Poems by Anne Thomas – 9

Rocky mountains

Poems by Anne Thomas -9

A range of poems this week!  In the first, Anne is still on her Canadian visit where we left her a week ago.

Island Ferry

Smoky mountain peaks
floating in the calm, pale sea,
fairy-like, ethereal.
The sparkling evening sun
dims you to pastel shades.
I voyage towards you
as one on the threshold of sleep
about to enter a dream.
Unlike a mirage
you look too shadowy
to be real,
Like some mythical land
which will vanish at dawn.
It seems improper
that I should violate your tranquillity
by travelling with such noise.
I would like to borrow seagull’s wings
or even the eagle’s,
And soar towards the liquid light
where sea and sun unite.
I see you Lord, in this beauty.
You walk on water
In the dancing steps of sunbeams,
And gently caress me
in the cool sea-breeze
And my weary soul is refreshed.

The next poem was written at the end of the Falklands War, on 15th June 1982.

Victory?

Thoughts on the Falklands War.

The war is over
It has ended in victory and triumph;
At least for our side.
We can begin to relax.
No more lives will be senselessly lost
The survivors and their families can rejoice.
The Angel of Death has passed over their homes.
Their young men can return as heros
To the life they left behind.
But they will not be the same.
For they must live with the memories
Of those killed at their side
And those they killed.
Now the war is over
We will begin to count the cost.
But the real price
Will be in the torn and shattered lives
Of two nations.
Tonight my family will rejoice
But there will also be those who mourn
A dead hero can’t be embraced
Can’t be welcomed home again.
His children will never have that ‘goodnight kiss’
His wife must give double love.
How will she answer the question
‘When’s daddy coming home?’
And will they think it was worth it?
To them the grapes of victory
Will have a bitter taste.

The following poem reflects Anne’s strong sense of justice.

Reality

When we have passed great new resolutions,
When we have formulated grand theories,
When we have expounded on our theses,
When we have dreamed our fantasies,
Then let us return to things as they are;
To city grass that is no longer green.
To innocent children who are not ‘innocent.’
To men growing germs not grain,
Who build bombs but not houses,
Who give up beauty for ashes,
Lushness for sterility
Who feed their children
On a scorpion of violence,
Stony indifference
When they ask for love,
The snake of materialism
When they beg for a crust of spirit,
Who fatly watch God’s children starve
On their screens, surrounded by opulence.
Who squander the riches of the Earth
To indulge their laziness or convenience.
Who judge others by their pigmentation
Or by paper qualification.
And when we have seen ourselves as we are
Let us return to the Lord.
May He have mercy on us,
To our God
May He abundantly pardon.

Finally this week, two poems written by Anne during her speech therapy course.

Dissection room

This describes Anne’s reaction to her second anatomy demonstration.

There in sinking terror
like a caged bird
who cannot escape from its dead mate
I stood behind the sea of white coats
amidst the carnaged, mangled bodies.
The grim realisation
that these were once real people
settled in my stomach.
My mind drove on, relentless,
forcing me to handle, feel, touch,
recall information, absorb, understand.
But revulsion welled up within me,
rebelled against the onslaught on my senses
tried to shut them off.
Vision dimmed, head spun.
My will had been vanquished by emotions.
I left the room.
Outside I gasped clean corridor air,
sat on the steps, felt a coward, made excuses.
My will collected itself,
advanced and triumphed.
I forced myself back
into my prison of ugliness,
kept my head, handled, felt, touched
whilst the sluggish minutes
dragged around the clock
for half an hour.
Freedom at last!
Out down corridors and steps
into clear, sharp, Autumn air.
Sun shone through golden leaves,
and sapphire, emerald and gold
glittered in the park.
Rich colours for the King
who gave me beauty for ashes
oil of joy for mourning
the garment of praise
for a heavy white coat.

White cat

(Written after seeing a video as part of my course.)

White for innocence
White for purity
White for the victim
Stretched on the thermostatically-regulated
Altar of Science.
Hideous tortures ‘But it is anaesthetised.’
Strange twisted nature of a man
that he must rear such a beautiful
fleecy-cloud-white creature
for his macabre experiments.
Is it so that its innocent blood
contrasts more starkly,
pleads more eloquently for mercy?
No it is all for the sake of purity.
No spot or blemish
must be seen on this sacrifice.
What means this animal to you, scientist?
It is a machine to be tampered with.
You play at making it go fast and slow.
Coldly and clinically you say
‘Now its heart slows, now stops.
Now its breathing stops, now starts again.’
Know you not that this is Life
and life is in the blood
gushing from the opened veins
of this piteous animal?
No you do not know.
You do not feel.
A robot-priest
in the Temple of science.

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