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by Anne E Thompson

The festival was for Eastre,
Goddess of fertility
But they swept it away
With a cross of humility.
They took over the sunrise
Coloured eggs were hidden,
They introduced religion
And pagans were forbidden.

Then the bunnies
Hopped back,
With the chicks
And the eggs.
Spring flowers
In bright posies
Feast times with friends
And fun with families.

But beneath it all
Well hidden within,
Was a story of death
And the blackness of sin.
The anguish of God
Turning his back.
A story of tears
When the world went black.
That tragic tale,
Which wont go away,
Has a promise of peace
That we long for today.
And the torture and pain
And despair of that day,
Is why God turns and listens
When we kneel and pray.

I wanted to show that originally at this time of year, there was a pagan festival for Eastre (sometimes spelt with an ‘O’) who was the goddess of fertility. That is where the sunrise, eggs, bunnies and chicks come from. Then the Christians arrived and took over the festival to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. But all those pagan symbols still keep coming back! However, under it all, the message of what happened in the Bible story still remains true.



Where are you now my child?
Do you continue in some far off place?
Are you out of reach, but still seeing?
Do you sense my grief?
If I were happy,
Would you know?
I search my mind,
My heart, my soul,
For some small part of you.
But nothing.
For when you died,
I ceased to exist.

Granny’s House

Granny’s House

by Anne E Thompson

The child lies,
Hot under heavy eiderdown,
With frozen face protruding,
And listens:

Chink of china tea-pot, mew of cat,
Stamp of heavy boots, on kitchen mat.
Mumbling quiet voices, feed the dog,
Poker stirs the fire, then adds a log.

Working men arrive to shop next door,
Metal bucket dragged, across stone floor.
Clanking toilet chain from outside loo,
House martins fussing, as new chicks flew.

Kettle whistle dies, then clink of latch,
Bang of larder door, harsh strike of match.
Footstep creaking upstairs, breeze stirs net,
Rap on bedroom door, “Are you up yet?”

The Birthday Gift

The Birthday Gift

by Anne E Thompson

The days before your birthday,

Were spent meandering the towns of Italy.

Narrow cobbled streets giving shade,

From the dry heat of morning sun.

Watched by hawk-like black eyes,

That willed me to buy their crafts,

I wandered past carefully stacked offerings

Enticing me to buy for you.

Shiny leather slippers waited by the door,

Beckoning me to feel their supple smoothness.

The spicy smell of leather wallets,

Heaped in mounds on trays, and belts

Hung like skinned snakes, buckles glinting.

A sailing shop, with each nook

Stuffed with polished wood barometers,

Metallic bells with tan handles,

Nautical ornaments to clutter your study,

Telescopes that would never see.

I could imagine your smile of anticipation,

As your large hands carefully unfolded

Bright wrapping paper, your smile of delight.

The “Thank you Annie”, as you lean forwards,

For a kiss that smells of mints

And aftershave.

But I left Italy without a gift,

Bearing instead another empty space within.

For the last gift I was ever to buy you,

Were the flowers,

For your grave.


By Anne E Thompson
I held you,
Your weight light on my hip
As I touched your button nose
With mine,
Peered deep into
Shining eyes,
Because you are my world.

We held hands
As we walked to the station.
And you skipped beside me
While my heart
Became still,
Because you were my world.

I sold you
To the man whose words
Promised me,
That you would be schooled
And be fed
And have chances in life,
Beyond my reach.
And I walked away,
With breaking heart
And one hundred pounds
And the prayer you would be safe.
Because you were my world.

Help to stop child trafficking. See http://www.tearfund.org for more details.

See also: https://anneethompson.com/poems/poems-about-life-and-death/fear/


By Anne E Thompson

You stand as the beautiful girl I loved,
But I know,
Inside you are deformed by grief.
A hunched old woman,
Clutching emotions tightly,
Lest another should shatter,
Into artery slicing shards.
Pools of laughter have bled from your eyes,
They harbour the shadows of ghosts.
The dead are in everything you see.
Your words, sane, pleasant, kind,
Carefully constructed in your mind,
Never touching your heart.
The core of you is gone.
I live beside the puppet you.
And wonder if you,
The real you,
Can grow again.


by Anne E Thompson

She tidied up,
Resigned her job,
She tidied up,
Paid all bills.
She tidied up,
Found a cleaner.
She tidied up,
Trained the dog.
She tidied up,
Left recipes.
She tidied up,
Found appliance manuals.
She tidied up,
Threw out memories.
She tidied up,
Took the gun
And removed her brain.