White Peacock


Painting: "Peacock" by T. Chiu
Painting: "Peacock" by T. Chiu

On April 8th, I heard a haunting song on WRR, my local classic music station, to which I listen in the car. Not only the music but the composer inspired me to create this hub. Meet Charles Tomlinson Griffes, American composer whose short life (35 years) produced amazing works. Sadly, he was taken by pneumonia at a time in history when that disease almost invariably was fatal: born September 17, 1884, died April 8, 1920.

Remembered as the best-known American representative of musical Impressionism, his music is infused with exotic, mysterious sounds of the French Impressionists, as well as influences from Russian composers of his time.

Perhaps what most intrigues me is a subtle Japanese influence. Please - Njoy!

The White Peacock by Charles Tomlinson Griffes

Painting: "Peacock with Magnolia" by Jessie Burke
Painting: "Peacock with Magnolia" by Jessie Burke

Languor ~

Love ~


As a feather-touch

On dewy skin,

Barely pressed,

Not stressed.

Its soothing


Tantalize senses,

Doing much to

Subdue anxiety,

Restore tranquility.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

No other

Peak or path

Has shown before

Sublime transparent light

Like this.

Translucent future



For me to seek

Continuation's bliss.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay


The Writ

Details intermingling

With the whole of it

Upon its mystic page

Too closely, now

For emphasis

To be excluded

From the play.

It all must move

And blossom



From inspiration's seed

Onto its polished stage.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

Glowing white,





Its verdant background.

Halo of light




In the slightest


Touching lightest

Dreams and fantasies

With its magic



Treating with its spell.

______© Nellieanna H. Hay

The world ~


At Beauty’s feet ~


When there is nothing

More to say ~

Say it


______© Nellieanna H. Hay

More by this Author

Comments 45 comments

ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada


I have to say my friend...moving through one of your hubs is like strolling through a beautiful garden. Little pretty surprises around every corner! I hope you are doing absolutely wonderful!

Hugs for hubs,


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

Floating through your work is simply a joy. Thank you for such beautifully quiet, yet fulfilling moments.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

My dear Thomas! It's been far too long! Thank you. I'm fairly sure you understand the impetus of creativity, even if it's in a different direction! One must pursue the vision, whatever it is! I know no other way to be.

I've recommended your work to someone special to me, my very beloved stepson, who goes by empiremike here on HP. His talents are much broader than mine, though he may or may not realize it. :-) Hope you'll give him a visit; - if so, it will be worthwhile.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

K9 - This inspiration was, indeed like floating in joyous, peaceful, yet beckoning tranguility. The music, the visuals, the feelings. I just had to succumb. So happy you visited! Haven't' seen you for a while. It's truly my pleasure! Hugs

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 4 years ago from Jamaica

Beautiful. I enjoyed every one of these verses. I t was like listening to a gently flowing brook. So peaceful and tranquil. Lovely.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Cardisa, I'm honored by your visit and lovely comments. Thank you!

empire mike profile image

empire mike 4 years ago from empire, colorado

the poetry with the music is a a magnificent ballet production. BRAVO!

ps: that would be a definite "may not realize it"!

Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

Lovely. I always look for the music to play while I read your poetry.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Michael - wow! Thank you. Hugs!

(Doesn't matter - your readers and views do.)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, Lilleyth! -Me, too. I like to listen to the music while assembling and editing a hub. It's all interrelated.

daisyflowrs profile image

daisyflowrs 4 years ago from Richmond, VA

The Bard of Avon has nothing on you! Great poetry to soothe the madness in my environment. Truly a pleasure!

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

Nellie Anna, I am at a loss for words after enjoying this masterpiece.

I must admit that I am no fan of poetry, but the way you have managed to incorporate these short lines into the wonderful piece of music presented here has made me reconsider my taste in literature as a whole.

I am honored to have met you, and I am glad I have had the pleasure of enjoying your talent.

Thank you,


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

What an amazing bird. I would love to see one in the flesh. Beautiful music as well.

