Monday, 9 December 2013

A Poem Based on the Fourfold Way of the American Native Indians

Flying Hawk, 
pictured in a photograph borrowed from Wikipedia (public domain)

A few years ago I attended a leadership course based on NPL techniques. One of the things we learnt about was a red indian myth, the Fourfold Way. I was totally knocked out by the course, it really opened my eyes to an understanding of myself; after wards I chose this myth to turn into a poem. One of four pieces of writing I did about my experiences on the course.

I called it The Warrior, but this title was only a working title - it stuck. The poem was actually my first which did not start off a song lyric.

The Warrior

I am the Warrior
Mine is the power
I will be there for you
Hour by hour
Think of the winter
Of frost in the air
I am the Warrior
I will be there

I see a vision
In the fire of truth
I will not judge you
There’ll be no reproof
Think of the summer
The sun is that fire
I see a vision
I’ll share to inspire

I am the Healer
I’ll attend to your heart
I’ll bring you loving
I’ll play my part
Think of the springtime
In the earth, seed we sow
I am the Healer
Together we’ll grow
I am the teacher
Whose wisdom is time
I teach but I learn more
Perceiving your signs
Think of the autumn
And the waters of fate
I am the Teacher
Don’t leave it too late

It is one that I had forgotten, aand found it today whilst searching the house for ssomething totally different for my wife. One good turn .......

Hope that you like it.

Friday, 29 November 2013

A New Collection Of Poetry from Artyfax

I have now caught up with the task of publishing my poetry as e-books on The latest collection is number 3 and brings things right up to date. I have a few very new ones which have been posted in this blog; and I have a large number of song lyrics written 1960 - 1980. I may at some stage try to get these included in a collection but I am not worried about these, most of the better lyrics found their way into volume 1.

Here is the new volume:-

Don't forget, if you like what you read here, you can get the free download at Scribd. Wish me luck with volume 4.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A New Poem, The Seasons

I painted a winter scene last week and posted it in my art blog, the weather this week has been very cold and beginning to get quite wintry which has inspired the following new poem. But first let me include an image of the new painting:-

I wonder if it brings forth any of the feelings which it did in me and resulted in this poem? It is not an original in the sense that It is a very close copy (not something I often do) of a work by a gloucester artist. I saw a greeting card in a shop in Winchcombe and fell in love with it. I had to try to get the same feelings down on to paper. I used pastels.

And here is the poem:-

THE SEASONS by John Dyhouse

We ride the earth around the sun
A journey we all share
As winter comes I think about,
the end of another year

A new beginning beckons
Look forward tho' you fear.
Spring is like a flower which,
Blooms to bring another year.

In the fullness of this journey
That brings us all so near,
Summer is the apex,
Applaud another year.

Autumn is the season
When dreams become as one.
Rise up and let us dance,
In the last rays of the sun.

And so complete the circle
We always persevere,
The Seasons ever come and go,
Marking out another year.

Something I have just started doing is to record my new poetry and post onto the internet - I am using a site called SoundCloud at present but there is a limit to what can be stored for free and so I may change to some other site in the near future. But, it does allow playlists (albums by any other name) and sounds/tracks can be embedded into sites like this blog.

Listen to my lilting tones read this poem:-

I would love to know what you think of the idea of reading the poetry. I shall be looking at much of my back catalogue and recording as much as I can.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A Poem Written After Standing Under The Bomb Bay Of A Vulcan Bomber

This poem was written after standing under the bomb bay doors of a Vulcan bomber, at the RAF museum, Cosford, and being totally overwhelmed.

In the initial years of the cold war. The V fleet, including the Vulcan and the Thor missile were the UK’s deterrent force helping to prevent the outbreak of a nuclear war.

In fact the Vulcan is an amazing aircraft; huge , deadly and yet so well designed it can be called a beautiful engineering triumph. It did help to keep the peace in a dangerously unstable world.

Lords Of The Air

Lords of the air
keeping the peace
when in the right hands
dread war may cease

Lords of the air
masters of war
wreaking untold damage
an end we deplore

Lords of the air
beauty unfurled
sleek, fast and deadly
when set on the world

Lords of the air
dangerous foes
you'll pray for your life
before one of those

Lords of the air
generations of peace
destructive yet docile
if warfare should cease.

Monday, 18 November 2013

A New Poem: Breaking Dawn

This is my third poem from what I am calling a mechanical poetry route.

I have used a simple poetry generator to create a poem, I seeded the app with a few words and took the result as a "starter for ten"; from this particular generator, the resulting poem was about ten short lines but as previously I decided that I wanted more. I like to tell a story in my poems not just leave the reader wanting more.

