POEMS

Make Way For The Boys!

Posted on January 23, 2012 

 

 

Make way for the Boys
They have been passed by
Too many times
On the other side
Left faceless and foot free
Uninvited
Unrecognised
Not given the sanction
To be themselves
Shelved and quite fecklessly
Left in rotten rows

The boys were not
Expected to be good
Just to get out of the way
While the men abandoned them
The women indulged, ignored or
Screamed at them
They were not
Expected to be good
Just to do what they were told

How did you bear it brave boys of today?
You bore it by
Being the warriors of the night
By bitching the streets
And plummeting club depths
By charging the future
With your own deaths
You were very brave
And very angry
And despised everyone

I salute you, boys
Would your lonely fathers
Have survived the alleys like you?
Would your hurting mothers
Have known
How to hallow the thick streets?
Would your teachers
Have had the gall
To meet you as men and equals?

I love you, boys
And I wish your future
Could be as passioned and attacked
As your now
But I fear you will be
Thwacked into false goodness
Or behave as badly
As we who have abandoned you
To the streets

(c) John Macdonald – 2 Nov 2008

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Well Francesco?

I wrote this when on holiday near Assisi. Reflecting on what St FRANCIS might think today as he viewed the visitors to his hometown and then looked at the world through the eyes of the media…

i.

Well Francesco
When you threw off the liveries
And Requisites
And etiquettes of earthly birth
Was your day
Scorched by parching need?
Did you bleed into the hot fields
Or were you released
For a blessing
Bestowed by nature’s grace
Under the undeserved
Love of your new Lord?
Was your arrogance curbed?
Did your assumed notions
Take a long sallow dive
Into the deep-shadowed
Pastures of your homeland?

Well Francesco
Did they welcome you
Before they sanctified you?
Or were you an outcast
From the hallowed walks
Of religious folk?
When you spoke
Were you recognised?
Or were your peaceful intentions
Viewed as dangerous blasphemies,
Your unpretentious living
Seen as a swipe to the face
Of a father’s birthright?
Did horses still carry you
As in the battle days
Or was your gallantry
Replaced by a humble gait?
Were you full of joyfulness
Or did you feel rather
The gnawing of regret
For the loss of easy privilege?

ii.

Well Francesco
Do you approve
The industries
Of your fame?
Are you glad now of the way
Your legacy has played
Down the ages?
The plucky nuns from the nations
Still plying the streets of Assisi
Eating ice-creams among the people
And driving large vans down the streets?
The thought-pocked monks
And the groups of spiritual tourists
With flattened crosses
And standardised T-shirts,
Are they indeed searching
For your finite legacy
Or for the infinite love of a Lord
Who you found
During earlier days
Under the blue encrusted skies
Of your beautiful lands of Assisi?

 

iii

Well Francesco,
When you look today
What is your assessment?
Are we OK?

Does your church flatter or fulfil
Your destiny
Do we husband the beautiful creatures
You so loved?
And is the perilous path of peace
Any closer than
In those heady days of city states
That carved the paths of history
After your departure?
When the sonorous bells
Resound down the valleys of your land
Startling grass snake and sparrow
While the swimmers
Slice through the glimmering sunshine
Within hotel pools
Could you too find
A new way forward
From fortitude to revival?

Would you wonder
If you were to wander through
The busy car-strewn streets of Assisi
And viewed the flying structures that were built
To buttress belief in your Lord?

Would you wonder
At the people who came to see this legacy,
Be impressed by little figurines
Or stories of your life
Or by the kind faces of your monks
Or delighted example of your nuns?

And were you to stretch your gaze
Across the world
Through the optic of the media
Would you be impressed with the edifice of religions
Or sacrifice of charity?
How would you view the merriment of clubbers
The reverence paid to Dollar and Euro
The cuisine of the wealthy
Or destitution and disease
Which images would most impress your eye?

Would you feel surprise
When you see the loss of species
And erosion of earth
The melting ice-caps?
Would you be delighted
When you see simple sacrifice from the genuine
Or the dedication of those who fight
To save the creatures you so loved?
How many times
Would your eyes
Need to sweep the media channels
For you to find
The balance and sum up
The losses and the gains?

Then how would you rate
Our future as a species
How would you feel our pain?
Would you know the solutions?
Or would you hurry back to your cell
To pray again
And worship in hope
That there could be a change?

 

 

 

Epilogue

There is a kind of mirth
Birthed in innocence
Which is resplendent
In the gentle eyes
Of the monks and nuns
Who thrive among the tour-groups
And daily rounds of your town
Assisi.

Is their way a beckoning light?
Are they gently and clearly
Indicating to a lost civilization
And wayward age
Another way to see things
And a beacon of belief
Stripped of the necessities
Of material consumerism
Should we seek understanding
Of the essence of their strength
And shift our paths
Guided by a new compass?

Before we transform the world anew
Should we find
In these dignities and joys
The More-than-Good-News
So Needed
In a world lost and cauterised
By greed
And bled dry by
The demands of iniquity?
Should we be?

Well Francesco
I shall await the deliberations I require of you
With great anticipation!

August 2008 Assisi

6 Responses “POEMS” →
  1. beautiful !

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Mystery Star! I seem to have missed your comment and appreciate it very much. Blessings! John

      Reply
  2. All… are beautifully written…but I must tell you… iii for me, was profound…..Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much Kirstem. I have to agree with you though these words flowed very literally out of my pen sitting by the swimming pool!!! I am so glad you have so noticed iii of Well Fransesco! These are I feel the questions and implicastions and I love the idea of asking St Francis what he thinks. aI can well image at least some of what his answer would be!

      Reply
      • When we are in “the flow zone” it does seem, at times…that WE are simply the extension… of our pens, our brushes our lenses…rather than the reverse.

        You have such a lovely talent! I look forward to many future visits to your site, meandering through your words, your creativity..

      • wow1 This is very very encouraging! Its sheer creative enjoyment – the television now hardly gets a look in!

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