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Passions in Poetry

~The Dove~

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since 12-08-1999
Posts 151
Auckland New Zealand

0 posted 01-16-2000 03:58 AM       View Profile for Rod   Email Rod   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for Rod

A couple of weeks ago, I was inspired to write this piece, having read Rosemary J. Gwaltney's poem about her visit to her child's resting place. I was moved, not only by her courage, but also by the replies she received.
Of course, I am not aware of Rosemary's particular circumstances, but I have done my best to include elements to which most people, especially bereaved mothers, can relate in some way.
For you Rosemary, and for the millions of mothers who have known the same agonies you have had to endure.  It is my sincere hope that you may find some small comfort in this poem.

                                                               THE DOVE

Mute hangs the winter’s icy chill
Grey morning mist lies bleak and still;
And silence, like a spectre, reigns;
Save footfalls, where the snow remains.

No breath of wind greets frosted bough
Suspended, it is ghost-like now.
Ethereal, its woody fingers
Rake, but still the cold fog lingers.

Bereft of reason, paused in time,
The mourners in their grief combine.
As callous clouds of anguish smother
Family and  weeping mother.

And none will deign to hide or mask it,
As bearers bring the tiny casket
White, wreathed, adorned with Cross of gold,
It nestles in their careful hold.

Beneath the stand of mighty oak’n
Ash, the words yet to be spoken
Tumble through the Vicar’s mind,
His task... the saddest of mankind.

As all in sombre bonding stand,
The scene knows neither time nor land.
And all here present feel its breath;
Its iceberg touch..... its kiss of death.

Its tendrils, dark and sinister
Encompass all....... the minister
Takes solace in a silent prayer,
And begs the Lord his burden share.

Thus all in sorrow stand around
The waiting void of new-dug ground
Its earthy walls.....its cold embrace
A desolate, unfeeling place.

A dozen faces, gaunt and pale
Give echo to the mother’s wail;
For, if the choice were theirs to make,
Each one, the child’s place would take.

Remote, the numbing second thrives,
The little coffin then arrives;
Such hanging pall of grim despair
Defies the human soul to bear......

A mother’s pain, that tears apart
The very sinews of her heart
Which shrieks the plaintive, searing cry
“What have I done? - for God’s sake WHY?”

So sudden - in her darkest hour
A vision blossoms like a flower!
A portal dark, with light is gifted.
A Damoclean sword is lifted.

She sees green hills with sparkling waters
And countless million sons and daughters.
Creeds and colours of all ages.....
The book of life’s unopened pages.

The partly written page, unfinished,
The postponed parchment, undiminished.
And those for whom all teardrops fall.....
The ones which have no words at all.

There’s no disease, no lies, no hate,
For these remain at  Heaven’s gate;
They know no pain, they voice no cries,
A love-light shines within their eyes.

She’s drawn towards a quiet brook
A white-robed form with shepherd’s crook.
His gentle manner strong, yet mild,
And, in his arms, her little child.

In that brief instant, time was stilled;
Her heart with warm contentment filled.
And, in His light, she found the power
That e’er sustains the unknown hour.

Reality again returns,
Though in her heart the vision burns.
Its everlasting, hallowed flame
Restores and dignifies again.

With tear-filled eyes, and hands that shook,
The Vicar gently closed the Book.
From his right hand, a dusty curtain
Falls, in hope that’s sure and certain.

Then radiant breaks the morning sun;
The vanquished mist flees at a run.
As silver spangled jewelled beams
In dancing yellows, golds and creams

Shine warmly on the little grave,
The snow, its thawed surrender gave
In melting yield, its remnants grooming
Crocus flower and snowdrop blooming.

She wonders if it’s all a dream..........
The Shepherd’s crook..... the shining stream?
Whose attestation brooks denial
Within the nightmares of her trial.

Her ears discern a call.....a sound!
Her gaze, on rising from the ground,
Beholds, poised on a limb above.......
...........A solitary snow-white dove.

