Once Upon A Timeless Journey

It was wonderful to hear from a dear friend a few days ago. Sasha Raykov is one of the most entertaining and elusive of the very talented musicians who performed with Owain Phyfe, a unique and charismatic singer of songs who died far too soon in September of last year. The music they made together was, for me, haunting long before it actually was.

Sasha sent me a mix of a concert he had done with Owain at the Bloomington Early Music Festival (Indiana – Sasha’s son, Alex, was studying music there) in May 2002 with the permission to share.

Owain Phyfe

Owain Phyfe

I invite you to treat yourself to some beautiful music.  To listen to the concert click below:

‘Once Upon A Timeless Journey’ Part I

‘Once Upon A Timeless Journey’ Part II

Review of the concert from the Bloomington Herold-Times:

Owain Phyfe … served as guide, as conductor, as driver, as magician, really as singer and guitarist and story teller. Phyfe’s “Once Upon A Timeless Journey” proved a delightful pleasure. With his inviting, craftily used light tenor, he negotiated his time capsule to show that folk traditions have remained constant, that the catchy melodies of close to 1,000 years ago – or 400 – are just as winning today, and that no matter what language they’re sung in – English or French or Welsh or Latin or German or Italian or Spanish or Hungarian or Russian or what have you – they translate musically and thematically so that they can be easily understood.

Sasha Raykov

Sasha Raykov

The tenor/story teller was not alone in his performance space. He had a partner, verbally silent but very much a presence, the provider of accompaniment, a bearded bear of a man named Sasha Raykov. And, it was Raykov who had the genius to make the bass viola da gamba an interesting instrument, far from the bland, personality-less sound-maker it more normally is. He bowed. He strummed. He made those strings dance and sing and laugh and cry. His was a virtuosic exhibition, at every moment completing partner Phyfe’s front-and-center showmanship. Their unusual program, part of the Bloomington Early Music Festival, cast a different light on music of Medieval and Renaissance times. But though the expressions were old, the messages were ageless. At one point, in joyous, bouncing manner, Phyfe sang: “Winter is coming with all its unpleasantness, but here in this valley, the flowers will still bloom and the birds sing.” He called it a 21st century message. It was nice to be reminded.” Read in full and see photos from the concert.

It is strange that only last week I came upon—buried in the bottom of a cabinet whose doors ‘spontaneously’ flew opened and scattered its contents across the floor—a poem I had written and some precious photographs of Owain, Sasha, and other special friends. When I received the email from Sasha, I thought how perfect to share all in one post.

Here is the poem I wrote many many years ago (I have fought off my compulsion to revise):

Diane at Renaissance Faire

Diane at Renaissance Faire

It happened quite by chance;
a flutist made the notes to dance,
and the birds to echo song after song
(they thought he was echoing theirs);
a little more of heaven came along,
her harp held close to her heart
as if caught by cupid’s dart,
music loved so constantly there;
then the fiddler with an easy air,
no matter how difficult to play
his soul’s strings must have their say.

One by one and altogether
they entertained the summer weather
(a gamba, lute, any dream joining in)
the hours passing like a sigh
with those, like me, who happened by;
a little sojourn in the past
for some, like me, had come at last.

(Nothing missing until something was)
Suddenly a voice as it was needed
in melodies of words so gladly heeded
by the hopes of mind and heart
because the two should never part;
on bended knee it found me there,
another stranger at the fair.

Cantiga at Sterling (NY) Renaissance Faire

Cantiga at Sterling (NY) Renaissance Faire

With Cantiga and The New World Band
the past and present went hand in hand
into a future that promised so much more
of the sweetness of song that had come before,
(the memory as much a vision)
of those instruments of old,
and ageless stories to be told
by all those writers of such choice
who needed a fresh voice
to keep their gentle, thoughtful spirits alive
so beauty and reason could survive.

Thus I was complete—
I found my music in the shaded heat;
and even as I had to go
I knew that I would always know
when life was at its best for me
(with the magic of its sound)
in early music to live and dream equally.

DM Denton July 1996

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

 ©Artwork, writing, and photography, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Inspiration Awarded

A sound, a scent, a sight,
a hope, a dream, a memory,
creative tunneling towards the light;
one word, then two and three,
a poem, a page or more of prose
set out on a never-ending journey;
there’s loss, there’s love, not less
than the unsettled heart should need
to imagine how it is doomed and blessed;
the stars, the sun, the moon,
a breeze and, oh, the stillness, too
give the birds and composer’s hand a tune;
a brush, a lens, a thought,
what is known and never can be
explained except as inspiration sought.

Copyright 2012 by Dm Denton

Copyright 2012 by Dm Denton

I want to thank onwindydays for recently nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!  Such a lovely gesture. I am humbled and it makes me very happy to play it forward!


First (this is rule I almost didn’t follow) I am supposed to offer seven things about myself … 

  1. I have a milestone birthday this year.
  2. I have been writing stories and poems since I could write.
  3. I have had nineteen cats, two dogs and a budgerigar named Billy.  
  4. I worked as a gardener on a large estate.
  5. I lived in a medieval abbey.
  6. I live in a log cabin.
  7. I believe in reincarnation.

