Tag Archives: loss

Fireworks over England (Penny for the Guy)

Flying across England on Fawkes night,
peering down onto fiery blooms
sending light into the night,
bright chrysanthemums burnt to celebrate failed terrorism.
Fireworks and neighbourhood bonfires spark and glow each November
in long and splendid tradition, now organised and commercial.

But where is my Guy Fawkes?
Built each childhood year from old clothes stuffed with straw,
wheeled around the street, “Penny for the Guy please?”,
burnt on the family bonfire amid fireworks bought with the proceeds of my begging.
Tradition lost in a land that wants to go back on itself once more.

We also used to play in the Trafalgar Square fountains,
splashing in icy midwinter,
kissing Policemen at the stroke of midnight,
fraternity with authority on the turn of the year.
Now crowds buy tickets to watch fireworks over the Thames, passively.
We no longer make our own festivals, they are arranged for us.

We need to take back the small anarchies,
set off Fireworks in our own gardens in November,
burn the Guy as effigy of all we are told to be frightened of,
embrace the neighbours, we are all in this together.
Whatever colour or creed.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Tonight, we British celebrate Bonfire Night  with fireworks and large bonfires.  The tradition of burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes on the bonfire has all but disappeared.  We also don’t tend to set off our own fireworks in our gardens anymore, but go to large neighbourhood displays.

Of course, the classic poem, that we all learnt when very young, is:

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

He Is Gone

A sad story from Glenys that has moved me greatly this morning:

lifecameos

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is not here,” she said.

“Is he in the hospice ?” I asked.

“They take me to see him
at the hospice every day.”

She said no  more
did not answer me
hung up.

I wrote to her instead.

_______________________

She rang me from her home
at the far end of the country.

“He is …. he is …. ” she said.

“I am so sorry  he is gone,”
I replied.

I persuaded her to tell me
who stayed with her
who cared for her.

The small private funeral
he requested spared her
much distress.

They are helping her
supporting her at home.

But he is gone.

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Translation

Lost between the words
is true meaning
the real message
perhaps the marriage
perhaps the correct diagnosis.
We all use metaphors
similes
when describing emotions and pains.
Doctors and spouses
should by rights be poets
for poetry conveys what is lost in translation.

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A poem inspired by the quote:

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
Robert Frost