As Life Goes On….


Remembrance Day Poem – As Life Goes On

Now, and Then

IKEA homeware packed in boxes,
Heaps of stuff litter the hall, then squashed into the back of the car.
Last hugs, cheery goodbyes, the drive to uni.
Snippets of home, spread around the strange smelling room,
The lanky excited-scared almost man says goodbye,
And the mother remembers.
She remembers the feel of the bowling ball weight on her hip when she carried him,
The feel of his tiny hands on her cheeks when he offered snotty kisses,
The snuffle of breath as he slept against her shoulder,
She remembers the child as she looks at the man.
As she wishes him well, holds back tears until she has driven away.

Billycans and clothes stuffed in kit-bag,
A train to London packed tight, then bustle hurry find the right squad.
Last hugs, tearful goodbyes, a band plays on.
Heaving the bag, look around for friends joining too,
The lanky excited-scared almost man says goodbye,
And the mother remembers.
She remembers the feel of the bowling ball weight on her hip when she carried him,
The feel of his tiny hands on her cheeks when he offered snotty kisses,
The snuffle of breath as he slept against her shoulder,
She remembers the child as she looks at the man.
As she wishes him well, holds back tears until he has joined his unit.

The posts on Facebook show new friends and nightclubs,
Texts assure his food is fine, his studies easy.
He doesn’t discuss the drunken evenings, the sleepless nights, the fear of loneliness.
But his mother knows, she reads it in unsaid words and tired eyed photos.
And she waits. As life goes on.

There are no letters and the News shows little,
Bold battles move to the Front, the headlines proclaim.
They do not discuss the fallen comrades, the sleepless nights, the fear of injury.
But his mother knows, she reads it in unsaid words and tired eyed photos.
And she waits. As life goes on.

The war ends. The boy returns home.
Yet, not a boy, become a man.
A man who will not speak of horrors,
Will not discuss the stench of death,
The sight of his friends, falling.
The nights when he still hears the screams, still fears the dark.
But his mother knows, she reads it in sunken cheeks and, eyes so weary.
And she waits. As time goes on.

The term ends. The boy returns home.
Yes, still a boy, almost a man.
A boy who chats and loves to amuse,
Loves to debate the point of life,
Who meets all his friends, laughing.
The nights when they drink, talk at length, sort their beliefs.
And his mother knows, he is safe and content with life, has a future.
And she waits. As time goes on.

by Anne E. Thompson

Love


by Anne E Thompson

No more,
Do I carve big hearts in the sand.
Neither do I scribble our names entwined.
Nor do I keep your photo’ under my pillow.
Nor chant your name like a rhyme in my head.
I do not whisper about you with friends,
Nor blush when I hear your voice.
I do not loiter in the places you may pass,
Nor practice smiles for you before a mirror.

Yet still,
My heart thrills at the sound of your laughter,
And I watch the clock when your arrival is near.
I am content when I manage to please you,
And I watch your face when you drive or read.
I learn every wrinkle that creases your smile,
And I bend to your moods as they change.
For though time may mellow and age us,
My love for you remains
The same.

(Reposted for Valentine’s Day)

 

 

anneethompson.com

xxx

As Time Goes On – A Poem


Now, and Then

IKEA homeware packed in boxes,
Heaps of stuff litter the hall, then squashed into the back of the car.
Last hugs, cheery goodbyes, the drive to uni.
Snippets of home, spread around the strange smelling room,
The lanky excited-scared almost man says goodbye,
And the mother remembers.
She remembers the feel of the bowling ball weight on her hip when she carried him,
The feel of his tiny hands on her cheeks when he offered snotty kisses,
The snuffle of breath as he slept against her shoulder,
She remembers the child as she looks at the man.
As she wishes him well, holds back tears until she has driven away.

Billycans and clothes stuffed in kit-bag,
A train to London packed tight, then bustle hurry find the right squad.
Last hugs, tearful goodbyes, a band plays on.
Heaving the bag, look around for friends joining too,
The lanky excited-scared almost man says goodbye,
And the mother remembers.
She remembers the feel of the bowling ball weight on her hip when she carried him,
The feel of his tiny hands on her cheeks when he offered snotty kisses,
The snuffle of breath as he slept against her shoulder,
She remembers the child as she looks at the man.
As she wishes him well, holds back tears until he has joined his unit.

The posts on Facebook show new friends and nightclubs,
Texts assure his food is fine, his studies easy.
He doesn’t discuss the drunken evenings, the sleepless nights, the fear of loneliness.
But his mother knows, she reads it in unsaid words and tired eyed photos.
And she waits. As life goes on.

There are no letters and the News shows little,
Bold battles move to the Front, the headlines proclaim.
They do not discuss the fallen comrades, the sleepless nights, the fear of injury.
But his mother knows, she reads it in unsaid words and tired eyed photos.
And she waits. As life goes on.

The war ends. The boy returns home.
Yet, not a boy, become a man.
A man who will not speak of horrors,
Will not discuss the stench of death,
The sight of his friends, falling.
The nights when he still hears the screams, still fears the dark.
But his mother knows, she reads it in sunken cheeks and, eyes so weary.
And she waits. As time goes on.

The term ends. The boy returns home.
Yes, still a boy, almost a man.
A boy who chats and loves to amuse,
Loves to debate the point of life,
Who meets all his friends, laughing.
The nights when they drink, talk at length, sort their beliefs.
And his mother knows, he is safe and content with life, has a future.
And she waits. As time goes on.

 

by Anne E. Thompson

xxxx

Thank you for reading. I wanted to write a poem as this week is Remembrance Sunday. I always find that a poignant time, I suspect every mother does. The stories and readings are always so sad and I’m guiltily grateful that it’s not my boys who had to fight, had to witness the horrors of war.

 I thought about adding another verse, perhaps linking the two mothers over time, showing how one has allowed the other. But I decided that was too twee, the reader can work it out for themselves. I rather like poems that leave you feeling they are unfinished, that it hasn’t been completely said. I hope you like it.

For Valentine’s Day


Love
by Anne E Thompson

No more,
Do I carve big hearts in the sand.
Neither do I scribble our names entwined.
Nor do I keep your photo’ under my pillow.
Nor chant your name like a rhyme in my head.
I do not whisper about you with friends,
Nor blush when I hear your voice.
I do not loiter in the places you may pass,
Nor practice smiles for you before a mirror.

Yet still,
My heart thrills at the sound of your laughter,
And I watch the clock when your arrival is near.
I am content when I manage to please you,
And I watch your face when you drive or read.
I learn every wrinkle that creases your smile,
And I bend to your moods as they change.
For though time may mellow and age us,
My love for you remains
The same.

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Image 16

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Sliding Back


The Christian
by Anne E Thompson

She did call to God,
And He did answer,
In bubbles of joy
That swelled to fill,
Before bursting.
And He did answer,
In waves of peace,
That calmed her soul,
Before seeping away
With the light of dawn.
And He did answer
In a tide of compassion,
So she forgave all wrongs
Until they did it again.
And she grew tired
Of calling,
Trying to respond
By offering her life.
So she grew instead
A heart of stone.

Easter?


Easter?

IMG_1188 IMG_1163

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.

Gone


Gone

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.