Wednesday, 17 June 2020

What Does it all Mean?

“We are at war”, is what they said. I couldn’t understand.
Where were the bombs, the guns and sirens wailing loud?
No blackout, no conscription, no martial, marching band,
And no troops a-striding with shoulders broad and proud.

“Who is it we are fighting?” That’s what we sought to know,
“Where do we find the enemy?” Whose finger’s on the trigger?
Putin? Donald? Ayatollah? Or that Kim who’s so Gung-Ho?
But none of these were mentioned, it was difficult to figure.

This foe is quite invisible, it’s a virus so they say,
You cannot tell when it will strike, you pass it on unsung,
It came from bats they tell us, (not those at Lords in May!)
But at its worst it steals your breath - you need an iron lung

Every night the News, is full of stats and tales of woe,

And governments say “Stay at home,” to keep this beast at bay,
The schools are closed, the bars, the clubs. You fear your job will go.
Some say “Good”, some “Not enough.” Most just hope and pray.

But wait a while, there’s another side and one we can’t ignore
,Peace has descended, all is calm, no barking dogs, no builders,
We’re reading, painting, knitting, it’s true of rich and poor,
And what is more, we’re spending time getting to know our Childers.

Some say it is the Earth’s revenge for exploiting it so badly,
Others, it’s God’s punishment for cruelty, greed and sin.
Rationalists won’t hear of this, “It’s nonsense”, they say gladly.
The cause is down to human kind so we the war must win.

In every war the heroes shine, rising over what’s mundane,
They give their all, forsaking self, sacrifice their life for others.
Nurses, doctors, all staff in health provision, each of whom attain
The highest levels of devotion to their sisters and their brothers

We salute you all, we thank you too, we’re forever in your debt,
Long hours, few comforts, and despite the fear that you must feel,
You comfort, tend and reassure, great skills deploy each day and yet
We cannot show enough how much we value you. Our gratitude is real.

Sadly some are taken from us, they pass all on their own
Because loved ones can’t be there; husband, daughter, son or wife.
You can be sure, unseen ones are there and no-one dies alone
The grave does not destroy our love for those who shared our life.

The peace and calm we feel all round, could bring us all so much,
Look within, know who you are, find inner strength and joy,
Being alone’s not loneliness and deep inside we’ll find such
Wonders. Why neglect this stillness like a child’s abandoned toy?

It’s a chance to look around, see anew with wondering eyes,
Watch the flowers bud, blossom, blow and marvel at their hue.
Be still and learn; the world’s a magic place - a living paradise.
Before this time we rushed around. Is that something now we rue?

Go out at night, away from lights, look up and fill your vision.
There is the light from stars and suns that left there long ago.
Worlds galore in grand display, arrayed with such precision.
Now not too busy to watch this show, God’s heavens all aglow.

Did all these worlds and suns appear by merest chance? Or is this
Panoply a proof to those who really see, of mind and grand design?
No human brain can grasp the scale or calculate its breadth. A mys-
Tery beyond our ken, a source of wonder, awe and beauty so sublime.

We miss our friends, the social round, the pint down at the pub,
The kids are home and drive you mad with questions and their chatter,
But life is change, we must adapt; change too, now there’s the rub.
All’s not bad. Things were wrong before, p’ra’ps now that need not matter.

When it’s all over, we have a chance to change things for the better,
To take the lessons being learned, transform ourselves and others.
We’ve rediscovered so much we’ve missed, let’s cast off the fetter
Of habit, work together, friends, sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers.

Corona appertains to crowns, let’s use what we’ve learned and crown
Our efforts in this dreadful time with care, respect, and love for all.
Upon life’s path let’s shine love’s light, so joy deletes the frown.
There’s so much good that can emerge, so let’s all stand up tall.

Lionel Owen 2020

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