So taking a phrase at a time, and sometimes repositioning them I used a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary to extend and enhance the poem. All poets edit their work several times as a matter of course, what I don't know is how many use help from dictionaries and thesauri during this process. I do believe that these poems are my own work. I simply get a little help in that first step which gives me a little kick and helps me to get over a little writers' block.

So here is the latest:-

Breaking Dawn.

I awake afraid to face the dawn.
Turning in my bed, toward the light
Leaking from a curtained widow,
I feel a dreadful, haunting fright.

A golden sun precedes the day,
But with what terrors shall I compete?
Will my nightmares yet come to pass.
I hide my head beneath the sheet.

My fantasies return each night,
In conspicuous, lucid clarity,
I relive them all within my sleep
In unwelcome perpetuity

I disavow their appearances
But shivering with trepidation
I know that I will only fail
It’s cold, so cold, it’s devastation

My lifeline is your happy face
It brings me warmth and calms my fears
you are so much my opposite
Yet your presence hides unwelcome cares

I thought I had finished but seeing it written down again here, I think that last verse should have been extended into at least two stanzas. It seems that things are coming out too quickly. I will leave it here however as a work-in-progress and make another post when I have edited/added more to complete it.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Poetry Nook - A New Poetry / Art Magazine

I came across this new magazine called Poetry Nook on Twitter, very new with only two issues published but it is asking for submissions and does not mind previously published material. Maybe this will change as it becomes established?

Read issue 2 (October 2013) of Poetry Nook on Calameo, Calameo in itself is a new find for me. It Looks as though it is free to publish  (in many formats) any books / magazines, although there is of course a paid level which offers more for "professional writers".

The embedded reader does not seem to be a useful as Scribd (see earlier post) but this is only my first attempt at usiing it and I may need to tweak it?

Anyway, I am going to try and submit a few poems - wish me luck!

PS Click on the arrow/box logo to read full screen - only just realised, Doh!!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

A New Collection of Poetry (Free Download)

Some of you may have seen the free e-book at Scribd which I blogged about on this site and which contains an embedded copy of the Scribd book.

This contained a number of early lyrics, edited to pass as poetry. I have now taken poems written since then and created a second collection which I have called, "Poetry From A New Beginning". The reasoning behind the title is explained in the e-book itself, so I will not re-iterate it here. It is also available on Scribd as a free download, and again I am posting an embedded version of this e-book in this post here on the blog.

Read it here, or go to Scribd to download it, it is your choice. The difference in style seems obvious to me. Not least is the widening of the subject matter. I would love to hear what you think of the poetry. It has become very important to me but I am struggling to write as much as I would like. Here is the e-book:-

Saturday, 19 October 2013

A new poem - Holiday Thoughts

Here I am again, another apoplogy for neglecting the blog, to be fair though I have been on holiday. I was hoping to try and write a few poems over the fornight (almost) but in the end the weather was so great and the swimming pool at the hotel so inviting that I failed to meet this objective. I did manage just one poem, however.

The pool and the adjacent bar were always there and made use of. But one night I was idly taking a few long exposure night shots around the pool and with disco music emanating from the open bar, I started to put a few lines together.

And here they are for your approval - or otherwise!

Holiday Thoughts by John Dyhouse

Coloured lights sparkle
reflecting in a watery mirror
disturbed by gentle breezes
which keep the night cool

Happy sounds drifting
from a nearby bar-room
briinging back memories
Of a time long passed

Another day ending
another holiday soon over
familiar routines
will soon be re-imposed

Oh so very briefly
freedom tasted, not forgotten
though life must return to normal
hopes spring of a return next year

Cheers for now, I will try to make sure the next post doesn't take so long.

More of those night-time photos are available on my photo blog

Monday, 19 August 2013

A Poem - An Empty House

There is a time when because of a reason which you have no control over, yo may have to part with the house, the home, that you grew up in. Recently I was affected by such a happening and I wrote this poem inspired by the feeling which I though were appropriate.

An Empty House

Once full of life and laughter
Now empty and forelorn;
The house that I grew up in
Is left behind, foresworn.

Time marches on I know that;
And time cannot be stayed,
But now I leave that empty shell,
Knowing memories will fade.

Faded but not forgotten;
I will remember all
The good times, and the bad times
Family ties will ever call.

Call to me across the years
Wherever I may roam.
To help me live a better life,
And build my own sweet home

One home decays and gathers dust
One will be fresh and new
But I will be the link between
Them both, for me and you.

