Author Archives: Pete Armstrong

Ah my beloved, let me sleep

Ah my beloved, let me sleep stop prodding me with your smile. I am trying to hold on to unconsciousness but your quiet ‘wake up, wake up’ is loosening the grip of my drifting comfort. Let me sleepwalk through my … Continue reading

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Illuminated from within and without

On a hot autumn day I had several work meetings and at teatime I had a meeting with Warton Crag wandering through the woods on the limestone pavement. Dragonflies and butterflies were present as were leaves falling in the stillness … Continue reading

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Develop your insertion and pounding skills

Love and compassion will not split this log. A cold chisel inserted in a crack and pounded with a lump hammer will cleave it right open. Then the pieces will fit in the stove and heat will be released. Choose … Continue reading

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And from this blissful meeting

Pilgrims walking the pilgrim route we reach a Holy Well along the way and see the clear water welling up into the pool. ‘We have travelled far to meet you,’ we say. ‘And I have come far to meet you’ … Continue reading

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Become a refugee

When the spring runs dry dance round it with gratitude for it is time to move on. Become a refugee in your own land taking with you only what you can carry for the lighter you travel the further you … Continue reading

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A giant leap

I sat in the sun one time and felt a fly land on my bare arm but when I looked to brush it off I saw that it was a grasshopper. He walked up my arm tickling me with his … Continue reading

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dear sister dear brother

dear sister dear brother we cannot choke off our truthfulness any more than we can block the dawn arising from the dark spreading new light in bands of red and orange across the waiting clouds. dear sister dear brother we … Continue reading

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A Bardsey monk

I met a monk on Bardsey. This is my life, he said. The tidal currents rip around our island and keep us in a place beyond the ordinary. I follow the rule and the more disciplined I am the more … Continue reading

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Building anew in the traditional way

See here! They are starting to build a barn in the traditional way. The workers are crouched on the ground round the template with the beams laid out underneath. They are working out how each beam will fit and marking … Continue reading

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The gathering

Go into the orchard and gather the ripe apples and pears that lie red and bruised beneath the trees. Go into the lanes and gather the blackberries that nestle shining and plump amongst the thorns. Go into the wind and … Continue reading

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Don’t keep your failures to yourself

Don’t keep your failures to yourself: you and they will get lonely. Share them with those who will listen and then you and they can transform into joy. Enjoy your failures as they appear like waves approaching the shore emerging … Continue reading

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Massive Truth or Big Lie

I have seen massive cruck beams recently shaped and erected inside a large hall that have split and twisted in the dry air inside. We need to be careful about what we regard as solid. Thought-structures emerge from the current … Continue reading

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How I held him

A song for Easter. There’s an Anglo-Saxon poem called Dream of the Rood, which is about the crucifixion from the point of view of the cross. This is a poem (also a song) inspired by that. At the same time … Continue reading

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A recipe for happiness

when beauty arises from your being be happy with that when ugliness arises from your being be happy with that when nothing arises from your being be happy with that when the world says yes be happy with that when … Continue reading

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And Where is God?

I was 13 when I went to communion classes in the village church. I was quite prepared to be curious, certainly ready to be inspired, to connect with whatever was important in the religious life. But the vicar turned it … Continue reading

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Once you’re up

I’m interested in the links between our inner and outer lives – they form the subject matter of a lot of my poetry. Here, after experiencing a wonderful walk in the Lakes with some friends (thanks to Clive and Sue … Continue reading

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From still or storm

If you are fortunate enough to be able to go sailing on the Norfolk Broads with amiable companions, perhaps enjoying the simple pleasures of Hunter’s Yard’s boats – mahogany-built in the 30s, gaff-rigged, and with no engines – so that you … Continue reading

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The troubled North Sea, 1942

My dad, Ernest Armstrong, joined the navy as a 16 year-old in 1937. He spent part of the war in the North Sea in motor launches . These were relatively small (up to 100 feet long), lightweight boats used for … Continue reading

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The dance of the shining blue bird

Breathing and Mumford and Sons in my ears and then you are there, in my being oh, special shining blue bird that I love so much sitting on a rock in the swimming place flying off down the river surely … Continue reading

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My younger brother

At lunchtime, below the Priory, I passed four young men sitting on a wall, drinking beer. ‘Are you from the police?’ one called out. I stopped to talk, as best I could. The one who called out had just been … Continue reading

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