A Stone For The Miller (Collaboration Feat Mae Foreman)

 (Originally posted March 15th 2019, And reposted as it has been so kindly voiced by the wonderful Mae Foreman. Thank you so much for doing this Mae, I can't thank you enough.)

J. x

 

 

Walking in the fields in the land of abandoned god's,

The clay clumps at my heels and clings in wet clods,

Staring at the skies with a view to the divine,

Trying to get a feel for what's mine and not mine,

There's a sense of past tense in everything I see,

As if all of it is there but none of it's for me,

Strolling like a pilgrim to an alter I don't know,

Going somewhere, but only aware, that it's somewhere I must go,

Gazing through the haze of the lazy summer sun,

Searching for a phrase but find no words, not one,

Futile and mute I abandon the lexicon,

My heel to the ground the only sound as I press on,

No feeling of the blessed in this quest for peace,

Just the stress of the distressed seeking still release,

Toes grip the loam trying to get some traction,

The memories of home provide some satisfaction,

I journey to the mill to ease my neck of it's stone,

I've carried it for too long, unassisted and alone,

I'll lay it in it's bed and set it back to grinding corn,

For it's unrelenting weight is just too much to be borne,

And when I lay it down I'll give the miller a reverential nod,

And even though I don't believe, I know that I'll thank God.

◄ The Key Fumbled

I Bought A Kayak ►

Comments

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Mae Foreman

Mon 9th Sep 2019 14:30

I too thank you again Fish and Martin. On the subject of faith all I will say is that at heart I am a pessimism stricken atheist filled with mortal dread about things who after many exploits and many nights of blind prayer to something I didn't believe existed, I now call claim to be an agnostic. Merely as as sign of humility and in rememberence of the feeling of weakness and need for prayer. Though my faith to the divine hasn't been strengthened, my faith in mankind and humanity has been reassured significantly. Call me crazy...
Thank you 🎈
Mae

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 8th Sep 2019 22:51

Thanks Martin and Fish. Martin, yes there is hope, there's always hope, because without it we are finished, I'm glad that you see that in it.
Fish, also right, we all have faith in something and whatever that thing is, is down to each individual to work out. If I was asked I'd say on balance, I'm an atheist, but I'm also aware that it would be the greatest conceited arrogance to say that just because I can't understand something that it can't possibly exist, and that's the point of the poem really, it's just a very long question.

J. x

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afishamongmany

Sun 8th Sep 2019 16:33

Jason - feel compelled just to flag up something. Everybody has faith.
We all believe - something - even atheists. The crucial thing about faith (any faith) is who/what is our faith in? -Where- are we placing our trust?
I believe and thank the one who says, 'My yoke is easy, my burden is light.'
Again thanks for the poem,
><>

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Martin Elder

Sun 8th Sep 2019 15:12

That certainly is a full and complete account of where the poem came from and that last line, is as you say Jason, the one that wraps it up. Yet I detect a scrap of hope as well as love lost and am reminded of that song by U2
'I still haven't found what I am looking for'
Well done again too both of you. It is truly a beautiful piece beautifully read.
Nice one

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Mae Foreman

Sun 8th Sep 2019 08:48

And the brilliance unfolds! I urge you all to read that interpretation in depth. It's extraordinary. 🎈
Mae

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Jason Bayliss

Sat 7th Sep 2019 23:00

Right, I know this will be a long comment but I wanted to give an idea of what Mae had to work with in interpreting this poem, she asked me for a brief overview and this is what I sent her, I think for me it demonstrates what a great job she did of it:

"It's supposed to be an examination of faith and the denial of faith. I write it from the perspective of an atheist. The idea is that the narrator is a person who has carried a heavy emotional weight for so long that everything around them is tarnished by it, they can't find the words to express the beauty of a lazy sunny afternoon, they feel like the the heavy clay of regret hangs off their feet like lead weights, they have no idea what's theirs and not theirs anymore and although they can see it all it feels like none of it relates to them because of their burden, hence the sense of past tense in everything they see. They feel blindly driven on by the weight of the thing they carry as if on an instinctive pilgrimage. Eventually they realise where they must go to be rid of the terrible burden, so toes grip the loam and forge on. Whilst they begin to come to terms with the alter they must travel to they find some comfort in memories of a time before they carried their burden. Then they realise that where they are going is to lay down the millstone they've been carrying around their neck because, firstly they can't stand it anymore and secondly once they lay it down, (confess/share their story) it might actually be useful to others, (Set it back to grinding corn), and in doing so they are forced to question their disbelief and sort of begrudgingly accept themselves as the corn and God as the miller, which is why the last line is, "And even though I don't believe I know that I'll thank God."