For life goes on and I will grow
In stature as I age,
Developing a life anew;
And write another page.

So weep not for that empty house,
Which I had once called home.
For love creates new memories,
To share when we’re alone.

This is another poem written for the poem-a-day project. This did not come easily and was not mapped out at the beginning. The rhymes simply led me from one line to another, often writing across the verses.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Avalon, a new poem from Artyfax

Glastonbury abbey (public domain)

AVALON by john dyhouse

If you should visit Avalon
That Fair Isle in the west,
You’ll find King Arthur’s Spirit there
Though’ he, long since laid to rest.

It lives in every tree and hill,
In every path and stream.
It’s magic, strong and welcoming
To every man who dreams.

Inspired and rested, travel on
But know you will return.
For the mysteries call out to you,
“Come back, take heed and learn”.

The Abbey, Tor, and Chalice Well
Are three sites you will know?
But the Spirit lives most everywhere;
Through all time, in ev’ry place you go.

Here, find yourself or find a cause
That you can make your own.
Just bind yourself to Avalon
And answers sought, shall to you be shown.

So should you visit Avalon?
That fair and magic Isle;
Take heed and give yourself a chance
To stay and rest awhile.

This was written after a weekend spent away from home. A chance to relax after a very difficult and busy start to the year. Glastonbury ( known for many things other than the pop festival) is a lovely town associated with hippies, new age and eastern religions. But there are a number of christian churches and congregations there also.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Back With A New Poem - A new day

It has been a while since my last post, I have been enjoying the environment at Bubblews. It is an income sharing site which allows posts on any subject (with the usual limitations to keep it family friendly) and will accept anything from 400 characters to full length articles. If you are used to submiting articles to this sort of site, you will miss the formatting which you are probably used to but a new version is promised on this new site over August.

It is growing fast, not least because it shares 50% of advertising revenue with the writers (aka bubblers). It is a cross between a social media site (and interaction on the site is also paid) and an article writing site, which explains the wide variety in posts accepted. Check out a few of mine from my Bubblews profile page, I write more than many bubblers but many are beginning to understand about the concept of getting views from google and a passive income. Not conducive to internet marketing! No affiliate of referral links are allowed.

I am currently making $50 per month, although the potential is for much more. The only question is how much time you want to spend making money. It is probably the site with the fastest rate of potential earnings that I have seen. On many of the sites paying for views, monthly rates are less than an order of magnitude smaller than this.

But to the main reason for this post - I am back! I will be posting on this blog again. I have had fun on Bubblews but do want that little extra freedon of writing on my own (?) blog.

So without further ado, A poem written since my last post (and there have been one or two), my dry period seems to have been overcome, although I am wary about making claims about this, so enough said.

A new day - by John Dyhouse

A blue sky
A great sky
A what am I going to do today sky.

The sun's out
No clouds of doubt
Obscure the warming rays, so put the flags out.

I feel good
Of course I should
A day like this inspires all hearts not made of wood.

A day to live
A day to give
A day to gather hope and just be positive.

A little tiff
Then make a gift
Settle that argument don't dare to think, "what if... ?"

A new day
A new way
So show your grateful thanks without more delay.

And if you are interested, I am almost ready to compile poems written over the last 12 months onto a new e-book. My first collection of poems from my early days of songwriting, yes they all started as song lyrics, is already available from Scribd as a free download. I may chance my arm and actually charge a small fee for the new volume. Now that is something new!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Helpless, a new poem

It has been some time since I managed a poem of any length and this one came out of the blue, a complete surprise.

it is not in my usual style, no rhymes, no rythm and lines of different length; it came about after a problem with my son who some time ago suffered from viral encephelitis and we were unsure wether we would lose him for several days.

But out of his suffering, I found that I could work out my own feelings of sorrow and almost utter helplessness to help him as I started writing this poem. I have only just finished typing it from my notebook, editing as I typed so it is still in a state of flux and may change but I wanted to post it as it stands because of what it means. Hope that you like it.

