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Archive for November, 2016

Do you remember that hour
In a nook of the flowing uplands
When you found for me, at the cornfield’s edge,
A golden and purple flower?
Heartsease, you said.  I thought it might be
A token that love meant well by you and me.

I shall not find it again
With you no more to guide me.
I could not bear to find it now
With anyone else beside me.
And the heartsease is far less rare
Than what it is named for, what I can feel nowhere.

Once again it is summer:
Wildflowers beflag the lane
That takes me away from our golden uplands,
Heart-wrung and alone.
The best I can look for, by vale or hill,
A herb they tell me is common enough , self-heal.

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copyright C. Day Lewis 1948

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Heartsease I found, where Love lies bleeding
Empurpled all the ground:
Whatever flowers I missed unheeding,
Heartsease I found.
Yet still my garden mound
Stood sore in need of watering, weeding,
And binding growths unbound.
Ah, when shades fell to light succeeding
I scarcely dared look round:
Love lies bleeding was all my pleading,
Heartsease I found.

copyright Christina Rossetti 1893

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There is a flower I wish to wear,

But not until first worn by you,

Heartsease of all Earth’s flowers most rare;

Bring it; and bring enough for two.

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An infusion of Heartsease is said to mend a broken heart.

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Our hearts may break when loved ones die,
We live, we love, we often cry,
Though time may heal, it can’t replace
That look of grief that clouds our face.
But once I heard some words so wise,
That dried the tears behind my eyes.
Imagine this; a calm blue sea,
A sailing ship, so fine, so free.
It sails away and looks quite small,
Until it can’t be seen at all,
But even though the vision’s gone,
Its chartered course still carries on.
We’re privileged to see it go,
To other shores?..we’ll never know.
Copyright S.Stone 5/7/16

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Reminds me of a special time with my Dad.

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As I walked out on Christmas Day
I met a little boy at play,
And though the snow was crisp and deep
He wore no shoes upon his feet
But slippers showing dinosaurs
That long ago had lost their roars,
No gloves had he or cosy coat,
No woolly scarf about his throat,
But in his hand he proudly gripped
A paper kite, creased and ripped,
I called out “That’s a bonny kite,
Is that what Santa left last night?”
He smiled at me and with a cry
He threw the kite up to the sky,
It soared above us as we gazed
And as he laughed I was amazed
That such an uninspiring toy
Could give such pleasure to the boy.
That afternoon I felt so sad
While thinking of the little lad,
Then went upstairs and filled a box
With toys my kids had long forgot,
And through the snow ,excitedly,
The little boy I went to see
Imagining his little face
When in his hands the toys I placed.
I saw the house, the windows bright,
Curtains open to the night,
And through the window I could see
The members of his family,
His father proudly held the lad
Who sat in wonder on his lap,
They sang together merrily
As mother laughed and poured the tea,
No China cups, no steaming ham,
Just saucers cracked, just bread and jam,
The room was bare but filled with joy
That spread it’s arms around the boy,
Twas obvious that they were poor,
But not in love, of that I’m sure.
One moment more I stood and watched
The boy that Santa Claus forgot,
I didn’t knock, there was no need,
I left the toys where he would see
Then turned around and walked back home
To spend my Christmas all alone.

Copyright Catherine Turner November 2016

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I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me.
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair
and I asked my reflection, how did you get there?

You once were straight and vigorous
and now you’re stooped and weak
when I tried so hard to keep you
from becoming an antique.

My reflection’s eyes twinkled and she solemnly replied,
‘You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside’
a living gem and precious of unimagined worth,
unique and true the real you. The only you on earth.

The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel
should purify and strengthen and polish up that jewel.So focus your attention on the inside, not the out.
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout.

Then, when your gift wrap’s stripped away,
your jewel will be set free
to radiate God’s glory,
throughout eternity.

Copyright Wanda Goines 2016

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Hello Lord. It’s me. Do you remember me at all?

I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I last gave you a call

It was late one Christmas evening; I was only six or seven

I prayed for you to send a teddy bear to me from Heaven

 

I haven’t asked for anything since that Christmas eve

I thought that I was too mature, too grown up to believe

But Lord, I’ve lost the angel who overheard that prayer

She left her children far behind to live with you up there

 

You must be very happy with the new friend that you’ve got

But Lord, I’m feeling lonely, and I cry an awful lot.

I wonder can you spare the time to help me out somehow

I didn’t need you in the past but, Lord, I need you now

 

I know you’ve lots of souls to save and spirits to set free

I know there must be millions who need you more than me

But could you find a moment in your hectic life up there

And send a speedy answer to my selfish little prayer

 

There’s one more favour I must ask before I say goodbye

If you see my angel as you’re travelling round the sky

Please don’t mention anything about this conversation

I wouldn’t want to worry her or cause her aggravation

 

Don’t let her know how weak I am, or that my tears still fall

Keep our little secret………just tell her Cathy called

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Scared of living but afraid to die

Cocaine nights are his only high

Screams from the past and shadows in the night

Heartache that burns him in the cold daylight

There’s a pen in his hand but he’s no writer

His heart’s been beaten and he’ll never be a fighter

We can stand by his side and point the way

But he lives alone with that terrible day.

Adam Williams January 2002

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With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Written in September 1914

The words of the fourth verse are said to have come to him first.

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Remembering

poppies as red as blood were the flowers that grew in the mud.

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When my son Sean was still at primary school he wrote a poem for remembrance as part of a history lesson about the wars. I have been trying to recall the words but will have to do a search amongst the old photos. I know I still have the original somewhere.

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They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old

Age shall not wither them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning

We will remember them.

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