To Unk.

What is it that remains –

Now seven years have passed ?

Or is there nothing left to speak of him

Who was so much alive ?

Now that he’s gone,

What counts that life

Of tireless, vital, self-effacing love ?

What value now the searching honesty,

The pain of living in the light of truth ?

The bitter irony of those last wasted years

Spent unremittingly in unrewarded toil.

Always in patient hope of future joy

That never came.  So much pain

And so much love. So little asked for

And so little given. There was

No retribution here. Is there in heaven ?

Such sadness is not worthy of the life which calls it forth.

For he would not call it lived in vain

(Each obstacle a challenge –

A chance to fight again).

And if he knew his thoughts lived on in me,

That his great heart still  beats  within my own,

Because of him, my soul at last is free.

If he knew this ‘t would be enough to atone.

January 1967

 

 

 

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Resolution

Let’s beware of wasting hours in futile longing

When before us lies so much to do and say.

In a sense I think we really are belonging

To one another in a different way.

There is no shame in giving pleasure

By kindly words and feelings shared.

Our world wants love not given by measure.

Affection and spontaneous joy should not be spared.

And kindred spirits need communication  –

Treat friendship as the precious gift it is.

Give reign to natural spontaneity,

Live daily in the joy of being free.

Spring 1966

Love for its Own Sake

These are the little glimpses of beauty

Though never planned to blossom forth and grow.

Let us not despise them.

These have their value too.

And we, who perceive their truth

Are richly blessed.

For lovely little indications

Of gentle thoughts and sympathy

Surely are only intimations

Of a greater Lover than you or me.

The gifts He gives are offered freely,

Out of abundance to each a part.

For every day come indications

That this  giver of love has a generous heart.

And if perchance, the gift seems fraught with sadness,

When the tenderness of love brings pain.

There never was an easy way to gladness

And perfect love on earth, we’ll ne’er attain.

Spring 1966

 

Spring Sonnet

Sitting alone.  Am seeing too much ……..

Outside the window ….. all the promise of Spring

In people who appear to be going somewhere

And couples who do not need to go anywhere –

Playing with brown babies in sun-suits

Or strolling arm in arm to church with summer hats.

Well-cared-for dogs

Or non-communicating matrimony,

The new car’s first outing to the Sunday sea.

These seem to be enough to cover over the cracks.

Will last year’s little girls come running,

Roller skates clasped tightly ?

They will come in the likeness of Mary Quant

Hand in hand with the men of tomorrow.

Portsmouth Spring 1966

On Being a Supernumerary Student

Supernumerary Posts sound very attractive

With lots of free time on ideas to be active.

One thinks of experiments

Exploring the elements of childhood neurosis,

Symbiosis erroneous.

The basis of manias

And personalities miscellaneous.

But ‘ere you think of signing on

Ponder your motivation.

The initiative they say you’ll practice

You’ll find will daily deplete in fact as

Your time is all spent in communications

With those who make insinuations

That students are useless innovations.

A little time listening to childish prattle,

The rest in an inter-staff psychic battle !

Autumn 1965

A ‘Voice for the Voiceless’

On almost any street, at any time

Encircled by indifference,

Jostled on every side by indications

Of an altogether different way of life –

We walk enclosed in the Satanic Order of Fear.

Half grateful for a crowd that does not care, ?

Half longing for just one glance

Of understanding.

How long is a life time

When day follows day without meaning ?

And how much use is the pain

When half-seeing the way to liberty –

There still remains a barrier ?

The responsibility of breaking through is too great –

But the silence of non-communication is almost unbearable.

We cannot ask for what we want –

Partly because we do not know our need

And partly because we cannot bear any more disappointment.

And so, from behind our safe, sad enclosure

We send unspoken pleas for someone to break through the barrier

(But not too fast, and not too far).

O, if you come at all, it must be slowly, gently.

For more than anything we fear your domination.

You see, there is so little which we can control –

So do not take away the independence that we have .

And if you come – be patient –

We have never learned to trust

And we don’t know how to give.

But most of all we ask that you

Will not give  up. –

We are so afraid that we will give up ourselves –

But believe us, we don’t really want to.

We long to be like you and join with you

Freely in loving and giving and sharing and living.

We would never really say all this –

But if we could, we’d say so very much.

Help us to talk………just a little.

Although we’ll never admit it, we wish

That somehow we could let you know

That we do need you –

Deep in our unbelieving hearts, we pray

That you will not stop trying

And will not go away.

 

For Susan – Spring 1966

 

Human Fallibility

We expect too much of ourselves.

We expect to find in ourselves

The good that we want to believe is in others…..

And when at times we do not find it there,

We still hope to find it within ourselves.

Most of the time we can justify our motives

Mostly our reasons can sound pretty good.

But there is one time when there is no justification,

The time when we are stripped

Not only of our outward mask of honour

But almost unbearably of our lost image

Of our own integrity.

When we see disillusionment  on

The face of someone who trusted us.

When we finally understand our power to hurt…

And so often it is too late

Or we think it is too late,

Which amounts to the same thing.

The universal fallibility of all

Is a concept hard to accept.

It is hard to forgive in others

But harder in ourselves.

And yet, the realisation of our own weakness

Is the acceptance of it in others.

And surely when we have accepted their failure,

Then perhaps, we can forgive our own.

June 1966

 

Experience

We have seen so much of sorrow,

We have shared in the despair

Of lives that touched ours briefly

When we didn’t really care.

Was there purpose in the chaos

Of the years we would forget ?

Did our wanderings allow us

A time to be lost to the world –

That the plight of its unfulfilled children

Might be deeply engraved on our hearts.

For the love that is needed to heal them

Comes only from suffering and pain.

O how can we dare to deny them,

Who may never be loved again ?

And if there is an answer

To their unspoken prayer,

We must live our lives among them

For Love would send us there.

Send us with joy and peace to say

Herein is hope  – this is the way.

July 21st 1965

 

 

 

 

 

Note To Anti-Corbyn MPs: Jeremy Corbyn Is Not Our Messiah. He Just Heeded Our Call For Change.

Turning the Tide

An extract from the Sunday Times in which anti-Corbyn MPs allegedly refer to Corbyn supporters as “faith based followers”  who are “off the page nuts” because we look upon Corbyn as a “Christ-like figure” is doing the rounds on social media, and I’d like to share my thoughts about it.

image

Firstly, any MP who made these remarks should have the courage of their convictions and put their name to them. Not to do so is weak and cowardly. Though I can understand why they wouldn’t want to, and I’m not talking about fear of reprisals from Corbyn’s backers. These remarks say a lot more about the MPs who made them than they do about Corbyn’s supporters, and they should be ashamed of themselves for making them, or even thinking them. Of course a journalist may have made it up, except we all know anti-Corbyn MPs hold us in contempt so I am going…

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Exiled

I am living in a country that is not my native land

On an altogether different piece of earth

But perhaps the only place I’ll ever really understand

Is my well-beloved island home,

The land which gave me birth.

For I belong by birth-right to a folk who are apart

And their special zest for living is always in my heart.

Their heritage is beauty in the hills and lakes and trees

And every exile heart is stirred by memories of these.

But there’s sadness in the beauty of my lovely island home.

Some people there are prisoners whose thoughts may never roam

Outside the rigid system which

They’ve learned to need too much

And although I understand them,

I can no longer talk to such.

Christmas 1964