Beginnings and Endings

(for Kath)

Your words, those words
you found so readily,
that bound more hearts
than we can count,
that longed to procreate,
transforming stress
and suffering
into new-born life
and unbound joy;
a baby girl or baby boy,
maybe both (who cares),
were made believable with
unalloyed compassion

and you explained,
with measured care
and parallel respect,
the medical complexity,
procedures and advice,
with sympathy and empathy,
more than they’d expect,
but when it ends with
a lonely box of tissues
that cries a thousand
sad and tragic poems
in languages unknown,
in response, you know …
there are no words.

Yet out of screaming silence,
a soft and gentle voice
calms the stormiest sea,
that brings this thing,
this search for meaning
of life, both new and old,
that will either give it back
or offer consolation,
to soften the heavy blow,
this crushing weight,
defying all description,
belying all you know
of life’s great force,
this utter desolation.

Words are like life,
defined by yearnings,
by hope and plans
by pain and tragedy,
beginnings and endings.

But, when words
fail to fill the void,
just one prevails
and this is Love.

© 2015 John Anstie
All rights reserved

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 ”
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