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Sacred Encounters

Over the course of a year, I spent a lot of time with a particular tree. I called him the Christ Tree, because the visual correlation to me was obvious. The poems and images on this page are a selection of encounters and conversations that enabled me to find my way after a very difficult time in my life. So often inspiration comes from an unexpected source and I was wandering around this area recalling how I spent time here with a close member of my family, trying to put things in perspective and not really succeeding very well, when the light literally changed and I turned and saw this figure crucified on a tree.

I had walked here before, many times, and had never seen it before. But on this day something changed, and I did see it. I went on to photograph it many times, in different times of the day, conditions and times of the year. The inspirations and conversations I gleaned from these encounters was remarkable. The tree was like a conduit, enabling me to listen to a deeper voice that guided, comforted, was harsh when it was required, all to enable me to see and understand how I could go forwards. I was talking to a Master after all.

I kept taking images, an awareness letting me know that this vision might not always be there in this form as nature and the elements change our landscape constantly. I treasured the atmosphere there and shared a special time. And as I predicted, things gradually changed, myself included, and although the tree is still there, the presence is not as strong. Added to this the weather and climate has changed the outlook of the tree as time has moved on. I carried on for as long as possible hoping that I would be able to recreate my encounters in the form of pieces of work that showed how much this experience meant to me.

This area is special for many reasons as it forms part of the landscape around where the famous Long Man of Wilmington, a vast chalk figure depicted on the South Downs of England, is very much part of the sacredness of the area, along with the Church and Priory ruins. The Christ Tree was not the only shining soul that I have met there, and the poems and images below also feature some of the other beautiful trees in this wonderful landscape.

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They come for me now

While I wait in this garden

But although I am afraid

In a sense I have already gone

A kiss will betray me and my suffering will fill the cup

As my empathy turns to agony

Fear assails me despite what I know

Suddenly I find I do not want to go

I did not expect such love to find me

Mortality has a high price to be paid

Can my love be bought for thirty pieces of silver

You know in your heart it cannot

Love can quickly turn to anger

Disappointment turns hurt into betrayal

But does it make you feel any better

The truth hits harder than any nail

But what remains is the love that I leave

And like this earth will always renew

The human heart will not stop loving

And in this way we will all prevail

Photography and Poetry by Shelley Turner

It Is Finished
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It Is Finished

Now I am set free

My mortality gifted in trust

A leap of faith into the void

Eternity waits beyond the abyss

My blood and breath have gone from me

But I am more than just a man on a tree

My passion is spent

My journey nearly complete

I have cracked open the sky

And a new age begins

It will be with you

Despite your sins

There is no going back

And I know I must treasure this time

As there is now only forwards

And to love you was my dearest wish

It makes it easier to now approach fate

And my death with only a traitor's kiss



Photography and Poetry by Shelley Turner

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I am leaving this body

As it serves me no more

I have experienced such love and pain

With paradox lancing my side

But I would not have changed my life

My heart was full of foresight and such despair

To be with you has been my greatest joy

And also my greatest sorrow

But now my spirit surrounds you all

And fills you with the warmth you will know

My promise is my shining light

That will always be there for you

Seek me out and ask for me

And you will know me even in a crowd

Nothing changes now you see

I can travel faster than sound

I am the light that is everywhere

And I will not be bound

I am above your head and on the ground

I am right beside you and in your mind

I am you, don't you see

And you and I will always be free

Photography and Poetry by Shelley Turner

Resurrection For A New Day

Resurrection For A New Day

Now I am the eternal green man

Where you found me

The light suddenly changed one day

And you saw me

Now you always see me

And I see you

I have always been here

Waiting for you

It was as simple as that

And so now we can start anew

Now you have realised

Think what you can do

Now you need never be alone

Now you can just call on me

We can have our conversations

Who cares if I am a tree

We can be anywhere

We can be free

You will always find me

Now you can see

Photography and Poetry by Shelley Turner

I Stand
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I Stand

I stand

Waiting out the ages

Of man

Wood, bone and stone

Bronze, copper and iron

All I have seen

Waiting out the ages

Of metal and chemicals

Machines faster than a thought

All I have seen

Waiting out the ages

Of man

I stand

Waiting out the ages

Of spirits and lights

Fire and ice

All I have seen

Waiting out the ages

The horizon changes

And I wait no more

Photography and Poetry 

By Shelley Turner

Comment below on the poems if you would like to..
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