Poems from the Past

I found a notebook today, I hadn’t seen this book for years and was quite surprised what I saw in it. There were a few poems in it which I wrote at, what appeared to be, important times of my life – I thought I would share a couple of them with you, there were only 4 or 5, I’ve chosen 2 (the dates I wrote them are in the brackets – clever me wrote the date and a short explanation of my life at the time just after the poem). When I read them this morning, some brought big smiles to my face and others made me stop in my tracks. I hope you enjoy them.

This ground floor flat (28th January 1997)

This ground floor flat we rent,
Lays empty, so long at a time,
Here to rest during busy week,
It’s not home, home is warm, and baby fresh.

My Jack, our Jack, is three months old,
Big blue, learning eyes, dependance,
To me – he looks as a guide,
So determined, not to fail him.

For that, was me, once, wide eyed and unknowing,
Three decades have passed, is anyone ever ready ?
The life, of another, so small, relies on me,
Now, I understand, dependancy.

Not home, during the week, away to earn,
Things could be worse,
London this month, cosy, local, accessible
Who knows where, next month, next year – on open seas.

All the time, thinking of home,
New places, wished shared with ones I love,
New sights and sounds, for us, not just me,
I am three now, not just one.

1997, I was in the Royal Navy, shore based and was posted to the Ministry of Defence at Whitehall in London. Because we had to be close to “the office” we were given a monthly allowance to rent digs within 30 minutes travelling time of Whitehall. I rented a flat with a colleague about 6 or 7 miles away and used to cycle in every day/night watch. I was assigned to the submarine team – although my job was as a meteorologist supporting ships around the globe, I was the first to become part of the submarine support guys. It was very exciting watching, plotting and trying to anticipate positions of both friend and foe submarines – I can’t say anymore – I’d have to kill you 😉

Dear Mum (29th March 2000)

You always loved us, without a doubt,
When we were small, and when we grew,
Sometimes stern, but not for long,
“Enough’s enough, now let’s get on”.

Through teenage years, we did our best,
To break the rules, again and again,
If only we knew, what trouble it caused,
You were there, through thick and thin.

When I left home, you waved goodbye,
To sometimes distant shores you wrote,
Just to say, how things were,
Those words, were always filled with love.

And when I met, the girl, of my dreams,
You told me, after, first you met,
“She’s a bit wild but, she’ll be good for you”
And times like this, she’s strong for me.

And then came Jack, I’d never seen such joy,
When you bounced him on your knee,
So please believe me, when I say,
We’ll keep it up, for you, and him.

But now, I must, say goodbye,
Your pains, have gone, and now you rest,
The pain I feel, one day, may ease,
My love, for you, will never fade.

My Mum died, on 25th March 2000, this poem was written 4 days later. I intended to read it out at her funeral but I’ve never been one to read in public, and during the service I was a wreck, composed before and after but during the service, composure left me completely. I hadn’t read this poem from when it was written, until this morning, the last two stanzas stopped me in my tracks. For many years I would get caught short with emotion and it didn’t matter where I was, or what I was doing, if emotion took me I’d burst into to tears – many a day I’d be driving unable to see what was in front of me for tears. I don’t make anniversaries “the day” to remember Mum, I prefer to remember her as and when I feel like it – visit her grave as and when I feel like it. I don’t visit her grave on the anniversary but don’t try to contact me at 3.30pm on 25th March, any year, I won’t be available.

Anyway, I hope you took something from these poems, I think I’ve evolved as a poet over the years, for better, for worse, who knows and if it comes to it, I don’t care. These poems are important to me, whether they be naive or incorrect, they are important and I like them. I hope you have too.

I’d like to thank @dVersePoets for their #openlinknight because after seeing links on twitter, they acted as reminders to me and without their Open Link Night I may not have posted these poems – so dVerse – THANK YOU – YOU ROCK !!


15 thoughts on “Poems from the Past

  1. Very poignant memories. I couldn’t have read that at my mother’s funeral either.

    A few months ago I found poetry I’d written in the early 60’s. There were quite a number but I don’t think I’d have the courage to share any of the ones I did save. The others I tore up in itty bitty pieces!

  2. ugh that first one really struck me…about 8 years back i made a decision not to travel anymore…and it cost me a high paying job but honestly i would do it again in a heart beat…

    1. I made the decision to leave the Navy after the birth of our second son – I was lucky enough to be at home a lot during Jack’s first few years and didn’t want to be away for the same period in Sam’s life, so I left. And no, I’ve never regretted my decision – as you – again in a heart beat 🙂

  3. the saddness is the first one tugs at my heart. I love that last line (I am three now, not just one.)

    and the one of your mom is so endearing. I am so glad you got the nudge to post these as they say so much about your character (which is a good thing 🙂 )

    1. Some might not agree Sheila but thanks for the vote of confidence – we are now four with a smelly hairy thing that lays on the floor – my wife might say that’s me – but I insist it’s the dog 🙂

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