Beth Shalom

img_0599Crucially it tells the story
All should know but still must be told,
Of those who grew not old,
Who fled from fear and intolerance,
Or died horrendous living deaths
When life was cheap,
When no one dared weep.
Cry now as you see photos
And hear personal testimonies
Of truly horrendous stories,
But it won’t do any good –
Only the history exists,
The people are gone
In a hate-filled Armageddon.

Hope spreads from the telling
Of the threat of extremism,
The arrogance of racism,
Hope spreads far and wide
When truth is revealed
Of a time man destroyed man
In a man-made plan.
Danger emerges
In the quest for perfection
Perfected in destruction,
In wholesale death.
Far better to believe
That all are born equal,
Love thy neighbour,
Set not brother against brother.

Copyright wordz2Go Feb 2017
Matthew 22:39
‘Thous shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’.

Inspired by a visit to Beth Shalom:
A Nottinghamshire village
Hosting a Shoah memorial.

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Neighbours

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Humanitarian disaster zone
Fleeing everything loved and known.
Fighting for the right to a bullet-proof life
In a home-away-from-home,
No familiarity,
No personal privacy.
Crying for help from a neighbour
With no-one looking their way,
Curled tight in a ball to avoid the squall
Of war and bombing and strife.

Summer clothing in winter snow,
A tent keeps the cold at bay;
Would you hear your name if it was called,
Or look the other way?
Family, friends or strangers,
Near or far away,
Who will you hear today?

Copyright wordz2go Jan 2017
Luke 10:29 ‘And who is my neighbour?’

James, Frederick and Leonard

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Tower of London, November 2015 (c)

Yours is a tale from
The war to end all wars,
Yours is the blood
Spilt pointlessly in mud,
Mingled in shell holes
In the hell-hole of war.
Yours is the noise
Of battlefield cries,
Boys screaming for Mam,
Men calling for wives,
Yours is the wholesale
Butcher of lives.

James, Frederick and Leonard,
Yours are the lives
Ended shockingly short,
Yours is the warning
Of political breakdown
Both country and crown.
Ordinary men caught
In an act of contrition
In a war of attrition
No-one could win.
In the mud where you tread,
Shells are the harvest
From the fields of the dead.

Copyright wordz2Go Nov 2016

Inspired by personal details left at the Tower of London 2015 Poppies display
(See my photo above)

Isaiah 2:4 “The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes.”

 

Grief Undressed

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I am stilled filled with sorrow
At losing you.
The pain is always there,
Mostly suppressed but
Today my grief is undressed.

The years have flown by
And I’ve tried,
Really tried
To see a purpose,
Yet I remain deeply hurt.
I lost a brother and gained another
Within the space of a year:
My sister lost her first love
And God above –
I’m still angry, so angry.

How can I defend my belief
In an ever-loving God
And live with the memory?
It was truly a mystery,
Finding words to tell your boys.
Your death doesn’t sit easily with me
And yet I have to believe
That you are somewhere,
That there is more to life
Than we can see or know,
That there is somewhere we go.

My hope is that you can see
Your grown boys, their families,
That you are proud of them,
Of the fathers they’ve become.
Both are different and yet
Each has characteristics
That reminds me of you,
Of things you’d say and do.

I am older now than you can ever be
And still, I’m angry.
Rest well brother,
I must cover my grief once more:
Dress it in the respectability
Of hope,
In the continuity
Of life,
In the certainty
Of the life to be.

Copyright wordz2Go 7 Nov 2016

Dedicated to my lovely brother-in-law on his birthday.
He died from cancer age 32 in 1987.

1 Corinthians 13:12 “… Now I know in part, then I shall know fully…”

Quick Sand

Life is fraught:
Caught between competing
Crises and priorities,
Parcelling out time slots,
Racing between
Goal-posts bedded in quick sand.
Personal aspirations
Based on an illusion
Of what could be achievable.
Happiness is an ever moving rainbow,
An impossible destination
Where the profoundly naive dwell
In exhausted confusion
Defeated by conflicting ideals
That only reveal
High levels of disconcertion.

Life is indeed fraught:
Shake off entangling expectations
Imposed by rules and regulations,
Dare to run against the flow
Look up not down,
Look out and around
Focus on what is good and true,
Stand proud
To find the real you.

Copyright wordz2Go Oct 2016
John 17: 16 NLT

Bed Waiting

Inane drivel invading my head,
Waiting for a hospital bed –
Eleven hours, the TV so loud,
So ridiculously high up the wall
Impossible for all
But a giraffe to watch said TV.
Many people coming and going,
All in distress, all with no choice
But to wait till late
In the hope of being seen.

In the midst of this chaos
A man comes in,
Plugs his phone in the wall
And in front of us all
Is selling phones on the NHS
Explaining tariffs and options,
Unconcerned at unethically
Using NHS electricity
To run his mobile operation –
Perhaps he’s in the right place after all!

I report it so staff
Can eject this riff-raff,
But just then he moves on,
I can only assume
To a quieter room!
After a very long wait
Our vigil is ended,
And Hubby’s surrendered to a bed.
Walking the corridors late at night
Is eerie,
My eyes are bleary
And I’ve yet to drive home.

NHS chaos
Seen at first hand:
The care is amazing,
The treatment is fine
But the real Frankenstein
Is bed waiting.

Wordz2Go Oct 2016

Trust

My spyglass on the world
Enables me to see more wisely;
Through the magnifying lens I glimpse
The future and am convinced
There is more than I know.
I seek reassurance, of things to be,
Of that which I cannot see.
My need to know just grows and grows,
It gnaws away inside my mind,
It will not let me go.
Grant me the ability to
Accept things beyond my control,
To accept philosophical illogicality,
To trust in what I cannot see.

Copyright wordz2Go 24 March 2014