Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Old Playgrounds - and an Arthritis Flare up

A weekend of self pity - due to yet another arthritis flare up in my right hand - is not an interesting thing to write about, now that I can type again.  The hand is still red and swollen, but the awful pain has gone, just soreness now, and I can use it, pretty much.

I keep thinking about my mother and what she went through in her seventies... she became completely crippled and her heart gave out at 74.

The spring blossom should be especially precious this year, as whether I shall have many more springs to my name lies in the hands of my Creator, Jehovah.  On my own, and in this current damaged system of things,I don't think I will last much longer.

So I think I will add a poem that goes back to the 1950s, to the playgrounds of our childhood, which my youngest sister has written very lyrically about, inspiring the title of my first (of 2) books, a collection of family poems.  We played in the bomb sites, and then in the building sites they became as the brave new world we had hoped to build out of the rubble began to take shape.

                                         OLD PLAYGROUNDS   by Penny Grubb

A place to go. Remember where?
With cold, stone floor and dark, damp air.
Remember? It wasn't always there.

Perched up on the rafters high.
A breath! Dust billows, thick and dry.
The view's not walking feet, but sky.

Childhood's jungles all around.
Disused quarry's eerie sound.
Thistle sentries stand their ground.

The Rose-Bay higher than we knew.
Nettles, brambles, old and new.
And always poppies - just a few.

The juice ran thick and sweet and red
From berries wild as the kids they fed.
Garden's owners - long since dead.

Only the blue delphiniums show
That these were gardens, long ago.
Now mainly weeds. A place we know.

Through tangled growth, a shelter bare.
Relic of war - Like poppies there?
We didn't know, so didn't care.

Were there ghosts deep down below?
The men who had made the gardens grow?
There was no one there we knew, I know.

Now the attic's gone, the shelter's lost
The price of progress, or the cost?
Who thought about delphiniums tossed

Against the bricks of a brand new wall
A monster seventeen storeys tall
Where and when did the flowers fall?

Strangers walk the cold, stone floor
And where there was an old trapdoor.
Fill the space that was ours before

And though it's new, it's said maybe
That there's a ghost that people see.
I daren't go back. It might be me.

The "ghost" refers to the way that the places of our childhood are haunted by memories. The Inspired Scriptures assure us that the dead are "conscious of nothing at all".  We need neither fear them, nor fear for them.  


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