The journey seems endless,
I feel groggy and tired,
Wilting away with all the miles.
My sleepy eyes recover,
I fix my gaze,
Twinkling stars beacon,
Lights overhead blaze.
I’m nearly home now,
Majestic and calm,
The church is alight, a beacon,
Guiding me into the night.
Visitors and its children alike,
Rest is a promise one can surely rely,
A magnetism draws me,
The warmth prevails,
Invisible rays guide me
To my port,
Curing my ails.
Here the abundance of nature reigns,
Is a gift,
Home for a while, To rest and be free, Here is my anchor Greeting me.
This poem-records the view of St Michaels Church which is on North Hill where we lived in Minehead and is depicted below in Melody’s painting, the church is the blue building in the centre of the hill . Melody has several stories of the church, one is of using the powerful floodlights to roast apples.
More songs by these blind war veterans are available at the bottom of this page.
During the early 1980’s while working at St Dunstan’s Ovingdean I wrote this poem.
St Dunstan’s is a Joy, Heaven sent, to be sure, A helping hand to secure.
The stories are many, Their pain very real, Yet shining with intensity, Is their courage, Their Zeal.
Some days may seem bleak, This is surely so, Their eyes see a distant life, Of long ago.
They feel old limbs, Once fresh and young, While agile minds, See humour carrying them along.
Their brave fight-the battle is won.
During my time at St Dunstan’s I was deeply moved by the bravery of those I cared for. Every day was a challenge yet humour really did carry them along.
One memory I’ll share today was my dancing lessons with Elmer Richards..
Elmer was blinded in the First World War, he had, I remember really soft hands and a beautiful almost porcelain complexion, with a warm gentle humorous face. Elmer liked to dance at the tea dances held in the afternoons. I’d never learnt to Waltz so watched on.
I remember one day while walking along the promenade from The Brighton Pier to Ovingdean, a walk Elmer liked to do whenever he could. Elmer decided to teach me to dance, there and then – he couldn’t see the folk watching as they passed by. I remember laughing as he took hold of me and swirled me into a waltz. Elmer taught me, one two three, one two three, back, to one side then forward, something like that.
On most of our walks along the prom Elmer would dance. I expect people got used to seeing a man with a white stick and hat swirling around a young lady. I remember the day I danced at my first tea dance, in my uniform. One St Dunstener I remember remarked,” where did you learn to dance? your quite good”.
Elmer also taught me to play bowls which he loved, a great way to spend a rainy day. I remember he brought me a pair of white Daps in Woolworths. as I’d said in passing that the walking was wearing out my shoes. Elmer had never heard plimsoles called Daps. It’s a Somerset saying!
Elmer loved it when I told him how smart he looked in his white bowls uniform which he wore for his matches. Dear Elmer, what a lovely old friend he was.
If you would like to donate to St Dunstan’s please follow this link to – Blind Veterans UK where you will find a DONATE button at the top of the page.
So here we go, Melody and David with some subjects to get started on.
Exmoor National Park
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Melody has always written poems, something she inherited from her father, and something that goes hand in hand with her paintings and her whole connection with art. One could say of Melody that she is an holistic artist, everything she does relates to her love and connection with art, so whether she is painting, taking photographs, decorating the home or even cooking a meal, all of these things and more involve her love of art and creativity.
Often, when Melody returns from her morning walk, she will have a few lines or verses of how the light, sky, sea or land has captured her imagination and it is in this that a painting may be forming within.
Melody has and underlying theme in her paintings of Hope and Restoration and this can also be seen within her poems, a heart for humanity and individuals, a message that the journey isn’t yet complete.
This is a growing selection of Melody’s poems and thoughts, just something more, another glimpse into Melody’s heart. She hopes you enjoy the poems and her art.
Melody studied art at Winchester School of Art where she received her degree in studio and art history. For Melody Art History is as important as painting, she has an extensive library which she reads and adds to regularly. Art History is a major influence on Melody’s work and she will often spend weeks reading and studying before a new painting emerges.
Melody has several projects on the go and will be adding articles about various artists as the mood takes her.
Exmoor National Park
It’s where we live, the landscape and coastline are stunning, we have the second highest tide swings in the world and the sea cliffs are the tallest in England, combine that with the light and the colours of Exmoor and you have an idyllic home for any artist or photographer.
So, between us we have so much to share and enthuse about and as we embark on this we look forward to the journey.
The Lost Gardens Of Heligan
Set in Cornwall between St Austell and Mevagissey this is a lost and forgotten garden first established during the Victorian era. We both love it, the restoration has opened a garden of interest, with walled kitchen garden and all the Victorian skill to grow fruit that just didn’t belong in this country. Artistically there is so much to enjoy, wandering around, getting lost, finding yourself somewhere unexpected.
It is probably one of our favourite locations helped in that there is so much in the area, Charlestown that features often in the television series Poldark, The Roseland Peninsular with lovely coast also Melody has memories of places her father talked about, where he swam or visited as a boy.
We have now had three long stays at Heligan and have lots of photos and sketches to work on.