The Long Goodbye ~ remembering, honouring

 

With much love for my Grandad, Thomas Clarke, born 1896, who fought with the Sherwood Foresters, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment 1914-1918 (middle of back row in photo)

Show me a greenhouse

and I catch my Grandad’s face

turning, as he bends to his plants,

his calm back rounded away

from trench war and toil.

I recall his gentleness,

the pungent hothouse smell

of tomato plants and the soil

quick with growing.

 

Kindness itself, he was always quiet,

would sit smoking, stare into space.

A survivor. How was it to return, to carry

those memories to the end of your days?

He never spoke about it, except to say that

the pack-mules had to be attended to first.

He was sent home with trench fever,

which saved his life.

 

At the eleventh hour the guns fell silent –

on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

My Grandad’s birthday.

with love Rose (Cook)

 

Featured as part of The Long Goodbye project, see  https://www.facebook.com/thelonggoodbye

 

 

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for May Day

 

Lone Hawthorn On The Moor

 

 

For you are ancient and withstand terrible weathers.

For you make a dark shape in winter, carry a nest.

For I saw you sheathed in frozen snow, your berries hoar.

For you grow on the crest of a slope.

For you are potent, with medicinal properties.

Wands made from you hold great power.

For in spring you are covered in white blossom.

For you are the May tree and shake confetti on the girls,

who dance around your trunk.

For you are most erotic and bless love and fertility.

For you teem with life, insects that fly and crawl, lichen

and every kind of bird wants to shelter in your branches.

For you fill with the hum of bees.

For you must never be broken, nor taken home,

For you are hope, which remains wild.

For you have thorns and red berries, which imbue meaning,

though children make itching powder, babies are fed your syrup.

For you offer protection.

For you are grizzled and grow low to the ground.

 

Rose Cook