Not to speak of the glorious words.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Reading your lovely poetry while listening to that beautiful music was a joy. The peacock is one of most beautiful birds in my opinion. Thank you as I feel perfectly peaceful now.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

....absolutely delightful. It was a real treat to view the white peacock (such a beautiful bird) and read your amazing poetry while listening to Griffes' impressionistic melodies. Thank you Nellieanna.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Dear Daisyflowrs - Thank you, sweetie; - and it's a pleasure to provide soothing for you! I've just visited your site and read and commented on a hub. You're so talented! Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Nemanja - Thank you, kind sir! What a lovely compliment. And I've also just visited your site and am intrigued. I met a lovely Serbian lady in another online context and was favorably impressed with your country through her, too. She sent me some messages in Serbian, but I'm not the greatest lingual student. :-)

I confess to not being a general fan of poetry. I am repelled by contrived, trite or overly 'important' 'poetry, in fact'. I suspect that's what turns off many readers, in general.

I've loved some beautiful and masterful poetry dearly over my life and discovering Emily Dickinson's was like discovering part of my own soul, though my soul had already been writing in my own style, which turned out to be similar to hers, I discovered. She became my muse, though what I write just pours forth from my own being. I can't contrive it.

I write prose, as well, but have such a stash of my lifetime of poetry which I'm enjoying sharing here. It's especially gratifying when it pleases a non-poetry fan!

Now I'm honored to be meeting you too! Thank you for the visit!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Christopher, my dear friend - yes, isn't it an amazing creature? I've never seen a white peacock in the flesh either, but my mother, (an incurable animal lover, especially birds), once had a pair of regular peacocks in our back yard when I was a kid.

Lovely as they are, their vocalizations are NOT lovely and the neighbors made such a fuss, she finally took them to the rough and rugged ranch, where they could caterwaul all they wanted and disturb only sheep and goats, wild animals and birds, a few Mexican workers and us when we were there. It was incredible seeing them strutting over the rocks and learning to avoid the cacti! But before they could produce further generations, somehow - suspiciously - they disappeared and we were pretty sure they had provided a special feast for the workers, who possibly disliked their 'songs' as much as the neighbors in town had!

By the way - a movie, "Six Days and Seven Nights" has desert-isle stranded Harrison Ford and Anne Heche resorting to eating a peacock that happened to stray by, though she was very opposed to it at first. But she admitted that it "tasted like chicken" and had no trouble devouring it, once into it!

I am glad you like the music, my dear; and thank you for approval of my words!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Pamela - Thank you dear lady! We're in agreement on the music accompanying the words and the beauty of the peacock! I'm thrilled that it promotes your peacefulness! It was all so peaceful to me, too. Hugs

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Nancy, Thank you! I'm smiling thinking of your enjoyment of my presentation of peacocks, music and poetry! I love that! I'm so pleased that you came by! Hugs.

leni sands profile image

leni sands 4 years ago from UK

Another masterpiece...and tribute to a beautifully, regal bird.

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

Nellie Anna, I just wanted to thank you on your lovely reply to my comment, and on calling me sir - this is the first time in my life that anybody called me that :)

I am also glad to hear that you have already met someone from my part of the world, and that you have liked them. Feel free to contact me if you ever need any help with those messages in Serbian!

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

A lovely hub, Nellieanna. Does one need to make that comment any more when you construct a hub? The music reminds me very much of ‘Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune’ by debussey. I have not heard of the composer, and I may sound boorish when I say that I don’t particularly like the music you have chosen (neither do I particularly like ‘Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune’, but your poetry is as beautiful as ever. Your lyrical and superb poem following, is so beautiful.

“Let me be

Your banner.

Raise me up

Each morning.

Lower me

Each night.

Hide me safe

Inside your heart

Till needed....”

And as an addendum, I would like to say to my friend Nemanja, "I said you would love her poetry, didn't I?"

I love being right!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Thank you, leni - You've made me smile. Yes - it is a tribute to a truly regal bird! In fact I considered titling it at such.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Nemanja, how elegant that you returned to acknowledge my reply, kind sir! (Sir is as sir does!)

