Pride Season: Be a Rainbow

I’ve had so many clouds, but I’ve had so many rainbows too. Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud, and let me be a rainbow in yours. 🌈 Happy Pride 2018⁠ ⁠everyone.

Dr. Maya Angelou is always so inspirational (YouTube video – the rainbow):

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Suffering just ‘is’

“Sometimes suffering is just suffering. It doesn’t make you stronger. It doesn’t build character. It only hurts.”

— Kate Jacobs; ‘Comfort Food’

Loss

‘And loss, strangely, can attune you to what is beautiful about existence, even as it wounds you with what is awful.’ — Ryan Vandeput

‘I thought that love could last forever. I was wrong.’ — W. H. Auden

BACK HOME

Since I originally published this poem 8 months ago, I tried many times to find the original author, but without any luck, and eventually the trail got cold and lines of enquiry dried up. Luckily however, a lovely lady named Margaret W. McCarty reached out to me this week, and through a series of emails, we determined that she was in fact the original writer of this special piece. I’m delighted to publish it here, in its original written form, as Margaret wrote it, remembering her fond memories of growing up and the experiences she enjoyed with her parents. She said:

“at my age, I really needed to know my name stands behind my deep-rooted feelings for my Mom and Dad. I had wonderful, loving parents, and I was never a bad kid. I just wish I could have appreciated everything more back then. I can’t thank you enough.”

Thank you Margaret, and I’m sure many will draw comfort and familiarity from your reflective words.

BACK HOME

If I had the power to turn back the clock,
to go to the house at the end of the block,
The house that was home when I was a kid,
I know I would love it more than I did.

If I could be back there at my fathers knee,
and hear once again all the things he told me, 
I’d listen as I never listened before,
for he knew all too well just what life had in store.

And all the advice that dad used to give,
His voice I’ll remember as long as I live,
It didn’t seem very important then,
What I would give to live it all over again.

But what I would give for the chance I once had,
to do something more for my mother and dad,
I’d give them a little more joy and a little less pain,
a little more sunshine and a little less rain. 

The years roll by and we cannot go back,
Whether we were born in a mansion or in a shack, 
But we can start right now in the hour that’s here,
and do something more, for the ones we hold dear. 

Since time in it’s flight is speeding so fast,
there’ll be no time spent regretting what’s past.
Let’s make tomorrow a happier day,
by doing our good unto others today.

~ Margaret W. McCarty © 2016. All rights reserved.

Ode to Barry Island, by Max Boyce

I remember Miner’s Fortnight when I was just a lad,
We’d go to Barry Island, the weather always bad
In a brand new shirt and shoes that hurt,
The one’s mam saved to buy
To go to Barry Island on that last week in July.

We’d catch a Western by the square, my bucket in my hand
Then all the fuss to get on the bus and we always had to stand Then I’d be sick
And my shoes I’d kick,
The one’s mam saved to buy
To go to Barry Island on that last week in July.

They’d put me by the drivers seat for me to ‘av some air
And my mother’d say, “He’s never this way,”
She’d come and comb my hair
Then I’d see the sea and I’d want to pee
And if I couldn’t I’d cry
When we went to Barry Island on that last week in July.

Our caravan, “The Waters Edge”, 10 miles from the sea!
And we’d drag the cases over and we didn’t have the key
We couldn’t light the gas lamp,
I’ve gone and marked my tie
When I went to Barry Island on that last week in July

I’m on the beach, It’s Sunday I’ve got a friend called Russ
I’ll ave to buy another bucket, Left mine on the bus.
I’ve cut my foot, It’s bleedin
My cousin says, “You’ll die
And we’ll bury you in Barry Island on the last week in July”

I’m going to the fair tonight, my bucket full of o’shells
The weather forecast’s settled now,
with dry and sunny spells
I’ve brought Mangi a present and I’d wave the see goodbye
My mother’s found my plastic mac
and the weather’s nice and dry
Aye, that’s how I remember Miner’s Fortnight,
when I was just a lad
I went to Barry Island and the weather always bad.

~ Max Boyce

Survival

Some mornings you wake up

and you’re not sure how you’re here

but you’re here,

with your morning breath
smothered in sea salt,

with so much sand in your bed

you could build an army of castles.


On these days

your skin smells of survival,

and if you quiet your mind enough

you can still hear your lungs

choking with every crash of a wave.

But you are not in water

anymore.

And, look at you:

when the ocean chewed you up,

when she broke your bones,

you taught yourself other ways to swim to shore.

Look at you:

you have survived what scientists

haven’t even discovered yet;

things that have not been named.

Look at you:
you are the result

of holding on even

when you were too tired to.

And have you ever seen anything
so beautiful?