Monday, 7 December 2015

Despair and Renewal



With so much violence in our world at present, it seems to me appropriate to revisit an earlier time when love and compassion also seemed in short supply

 Despair and Renewal

Wartime reflections

Nostalgia moved from nose to brain,
As wood smoke took me back again,
Back to childhood, back to war,
The taste of loneliness and more.

My mother’s arms no longer stayed
The fear of loss, nor hate allayed.
The hate for those whose bombs and guns,
Had taken my belov├ęd ones.
 
My mind recalls that fearsome night,
The noise, the crashes, screams and fright.
Then silence; eerie, dark and tearful,
I am alone and lost and fearful.

The ‘all clear’ wails its plaintive call,
The smell of death lies over all.
The home with love and joy and games
In ruins.  Cindered by the flames.

Mother, sister, with lovely eyes,
No longer heed my childish cries.
For now they sleep in peace un-broke,
Small wonder then they tears evoke

Abject fear:  Is nothing sacred?
Innocence, now bitter hatred.
Love and compassion, flickered - died,
Darkness shrouded the lamp inside.

All the dreams and hopes of childhood,
As splintered elm, spread through the wild-wood.
No more laughs or light heart teasing,
No more gifts or cuddles pleasing.

Empty heart, unseeing eyes,
All that remains as fears arise,
Fears of where and what and why,
Please dear God, may I too die?   

A change of scene: I’m off to Wales,
A small hill farm amongst the vales.
‘Auntie,’ warmly welcomes me,
Her new son – an evacuee.
 
The hills so green, the lambs and sheep,
The peace and stillness – I can sleep!
Here sweet nature calms my fear
And nightmares slowly disappear.

The scudding clouds move over me,
I’m making patterns, when I see
A lovely lady, all in white,
“My darling son, are you alright?”

“Mammy!” I cry, “Is it really you?”
“Did you not die?  But I saw you!”
“Hush my child, just hold my hand,
“I’ll tell you all – you’ll understand.”

“My body died that dreadful night,
But the real me goes on; alright?
None shall die, that’s God’s great plan,
 We’re his children; immortal Man.”

“All leave the earth, go by and by
To worlds unseen by mortal eye.
But love still binds us one to one,
I’ll never leave you, precious son.” 

“Come hold me close, let tears flow,
You’re not alone and this I know,
Those tears of yours will wash away,
All hate and fear.  Come, let us pray.”

“Dear father God please let your light,
On this dear child with love alight.
Guide him away from fear and strife,
Help him help others all his life.”

“It was Your will that I should leave,
Help me help him so he’ll believe
That death’s not final, life goes on,
Please grant me this for my dear son.”

“You are all wisdom light and love,
Please may Your angels from above,
Light his path; his footsteps guide,
Until he comes here by my side.”


“Dear boy I have to leave indeed,
But I’ll be back whene’er you need.
Turn your face towards God’s pure light,
And say your prayers every night.”

“This way the pain will hurt you less,
And God will bring you happiness.
Your ‘Auntie’ loves you very much,
She’ll guard you with her loving touch.”

“It’s time for smiles and games and joy,
Forget the past, my little boy.
Your gifts lie hidden; that is best,
When they appear you’ll see you’re blessed.”

“Come back to this so peaceful place,
Meet me again with God’s good grace,
You’re always in your mother’s heart,
It’s true I promise; we’ll never part.”

Renewed I was that lovely day,
Gone, hate and fear; to you I say,
From death please do not hide your eyes,
For it’s the door to paradise.

Be sad sometimes but hate and fear,
Refuse to let them hover near.
Instead with love at your command,
Help others search and understand.

©Lionel Owen 2009

The Day of Rest




The Day of Rest

Sunday is a day of rest,
Some go pray and thus feel blessed.
Remember though that adage old,
As good as rest, is change we’re told.

Seek change if it is rest you need,
Somewhere new, your soul will feed.
If in town you spend your days,
Go to the country; feel and praise.

If you cannot leave your home,
In the country fair to roam,
Look inside yourself; be still,
                                                    There is soul’s nectar – drink your fill.

Wise the psalmist when he wrote
For folks of old, and here I quote,
Don’t just toil upon Earth’s sod,
“Be still and know that I am God.”

Seek the truth and when you find it,
Test within, the love behind it.
Love vibrates with heart and soul
And helps the spirit reach its goal.

Stretch your spirit if you’d be strong,
Leave habit; comfort; move along.
Try what you think you cannot do,
Then inner strength will transform you.

Your spirit does not fear the worst,
It taps the power that from the first,
Made us immortal; sister; brother,
God links us all to one another.

East or West or North or South,
Despite the language from your mouth,
Buddha, Islam, Christ or mission,
His love is ours without condition.

Every road will take us where,
The love of God our homes prepare,
In spirit realms so fair and bright
We all will dwell:  No need to fight.

Some get there quick and others slow,
Why is that? Is it always so?
The quick ones help their worldwide kin,
The slow, too much of self let in.

The quick judge not for this they know,
We always reap whate’er we sow.
They know all err, that’s how we learn,
Are patient, kind and wait their turn.
 
The slow find patience hard to bear,
They want to change the world and tear
Apart and start anew,
To give them more than me and you.

Please understand and be content,
With all that God on you has spent.
Your hand in His, just trust and know,
You are His child, He loves you so,

The light within your soul is clear,
Cover it not with doubt or fear,
Or selfish thoughts, or hate, or strife,
Your light is love and love is life.

© Lionel Owen 2009