Unfortunately, I lost touch with that lovely lady, through no fault of either of us. We met in one of those online groups which arise and then just disappear. Whatever tracks I had were on a computer that crashed and were losted. sigh. She wrote well in English, but loved her own language, so she sent some things in it - and offered to tutor me. :-) Thank you for your offer, too! obviously you have no need of English tutoring!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ian! I've been missing you!! Thank you for the visit and compliments. I know you mentioned once before not preferring Debussy's 'Afternoon of a Faun' & yes, there is a resemblance. I'm not a Debussy aficionada, but this piece grabbed my fancy on its own merit.

I hadn't heard of Griffes, either, but the entire story just appealed to me as a unit. I detect elements in his music I don't find in Debussy and they suit the peacock subject so well. They have a kind of shimmery uplift and a greater sense of strength than in Debussy. There's another piano rendition that I passed by for this hub because it was too percussive for the mood I wanted here.

He studied in Germany with Englebert Humperdinck and became enamored of R. Strauss, Wolf and Brahms. His bio mentions that his earlier works were highly Wagnerian.

Of course, we aren't required to agree on all things. hehe. in fact the exceptions do prove the enjoyable rule.

Thank you, my dear. "Let me be your banner" is among my favorites, by the way. And thank you for recommending me to Nemanja. I'm enjoying your being right about that too. hehe.

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

I am beginning to realise more and more why I don't like him. I can't understand Richard Strauss, and most of Wagner (another Richard, I just realised) - Except for 'Der Fliegende Holländer' which I really like, although it's years since I have heard it.

Brahms I love... especially the Violin Concerto, and who could not be moved by the 'Academic Festival Overture'.

Watch this and weep at the beauty of youth!


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Beautiful poetry with lovely thoughts, Nellieanna, but I would expect no less from you, m'dear. Enjoyed the video, too. And the white peacock is glorious. Thank you.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah, Ian! Glad this has brought some insight into your feeling about Debussy. You realize that my ranch is named in part for 'Der Fliegende Holländer'? Of course, it was also because it was what Mother called Dad at at times. She thought the whole ranch should be named that. I didn't have any say over the rest of it, just my part. One high bluff, I named "Senta's Leap". The local folks out there look puzzled.

Yes, that Junior High orchestra performing the Brahms is lovely. I did watch it and wept, both for its beauty and that it made me nostalgic. Both my children studied violin when they were in Junior High and played in their school's orchestra, which was an outstanding youth orchestra. Dyane thought she wanted to become a conductor, at least unless she became a martial arts expert. :-) Unfortunately they didn't keep up with their music. They also took piano for awhile. They just weren't dedicated to practice.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

DRBJ. dear friend, thank you. This was an especially nice hub to make. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too.

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

Ian, you were indeed right, my friend :)

Nellie Anna, thank you very much for your kind words. I am honored.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

So very relaxing and inspiring.

Beautiful words as always and here's to so many more to follow.

This is indeed a tune to inspire; words as pure as yours.

Take care Nellianna and I wish you a wonderful day.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Nemanja - You and Ian do me honor! And I am pleased that you've also discovered my much-loved stepson, empiremike on HP! He's been on HP only a short time, when it was a pretty big step. Wonderful that the reception has been so good!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Eddy, dear heart - thank you! I'm pleased that you found it relaxing and inspiring. wow! Wish your day to be wonderful, too. Hugs.

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

The white peacock has to be one of the most beautiful creatures on earth, reminds me of satin and lace. It should indeed be leading a bride down the aisle as a symbol of the purity and beauty of love. Now my imagination is getting carried away :)

Indeed though I followed your peacock around your garden of woven words. Simply beautiful and restful.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Rosemary - I LOVE your comments. What a lovely visual - the bride led down the aisle by a lovely white peacock. (Just make sure the bird doesn't take a notion to provide the audio!! They do sound terrible!)

You know, after my darling George died, the funeral home sponsored several memorial services for recently bereaved folks. The most incredibly lovely was when they had the audience all go outside and form a circle around a covered cage. After a few words, the cage was uncovered to reveal white doves. There were children in the circle and the attendants let them stroke one of the doves. Then, to the music of Celine Dion singing "Fly" - the doves were released. They were trained to circle around for awhile before returning to their own quarters. I'll never forget the sight of those gorgeous, graceful white birds floating around above us against a really typical bright blue Autumn Texas late afternoon sky. It still gives me a catch in my throat.

