this poem was written six years ago, but, in the light of the tragic events of this week, has a renewed resonance for me. Rest well.
Heaven Has No Fences
In our world……
The sky is blue bolted and stilled,
spring washed and not yet
I lay in the garden
gazing across the Bay,
a chiff chaff summoning, bell like trilling,
unwittingly willing to add thrill to
a Sunday evening revelry.
Earlier, we walked along the Nevern,
woodlands pin pricked by wood anemones,
bolstered by wild garlic
and the first blue bells creeping skywards.
Nothing untoward until
an owl, a tawny streak,
chased by a furious blackbird
disappeared, chastened perhaps
into the green tented, splintered tree tops.
In your world……
Dawn, presumably, could not come too soon
as you fought your way to the side,
galvanized by the hope a passing cargo ship
The Mediterranean, at one point
a moonlit, blank canvas,
the next moments, a swirling scramble,
angry abstract patterns, peopled by those
in extreme, ultimate, unimagined distress.
I must confess,
a shared sense of hopelessness,
the frustration that our two worlds can be
so far flung, heart strung,
and one almighty mess.
The awfulness of what drove you on
the headlong rush to emigrate
is likewise tough to contemplate.
In part, I too must bear the burden
for these casting votes of carelessness.
Life, the casual combination of magic and loss,
toil, sweat, leisure, excess
the daily, weekly, yearly struggle,
the explosion of the senses.
Can leave my mind muddled, confused,
my values and principles
assaulted by the restless flow of news.
But one thing, for me,
remains as clear as morning dew :
heaven has no fences.
Migrants rescued 10-17 April
Feared to have died attempting the crossing so far this year
- 35,000 Migrants have arrived from North Africa in 2015
- 218,000 Estimated to have crossed the Mediterranean in 2014
- 3,500 Migrants died attempting the crossing last year
So, finally perhaps,
Mandela, Mandiba, is free.
Man of perpetual dignity.
He who used love
as a political strategy.
Did not seek recrimination.
delighted in non discrimination.
A ladies man they cry,
a gleam, a twinkle, under African sky.
Fighter, boxer, lawyer.
Sometimes the state’s version of a terror,
and yet, this man left us replete, but, and I repeat,
not with horror,
for he was a healer, not a destroyer.
His photograph for years denied
to those he served, who cried
struggled, Soweto dirt dusted
still in invisible Mandela they trusted.
The day before this colossus departed
our political leaders here in the UK
enjoyed another Parliamentary day.
In the ‘mothership of democracy’
the bear pit beckoned;
and debate was the language of shouts and jeers,
and also, some might say, an urn of crocodile tears,
a style that leaves the voters cold,
disillusioned, depressed, down hearted.
So much said, yet not enough to say.
Perhaps it’s time, and more, to walk and talk,
practice, preach and ourselves outreach
in living life, the Mandela Way.
HAMBA KAHLE WETU (Go Well, friend)
No more troubles,
and for your vision,
please, not the end.