A LEGACY OF PEACE

Such days, listening
To poetry and plays;
Memories to store:
Love, peace, humour.
I heard a rumour
Of success in your path.
Such joy, I can’t express,
But it’s great to hear you laugh.

Neighbours make scenery
Around us greenery.
We can forget foreign wars.
Those hideous sores
That scar humankind.
There will come a day
When all this will have gone away.
Meanwhile…
Let’s stroke the cat and smile.

Lucky to spend freedom’s hours
Though grief stabs happiness
It has no powers.
Listen! The children play
Joyfully in tune.
It is June.
They race and call in the sun
Their lives scarcely begun.

Pray for the children
Things may not always be
As privileged and happy
For them as for you and me.
If we could leave something
For when they grow
That is worthy enough
For them to know
Why we exist
Those reasons may persist.
Would it were so.

BEGUILED

I bequeathed my soul to Beethoven
In joy and deep delight.
I lay listening
As the breeze floated in
from the night.

The violin concerto
Brought a tear to the eye.
Symphony number nine
Proves he was my kind of guy.

Symphony number six
Pastoral it beguiled
I stretched my limbs
In ecstasy and his spirit
smiled.

I could relate more wonders
For he answers all
My wishes.
Yet now I cannot sleep
I must get up and wash
the dishes!

AT OBAN HOUSE

Washing multi coloured
Flutters in the evening sun,
Seen through the leaves of a spider plant
On the window sill.
Of our shared balcony.
Over its railings, children play.
Flowers golden in summer
White in Autumn
Sprinkle the hedges.

A recycle bin over flowing.
Below much greenery.
Tenants embrace the earth
With runner beans and pumpkins,
People pass at ground level.
They are often unknown.
There are many strangers
Here in East London –
Transient dwellers in
Shifting neighbourhoods of change.

The washing alters,
But is there every day.
Bathed in sunlight it rocks gently.
Oases of tranquility exist
Even here in the city.
A need to escape has gone.
Gratitude burst through
the calm of a long peace.

HAPPINESS

May he return unscathed
From life’s ills,
Tall, handsome, smiling
To her arms
Leaving the cool air
That chills,
To embrace home’s balms.

May life for them
Be happy, long and full.
And all their hours
Be anything but dull.
And if, by chance, she
Forgets to say,
How much he’s loved
At home and far away.

Let him know how dearly
His wife cares
So that her feelings surround
His days.
If he should find himself unawares
Thinking of their many tender ways.

May prayers between them
Reach the aim
And peace so precious to us
All sustain,
This privilege, this wondrous
Gift, though poor,
These lovers find they are so
Thankful for.

ADORATION

Between the leaves of the green,
Green trees, patches of blue
Change shape
With the wind in the green,
Green trees, where tiny
Birds escape.
Bright metal shines from
Passing cars.
And the street is painted
In golden light,
Where rows of houses that
Survived two wars, near blocks
Of flats pass the green trees
Height.

O! East London street please
Keep the trees.
The green green trees which
Refresh the eye.
Somehow the spirit feels complete
When the leaves flutter and
Whisper and sigh.
Don’t keep building luxury
Flats
Leave us our gardens and our cats
And in Autumn when leaves are gold
Let homes elsewhere be sold

When winter has stolen green leaves
And charcoal branches spread above
Our spirits yearn and the heart
Grieves,
For green to return to the
Trees we love.
For green to return to the
Trees we love.

AFTER GRENFELL TOWER

They left their homes
For safety to prove.
At least it’s summer
While they have to move.

They left furniture:
Carpets with regret
And had to find somewhere
For the pet.

To test the building’s
likelihood for fire.
They slept on floors
And in rooms for hire.

Children of their
Neighbours wept.
Some old people said,
They had not slept.

They miss their homes
And don’t know where to go.
At least it’s summer;
That softens the blow.

No blow compares with
Deaths at Grenfell Tower.
But survivors, you know,
Are people without power!