Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Poems: The Spirit Hoose

Title: The Spirit Hoose.Poems & plays in Scots & English by Sheena Blackhall.Published by Lochlands, Maud, Aberdeenshire.Printed by Thistle Reprographics, 55 Holburn Street Aberdeen.Cover: A Bangkok Spirit House Cost: £3.00 Copyright:S.Blackhall November 2015.Concerning the cover: http://www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com/spirit_house.html ‘Spirit Worship is as old as mankind itself. In Thailand the phenomenon goes back to the ancient days when the Thais were beginning their slow migration from the Red River Delta in northern Vietnam to all parts of the Southeast Asian region. Spirit Worship, or Animism, was a religion by which the entire world lived at one time, and when Buddhism came to Southeast Asia, it developed side by side with the ancient spirit religion. Today, many of the old animistic beliefs are intertwined with Buddhism and some animistic practices still exist in Thailand. One of these which is practiced by every Thai is the Spirit House. The Spirit House can be seen at a prominent spot outside every business establishment in the country. It can be seen on a pedestal in front of every hotel. It dresses the corner garden area of a restaurant, the front of a bar, disco or put Spirit houses are even seen at outdoor food markets. They are built on the grounds of Buddhist temples, outside caves in the mountains, near fishing ponds in the valleys, everywhere.’ The poem ‘The Ordination of Trees’ was inspired by the BBC news item: ‘A Buddhist monk from north-east Thailand is so worried about the environment that he has been ordaining trees for 25 years. Since 1990 Phrakru Pitak Nanthakthun has been leading ceremonies to dress trees in orange robes as a way of convincing people that they should be viewed as sacred.He believes the symbolic act can help prevent the logging and deforestation that plague his home province of Nan.And people are taking notice, as Phrakru Pitak Nanthakthun has started a movement that is spreading across south-east Asia.’All of Blackhall’s poems in Scots and English, are now uploaded on www.poemhunter.com. Many of these poems were written at Brantwood Lodge, Ruskin’s House in the Lake District, on a residential writing workshop led by Dr Geraldine Green & Pippa Little.