The blogs I nominate (in no particular order as I am inspired by them all, and a few more than ‘the rules’ require) are:

Journey into Poetry journeyintopoetry.wordpress.com

Ina inaweblogisback.wordpress.com

Countingducks countingducks.wordpress.com

By the Sea www.ingebrita.net

Rae Spencer www.raespencer.com

Caddo Veil caddoveil.com

frommymusings2u frommymusings2u.wordpress.com

Martin Shone – Silence Happens theearthneedstobreathe.wordpress.com and likethesunshone agapintheclouds.wordpress.com

Linda willows lindawillows.wordpress.com

Margaret griffin margaretgriffin.wordpress.com

Bodhirose’s Blog bodhirose.wordpress.com

Seasonings raindancepoetry.wordpress.com

Contemplative Moorings contemplativemoorings.wordpress.com

The Tale of My Heart  justsimplyinlove.wordpress.com

Kiwsparks kiwsparks.wordpress.com

LScott Poetry lscotthoughts.com

Pitching Pennies Poetry smzang.wordpress.com

Poems From Oostburg, Wisconsin ellenolinger.wordpress.com

For those nominees, here are the rules, certainly your option to follow or not.

* Display the award logo on your blog

* Link back to the person who nominated you

* State seven things about yourself

* Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them

* Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Blessings to all for continued inspiration! Follow your bliss!

donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Cracked Pot

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Copyright 2013 by DM Denton

Looking for a little relief.

The pot is cracked from the cold,
the lavender scented like summer;
spring bulbs show impatience
while knowing they must wait.

img002©Artwork, writing and photography unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Thank you Ina for this lovely review! Every reader that I reach in a positive way is another blessing for me.


The historic novel “ A House Near Luccoli “ by Diane M Denton invites us to be witness of the last days in the life of the composer Alessandro Stradella, who really lived in the 17th century. Diane vividly describes how the fictive Donatella plays an important part in those last moments. The story, romantic and entertaining, historical and interesting, is not only a fantastic way to learn more about Stradella, or Italy in the 17th century, but also a great novel, making you want to know what happens next to Donatella. Diane also did the image of the cover herself, she is a very gifted painter also! I kindly recommend her book:

The book on Amazon.com

a house near luccoli

Diane is not only a terrific writer of prose and artist, she also does wonderful poetry.

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Nature Insight: January Blooms

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

Copyright 2012 by DM Denton

The snow has shrunk back
into the distance of the woods,
a receding wave
of winter
that will roll over us again.

Too early to rise,
a posy of
camouflaged courage
will soon sleep
and wait,
perhaps to dream
once more.

This picture was taken this morning, 1/13/13, probably the earliest I’ve seen snowdrops in my garden. Especially considering the frigid weather and heavy snow cover we had since Christmas. Today is quite the opposite – it is around 60 degrees fahrenheit!

Snowdrops 1-13-13 a

img002©Artwork, writing and photography unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Past Life

The snow is freshly fallen, connecting this place to every other, blending past and present, enfolding me in the company of one who has come and gone. The colorless shapes through my window are as haunting as my heartache.
Copyright by Diane's Mom 2013

Copyright by Diane’s Mom 2013

I cannot offer an explanation to anyone but the moon. Remember when I wrote:
I told the moon tonight—
the moon so full and bright—
what I wanted to tell you.
It was as though I had,
for you are like the moon,
as constant and changing,
as out of reach.
Others mourn you better. They were a part of your everyday and everywhere. They created memories for sharing without suspicion. I was but a reminder of what had passed, like a whisper, between us.
How could I lose the one I never had?
Romantic love has never made a home with me, has never stayed long enough to unpack its plans and rest assured. It becomes a habit, one life to another, this living with what is undeclared, like a smuggler of illegal hopes.
Now you are gone from this world. The lives you touched are left unresolved and may’ve already begun to move on. I have nowhere to go if you are not with me, even if I have to backtrack a little. Surely, memories haven’t any consequence: a meeting that wasn’t the first; a beautiful wife for you and sister for me; a voice that caressed even as it called me ‘contentious’; a kiss that just missed my mouth for my cheek; a chair that still rocked after sailing the seas for you; a cat that let you spin it into embarrassment; a bump to my head you seemed genuinely concerned about; a song no one knew was just for me.
You stole my heart
hundreds of years ago;
only now can I gladly let you have it;
only now
in the space time makes
and after
can I know what I was missing.
I turned from you. I know that is why we never were.  If I had been braver we might’ve spoiled everything.  I was afraid that the noose of loving you might strangle me again, unless I wrote a different version of the story.
Although I still talk to the sky as if that is where you are.
No one can take the moon
from me;
the dark sky can conceal its varying
brightness and
and mockery,
but cannot convince me
it is gone.

img002©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

When I came upon this delightful and profound offering of Rachael’s at ‘frommymusing2u’ I knew it was time for a reblog! I love its fairytale-ishness – such a perfectly charming and meaningful way to bring in a new year. Enjoy and please read more on Rachael’s blog while you’re over there. Thank you! ♥




“Oh dear,” Said the water to the wind. “You give me the vapors!”

“I am your friend.” The wind replied. “With me you’ll soar into the sky.”

“I don’t like heights.” Said the tiny droplet, trembling.

“Oh my little droplet,” The wind then did proclaim.

“You’ve run as streams and rivers, sparkled in the day. 

You’ve nurtured many things. Do not be afraid.”


I watched with great amazement as the wind then took to air

And raised the tiny droplet with the utmost care.

They rose in rippling wonder, a mirage before my eyes

So far into the yonder, then what to my surprise…


The tiny little droplet danced freely in the air

Became a wisp of cloud, none other could compare.

 It grew in height and stature, floating way up in the sky

 Then began to fall as gently as it first had climbed.


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