by Sarah Wardle
Each summer brought them out again,
like gulls along the beach,
to gaze on the horizon
at a future out of reach,
or watch the pleasure boat board
from an in memoriam bench,
along with the holiday horde
and its salt 'n vinegar stench.
Winter would keep them in,
though on a brighter day
they'd drive out for a spin.
or have grandchildren to stay,
but this December afternoon
they sleep tight in their graves,
and Christmas lights are up so soon
beside the ceaseless waves.
She is young to have written that - to have realised how short our lives are now - and to have so movingly expressed the sadness of it. And it is sad. We know it is. Whereas, if we lived in the Darwinian world of evolution, as the world would have us to believe, what would be sad about death? We would do our evolutionary duty - reproduce - and then die.
Why would we need this poem?
But death is sad. And we do. We should lament it. Jesus cried when Lazarus died.
The ceaseless waves have been pounding the beach for a couple of days, but after a bout of rain this morning, they seem to have calmed down.
The Captain was out till nearly 1 a.m. on a search for a missing person - a Misper - elderly confused. Body found in the early hours. But not by the Captain's search crew.
Confusion now over, the missing person sleeps in death, hopefully held safe in "the everlasting arms" - safe in Jehovah's memory - with a wonderful awakening to come.
It is that, and only that, that mitigates the sadness of the poem.
It is supper at Jackie's tonight. And that is usually a very happy occasion.