Thank you for creating another lovely image involving a bird helping to make a human event memorable - and just for visiting and honoring my hub.

nemanjaboskov profile image

nemanjaboskov 4 years ago from Serbia

Nellie Anna, it is an honor to follow you. I have seen you mentioning Mike, and I just went to visit his profile - and I was delighted. I love photography, and Mike seems to have a very special talent with that lens of his...

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Hello, Nemanja! - Thanks again for visiting my site and commenting. Yes, Mike is dear to me and is a phenomenal photographer. I'm pleased that you happened on to him.

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

What a beautiful way to end a memorial service, it must have been one of those moments that took your breath away. My daughter wanted doves set free as they were pronounce 'Man and wife' but unfortunately we could not find anyone with doves who could do this, so sad. Instead all the guests had 'bubbles' and blew them as the announcement was made, it was an outdoor wedding and the photos were beautiful with bubbles all around.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Rosemary - Oh yes. That service is indelible in my mind and heart. I can almost smell the autumn leaves when I recall it - no matter what season is in progress now. And of course, my eyes fill with the same feelings as then.

Ah - I can visualize all the bubbles with their prismatic rainbows catching the outdoor daylight! That must have been like a magic land.

But, yes, trained doves are not to be expected in ordinary circumstances. The funeral home housed those doves and cared for them full-time, with professional people. When we were arranging for George's funeral, in fact, I noticed them there, but had no idea how they were used. I suppose the doves being unavailable for general use is sort of like white peacocks being unavailable for such uses. But both make a lovely mental image!

Thanks for returning, Rosemary. Hugs.

sligobay profile image

sligobay 4 years ago from east of the equator

White, the combination of all color, is set beside the NBC logo peacock which signified the transition to color television. I appreciate the intro to Griffes and his beautiful music. Your words are, as always, like fine wine to a discerning palette. Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah - white is, indeed, the melding of all colors into white light; - and black is the absence of them - actually no light being present.

But at age 6 and in second grade, I had a confrontation with the "art" teacher over this concept. My mother, an artist, had taught me this principle of color, that white is the presence and black is the absence of color; but of course, it does actually refer to the light/color spectrum and not to the behavior of Crayolas or other painting media. haha.

So fiery Miss Garrett was infuriated and adamant about the fact the white is the absence of color (- uh - before any crayons are applied to a blank sheet of paper) and that black is the presence of all colors. She instructed me to do the test and apply all the crayons in my box to a blank page and see what happens!

Of course, I didn't know how to defend my position that the opposite is true for actual color as it occurs in the natural universe, rather than on a grade-school drawing tablet or in other similar places and ways; so I did as I was instructed, hushed and proceeded with a drawing whatever the project of the day had been before the matter came up. But it stuck in my memory ever since. I was not equipped to debate with the teacher, which was probably just as well. Would have greatly disappointed my parents if I'd been suspended so soon in my scholastic life! But my respect for Miss Garrett slid down and out of the light spectrum that day and my interest in color and light rose into the vacated spot in my head! haha

I truly love your discernment, dear Gerry, and appreciate your fine compliments more than you know! :-) Hugs.

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

. . . and by the way - the NBC peacock and its background are perfect examples - that color and its absence ARE part of the process of 'painting with light'.

It's surely one reason I've taken so readily to digital art: - that it incorporates the media of light rather than static pigmented color media as its stock in trade. The light-infused colors shine with their inner radiating light or simply shrink with its absence, but it can be added back!

It must be my vindication to Miss Garrett! haha. Poor dear. It must have been so frustrating to have a lesson plan & recommended curriculum challenged by a silly little curlyheaded, mildmannered, underage second-grade girl wearing ugly glasses! haha.

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Louis Nizer -’Great poets have been said to invest ordinary words with wings so that they soar and fly high.’ Nice flight!!!!

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS Author

Ah-h-h-h - Mike, what a lovely lift-off are your kind words on a rainy, but otherwise pleasant day. Thank you, my friend! :-)

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