, oil and yeast.

I knead and leave to stand.

I place it in the oven

But it is burnt or full of holes.

For I am no master baker.

My fayre is passable at best.

All the beauty of my skill is spoiled

And returns to mock me.

 

Ideas arrive into my mind

As ephemeral bubbles

That I must catch between the millstones

Of my imagination

So that their essence is released

To trickle out in words.

 

Those words

Endlessly streaming through my fingers

Across the page

Now need the master baker’s hand

To enable them to rise,

And the heat to do its work;

To release the full flavour they contain

Lest they read as run of the mill.

 

Every master miller is in search of the master baker

In order to perfect their craft together.

Neither one can produce excellence alone.

 

Opher 23.10.2016

If you would Like to purchase any of my poetry books they can be purchased in paperback or digitally from Amazon for £3 or £4..

In the UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1477349606&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rituals-Mystic-Anxieties-Opher-Goodwin/dp/153480336X/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477387249&sr=1-8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhymes-Reason-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1516991184/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_23?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477387321&sr=1-23

In the USA:

https://www.amazon.com/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1477349625&sr=1-2-ent

tps://www.amazon.com/Vice-Verse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B010U4E9B6/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477387551&sr=1-15&refinements=p_82%3AB00MSHUX6Y

https://www.amazon.com/Rhymes-Reason-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1516991184/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477387551&sr=1-16&refinements=p_82%3AB00MSHUX6Y

Ken Robinson – Do schools kill creativity? Creativity is as important as Literacy.

Teaching by numbers is the way of things – by government dictat enforced by Ofsted.

Be prepared to fail. Experiment. Learn from failure.

Ken Robinson, in a most amusing manner, makes a series of pertinent points about education.

Creativity – a human trait? Are we losing it?

So why are humans creative? Why do we love to dance, sing, play music, paint, write stories, write poems and express our emotions?

Well we are not alone. Other animals have displayed similar traits. Chimpanzees, Gorillas and even elephants have all enjoyed producing colorful art.

Whales produce the most amazing complex songs and sing to each other across oceans.

There seems to be a need for intelligent creatures to express themselves, to interpret their emotions, feelings and ideas in some creative manner.

The need to create crosses all cultures and has been repressed by various religions throughout history. When Rock ‘n’ Roll came in it was considered primitive and there was talk of bans. The Taliban and ISIS want to eradicate music, dance and any art that portrays human beings. Many books have been burnt. The Nazis wanted much art, writing and music banned.

But the urge for creativity is always more powerful than these repressive forces. People will go to extremes in order to create. The urge is strong.

Yet this is by no means all people. In this modern age most people do not create. They seem to have lost the urge. Why is that?

If we go back to our tribal past nearly everyone was involved in some creative expression, whether that be through dance, music, costume, hair or body art. We seem to have lost a lot of that. Is that a bad thing?

Poetry – Like a pressure cooker – A poem about the need to create (a bit of fun)

IMG_6343

Like a pressure cooker

Well I was just doing a reply on my blog when I was overtaken by the force of an idea. All of these words bubbling away in my head, like eels, forming into words, sentences and whole paragraphs and then churned apart in the mixer of my thoughts.

For years they have festered like a huge boil waiting to be lanced.

No time. No time. No energy. No time.

Then there is time.

There’s only twenty six. I have to rearrange them into an infinity of possibility, capture the abstractions and lock them into forms that others can see.

Why?

Because I have to.


Like a pressure cooker

Like a pressure cooker full of alphabet soup

The heats turned up

About to explode!

 

Like a volcano full of words

The magma’s so high

About to unload!

 

Been boiling and bubbling

Much too long.

Stewing and simmering

So pent-up

It’s wrong.

 

Like a washing machine of phrases

All spinning around;

I’m in a vortex

That’s screwing right down through the ground

 

Like a blender of sentences

Churning so fast.

I’ve gotta let it out

Cos this really can’t last.

 

I’m a cement mixer

Gonna lay down a new road.

A galaxy

That’s about to implode.

A neutron star

With a nova inside –

Poetry or novels?

I just can’t decide.

 

I’m a man of letters

That I have to arrange

Before they mess with my brain

And make me go strange.

 

Cathartic,

Illuming,

They gush in a flow.

I couldn’t hold on to them

They just had to go!

 

Here they are – there they go! Ewuytopogrot ooo immy di wo!

 

Opher 20.10.2015

Poetry – Long Journey – a poem about life, it’s purpose and doubts.

It seems to me that there are three types of people: The destructive, selfish kind who use everything and leave the world worse than when they came; the indifferent type who do nothing with their lives; and the ones that make a difference and change things for the better.

When I was young I consciously decided that happiness was not to be found in wealth and power. I deliberately chose not to go down that path. I wanted something more meaningful and fulfilling. I wanted a life that led to wisdom and creativity.

Now, towards the end of my days I think I was right. Pleasure is not fulfilment. Fulfilment is on a much deeper level and I have had more than my share.

I still believe we should strive to make the world a better place; more compassionate and harmonious. That to create and improve is more rewarding.

Destruction and cruelty never leave you with a satisfied glow in the way that love does.

Life is a long journey. We set off armed with our philosophy.

LONG JOURNEY

It’s a long road with no end in sight

On a journey that never ends.

They say the travelling justifies the time;

There’s always something round the next bend.

Sometimes you find a gentle glade

That satisfies your soul

Sometimes you settle in one place

But home is always the next watering hole.

You spend your time searching

For the diamonds in a friends eyes,

For the gems within the cosmic dust

That gives you the feeling of your size.

Sometimes it all makes sense

But those are the times that have to pass.

Sometimes you want to hold it close

But you know nothing can last.

These words are squiggles on a page

That’ll live long after me

And what use is their existence

Regardless of their quality?

 – they’re just words

You just get on and do it.

Make it the best you can.

Try to improve this whole damn universe;

As one grain within the sands.

Yet one grain can start a landslide

That buries something wrong,

And a landslide can lead to an earthquake

That lasts a life-time long.

Love melts the hardest hearts

As many an erstwhile fascist knows

Knowledge and compassion

Are the seeds a wise man sows.

A thought slips inside a mind

And down come the toppling cards.

A smile lights up a journey

And the road is not as hard

 

Opher 6.5.96