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

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