Willowdown

Pen and Ink and border by Willowdown  © 2009
Peter Crossland
aka Willowdown

November 1953 -- February 2016

In Loving Memory
Peter Crossland, aka Willowdown or Pete, scoffed at providing bio blurbs to accompany his work.  In 2009, when his book Faery Child, co-written with Maryse Achong, aka trinimade, was published he provided the following bio:

Willowdown was an aerial balloonist for Leonidas during the Battle of Thermopylae but, blown aside by a gust of sorcerous wind, spent the next two thousand years in a Persian magician's cell.  Finally escaping in 1999, he now spends his time writing and painting and feeding a despotic cat called Orange Thing.

Unable to substantiate his participation in the Battle of Thermopylae, we took him at his word and published the bio as given.  You can imagine the consternation of the publishers when in 2012, his work was included in the Penned Legacy poetry anthology he claimed innocence of that information and provided the following 'corrected copy':.

Willowdown is the pen name of the 37th Earl of Bannofshire where he inhabits a crumbling pile together with the distressed ghosts of one hundred and fourteen cats cruelly dispatched eight centuries ago by a raiding party of the neighbouring Mc Warhol clan.  After being turned down by the National Trust for Charitable Status as a place of Special Interest, the present Earl continues to create his literary works subsisting on a diet of soggy mice and rancid oatcakes scavenged from Holiday Inn dumpster trucks.

When not involved in literary activities he writes angry letters to media tycoons and wheedling letters to celebrities.  This year alone he has written one hundred and seventeen times to Angelina Jolie and expects to receive a reply any day now.

Having checked with Angelina's agent and verified that no such mail was received from the Earl and therefore no reply would be forthcoming, he was once again approached for a bio when his work was included in the prestigious Time's Essence poetry anthology that came out in 2014. Ever willing to cooperate and according to him, at the insistence of his cat O.T., he provided the following official bio:

Willowdown, aka Flavius Maximus Pontifex, is often portrayed with a dead orange vermin on his lap.  In truth this reprehensible creature,-- or crater, If viewed from the Moon with telescope -- is in fact merely sleeping and dreaming of tuna fish biscuits.  It is named Octavius Minimus Orange Thing and used to be a cat before it became a poet and took over the central nervous system of Willowdown who really only exists to feed it.

In his spare time he feeds the sparrows and throws water at local crows attempting to steal their breadcrumbs.

When he is not fullfiling any of the above roles he brews tea and dreams of Angelina Jolie.

On researching the various bios made available over the years, it became clear that each of them had a tenuous hold on reality, but it also became obvious that Peter Crossland was an immensely talented writer,  poet and painter.  He was talented with both pen and brush and he has left a voluminous amount of work for present and future generations to wonder at with appreciation.
 
He was an unassuming, unpretentious human with a vision. He gave his time and talent freely.:Many of his murals still adorn the walls of the Redemptorist Vocational School in Thailand. He was at home in dozens of Internet writing communities, and was welcomed as family in all of them. His beloved cat O.T. whom he called a 'bloody nuisance' (we all knew better) went to her reward a year or so ago.  One can only imagine what she will say when she sees him...probably something like, "Did you bring tuna biscuits?"

Willow, or Pete, whichever you prefer, has traveled widely and donated his time wherever he went.  He was held dear by so many, and yet I think that each of us knew only a bit of him. He was as ancient as time and forever new. He wore the armor of cynicism and the innocence of a child with equal familiarity. The best way to know him is to know his work and to know his friends and family.  We hope that you will become better acquainted with 'all of the above'  through these pages.

 
Here begins the journey into the world of Willowdown.
Pete (about 3 years old)
Poems, Thoughts and Shared Memories
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© 2016
Click on small star beside individual title to access poem.
  star design cropped from a Willowdown painting
Intro to The Pact by trinimade
The Pact by Willowdown and trinimade
Child at Play by Douglas Munday
A Volume of Poetry by Wendy Howe
Intro/ Walking on Sand by Terry  Clitheroe
R.I.P. Peter Crossland ~ Michael Willowdown
 by Dorothy Milnes-Simm
On Leaving by Dinah Serritelli
Through the Gifts of Each Our Talents
by Merv Webster.
Willowdown by Doris C. Swearingen
For Willowdown by Maryse Achong
Finally, At Home by smzang
Somewhere not so far away .by Matt Clendon
Walking on Sand by Willowdown
Willowdown Tribute by Gene Dixon 
There by Rich Roach
.
Willow by Rich Roach
Masterpiece by Dinah Serritelli
"remembering you, Willow" by Alexis.
Willowdown's Featured Poetry
A Part of the Light by Kerri Rochelle 
Poet by Rebecca Jane Munday
Dr. Jim Williams
When I Heard by Janet Tanner Leonard

Cremation Place - Koet KanUdom Temple
Address - Klongsam Sub-district, Klongluang District
Date - Friday 8th April 2016 at 10.00 a.m. local time.

Ashes to be scattered in the Chao Phraya river on Monday 11th.

A  Mass 
will be offered  
for the happy repose of the soul of the deceased
on 
April 25th at 12 noon
at the 
Living Water Chapel
in 
Port of Spain, Trinidad


I Have Heard The Master Calling 
                             by Peter Crossland  aka Willowdown



I have heard The Master calling
in the chorus of the Sea
and though I linger here awhile 
within this pleasent garden
a restlessness pervades my soul
that tells me despite all its beauty
I must leave here presently.


I have seen The Master's cathedral
in the naked tree of Winter,
in the crowning of the summer fields
and the crucifixion of the year
but all of this is but a passing show 
behind which a greater, quieter mystery
is slowly being unfolded
and soft words being spoken
for those who have ears to hear.


I have seen The Master's footprints
in the bright foam of the Sea.
There are roads that one might walk upon 
to deep submerged Kingdoms,
to golden palaces in the fiery fields of the Sun,
to delicate crystal forests between the burning stars
but the truer and more subtler path
is the one into the heart
that may start in some fresh spring field
or at dark midnights feet
in some unobserved act or unspoken thought
where the roads of all worlds meet.


I have heard The Master calling
and almost glimpsed His face
upon the violet sky at dusk
filled with joyful melody
or in the infant bird fallen from its nest.
The lightning has almost revealed to me
the contenances of ten thousand sleeping Gods
shrouded and wrapped in the ancient spells
that keep them bound to the Earth.
With dawn a moment of lucidity struggles to arise
to the surface of their dreams and they seem on
the verge of awaking -
but then the moment passes and the sorcery 
of Creation continues.
One day perhaps the stars themselves will be
turned into flowers
and come tumbling down from the sky
to land upon our rooftops and window-sills and doorsteps 
and commit everyone to amazement.


I have seen The Master's cathedral
in the naked tree of Winter,
in the crowning of the summer fields
and the crucifixion of the year;
I have heard The Master calling
in the chorus of the Sea
and though I linger here awhile 
within this pleasent garden
a restlessness pervades my soul
that tells me despite all its beauty
I must leave here presently...