Two short poems

Image

WHO IS THE THING THAT DOES NOT CRY?

Who is the thing that does not cry?

Who marches through without a loss?

Who finds no shadows in the forest,

Lives on a rock where nothing dies?

I made a statue with my hands

To clamp down happiness and peace

But it turned a killing beast

And I was left cold-eyed to stand.

THE FIRST STEP TO PEACE

The first step to my peace is restlessness,

For knowing of something else is reaching out

Reaching out is wondering

Wonder is peace

Not wondering is death

A quiet death

And I would sing.

Now first of all, anyone who recognises the statue – nothing personal. This is not a comment about a particular country and political and religious divide.

Secondly, both these short poems were written during the same activity, same place, same day. I wonder if anyone might guess at it. Precise right answers are very unlikely but wrong ones would be interesting.

See you. Hear you.

Simon

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4 Comments

  1. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

     /  February 25, 2014

    reading them separate and then together…
    I only come up with questions….
    not sure who the statue is, if it had a hat on,and held a rifle I would
    have said Kit Carson…

    the first one for some reason made me think of God…absolutely no reason why ..just sorta though of Him after I read the line
    “Who finds no shadow in the forest”…
    and then you said written about the same activity…
    prayer came to mind…

    my restlessness evidently will never find peace …
    These are wonderfully thought provoking words…
    and needless to say I will fall asleep thinking what the right answer is .
    Have a wonderful Tuesday Simon…I hope you have not been to flooded as I have seen so many photographs of your country ..and I think of one post where you put up photos of where you walk…and I thought if rained to much,…you would in deed be under water…

    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mary Rose.

      The statue is of the Northern Irish Protestant and Loyalist leader Carson, who campaigned to stop Home Rule for Ireland (which was something like a federal solution to the “Irish problem”) and after most of the country was radicalised into seeking independence by fighting, led the opposition to this in the North. Before that he was a famous barrister (lawyer pleading cases in court) and successfully led the prosecution of Oscar Wilde.

      I didn’t want Carson’s controversial career to distract from the poems. I looked for a picture of a statue and most of them were unsuitable – too readily identifiable (Lincoln, Nelson), too distractingly dressed (toga, armour, curvaceously nothing), female (after all, this was an I poem), too obviously doing something (man talking with frog) or too jokey (Donald Duck). The Carson one was simple, male and hard – and I’d guess only people from or having spent time in Northern Ireland would recognise it.

      In the first poem I was trying to convey a state of spirit which tried to screen out and deny shadows, sorrow, darkness – which saw tears as a defeat. I was suggesting this didn’t work and wasn’t right.

      In thinking of God you’re not far wrong, though. I wrote both these during a shared Quaker exercise called “Experiment with Light”, which involved intensive but somewhat guided meditation. I read them at the end. A Friend who would probably classify herself as Hindu/Quaker rather than Quaker/Hindu liked them and asked me to e-mail them, which I did.

      God bless.

      Simon

      Reply
  2. Yes…the idea of a God does come to mind. Am so glad when you post your poems…

    Reply

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