A Lion is Born

(For Leo)

It was amid an Indian summer,
deep in the season’s golden glow
when we would normally expect
the crisp and still of autumn’s chill,
beckonning a hint of winter’s snow.

For two days there had been no cloud.
The long late Spring that never ends;
no wisp of moisture in a sky
of perfect blue, as if for you.
No breath of wind of you portends.

Then you were born of Jupiter,
rising like a sun at night,
on a clear eastern horizon,
magnificent, munificent,
showing us his ancient light.

You came with russet cheeks and dark,
dark hair; aged before the time was nigh,
before you were much more than nought.
But you are still a star and will
remain the apple of our eye.

And into fiscal slump you came;
a universe that’s full of strife;
a banking crisis, Arab Spring;
a world that’s gone so badly wrong,
hopelessness is running rife.

So you must always be aware
that human beings are many kinds;
some seek power, others good
one is greedy, another needy.
So guard your conscience, know you mind.

But underneath the radar is
a hint that nature’s voice is winning;
revealing the ring of bright water
in every county a lutra bounty.
Is this where you will spend your innings?

Then all that can be asked of you
is that you do your best to make
the most of what you have; be sure
you can be true, whatever you do
and remember this for family’s sake:

Be true and honour your siblings.
Respect your parents and hold
your love and faith above all else.
Be always strong and never long …
for all that glitters … is not gold.

(See also the poem “Perfection” and the post on my other blog “Child-God…“)

© 2011 John Anstie

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life. His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream! His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man. What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle. His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
This entry was posted in age, children, environment, family, Hope, Love, nature, poem, poetry, wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Lion is Born

  1. I should say, you’ve got one of the finest blogs I’ve observed in a long time. What I wouldn’t give to be able to make a blog that’s as interesting as this. I guess I’ll just have to maintain reading yours and hope that one day I can write on a subject with as much expertise as you’ve got on this one!


    • PoetJanstie says:

      Well, thank you very much for saying that and I apologise for the late reply, which is that your comment for some reason was classified as ‘spam’, so I didn’t spot it till I did a routine check on the ‘back office’.

      Nonetheless, I truly appreciate your very complimentary and positive comment.


  2. Rachel Lucas says:

    Just read this, John…and very moved! A beautiful welcome & tribute to your newest grandchild. He will treasure it in the years to come – I wish I had something like this to cherish from my long departed grandfather. Congratulations to the family on gorgeous Leo’s birth x Rachel


    • PoetJanstie says:

      Thank you Rachel. It is just as special as our first. In fact I’ve just posted another, extraordinarily long poem, which resulted from a very powerful feeling I got whilst holding him for a while on Saturday evening.

      Yes maybe that’s why I write, to leave some memories for them. But then memories come in all shapes and sizes…


  3. kev nicholson says:

    The usual high standard, very nice poem from the proud grandad!


  4. Quirina says:

    Such a beautiful poem. You are a wonderful grandfather, John. That little Leo born in Libra is such a lucky child. May he bring you much joy. Q x


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