They All Have Names

download.jpg Picture: SBS News.

They All Have Names

For Myanmar, Mexico and so many more

 

They all have names:

The toll call on the news.

A mother’s son

A father’s daughter

A schoolmate who

Sat by the window

There.                 

Now

Lost, missing or

Just gone.

All of them part

Of the great narrative

Of the human story,

And precious

Before loving eyes.

We hear the cries

And the silence.

May a blanket of comfort

Warm suffering hearts.

May the fallen

Rest

In peaceful remembrance.

 

Simon C.J. Falk 10 September 2017

 

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Taken

TemoraCenotaph2015

Taken

We who are left behind do not know, taste and smell the real horrors of war. It is relayed to us. We see it in those who return. Occasionally, at times like Anzac Day, we are given a rare gift of empathy with those affected by war. We are somehow taken into their experience. We are also taken to a place of raw emotion ourselves.

Taken

(i)

They were taken

By a cause

By ‘the Services’

To the front.

They were taken

And some

Were never given back.

(ii)

Some returned,

Some with spirits broken,

An innocence in them

Taken away.

As we think on them

We are taken

By their courage and sacrifice.

We are taken

By their pain

Their listless, wistful

Half-lived life.

(iii)

At memorial services

We are taken

As the hymns play

And we are taken

Somewhere deep within.

Where we hear:

Whistling shells,

The crack of guns,

And booms of cannons,

And drones of aircraft fly by.

The sound hits upon us

Like a torrent of rushing waters

And we feel as if we

Are taken

Under,

Drowning in a sea of war.

(iv)

At Dawn Services

We are taken

In the silence before the dawn

By the solemn flying over

Of planes in peace time,

Like sentinels,

Guarding our ritual remembrance.

We are taken by their care.

BarellanMonument2015

Simon C.J Falk           25/26 April 2015

‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

Today I attended the first half of a day-long workshop by a crowd called ‘WhatIf?’ .  It is a team of two colleagues working in the welfare sector.  They try to develope better empathy skills in as many people as is humanly possible.  It is to aid our family, friends and colleagues who have burdens in their mental health.  It is to help us see the person and not just the pathology.  To ask what if?  And to follow where that question leads us.

100_0733

‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

What if?

I looked –

really looked –

closer

at the lines

on the brow,

beyond the tracks

in the eyes,

to the weary

pain within?

What if?

I saw

in the faraway look

not just the shadows

but

a flicker

of stunning strobes

of light

striking

like technicolour

vivid visions?

What if?

I heard

in the gravely voice –

from too many smokes –

the struggle

to

articulate

the dream,

the clawing

for confidence

in that awkward pause

between words,

that is further stifled

by the voices

jibing and gibbering

in

the inner ear?

What if?

I heard

the heaving

behind the hero

in their

great Ulyssian Journey

of one day

in their life?

What if?

In my own

struggles to come

to grips with life,

I see

in others

my brothers

and sisters

together

one

and all

longing

to be seen

for who we really are?

PS:  Thanks to Emily J (and her fab blogspace here)  for pointing out Dr Brene Brown’s TED talk on empathy here

Simon C.J. Falk                      26 March 2015

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