Trapped within damaged brain
Body twisted, limbs trembling
Sitting in hospital yard
During the battle of the Somme, France,1916, the British sustained 60,000 casualties on the first day. Torrential rains turned the battlefield into a quagmire. In one month the Allies advanced five miles at the cost of 450,000 German.200,000 French and 420,000 British lives. I lost two uncles
Blood red poppies sway
I would die a poet
Pilgrim from a burnished land
Remembered for humour, compassion and love
Claimed by many as a friend.
Happiness is elusive like the wind
Coming and going like migrating birds
And sound of echoing peals of church bells.
When first I saw your face I was entranced
Inspired with beauty overwhelming and appealing
Making my heart tremble and soul rejoice.
Once I dreamt seeing such a face in as a youth
Within dark caverns of the mind
Fearsome creatures abide
Demons tempting with praise and bribes
Offering false hope from Hell's fires.
Israeli and Palestine conflict
Prostrate with grief
Rachel weeps for a dead son
God's most holy son
Teach me of your love
So through its joy
I might immortal come
(For my goddaughter, July 2006, carrying Cora)
Radiant in pregnancy
Glowing with beauty personified
We stood fingers entwined
Drenched by falling rain
But did not notice
Thinking ourselves love's perfection
From this side of truth
Lies fall twisted at the gate
Sweet cradle songs
Wayward mothers sang to soothe
Last train comes and goes
While hidden in the darkness
Down midnight leafy country lane
On melancholy moonless night
"Save one life and you save the world"
Dark tide of evil swept over Europe
Eclipsing light and truth
Blood red poppies
("Here lies one whose name was writ in water")
Foul relentless death
Published in the February 2008 issue of DECANTO - Colin Ian Jeffery was Centre Stage Poet 1. What age were you when you first became interested in poetry? Seven, a choirboy, when I heard the vicar in church read the twenty-third psalm. The beauty of the words struck my soul like lightning and my Muse began to sing. I then found poetry being read on the BBC radio Home Service would listen in awe and delight to such poets as Dylan Thomas, John Betjeman, and Ted Hughes. In childhood A voice called to me And I hear it calling still. 2. What inspires you? I compose best while in spiritual pain --- poems forged white hot, hammered upon the anvil of anguish, aspects of love, searching for God and some meaning to the great mysteries of the Universe. My poetry rests firmly upon the belief in a loving God. 3. What does poetry mean to you? The highest of mankind's literary achievement, timeless, appealing down the ages, revealing imagery of a poet's struggles and experiences of the world around him. " Poems are the children of the poet." This was told to me by the English poet John Betjeman, with whom I corresponded with when a young man. 4. Who are your favourite poets? Dylan Thomas, William Shakespeare, John Keats, Oscar Wilde, Rupert Brooke, Lord Byron, John Betjeman, Wilfred Owen, Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot. 5. Who has been your greatest inspiration? You may choose more than one. Dylan Thomas. William Shakespeare, John Betjeman, my father, and a priest, the Reverend Doctor Paul James Dunn, for his great support and encouragement. 6. Has poetry still a place in the modern world? Very much so, mankind without the imagery of poetry would be like the sun perpetually eclipsed, leaving souls in darkness never glimpsing the light nor seeing the next mountain to be climbed. Poetry is the best for expressing both the excellence and worst the human heart can experience. The Muse inspires within a secret landscape of the poet's heart. Poetry is as important to the poet as is the very beat of his heart. Poetry is the magical language of the soul, daily bread, sweet and joyful, sometimes raging purple storms endured with stark thunder clouds of unhappiness and relentless grief. Poetry is a flickering candle within the darkness that is shielded by the poet against the blows of the wind. Love must be set free For this I know The caged bird sings for flight Dying captive Looking through the bars. 7. Have you a favourite poem? Stand, This England, Blackwood's Magazine, Home Words, The Lady, Punch, Country Life, New Yorker, The Month, Decanto, Contemporary Review, Day by Day, Reform, PoeSttry Church, Africa, The British Chronicle, Catholic Pictorial, Best of British, Irish Tatler, Country Life, Outposts, Spectator, Yours, Bard, Earth love, Quantum Leap, The Reader, Jewish Chronicle, Sea Breezes, Incelement, Earth Love, Quantum Leap, Saint Austin Review, Africa, Evergreen, Springboard, Poetry Monthly, Carillon, Earth love, Reflections, Poetic hours, Dandelion arts magazine, Linkway, Cauldron, Awen, Inclement, Poetic Hours, Ashvamegh, Reflections, Army and you, The K9 Independent, Scots Magazine, Army and you, Born Free, Bombay Gin, Peeking cat, Quadrant, Gorilla Organisation, Crashtest, Modern Literature, FreeeXpression, plus various anthologies. Many, but my all-time favourite is, 'Death shall have no dominion' by Dylan Thomas. 