Words to Share 5-7-22

Dedicated to my son Sam (21/11/83 – 3/7/22) who passed away after a 10 month battle with a particularly vicious form of stomach cancer.

Audio recording of my reading of the poems below on Words to Share, with Jan Potter, on Happy FM, 90.1

Winter Comes
Another winter comes around
Leaves scattered on the ground
Rain coming in waves
Wind swirling in the eaves.

Darker the days will get yet
Of that there can be no bet
The cold chilling the bones
The stomach churning full of stones.

And as the ground absorbs the water
The sun peeks through to tease each daughter
Sons, mothers and fathers too
Each wrapping up as all will do.

And the Earth keeps revolving
All who live on her constantly evolving
Knowing that in the not distant future
New life will come ever so pure.

The turn of the seasons is a sign
That life continues so benign
The cold and rain so sorely needed
Prayers for this thankfully heeded.

Where would we be if all was fine
If never, ever there came a time
When gloom so regularly appeared
To be rejoiced not feared.

For in but a few months we know
Plants will bud and fruits will grow
And the age-old cycle will once more
Show coldness out the door.

Brian Matthews, 30/5/22

Bad News Again
Some news so hard to process
Learning that all will not be well
That the strong young man we bore
Is fighting a battle that can’t be won.

And to me he apologises
So like the man he is
Knowing that this news
Is so bitter for those who love him.

And, having been through this before
Watching another family member fade
With a full realisation of the implications
Impossible to hide from what this means.

My heart full of love for him
Feeling so powerless in the face
Of a brutal enemy that pervades all
Turning all hope to ashes.

Wishing that this was not so
That a solution may be found
Knowing how unlikely this is
The disease chewing him to pieces.

Finding any distraction that I can
But nothing can override this
The pain builds and mounts
Blurring all around.

Brian Matthews, 30/5/22

A Short Walk

A short walk
Such a meagre stroll
To help get out of my head
To chat and comment on the world.

Sky so blue
Though plenty of clouds
Sun peeking through valiantly
A metaphor for my current life.

So little to rejoice about
When plagued by uncertainty
But joy exists I know for sure
Recapturing that my current task.

Some photos received
Of grandchildren with big smiles
Lifting the mood for sure
Promising brighter days ahead.

An afternoon appointment made
Coffee and cake to be shared
As well as the joys and woes of life
For we all have those aplenty.

The Yin and Yang within us
And outside us all around
Sometimes a struggle profound
At others peals of laughter rebound.

Without others we surely shrivel
But at times we need to be alone
Wallowing in solitary grief
Dragged from this by family and friends.

It does little good to anyone
If every day you hide away
Losing connections so important
Eschewing the joy of company.

Brian Matthews, 16-6-22

To Sam
I said to you
“I’ve run out of words”
But that’s not entirely true.

So many remain
The real task now
Which to choose.

You know I love you
And always will
And regret I didn’t show this more.

Not in your life enough
To know you as I should
An emotion I know others feel too.

A private mantle you always wore
A keen observer of all around
True feelings shared with reserve.

Beneath this a solid core
Of sensitivity and integrity
And this you gave freely.

I seek for you peace
The knowledge you have done your all
To smooth the way ahead.

To leave this world richer
For what you gave
Your effect rippling on the sea of life.

You haven’t blindly blundered
But taken careful steps
A path of curiosity and joy.

You will leave behind you
So many better for knowing you
So many despairing for your loss.

You will live in our hearts
Until our own flames flicker and dim
Rejoicing in all you gave.

Brian Matthews, 26-6-22

The Light
The light begins to shine
The eyelids flutter open
All is at peace with the world
And then the harsh truths rush in.

It seems so strange
To experience snippets of happiness
Swiftly rent asunder
When all is displayed.

The world continues to spin
People go about their days
While family and my friends
Attempt to see the light.

Railing against this useless
Though we do it just the same
Weeping for our dearly beloved one
Who did not deserve this blight.

His bravery at this time
An example for us all
He weeps for those he loves
Reflects on the life he’s had.

Regrets can come thick and fast
But I know those harshest to him
Not seeing his lovely children grow
Not present for the challenges they face.

He’ll live on we all know
In the hearts of kin and mates
Forever providing a glow
For all who knew him to follow.

Brian Matthews, 28-6-22

The Parenting Path
The parenting path twists and turns
During infancy such high demands
Adulthood a different matter.

We stand aside and let them go
Always full of concern
About choices and their families.

For some things we can help
But know we must
Their lives are their own doing.

And yet children they remain to us
Visions of tears and scrapes
Accomplishments and challenges.

Intrude on them at our peril
For they need their independence
To make mistakes and achieve.

No easy answers are revealed
Context as parents limited
Their thoughts and aspirations veiled.

Sharing with us what they will
Including us as they determine
Never quite enough for most of us.

And snippets we may see
At family gatherings or holidays
Of what our child has become.

Rarely will they tell us all
Remnants of the past continue
Blurring the reality of the present.

Brian Matthews, 30-6-22

For Sam
Walking along the road of life
So often holes appear
Some mere bumps
Others such deep crevices.

One so deep now appears
I hardly see across
Nor a way to go around
Its dark, dark depths.

And I know it is also so
For so many others in his realm
Casting around for ways to be
Things that might comfort.

Or distract from the present
Anything to take the mind away
From the harsh reality
Growing and festering by the day.

We all know ways will appear
To circumvent the black pit
But only time can bring this
Not healing, but soothing the pain.

And evermore it will remain
The proverbial hole in the heart
The joy of his presence forever taken
The light he brought always remaining.

Brian Matthews 26-6-22

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