Over the skies of East London



drifting sleepless


many things unknown

a restless moon sonfonia for

cello and viola


Here you are old man!

come on in

the war is warm in you

 a symphonic humming note

too vibrant with life

to carry with you,

too bold with memory

to leave behind

perched in between but

your moments are slender, Sir

shall we dig a hole

in North African soil


return these vibrant seeds

of your youth?


Troubled still, I see, by

the pestilence of

 a virulent union

still yielding the stubbornness

of stone upon stone.

 Here’s the shovel to

bury the house

that joined you in flesh

and may I advise you to

 forgive yourself now

since you’ll not forgive

your trouble and strife?

It may unwind the same clock

for your passage


(a last kiss on each cheek of the moon)


What a wonder !

spirited fireworks

over the skies of East London


May your spirit rest in peace A.L.W.  1918- 2013…that’s 95 years!

Cockney rhyming slang for “wife”…. “trouble and strife”



photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/374344530/”>Christopher Chan</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

7 responses

  1. The voice this poem is spoken in is so strong and interesting, that it feels as if the poem’s narrator is really the main character. Like the banter of a circus ringmaster introducing one of his acts. Very well done.


    • Thank you Michele…I’m delighted that the celebratory note in this poem was evident. The voice is more of an “end of care” giver but it certainly is a “last” act.

      A dear and greatly admired friend just passed away. He’d had a painful cancer for the last four years of his life, and in his 90’s still lived at home, refusing most drugs. One could not help wonder what kept him here?

      It was only towards the end that he began talking about his years in North Africa….a blessing to his son.

      He also secretly arranged his own funeral in the last few months, unbeknownst to his ” trouble and strife”, a full dress salute from the service that he had belonged to in the war.

      We were told he had gone into hospice and thinking fondly of him, I wrote this as a tribute to his last days the night he finally passed.


    • Yes, Shimonz…I was inspired by imagining a “end of life care giver” attempting to aid a resilient old man, fragile in the last hours of his life… Assisting with an injection of joy and closure.

      But I greatly appreciate your comment because it opens up a new dialogue. I believe that God exists in the present moment…a perpetual moment. So how can God ever tell us what to do? That would be addressing a future that does not exist.
      Time is one of our constructs…a measure….and I believe there is no measure in kinship…only love.
      Peace and thank you, Shimonz


  2. This is a loving and touching tribute. And an apt description, I think, of what the memories that so many of that generation meant to them — what they did to them. My father was in that generation and in that war (and one other) and spoke very little about it. He had Alzheimer’s at the end and I wonder how much more he may have revealed of his experiences, had he the opportunity.
    Thank you for this–


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