Thursday, 23 April 2015

Elemental

I have often considered how people like to complain.  Generally I mean. About the weather; about long waiting times in casualty departments; about rising prices; about youth.  Sometimes it seems that folk just love to complain.  They have to have a good moan.  My sage father served for five years in India during the Second World War. He hated moaners. He would say, “Some people are happy being miserable”. He was a positive driving force in the lives of everyone around him. 

Dad loved to grow things. He like me, loved wild birdsong. He loved the clear blue horizon and always said that the air off North Pier was worth a pound a bucketful.  Perhaps it was the time of uncertainty during the war that instilled his joie de vivre.  I have never been to war but I travelled to South Africa in 2000 with my children and saw poverty.  I took them to Egypt in 2002 and saw the effect of no public health service, passing a man in the street who was covered from head to toe in his own excrement.  I haven’t taken them into a war zone but I was working in Boots 1600 in The Arndale Centre only months before it was bombed by the IRA. 

I can say, especially during these weeks of pre-election furore, that I have lived a secure, comfortable and peaceful life. I have no need to complain. I live happily in a country that has always helped the poor, provided excellent health care and the best possible national security.  Those are the continuing values that I will be aiming for when I draw my cross on Thursday 7th May.  I hope that you will too. 
 

 
Out of a Clear Blue Sky
They cover their faces,
balaclava their crime,
features blurred
in streaks of primary emulsion
to soothe the burning of impending lime.
 
Fun from the rear of the …
One shrouded face SHOUTS …
Remote detonation.
 
Run from fear …
Uhuh uhuh uhuh.
RUN FROM FEAR
 
Time suspends,
turns retrograde
as hands and limbs dissemble,
scarred with spattered shrapnel
blood leaking onto hot blue tarmac,
fired in the oven of a sun-soaked afternoon,
and dripping into veins
through pop-up Red Cross lines,
like glasses of full-bodied wine.
 
Time is stilled in frantic motion,
exploded in a mid-week market square.
A bus was passing by,
In the windows,
people reading,
children chatting,
dreamers staring at a wistful cloud,
out of a clear blue sky.
 
Adele V. Robinson
 
Thanks for reading. 
 


 
Reactions:

2 comments:

Steve Rowland said...

A very powerful poem. Thank you.

Adele said...

Thanks Steve. The poem came entirely from the Mash-up workshop hosted by Sean Payne at The Grundy. I really enjoy our collaborations with the gallery and look forward to the next one.