on a ship full of hearts.
— poem by Damien B. Donnelly.

My choice of poem started with photos Nigel and I took last Sunday when we were in Clyde and unexpectedly found this lovely plant in flower, love-lies-bleeding — special as we rarely see it. Isn’t it a great name?

Tonight browsing through Damien’s poems this one connected with me once again, just like when I first read it. Our lives have changed dramatically in such short time yet even though the future’s uncertain I’d like to think, despite our fears, we can embrace hope and courage, and stay true to ourselves and each other.

Nigel’s photo of love-lies-bleeding :

SOLO SAIL, on a ship full of hearts

poem by Damien B. Donnelly, photo taken by Damien


When we to time wish,
wings do not carry all words
so I to promise must desist,
faith is fickle feathers on fragile birds.

If love to hearts hold
then hearts be more than one must
for not is love a concrete mould;
stilled the river bed whose reeds rot to rust.

When we to time turn,
touch being a tethered thread,
I have to trust that ties will burn
but mind make memory of beating bed.

If love in heart’s held
just as blood in veins are bound,
then truth to self must be compelled,
feral is the field of the barren ground.

When I to nights slip
as moon to stars serenade,
my course cast upon ocean’s ship
bid adieu to lips kissed and loves mislaid.

When current’s call comes
and cares cast into the crest
I dare the waves to beat like drums
and allegiance pledge to my beating breast.


— poem and ‘better days’ photo are by Damien B. Donnelly


I’m wrapping up with a single verse I’ve copied from a poem by Jane Dougherty published on her blog tonight, third verse from On the razor’s edge.


Our tears and weeping mingle with the rain,

There is sorrow in the silence, loss and pain,

Yet blackbirds weave their song from evening gold,

And love remains the greatest story told.


from a poem by Jane Dougherty

Bumble bee on love-lies-bleeding, taken by Liz.


~ love remains the greatest story told ~

Posted by Liz; Exploring Colour (2020)

17 thoughts on “SOLO SAIL

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  1. Hearing the blackbirds in the evening is one of my favourite parts of the day – so I loved Jane Dougherty’s descrition of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a tall pear tree in the neighbour’s field, by our garage, covered in pears and there’s loud bird song all day every day from that tree as they all have a feast. Blackbirds, starlings and some of our native song birds. Birds everywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s absolutely wonderful! We have a grape vine growing over an arbour and every autumn the blackbirds stuff themselves. 🙂 (We manage to get some too, but they’re not very sweet.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love lies bleeding- a great name indeed.

    I hope the bleeding stops soon, I hope love can be held again soon. I hope we can make more stories, bigger stories, brighter stories very soon. I hope, one day soon, this Covid story stops being the biggest story ever told, every day.

    Thanks you Liz for sharing my poem along with Jane who was one of the first people I connected with on WordPress when I first joined years ago and for putting us together with Nigel’s beautiful photograph.

    Thank you for adding colour into these days of shadow. Thank you for sharing the hope during the struggle. Thank you for the connections during the isolations. Thank you for your good heart ❤️🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dami, you’ve made me feel so appreciated and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For me it’s you and Jane who’ve gifted us all these amazing and wonderful words that deserve all the thanks! Big hugs, Liz xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Smiles abound whilst reading this delightful post. I, like Steve Gingold, love the first song “Funeral for a Friend / Loves Lies Bleeding” on Elton John’s 1973 double album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” which well may be his best ever album. However, it is this plant the Aramanthus caudatus or Love-Lies-Bleeding that has endeared itself to me for much more than its beautiful trailing flowers. You may or not know that the seeds of this annual are iron-rich, calcium-rich, full of fiber and best of all are gluten free. The abundant seeds that the flowers produce can be dried and cooked into a porridge like cereal. The dried seeds can also be popped, much like popcorn, but it is smaller. The seeds are also crushed and used in bread flour, though most are not wheat free. Gluten free has become very important to me since Benjamin’s Mother, my youngest child, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The plant, whilst an annual, will often grow again the next year from having reseeded itself but is fairly easily grown by planting seeds too. Well now, you are the victim of my Propensity for Loquacity. I should have simply said that your thoughts and the photos are divine with the last one of the Bumblebee my favorite; the poem by Damien is so very beautiful; the lines from the poem by Jane, whose posts also arrive amidst my inbox, are deeply touching and lovely and then added my…Thank-YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted you’ve shared with us about the benefits of this unusual plant. What a beauty! I knew it’s a herb garden plant but hadn’t investigated any further .. many thanks Ellen!


  4. Love lies bleeding is a beautiful plant and one of my favorite Elton John songs.

    Both poems are filled with hope which is what we have to rely on to lead us through difficult times. There is no room for despair. Love will lead the way.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, those two are always performed together. That is a good version…any one that has Bob Birch playing bass is…but this one is my favorite with tons of energy and they all are having a great time doing it.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing the poems and photos, Liz. I too am optimistic and am gratified that people are realizing that we are in this together. And so we are all making sacrifices for the sake of others–perhaps that why “love-lies-bleeding” seems such an appropriate flower at this moment. (By the way I love your wonderful shot that includes the bumble bee!) As Damien put is so beautiful in his poem, “not is love a concrete mould.” We learn and grow in love all of the time, which is part of what indeed makes it “the greatest story told.”

    Liked by 2 people

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