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Charles McMullen

(24th March 1955 / Eastleigh, Hampshire.)

Ode on My Mother's Passing On


As I wander down life’s fateful road,
My thoughts are like a birthing Surinam toad.
Born in the middle then coming out right,
Out to the back but hold on tight.
Awake the morn with feeble inspiration,
To the promise of honest perspiration!
Yea e’en your blood shall reek ‘o it,
Though its dust be part of your spirit.

Lost be ye for words,
Your thoughts need not be as swords.
For when the poet lays down the above,
He then must only exude love.
Why does man fight till death for God?
Then cry out for his/His mother.
Is this promised womb the same,
In parent and His name.
Nature gave us hope,
Like a yellow forsythia,
Through an early morning mist,
If we approach and accept, there is no twist.

When not in jest a father would not lie to his son
Of something serious and not in fun
So if we believe him and all our grandfathers too,
We’ll trust in the creation of the human zoo.
We’re all not so different from each other's hearts,
E’en the Vicar and all his tarts.
We’re all so busy making money,
Then going out to enjoy some honey.
But if life was heavy with many a pram,
Then just stay in and enjoy some jam!

But where is the truth ‘tween mortals on earth?
In trust we hope from many years' friendship
Developed through joys and sad,
Nurtured through good times and bad.
Listen to the Mother scolding the child,
Inside her soul is far from wild.
Littlin’ should develop a respect for her future ‘child’,
Well by then have tamed the ‘savage-wild’.

I took my aging mother, poet laureate for to see,
She adored the royal family exactly as did he.
For they set an objective target to which we can but strive,
To keep up all our standards which help us stay alive.
The copper on the beat wears not just his feet,
The politician in the dock wears not just his seat.
For of the people they help the people,
And not just by but of the steeple.
The soldier in the war,
Gone far from his family's door.
To rid us of a foe that would end us of our sighs,
If we were not made of stronger, compassionate eyes.

But the Muse whispers on to poets all around the world,
To bring about new meaning; from the straight to the curled.
So many people have suffered from teeming their own brain,
To save the souls of others, for it takes such a strain.
E’en the doctors search but the coastline sands,
Only to miss the Ocean's deepest bands.
The whales come up with barnacles to show us we our foul,
As the wolf cries out in agony when he doth howl.
For nature's a very gentle thing when she chooses to be,
She can also be a ferocious force when a raging, drowning sea.

My eyes our burning and sleep just cannot be,
For I must pen this wordy, lengthy ode to thee.
For my Mother lapses in and out of Heaven,
All day long from seven to seven.
Father is tending, soft by her side,
Both feeling each emotion full length of the tide.
Wondering how the day will last,
N’er too pessimistic a mood to cast.
Floating twixt the Devil and the deep blue waters,
Blessing all the help from their three daughters.

Now she lays semi-conscious focusing on her bright light,
Wondering whether to go to them, or carry on the fight.
Sister and I have embraced and wept,
And close by Mum’s side a vigil kept.
The tartan blanket reminds us of our own Dad,
Praying not one of the family shall be left too sad.

We play her favourite music, a gentle harp,
As she drifts in company along life’s final narrow scarp.
Surely a woman as strong and loving cannot just disappear,
Her sublime energy must manifest and somewhere reappear.
We talk about the things she used to like to do,
A cup of tea, no sugar, a day out at the zoo.
She loved to see the elephants and babes,
Umbilical trunks as grabs.
To swim in the sea at Solent, to dance the pier in Town,
To enjoy the Movies at The Odeon and never be out on her own.
To cook a hearty meal for her three wain’s
And n’er to complain of the cause of her pains.
Wrote letters to Scotland four decades long,
And each one up and down came back as a song.
But alas Mum is now long gone
But her special charisma lives on.

Submitted: Monday, August 08, 2011
Edited: Sunday, September 15, 2013

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