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Tag: Remembrance

For the first time

For the first time I see the blue sky,
For the first time I hear the blackbird sing,
For the first time I smell the scented roses,
For the first time I feel the warm night air.

How could I have been so blind?
How could I have been so deaf?
I have stumbled through life in darkness,
Now you lead me to the light.

No longer will I lie afraid at night,
Afraid of the ghosts of my past.
No longer will I shamefully submit,
To those who have no power over me.

For the first time I live,
For the first time I need,
For the first time I care,
And for the first time I love.

18/10/1989

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At Swartmodder – II

The corrugated roof cracks and moans
In the still midday heat
No breeze breaks this spell
Of shimmering mirage
On the rock strewn ridges
The cows gather lazily
Under the few shade trees
Scattered scantily about
This strange, hot landscape

I lie, exhausted, sweaty
Under this groaning roof
And feel all nature
Press in upon me
Hot, humid, overpowering
The crickets shrill shriek
Arises from their hidden roosts
Piercing this eerie silent Hades
Into which I have wearily journeyed

16/02/1991

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Ground Zero

What did they feel I wonder?
As they were swept away on that hideous wave.
That same wave that so terribly burnt the names
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Into our dull consciousness.

Were they afraid, did they feel terror
In those few seconds?
Did they think on their loved ones,
Did they know they were going to die,
Or were they just living their ordinary lives?

Were the children playing in the streets?
Were the mothers shopping, washing, talking?
Were the fathers working as they had always done?
Did they have brothers I wonder
Fighting at the front?

So many died in that instant, in that twinkling of an eye,
All on the orders of a solitary man so far away.
And so many of the undead
Suffered so terribly.
Was it worth it?

And now so many years later
What lessons have we learnt?
Could it ever happen again?
Will so many people die so needlessly
Or can we learn to live in peace?

13/01/1990

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This Too Crowded Island

This too crowded island
Drains me
Cold wind, cold rain, cold people
Chill me
Sadden me
Make me
Homeless in my own home
Take me
On dark, dark roads
Going from nowhere
To nowhere
Through brick built jungles
Sterile sanctuary of sterile souls
Grey dank faces watching me
Through dusty windows of dust minds
Unattractive, unappealing, unclean
Living corpses crying
Putrid babbles
Of nothingness
And hate
Yet I remain
Unheard
Unseen
Unwanted

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A Homecoming

Suburban walls, suburban gardens,
Suburban bricks
Confront me
A decade on
So much has changed
Behind my suburban exterior
Am I as unrecognisable
As the scene before me?
As cold, as hard, as bleak?
So much changed
Beneath the same shell
Like these houses and shops
Am I, like them,
Decaying,
Rotting from within?
Have these ten long and weary years
So etched their pain
Into the very stones of my soul
That I may never return
To what I was?
But if I could
Would I?
Have I endured the torturing winds
And tormenting rains
For nothing?
Have I watched them erode my hard exterior
And expose my raw and bloody flesh
To the tempestuous elements
Just to say
“It is right,
Right to suffer so”?
No, no I will not
But stand and shout
At my new found strength
Swept clean by those who seek to hurt
And once more return
Return to this suburbia
Unlike those around
In their safe suburban lives
A newcomer
Returning to my fathers’ land
To these
Suburban walls, suburban gardens,
Suburban bricks

13/07/1990

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Passing By

How many years have these stones
Here stood?
Mute watchers of hurrying seasons
Here where once lived voices
‘Neath turf and heather roofed
Lie now open to storms hungry soul
Windows where eyes once gazed
On walls and ferns and burn below
Now lie open to the clouds
Like needle eye unthread
All is silent now
Except for winds harsh howl
Garden grazed by black faced sheep
Lichen grows on fireplace
Where peat a family kept warm
All is cold now
Untended
Unheeded
As I walk on

18/09/1998

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Stooped Raincoat II

I sit here in my room and look out across the street
There is a light on in someone’s room
Whose I’ll never know, someone I know I will never meet
I’m just a stooped raincoat in the gloom

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly on those out there who know
Know what it means to be tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I walk in the park watching prams pulling mothers
Talking to no-one, letting their children play
Passing me by, going back to their lovers
Not seeing a stooped raincoat in their way

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly on anyone out there who loves
Loves all those who are tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I recall the one I love, how her going hurt me so
Standing there, an old suitcase in her hand
She told me she had to leave, had to go
She couldn’t love a stooped raincoat so bland

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on the one whose leaving hurt me so
So much it left me tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I stand alone in the city square and look round
There’s nothing here except the city lights
Nothing here for me in this cold, hard town
For a lost stooped raincoat in the night

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on all those lonely people here
Here where we live so tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I turn round and head back to my lifeless room
The light is off now there across the street
It doesn’t matter anyway, let my pain resume
For me, a stooped raincoat incomplete

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on the life I leave behind
Behind me so tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

05/03/2003

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For You

The radio plays
Gently in the background
Of my life.
The light throws dim shadows
Onto the dreary walls
Of my room.
It is so cold here now
Without you.
You have left an emptiness
That nothing fills.
An icy silence
Of nothing heard
Except my breathing
Harsh and halting.
The hours are long,
Time creeps past.
The hands of the clock
On the wall
Are resistant
To my will,
They are persistent
In their motionlessness.
I fill my life with boredom
And remembrances.
I warm my spiritless heart
With tales of happier days
And wait in frighted hope.
For you.

12/07/1990

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