HELPLESS – by John Dyhouse

When someone you love
Hurts so very much
And nothing you do can ease the pain
You feel so very helpless

As youngsters a hug, or a kiss may help
But life can deal some tragic hands
Which can’t be thrown-in or the cards exchanged
Makes you feel simply helpless

Several days in critical care
In a coma on life support machines
What can you do, wait and pray
Feeling so alone and helpless

Thank god for the nurses and doctors
Battling to save the life of our son
Thinking the worst but hoping for more
You feel so uselessly helpless

In time the virus is beaten, the battle is won
And now we await for results
What damage will show as the patient awakes
Oh Life makes you feel so helpless

Good news, all motor skills still seem Ok
No physical side effects lurk
But as time passes will we start to see
A sting in a venomous tail

Tiredness, fatigue, those invisible foes
Make life a hard battleground
Anxious, depressed and nothing can help
You feel so achingly helpless

You feel the pain and see the tears
The struggles of everyday life
You offer your help but nothing’s enough
You’re just so saddened and helpless

Though life must go on and we learn to adapt
It doesn’t make living it easy
When people can’t see the pain in your heart
And don’t understand how their action can hurt
You feel so incredibly helpless

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

My first collection of some older poetry.

I have pulled together some poetry from the 60's and 70's and published it as my first collection on Scribd. It is available for free download on that site.

Mechanical Poetry to overcome writer's block

Yes I am still suffering from this infliction.

I have found another web-site which offers help for poets suffering in this way. OK, so we have all seen many sites which offer prompts galore - does this help? I have even posted prompts and sources in previous posts but I am not sure it has been helping me that much. As I said, I am getting ideas to work on but it's carrying them through to more than fragments -to a complete poem.

Now that is patently silly because even a Haiku is a complete poem, so what do I mean? I am not expanding the ideas to longer poems I guess and this is bothering me. But hold on, before carrying on let me share a few more Haiku.

Wind chill factor high
The Beast from the East arrives
red warning of snow

(note: a red warning from the met office is issued when dangerous levels of snow are forecast)

Ignored totally
morning, get up, go to work
back home, silence reigns

Newspaper healines
full of bad news to annoy
answer, don't buy them

Newspaper headlines
designed to sell more copies
create frustration

Nespaper headlines
can they ever be believed
read between the lines

(what makes you think it was a good day for the newspapers)

Now, back to the main theme of the post. I have found a web-site which describes a creativity game for writing poems. I have been working on something similar for creatiing abstract art and so was attracted to it. The site, "Dial-a-Poem", also describes one or two ideas for writing poetry which it describes as mechanical poetry. I shall be trying out these ideas, hopefully more helpful than working to simple prompts.

watch this space I will let you know how I get on.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Descriptive prompts for poetry

It has been a quiet week for me this week, so I searched for creative writing prompts and found these on Creative Writing Now. A short list of descriptive prompts follows:-

1) the first signs of spring

2) your house late at night

3) someone who annoys you

4) what it's like to be under water

5) the classroom of a school you attended

6) a pet or another animal you've had the chance to observe

7) a doctor's waiting room

8) a monster you imagined when you were a child

9) the way a particular person snores

10) the view from the top of a tree.

A second topic this week is the idea of writing across lines. Yes, I know it is quite legitimate but I have been reading one or two well-respected poetry magazines (including The Poetry Review). I am appalled at the random way in which many so-called poets simply break up the lines of the poems.
I have two reasons, the first is that I really believe that to enjoy a poem it has to scan, have rythm and have some discernable structure. Otherwise, why not call it prose and write it as such. Does calling it poetry confer some imagined kudos?
The second reason is that I like to be able to read a poem without studying it first. If I have to read a poem several times before I can understand it, then I lose interest. Am I lazy? I don't think so, I read constantly. I read a wide range of subject matter from many sources but "modern" poetry is not something I enjoy. Much of it is like abstract painting of the kind perpetrated by the conceptual school of art. In my opinion, and I stand by it, it is utter rubbish.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

And still the Haiku come forth

Just read the haiku from the last post and decided to alter the last one in that post. It was originally:-

Winter night comes early
Cloaking day's end silently
Until tomorrow
But upon reflection that second line simply sounds wrong, I have re-written it thus:-

Winter night comes early,
Silently cloaking day's end.
Until tomorrow.
Does it make a lot of difference? I would argue that it is the little things which make a difference, perhaps you agree, perhaps you don't, but it is my poem.
And by the way, this is a new pastel painting from my own fair hand, except for a little post processing from photoshop. You can see it and an explanation of how it was completed on my blog, painting with John. I will be creating a series of Zazzle products with the resulting images, find them soon in my Zazzle store

So, advertisement break over, here are a couple of new Haiku.

Sixteen wheelers rushed
drove down the road before me
hurtling far too fast

Driving in convoy
too close to one another
there's trouble ahead

As you might imagine, these were written after seeing too many lorries from the local factory rushing down our road in the morning rush hour. Not typical Haiku material, am I cheating and just creating fragments of poems, which I am trying to get away from. perhaps I should play safe and stick to nature and natural subjects?

