Betty, elemental – for Roger, Emma and family.

A good friend of ours, Betty Hill, died recently. We went to her funeral service (as the Easterly wind snapped and bit its way into West Wales)  and the following quote, which she had chosen, was shared :

Total annihilation is impossible.We are the prisoners of an infinity without outlet, wherein nothing perishes, wherein everything is dispersed, but nothing lost.Neither a body nor a thought can drop out of the universe, out of time and space. Not an atom of our flesh, not a quiver of our nerves, will go where they cease to be, for there is no place where anything ceases to be. The brightness of a star extinguished millions of years ago still wanders in the ether where our eyes will perhaps behold it this very night, pursuing its endless road. it is the same with all that we see, as with all that we do not see.’ Maurice Maeterlinck.1912.   

Betty was gracious, elegant, interesting and interested. She reminded me very much of my grandmother. I wish I had known her better and for longer. 

This poem is for her, as I imagine her now…

Betty, elemental.

I am a mote of dust, blown in from Saharan sands

A snap of Jack Frost, chilling the way.

A speck of smoke from a long ago liner.

A swallow, skyline skimming, swooping,  above Kings Terrace

The bell in the cry of an oyster catcher, keening across Newport Bay

A ripple, as a seal explores Nevern estuary.

I am a hint of perfume, dripping from Skomer bluebells,

A flare of sunset, exploding across Dinas Head

A blade of grass in Llanychaer.

A hint of morning mist as the Berry Hill cows call.

A note in the minutes of the W.I.

I am a snowflake, falling in Edmonton.

A smudge of ink in a secretarial ledger. 

I am a piece of clay, fired in ceramic.

I am bold colour, and medieval motif. 

I am the turned up corner of a smile on my grandchildren’s faces

A hair on the lion’s head of my son in law

A stroke of paint on Roger’s palette. 

And I am

A breath of wind in my daughter’s face, as she gazes westwards.

I am grace sublime, 

Sun and star kissed

Pain dismissed, 

The silent voice of calm

Of love, care and kindness

Aswim in the universe

Sorrows shadowed,

Goodbye distress.

Fundamental.

I am Betty,

elemental. 

 

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2 Comments on “Betty, elemental – for Roger, Emma and family.”

  1. helen carey says:

    What a wonderful poem. It made me cry … again.


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