Areches

Areches Beaufort and Mont Blanc, majestically close to the mount and clear. There are no clouds today. We are perched above this rounded 4810 meter peak.

Behind us, there are imposing cliffs streaked, with snow. The village is streaked with impossibly narrow streets; and the lodges made from logs in abundance. Picture perfect.

And the colours here tell us it’s a good place to ski. A ride to the top; I can’t wait  So few people in sight. A sight to behold.

It comes with great effort to this climb. A final ride to the top. We turn with an easy glide. Snow from the tips of the mount are so near and I am whispering in awe; my frozen breath barely breaking this calm.

The chair takes us back down the mountain and beyond, above the tree line slopes. But we’re aiming for the descent back down to the rustic warmth of Areches.

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About Constellations

When our thoughts become poems the poetry becomes our constellations and then we write down the words all the that we have discovered or want to understand. These are the things I am. I am trying to learn French. I’m learning I think. A language as vast as the stars. It’s like watching the constellations partly; discovering it changes us; deepening our minds just as the poetry we read or write becomes more meaningful night after night… just begins with a simple thought.

Mont Blanc ~ Lines Written in the Vale

Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni by Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Mont Blanc yet gleams on high:—the power is there, 
The still and solemn power of many sights, 
And many sounds, and much of life and death. 
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights, 
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend 
Upon that Mountain; none beholds them there, 
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun, 
Or the star-beams dart through them. Winds contend 
Silently there, and heap the snow with breath 
Rapid and strong, but silently! Its home 
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes 
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods 
Over the snow. The secret Strength of things 
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome 
Of Heaven is as a law, inhabits thee! 
And what were thou, and earth, and stars, and sea, 
If to the human mind’s imaginings 
Silence and solitude were vacancy.”

Mont Blanc: Lines Written in the Vale of Chamouni, Verse V

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

About the Author

The life and works of Percy Bysshe Shelley exemplify Romanticism in both its extremes of joyous ecstasy and brooding despair. The major themes are there in Shelley’s dramatic if short life and in his works, enigmatic, inspiring, and lasting: the restlessness and brooding and the rebellion…

Monmartre Streets

The people here seem hopeful they can achieve a more just society and that they might be able to lead the way and become an example for the French people.

There we saw with the “yellow vests” who also spoke about inspiring people; to be heard and demand better rights for the people.

For now, however, everyone is holding their breath — there’s lots of suspense — people just don’t know what will happen. It’s a peaceful protest from what we could see.

I think they just want to be heard.

Winter Solstice

We have approached the winter solstice in our hemisphere; a day which has takes place on December 21. An anniversary to be celebrated.

We are here in Wales. The morning has come beaming down on the Gorsedd stones in Sketty bringing the longest night of the year. It is our ancestors that celebrated this season as the “Yule” before it became known as “Christmas.”

So, this is the winter solstice. It’s the onset of the seasons over the length of a full year; it is the last and the cycle in the season of our winter.

For the next three days, December 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, the Sun will rise and set on the exact same latitude, on the exact same day and the exact time and the same degree for three days.

And in this winter cycle, it is the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the sun in a year or 365.25 days.

We will celebrate our fourth cycle together in this precession of the equinoxes resulting in this day, a difference in the Earth’s orbital on this one day.

We are the measure of these cycles under this fixed background of stars; Taking a solar year for the sun to reappear again; returning to this same position in the sky again.

Could these be the same stars that appeared over 2000 years ago over a little town called Bethlehem…Oh star of wonder.

And they say there are 1,440 within the minutes of a day, and only minutes between the solar years. This is the eve of our winter solstice.

These dates have been recorded for the last 26,000 years by the ancients. Stonehenge is proof of the equinoxes and the solstices shifting and repeating backwards in the calendar.

The winter solstice are the days and nights becoming the winter under this moon and these stars above;

The winter solstice is the reference point for the timing of the celebrations of Christmas and all the times we share together here in Wales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

From the prose work a ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dylan Thomas

Audio https://youtu.be/Hv4-sgFw3Go

Chapter 1

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six. 

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen. 

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero’s garden, waiting for cats, with her son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland, though there were no reindeers.

But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters,

Jim and I, fur-capped and moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their eyes. The wise cats never appeared. 

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows – eternal, ever since Wednesday – that we never heard Mrs. Prothero’s first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or, if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor’s polar cat. But soon the voice grew louder. 

“Fire!” cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong. 

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town town crier in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room. 

Something was burning all right; perhaps it was Mr. Prothero, who always slept there after midday dinner with a newspaper over his face. But he was standing in the middle of the room, saying, “A fine Christmas!” and smacking at the smoke with a slipper. 

“Call the fire brigade,” cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong. 

“There won’t be there,” said Mr. Prothero, “it’s Christmas.” 

There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his slipper as though he were conducting. 

“Do something,” he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke – I think we missed Mr. Prothero – and ran out of the house to the telephone box. 
“Let’s call the police as well,” Jim said. “And the ambulance.” “And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires.” 

But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on.

Nobody could have had a noisier Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim’s Aunt, Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would say to them. She said the right thing, always.

She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets, standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said,

“Would you like anything to read?” 

To be continued.

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About Dylan Thomas

Dylan Thomas was born in Wales on 27th of October 1914 at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea, Wales United Kingdom. One of Wales greatest sons. His life includes many great written works of prose and poems which remain so popular throughout the world. Works include; ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Death Shall Have No Dominion, Fernhill, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight.’ And he is also famous for ‘Under Milkwood’ in his play from which was broadcast by the BBC in 1954. It was debut one year after his death. Dylan Thomas died 9, November 1953.

Moon Talk

There is a harvest moon over Swansea. Makes me stay up late at night. Bedtime conversations wanting to talk about the Brexit and other things. Then when your sleeping, I talk about the moon; he tells me about the sun and all I can talk about is you.”

It’s touching to know that we’ve connected in a way that we want to remember.

Connecting with another human being is poetry to me. I think writing allows us to let others know how we feel about someone.

It’s more than words; it’s a feeling, where they are coming from, the spark and what makes the world go round and the things that breaks us too.

Every word is a piece of a puzzle; some words we look for; what I look for when I write and poetry is no exception.

Do you ever wonder if the poem your reading is about you?

I’ve always described myself as someone who can easily express feelings on paper.

I have found that through writing, that it is just my way of expression of whatever feelings we have shared.

Words that would not go on their own way, but words of affection that should not be left unsaid.

I’ve written the most about the conversations we’ve had and then later translated the spoken words onto paper; finding there is more than one way to express desire.

I will talk to the moon about us and share all my emotions and wanted you to know I can still feel everything that I’ve ever felt for you; and when the moon goes to bed and when the sun comes up again; those feelings still remain.

I just went outside last night to have a late night conversation with the moon. He just wanted to talk about the sun and I all could talk about is about was you.