Friday, 1 February 2013

Still writing Haiku as a way forward

Don't know if this is working, but at least I am not left with what to me seem like fragments of poems. The first stanza or a few lines, and then running into a case of writers block. Time after time after time. With the Haiku, without wishing to claim anything for them, I am able to feel that I have a complete piece. The discipline of the 5-7-5 syllable count is also making me work a little at the words I am using.
It can only be good practice, and heaven knows I need it. So what of this weeks batch. Again I leave them untitled - is this usual? Must take another look at some of the Haiku related sites.

Winter, think sunny
Think warm foreign beaches
Winter, bearable


Rain everlasting
Spring, summer, Autumn, Winter
Earth needs space to dry


Rain on rain on rain
Falls on saturated ground
Flooding now certain


The setting sun dies
Ending of another day
Sleep, refresh, renew.


Winter night comes early
Cloaking day's end silently
Until tomorrow

Well, what do you think? Is there any merit in these short pieces. I will be carrying on with this game in the hope that it will bring about an end to this current period of writer's block. And if it doesn't? - well then I shall have to think of something else to try.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Poetry contest submissions - Am I ready?

I have been wondering for sometime if any of my earlier poetry was good enough for submitting to a contest. With some editing and modifications which I have been working on. Well it is something whilst I have problems with writing new poems.

I saw however that there are competitions for Haiku. Not saying that they are easier, in fact they do not immediately suit my style. For instance read: Poetry contests for new poets.

I have therefore submitted three haiku to the Haiku Foundation contest for the new year (2013). I havae edited three that have been posted in this blog which does not count as publishing for this contest. They are:-

traditional haiku:
Footsteps in the snow
freshly fallen, crisp and white
follow them, should I?

modern haiku: 
Poetry  is words
words live forever
forget me not

innovative haiku:
Inspiration grows
new thinking, new skills

I await results with anticipation although I don't really expect to hear anything, I can already see other edits / changes which I could have made. Is any art ever perfect?

watch this space!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Haiku to overcome writer's block

I have written about my difficulties creating poetry at the moment. I am not sure why this is but to reiterate, I used to be able to write poetry quite freely but I seem to have dried up. I have sought and discusssed possible reasons but this has had little effect.

I have been reading more modern poetry and not enjoying the so-called "free poetry", as published in many modern magazines and in their web-sites. I think I have come to accept non-rhyming poetry; but poems without structure and rhythm and  readwith no sense to the line lengths has left me cold. I think this is because before I am a writer, I am a musician and an artist. I like to be able to pick up a poem and read or more likely "perform" it without having to study the nuances which the poet may or may not have thought about.

I have seen texts which seem to excuse this on the basis that the message is the most important thing and the overall structure of the poem should noy be allowwed to get in the way. Bullsh*t. This is lazyness on the part of the poet. I have seen free poetry which I have enjoyed but the poet has considered his reader and made it obvious by various techniques what his intentions were.

Similarly, I can enjoy abstract art - but by no means all of it.

I am of the opinion that reading so much poetry that I find almost offensive has been bad for me, drying up the stream of what seems to be considered childish crap. I still find ideas relating to things happening around me but I just seem to run out of steam. However, I have been reintroduced to Haiku - short and to the point. This has given me a way forward to explore some of these ideas without worrying about completing long(er) poems.

So here are a few Haiku written during the snow this week.

Early morning snow
glist'ning in the morning sun
bringing fear to some

Red flowers, white snow
A beautiful sight to see
such blooms cannot last

glistening at dawn
white frost covering the ground
dangerous to tread

Footsteps in the snow
freshly fallen, crisp and white
follow them, should I?

Lamp posts line the road
lighting my way thro' the dark
warm thoughts, home awaits.

Footsteps, pristine tracks
snow records where I have been
short lived memories

A forecast of snow
stores are filled with hectic crowds
shopping in panic.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Creative writing prompts for poems

I am really suffering from a bad case of writers block. Nothing is happening for me at all this month. I have become so desperate that I have been searching for poetry prompts on the internet and thought that I would share a site with you. Creative writing now.

Let me give a couple of examples, I hope that the site owner won't mind:-

9) Write a poem from the perspective of a character in a fairy tale.
10) Write a poem using all of the following words: moth, angle, cloth, tangle.
11) Write a poem that tells the story of a specific love affair or marriage.
12) Write a poem in the form of a message or letter to your future self.
13) Write a poem about the color red or another color. (Some ideas for brainstorming: How does the color make you feel? What things do you associate with that color?)

Go to Creative Writing Now for many, many more examples. Oh, and wish me luck using a few of these.