Poetic Landscape of the Soul

Poetic Landscape of the Soul

Upon each tree hung with light,
cosmic fruits of love sway
beneath psyche’s soulful stars.
Over hill and silent shining lake,
a midnight journey of wonder
lights up this imaginal world.
Where stone, wood and water
naturally release reveries
to trees, who push their roots
down into swaddled dreamers,
offering the glow of intuition
and transformational symbols.

While I do not come consciously,
the ground is real and stillness
will always bring me here,
to a land older than the oceans.
Inside this pregnant darkness
I cross over to the thin place,
searching for healing wisdom
within its enchanted forests,
until mountains gather around
and a stag steps out of the mist.
Knowing this landscape was here
long before my poetry began.

Awake within my star, I drift
towards the mountains of soul,
walking further into myself,
into infinite space, vast and open
yet strange and shrouded
from my mortal-bound life.
Here I assume my spirit form,
seeking a reconciling symbol,
as I sit and listen to silence,
until I can no longer hear it.
The focal point is everywhere,
for as far as I look out, I look in.

Let me kneel and kiss this earth,
let me dance in its radiance.
Lift me up to the raven’s nest,
where I may bear silent witness
and fling my arms wide open
to the wildness of highlands.
While first light is suspended,
I find myself deeply rooted here,
a sacred feather caught
between the Shaman’s toes,
belonging only to psyche’s
poetic landscape of the soul.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2018

22 thoughts on “Poetic Landscape of the Soul

  1. This is such a beautiful poem, Deborah
    A pantheistic poetic approach… a poem of wholeness and integration.
    I love these verses, in particular, as they denote cyclical circularity, and therefore, show a sense of “belonging”:
    “While I do not come consciously,
    The ground is real and stillness,
    Will always bring me here,
    To a land older than the oceans”
    The ideas of attachment and inclusion reappear at the end, emphasizing previous poetic notions in a very deep, touching way.
    Great poem ⭐️ Sending love and best wishes

    1. Last night I dreamt a Greek lady sat beside me in class and helped me with my “spiritual” work. We were in an ancient Greek building, in a classroom, where we sat in circle. The male tutor started talking and within minutes his voice had turned into song and then an incredible music I had never heard before. I felt faint with desire, for it was a truly ecstatic encounter. Then I woke up …

      And here in pure synchronicity, is your beautiful poetic voice my dear friend Aquileana, talking of the Greek Pantheons. Thank you so much for your generous gift and pointing out the themes of not only my poem but also of last night’s dream … you couldn’t make it up. I shall be unpacking your words for days to come.

      Love and light, Deborah.

    1. Thank you so much for your generous review of my poem and a very warm welcome to my poetry blog! Hag-Seed, well that’s a great online name. Solstice blessings, Deborah.

  2. Oh, Deborah, may I knee and kiss the Earth with you? Last night, I watched the New Moon – Venus conjunction and thought of these heavenly beneficent bodies looking down at the choices we humans are making. Yes, the Good and the Sublime, but so much horror right now in this country and in the world. And still I kneel, deeply rooted in this soil and place, finding my reconciling symbol in the bluebirds, the poppies, the lupines, the Swallowtails, the friends who sustain me, the green of this Earth. A deep bow of gratitude to you in the parting of the veil that brings me back home.

    1. Oh my Goddess! I love, love, love how you can name and know your reconciling symbols Elaine in the bluebirds, the poppies, the lupines, the swallowtails, your beloved friends and Gaia herself! I truly believe this deep knowledge and knowing serves us all so well. For me the kingfisher, the foxglove, the hare, oak tree, the robin and the mountains hold a kind of deep magic and a mystery I fail miserably in words to express. They literally set my heart on fire! I’m blessed to have a group of close loving friends in my life, and have met some wonderful new ones in recent years online including yourself, Susan and Jeanie who all help me in the “parting of the veil” which brings me back home too! A thousand blessings to you my dear friend! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

  3. So pleased to see your offering here Deborah thank you so much! Hugely image evoking … I’m reminded of Morgan Le fey and Merlin, that’s what crossed my mind. Not so much Merlin, but for me, mists, greenth, golden, gentle swaying, alchemy … maybe in part because of where I am in Portugal (Sintra) where, from the balcony, I look out onto castles and palaces, forests and hills and usually mist right at the very top. Reading this has made my day that much richer thank you again ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your kind-hearted, allegorical inspiring comment! Those “Merlin and Morgan Le Fey” atmospheric mists were incredible as I sat beside Buttermere Lake (after I’d walked around it … a long walk!) for ages with low, thin clouds whirling and swirling over the water. The Cumbrian landscape forever calls my soul home. Loving the “greenth, golden, and gentle” alliteration!

