Category Archives: Poems

Life coming at you like a rocket and it’s not a healing to stop it

Life coming at you like a rocket and it’s not a healing to stop it
Here you are miner-mole heaving earth in the dark out into the dark
In God’s own image if we like other endangered species
Are heading in the same direction how will it be
For God without moles and without tunnels to follow
A mole without the dark earth and tunnels to dig
A mole the planet Earth between its claws
This is why you might want to walk in the sunlight again
You might want to think that daylight can warm you again
You might want to think the smallest act of love can bring the universe to tears
You might want to walk out knowing the universe does cry over such things
So many fractured daylights here you are a miner-mole
An endangered species tunnelling pole to pole
And God following the twists and turns of where you go he too is getting lost
From this heap of earth to that heap of earth
And before lost to trampling are life’s possibilities
May it be found for miner-mole an extended lease
But not solely for underground endeavours

Ronald Rae

The human soul never will it become less than our supply of love to it

The human soul never will it become less than our supply of love to it
If ever fatigue of spirit was read it would read
The soil that supports us the soil that will never be anything else but soil
The soil that fires hope into belief and belief into breathing for itself
The soil from which futures are forged let those soils act
Let them as soils show footprints believing in possibility and hope
Why not let our children believe they can go looking for worm-casts on the moon
The soil of seeming that it becomes the soil of the believable
The soil of growing and nurturing the soil of conscience restored
The flower-heads of tolerance and compromise
This is the fire of a great fire a soil turned and turned again
This from a deliberate and precise ploughing
A bite of earth and its digestion listen to it
The soil preparing to outlive the politics
The mother of us and her new order
Until it appears that first fresh green shoot
The soil of deep study is a soil manured

Ronald Rae

The train is so long it stretches way back over the border

The train is so long it stretches way back over the border
Out of unhindered conflict a train like this is quite a monster
Of ghosts we are and keeping time to a frosted clock
I’m going to bless you brother and bless you sister
You pass us and we remember you and we wave and we wave
But who has the strength to put this train back on the right track
The train sitting in the station changing the points
Would divert it to a place where peace is that place
It should be ruled as such that here is a travelling forgiveness
A border crossed and we have a border open
But the truth – the truth is heavy – the truth
Is a stone and under it children are dying in the rubble
The train sitting in the station it’s a busy one and its driver is a sad one
Who gets on are they really the fortunate ones life back but not to how it was
In the face of hope if hope seems less – hope is no less the traveller
No less the unsettled ghostly passenger and
Worth the ticket the train’s derailing for a brighter safer future

Ronald Rae

The kind of prayer I want to pray

The kind of prayer I want to pray
Is a prayer from its beginning to its end that it will solve itself
My cruise and my marches around doubt
I want them to be in their geography that they are come to a close
For disappearing is my reference it’s not with
Thoughts that you make a prayer but with your two hands attempting what thoughts can’t manage
The snows of the flesh better than you they know how to handle the fires within them

I can’t get it out of my head the foot that crushed the snail

I can’t get it out of my head the foot that crushed the snail
In the way that life goes on I want that foot to feel shame
Closed perfection and closed resurrection this is no gain
Dispersed for the sake of being dispersed
For the sake of nothing at all reduced to a messy little corpse
What is all this to do with moving on to an afterlife
God knows we have other things to think about
Getting our families out of this war to safety
Taking to the border who we are and what we stand for
Who cares about snails and their afterlife
What a wish getting our families to safety
Like sitting on eggs you just hope they will hatch
If ever again we arrive that we shoot at windows just for the faces behind them
Of course we should die of course we should be dead
Never again in eternity should we be allowed to open our eyes
What we did and are still doing to one another
There’s more to it than having a few scratches on our faces
Passports and bread these are not to be bruised or burned
These are not to be seen as belonging to the walking dead
Look for yourself at the queues waiting to be fed
None are talking none are shouting
Step at a time they are moving slower than the snail killed this morning

Ronald Rae

How can you go about your business

How can you go about your business
Knowing that you have murdered innocent children
Even with a torch shining in your face
How can you say that you are the animator of freedom
Your likeness why must you walk it over broken glass
With your cast iron certainty that it orchestrates hell on earth
Where do you go to find in the mirror
A face that justifies what you have done
Your conscience it must be like living inside a belt of bullets
If the rats are hungry and
You feed them with an army out of control
What can you expect surely nothing less
Than cruelty out of control
There may be a blue sky overhead
And a morning worth living for
But this is not what the weapon
Over your shoulder notices
Your own quote – Who dares deserves to live
And for that I pity you
For it is with the glue of dust and blood
If you have a soul that your soul is joined to you

Ronald Rae

So you’re off – today’s the day the final big push

So you’re off – today’s the day the final big push
A young man’s game I hope you know what you’re doing
Spread your wings but watch out for those
Who would tear your wings from the skies
Watch out for the meaning that it be lost
The footfall watch out for where it falls
If nothing else keep the kindnesses our mother and father gave us
Mother selling her engagement ring to put bread on the table
Our father heading his prayers that they become real
The welcome when you come home keep thinking it
For that we’ll wait and we’ll see it through
For you my brother there will always be bread on the table
For the cost of a small artificial diamond
In our home tonight the overcoat of the dark will be lifted
My passionate impossible brother yours is our recovery
Way beyond from being a vigil this war of yours
Has every creak in the house waiting for your return

Ronald Rae

In a country too hot to give birth

In a country too hot to give birth
A young girl is doing just that giving birth
In temperatures where the only shade
Is the shadow cast by a pencil balanced on the warlord’s table
The girl in labour now she can shout out
The heart of the sun the heat of the sun
What does it know of midwifery
What do wars know of the breaking of waters
A birth into a war-torn and parched land
A birth looking down into the driest well known to man
Sand and blood just how brave are births to become that
We should go to the hottest place in the sun
And ask it for our own sakes to bless the birth of this child
We should make tracks for tomorrow’s dawn
And with the girl’s afterbirth keep it and treasure it
Treasure it like it was the enabler and the birth of a nation

Ronald Rae

There’s something about us that endures fires

There’s something about us that endures fires
A blaze out of control is a blaze out of control
But not the death of a firstborn
The death of a child is not a par for the course life goes on event
There’s no doubt about it we human beings
Will never be released from tragedy or religion talking about it
Only a bird circling high in the sky is free of religion
A nature without words of religion to explain it
Is a nature somewhere else and not understood
Always with the mystery is the greater mystery of its source
Quiet as a newly laid egg it can be said of the source
It takes a greater patience to warm it and watch it hatch
Inside our loss we should take more care
Too much of the candle and you blot out what you hope to light up
The bird circling high its birdbones
Are a knowledge but not of any grave
When Spring blossoms appear what do they know of our cancers
When life is and exists and passes through the moment
How else speak for certainty but not overlong
That it becomes uncertainty leased into the hands of prayer
Prayer as nature would have it – beyond belief unreachable
The source and how it lives with the death of a child

Ronald Rae

My hands are on the table and my life is in front of you

My hands are on the table and my life is in front of you
In the silence we both know where hope is taking us
Let us be quick but not deadly in our beliefs
Let us bury our weapons where we can never again find them
Surely secure are the places and the memories of those we still know
Like prayers being prayed we want to know
Those that shall not be buried where we can find them
Across this table you and I are holding something special
We have arrived at a gate that wants to open for us
Where was a munitions factory there is now a pasture
Our children’s children are running out to greet us
For the good work we did in the past
Here we are for them holding hands across the table
Life as it is there’s not an atom
In any extremity wants to dive into a grave for cover

Ronald Rae