Her wings unfold, with grace she glides,
Then o’er the little grave presides;
Divine, her presence signifies
This child in full salvation lies.

In glorious farewell, she flies
To silver sun and sapphire skies.
Redemption’s herald, winged and white;
The candle.............. in a mother’s night.

©2000 Rod Walford

© Copyright 2000 Rod Walford - All Rights Reserved
Member Elite
since 12-27-1999
Posts 3317

1 posted 01-16-2000 05:44 AM       View Profile for Meadowmuse   Email Meadowmuse   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Meadowmuse's Home Page   View IP for Meadowmuse

Rod, this is master poetry by all accounts. Thank you, in earnest, for this strikingly unfeigned and tender gifting. Your craft is exceptional.

Elizabeth Santos
Member Rara Avis
since 11-08-1999
Posts 9405

2 posted 01-16-2000 06:14 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Santos   Email Elizabeth Santos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Santos

Rod, Sorry, I can't see the keyboard through the tears, so I'll just say - magnificent
Member Seraphic
since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA

3 posted 01-16-2000 10:11 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

This is wonderful, Rod... truly wonderful
Marge Tindal
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Member Empyrean
since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores

4 posted 01-16-2000 10:56 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal


Rosemary and Dale will really appreciate this lovely work, as anyone who has lost
a child will.

What tender pourings from a caring heart.
Tears of sweet remembrance fall for those I've known and lost. Every child that dies is somebody's child.  I cry for them all.
And then the calmness comes over us ...
we find comfort.

Rod, you've taken inspiration to the heights with this wonderful piece.  I will share it with many.
Love ~*Marge*~

 ~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~

Senior Member
since 01-06-2000
Posts 989

5 posted 01-16-2000 01:20 PM       View Profile for HelmutB   Email HelmutB   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit HelmutB's Home Page   View IP for HelmutB

Very sad, very nice
Feelings and more
To lose a child is to lose your soul
Pray with my heart

 The ability to describe life with words is similar to painting a picture; both can be powerful tools.

Rosemary J. Gwaltney
Senior Member
since 08-26-99
Posts 1064
northern mountains, Idaho

6 posted 01-16-2000 01:43 PM       View Profile for Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Email Rosemary J. Gwaltney   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Rosemary J. Gwaltney's Home Page   View IP for Rosemary J. Gwaltney

Dear Rod - this poem is immensely touching, as is your having been inspired to write it by my small poem!  We are amazed by your kindness and care.  Your poem is beautifully written, with eloquent, heartrending, poignant imagery, such careful wording, lovely rhyme, and above all, the vivid description of both the anguish and the faith!

I appreciate this poem more than I could ever say.  It's wonderful, and yes, it is a comfort.  I'm going to keep it in my private files, if it's all right with you, to read over and over forever.  Thank you for writing it.  Thank you for sharing.  Thank you for caring.  - Rosemary and Dale.

P.S. In retrospect, since I have moved my poem about visiting my baby's grave to our own site, "Crossing Rivers", in the room called "Of Loss", I thought I should, perhaps make note of that, in case your exquisite poem, and clear tribute to  mine causes anyone to try to find it.

And yes, I too, was tremendously moved by the responses, and have saved every one, and will read and re-read them all my life, as I will your wonderful poem here.

[This message has been edited by Rosemary J. Gwaltney (edited 01-16-2000).]
Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
Posts 23002

7 posted 01-16-2000 04:11 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

This is simply magnificent, Rod. It has touched me deeply, as it has others.


And slight is the sting of his trouble
Whose winnings are less than his worth;
For he who is honest is noble,
Whatever his fortunes or birth.~~~Alice Cary, ~Nobility~

Seymour Tabin
Member Empyrean
since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla

8 posted 01-16-2000 04:26 PM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

This poem is a classic, You are are a talented poet.
I read your things when ever you post
and have enjoyed every one. Sy
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