The Poet in You (3 Oct 2015)

A creative day workshop with poet Jay Ramsay.

Jay Ramsay has been working for over 25 years to bring spiritual consciousness into contemporary British poetry. Drawn to psychology from an early age, he has created a unique synthesis between poetry and personal development, encompassing festival organization (Angels of Fire in London in the 1980s), Chrysalis - the poet in you (his two-part correspondence course in poetry by post, since 1990), Chinese classic translations (Tao Te Ching, I Ching, Kuan Yin), research into alchemy and the dynamics of intimate relationships, editing poetry pages for Kindred Spirit and Caduceus, and psychosynthesis, now as a UKCP-registered psychotherapist in private practice. He has also done an NFSH training as a spiritual healer.

For Jay, poetry, psychology and healing are all part of 'one Work' for which he has coined the phrase 'the artist-healer'. His main work is in The Great Return, a modern epic odyssey encompassing areas of deep history, narrative, place, and memory. He sees it in the Romantic tradition of Wordsworth, with the modernist example of Ezra Pound, but his work is mystical and spiritual, as well as 'eco-centred'. For descriptions of his popular workshops see his website.

Some comments we were sent on this well-received workshop:

'Jay provided a combination of beautiful inspiring and spiritual poetry with a series of meditative sequences and inner journeys designed to reveal 'The poet within you'. After meditations, we were invited to write about our experiences freely and spontaneously whether in poetry or prose, with plenty of time to share with others. Jay gave us a lovely safe backdrop in a great workshop – a spiritual experience.'

'I’m so glad I went! I’m not particularly into poetry, although I value it and find it amazing when someone helps me with the inner meaning which I sense but can’t quite identify. But Jay’s day wasn’t only about understanding poetry’s inner message, but by a series of simple non-threatening exercises, finding the creative spirit in us. There were no boundaries - just to let go of any preconceptions of ourselves and allow whatever came forth to flow. Either visually with words – poetically or in prose – simply write or draw what we experienced. In doing this I learned so much about myself – how to let go, and allow the poet in me to flow. Truly a day of discovery! I would recommend Jay’s course to anyone. If he comes again don’t miss it!'

More details

Below is a poem written by Jay, inspired by this day at Fintry, which he has very kindly given us permission to share here.


In the light that is home
always and forever,
wherever we are —

this place of returning
this is heavenly and earthly
at once, like us —

sitting between these pillars
at the garden’s edge
that is the temple of this house.

And the garden spreading
expanding in all directions
level, and stepped down

descending into woodland
rising into the Downs beyond

The glory broken and unbroken
but never fading

always fading, always returning
unannounced —

seasontide and seasonfall,
out of the fractals of life
where we have our being

the incomplete kaleidoscope
of our seeing...

a whole sky above us, always
a presence that’s thick as air
and never leaves us

filling us in silence,
in the moonlight of its desire.


Come again, strange topiary
unknown mouth, new eyes

lead us beyond death
into your mystery.

Above and below
always aligning —
never quite satisfied.

to this chance of our lives,

spelling their memories out
frame by frame

in awe and wonder
‘This was my life...’

ever-refining its light
from within.

Climbing a ladder,
descending a stairway,

with the same infinite care.

We could fling ourselves
out of this place —

carelessly abandoning
our lives to the breezes...

or we can learn to remain
and sing where we are

in a choir that transcends the ages,
like the Great Wall seen from space

like the neon lights of the city
necklaced in the darkness...

like the patchwork of fields
stitched between hedges

as we arrive like a bird in its feet.


There is no answer
in heaven or earth but this

glory, and praising it

giving to Life with our lives,
where everyone is longing for it

and great souls still walk
down the corridors of time,

where a hundred years is as nothing
to all the generations
who have been and are to come.

And this red acia
flaming below,
on fire in the golden light
suffusing it —

that only blooms once like this
and again once
every passing year

like our steps in the garden
from tennis lawn to apple trees

bounding rabbit and shy-edged deer

calling us, each absorbed
in the summerland of its dream

feeding the dreamers
and all dreamless sleep

we answer with poetry, each to each.

Around this sanctuary
the ceaseless roar of traffic
rises and falls like a greater breath;

all of us returning
to our edge and end.

Jay Ramsay

October 3rd 2015
The Poet in You

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