It's an exploration of belief/non-belief and the logic of one verses the comfort of the other. In the end it's also a look at how some people find faith through adversity."

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Adam Rabinowitz

Sat 7th Sep 2019 22:52

Beautiful poem Jason and beautiful reading Mae. See, I go away for just a brief spell to attend to the business end of life and almost miss all these happenings.

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Jason Bayliss

Sat 7th Sep 2019 22:19

Don't be modest Mae, having the ability to bring a piece of writing to life is a gift. Your beautiful rich voice and depth of understanding mean that even though I wrote it, it now means something different, something better to me. I am really grateful for that and always will be.

J. x

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Mae Foreman

Sat 7th Sep 2019 19:59

Wow, where have I been all this time!

Thank you so much Martin, three "wow's"! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jokes aside it is such a staggering piece, I merely read it, the brain that wrote it... that's deserving the three wow's!

Devon thank you, your opinion matters a lot to me, I'm really glad you liked my recital. Jason 's poem is so profound that when started working on it, I was shaking and in my first take my voice actually broke. True.

KJ, Thank you so much! I tried my best to do justice by Jason's brilliant work. I only hope I did it.

Thank you again my dear friend Jason! 🎈
Mae

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Jason Bayliss

Fri 6th Sep 2019 08:15

Thanks Kevin, I'm really pleased that you like Mae's recital, I remembered you saying that you liked this one before, so I'm pleased that Mae reciting it has improved it for you, I love it and it's definitely improved it for me, but then I've heard Mae recite a few things now and she has such a rich voice, it's really worth checking out her recitals.

J. x

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kJ Walker

Fri 6th Sep 2019 07:03

I always liked this one (it's one I keep going back to). But I like it even more now having heard this collaboration. Let's have more of the same.
Cheers Kevin

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Jason Bayliss

Mon 2nd Sep 2019 14:34

Thanks Devon, I really do love Mae's recitals so it was a rare treat that she agreed to do this one. Glad you liked it.

J. x

Devon Brock

Mon 2nd Sep 2019 12:37

Jason and Mae,

I have been waiting for a moment alone to listen to the recitation of this beautiful poem. And, I must tell you both, it bowed my head in reverence to a journey that we all must take.

Thank you both,

D

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Jason Bayliss

Mon 2nd Sep 2019 12:04

Thanks Martin. I really appreciate the comments, I love the interpretation Mae put on this, it adds a whole different level on for me, so I'm glad that others feel the same. I'm sure I speak for both of us when I say thank you so much.

J. x

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Martin Elder

Mon 2nd Sep 2019 10:06

WOW WOW AND WOW
Mind totally blown. I am so glad that I did not miss this wonderful poem with its beautiful delivery.
Jason this is fabulous just as a poem that lends itself lyrically to almost any interpretation.
but Mae you just take it to another level
well done both
Fabulous

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Jason Bayliss

Mon 2nd Sep 2019 09:09

Thanks for liking Vautaw, I'm really pleased with Mae's recital, so very pleased that others like it too.

J. x

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 1st Sep 2019 22:16

Oh no my friend, it's definitely rich and chocolatey.

J. x

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Mae Foreman

Sun 1st Sep 2019 21:30

I've always been a tad self conscious for having kind of a husky voice for a girl but "chocolatey" makes up for a lifetime of "Hello son, It's Mr. Whatshisname from Whereverton, could you pass your mother on the phone please?"
Thank you Jason 🎈
Mae

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Jason Bayliss

Sun 1st Sep 2019 21:00

And I'd just like this opportunity to thank Mae so much. I've always loved the beautiful rich chocolatey tones of your voice Mae, and I was the one who felt a bit cheeky for asking if you'd do it. Thanks again my friend, I absolutely love your recital.

And thanks Rob and Fish for your kind analysis and comments.

J. x

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Mae Foreman

Sun 1st Sep 2019 20:42

Thank you so much dear Jason for the honor of trusting your poem with me!
Thank you Robert, it is such a beautiful poem one or Jason's best! It was a great honor to recite it and I'm glad you like it!
And thank you Fish, I tried my best! I'm relatively new at this and I always try to improve but mostly I hope to do justice by the poet's work. I hope I did.
Thank you all, but mostly Jason!🎈
Mae

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afishamongmany

Sun 1st Sep 2019 20:26

Yes Jason - well written, thought provoking. Well read Mae, right pace and rhythm for the piece.
Go well
><>

Robert Mann

Sun 1st Sep 2019 20:15

Jason - this is a beautifully written piece, made more so by Mae's sultry tones. There are so many outstanding lines throughout that I don't know which are my favourites. It somehow reads differently to Mae's rendition, but to me, this only makes it twice as good. Congratulations on the writing Jason and thank you Mae for adding another dimension.
Rob

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