Here are three short autobiographical poems for you to read. I hope you enjoy them!
Rev. Davies – first name David –
as tall a man as I had seen,
cleared his throat,
and eyebrows mating,
let his black eyes sweep the scene.
All within that chilly chapel
sat up straight and neat and trim –
some composed, others fearful,
masking turmoil deep within.
He sternly spoke of theft and greed
and coveting another’s bride…
spoke of hope and charity
and the sin of too much pride.
The Rev. Davies scanned the pews,
looking for (I surmised)
sinners who had strayed: were lost,
revealing guilt in troubled eyes.
I recalled a fib I’d told
and trembled through and through
as Rev. Davies ranted on and promised,
pointing…”If you’ve sinned, the only price
is hell for YOU!”
His fingers bore into my soul,
and I vowed there on that Sunday,
never again to tell a fib,
and didn’t till the Monday.
FUNERAL OF 1940
My eyes grew wide with wonder,
my ears grew wider still,
as the voices if those penguin-men
drifted up over the hill.
“Islwyn’s Grandad’s passed away,”
a childish voice did say,
“There’s sad,” another voice opined
on that bitter winter’s day.
Dylan’s ‘bible-black’ they wore,
boots were sloe black too;
unlike the black beribboned hearse
with flowers of every hue.
Later in the ‘Gluepot’-
happier than sad…
they drank to Islwyn’s Grandad –
“Nearly ninety! ‘E didn’t do bad-!”
“Shame they couldn’t bury ‘im –
God rest ‘is poor ol’ soul,
The ground was much too frozen
To dig the bloody ‘ole!”
MANSFIELD THE VOICE?!
Resilient, accepting, curiosity aroused,
we ‘evacuation children’ with the locals now caroused.
Attending Sunday school and chapel,
where angel voices were the norm,
I sent up my inadequate rendition
and in cold, hard pew, I squirmed.
‘Saucepan Vach’ and ‘Canon Lan’
came to harm when sung by me,
sent my way were funny looks…
so nose down, skimming black hymn book,
(for such a noise defied belief!)
I opened, closed my mouth in silence
and heard a sigh of sweet relief.
All poems from ‘Celtic Cameos & Other poems’ (copyright)
EDITOR: Joy's book, My Gentle War which is available to buy on Amazon.
An extract about Joy's recollections of V E Day can be read here.