      And the joys of being married to a photographer means I don’t have to look far for images for many of my poems. Oh, I hope your European travels are going well my friend … and now you’re in Portugal, how delightful (once more, like when you visit Plettenberg Bay) to access another beautiful balcony to survey those far reaching, rich and impressive views! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

  4. This poem takes me back into a deep dream of ancient woodland, soft, ethereal lakes and majestic fells to a place of magic and mystery where I can sit and just be…”as far as I look out I look in” is such a true reflection on what takes place when I travel in my dreams and when I walk in nature. What poetic words to describe your dreamscape Deborah, woven together so beautifully – this makes me long to return to that place again and again.

    I love reading the current crop of nature writers – Wendell Berry’s poem reminds me of Rob Cowan’s ventures out at night in “Common Ground”. They inspire me to connect more with the outdoors – do you have any favourite writers?

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your truly beautiful, poetic reply. Re: Verse 3, last lines …many years ago whilst reading Virginia Woolf I discovered this incredibly insightful way of looking, long before I even discovered Jung, Symbolism and the field of Psychology.

      Much of this poem is inspired by the beauty and solace I find in Nature (both internal and external) as for me they are deeply entwined with each other … those inner and outer reflections which I write about more in my Jungian essay, “The Fate of the Alchemist” http://theliberatedsheep.com/journey-love-fate-alchemist/

      Briefly (lunch awaits!) here’s a list of six favourites books I’ve read in the past couple of years. All nature based and highly recommended! Each has greatly inspired me, and I’m currently reading Robert MacFarlane’s, “Wild Places” which moved me to write this poem.

      A Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks
      Common Ground by Rob Cowen
      The Meadow by John Lewis-Stempel
      Between the Sunset and the Sea by Simon Ingram
      The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies
      The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

      1. Well if you liked the books on your reading list you might want to also read
        The Hidden Life of Trees
        The Running Hare
        and of course Robert MacFarlane’s “The Old Ways” and “Landmarks”

        I’m really looking forward to John Lewis-Stempel’s new book “The Wood” and Robert MacFarlane’s “Underland” due out next year…not to mention that Rob Cowen is currently writing a new one too. Ah so much more food for the soul to come!!

  5. Wow! Your inspiring words help me remember Soul & Nature (Within & Without) as ever loving, ever present companions on my journey. Deborah, you’d really enjoy Wendell Berry’s book of poems called The Peace of Wild Things.

    1. Thank you so much lisabeth for your lovely review and for your book recommendation, I’ll check it out … already loving the title! At the moment I’m halfway through Robert MacFarlane’s, “The Wild Places” which is excellent and deepening my connection with nature … yes, “within and without” indeed! Blessings always, Deborah.

      1. The Peace Of Wild Things

        When despair grows in me
        and I wake in the night at the least sound
        in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
        I go and lie down where the wood drake
        rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
        I come into the peace of wild things
        who do not tax their lives with forethought
        of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
        And I feel above me the day-blind stars
        waiting for their light. For a time
        I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

        Wendell Berry

  6. Utterly beautiful marriage of words and image!!! While I’m a man your poem reminds me I’m also half woman as you open up the universe with your deeply feminine, poetic landscape. So many great lines Deborah, impressive work I shall return to again and again! HF

    1. “A marriage of words and image” … aww thank you so much Henry for remembering my recent poem and your most generous comment here! Hmm, half man/half woman for all of us dear poet … now there’s a future Jungian themed poem to write. Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

  7. Simply stunning!! A beautiful poem that touches my soul Deborah – we sleep with the universe on our pillows. I love all the inner/outer landscape references. Nature, exquisitely expressed, “As above, so below” — Carl Gustav Jung. Re: Photo – Is this a real place as it’s such a surreal dreamscape? All the best, Anna.

    1. Thank you so much Anna for your truly wonderful, kind-hearted words! Yes, this place is real, the photo above was taken at the beautiful Buttermere Lake, in Cumbria (North Lakes). If you’re ever in that part of the world (otherwise known to me as Heaven!) do visit, its breath-taking scenery inspires me to write all year round!

      Since meeting Jung for the second time in my life, more than ten years ago now, it would be impossible for me to write anything without Jungian symbolism, or an archetype or two turning up in my poetry. I love what you wrote about how the universe sleeps on our pillows at night. Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

      1. You’re welcome Deborah, it’s beautiful work.

        Buttermere? Well in that case Lake District here I come!! 🙂

        1. Ha-ha! Then you should go, you’d love it there! Buttermere Lake is one of my favourite places in Cumbria.

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