8. Where have you been published? WWF, Catholic insight, Freexpression, Yuan Yang, Quadrant, Modern Literature, plus poems included in various anthologies. Biography Colin Ian Jeffery was born 20th May,1942, in Redhill hospital, Surrey, England, during World War Two, and is the younger of two sons, Anton his brother two years older. Father and mother Frank and Betty Jeffery. Frank served in the artillery with the 8th army (desert rats) in North Africa, was wounded and invalided home. He became a taxi-driver and drove a cab until his death from cancer,10th May 1978. He is buried with his wife in St. Mary's churchyard on Caterham-on-the-hill. Frank and Betty separated in 1949 the sons remaining with their father. Colin was educated at St. John's Church of England school in Caterham, and at seven went to the Modern School for Boys in Purely, and then to Clarks College in Croydon. In 1964 he became a Roman Catholic and was accepted for the priesthood by bishop Cashman of Arundel and Brighton in 1969, and was offered a place in a seminary in Spain but had met the great love of his life and chose his soulmate. Colin was seven, a choirboy, when he became entranced by poetry after hearing the vicar read the twenty-third psalm. The beauty of the words struck his soul like lightning and his Muse began to sing. He found poetry was being read on the BBC radio Home Service and would listen in awe and delight to such poets as Dylan Thomas, John Betjeman, and Ted Hughes.)
Trapped within damaged brain
Body twisted, limbs trembling
Sitting in hospital yard
Humming tunes without melody.
Bright soul standing tall
Articulate mind intact
Singing melodious songs of love
Only God and he can hear.
REVIEW: Sorrows and Joys - - Colin Ian Jeffery ISBN: 978197459830 Paperback £5.14 Amazon or any good bookshop Collection of 212 poems Colin Ian Jeffery is a leading Christian poet and all poems in this collection have been published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. The collection gives an insight into the driving forces behind his poetry, with the main influence, seen in such poems as ‘Christians' and ‘King of Kings, ' being his spirituality. ‘Pope Francis, ' is a poem that acknowledges his Roman Catholic background, and gives insight into the poet's spiritual formation in the Roman Catholic Church. The poem ‘True Love' shows his passion and belief that love must be free and never held captive. Love must be set free For this I know The caged bird sings for flight Dying captive Looking through the bars. Some of the sonnets are addressed to the great love of his life, the mysterious lover who moved the poet to compose some of the most poignant love poems ever written, a love for the poet that was a rock within a stormy sea giving support against raging purple storms. The collection covers many different topics dealt with powerfully and artistically with a variety of topics such as peace, war, history, love, sorrow, death, and childhood memories in such poems as ‘Wally Gog' and ‘When I was young.' The poet is a modernist with the development of imagism stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. He has a strong reaction against war and the oppression of innocence, but unlike others poets in the modernism movement like Dylan Thomas and Ezra Pound he has a profound faith in God. Reverend Dr. Paul James Dunn
What is poetry? 'Poetry is the finest of the arts, more than words that rhyme or lines in verse. Poetry is the rich language of the soul, saying something meaningful in a few words, a concentrated language that create images. Read a few words of poetry and it will conjure images within the mind that inspires the imagination. Poets have strong feelings about the topic of their poem and want people who read the poem to experience the same emotions as they themselves experienced when composing the poem. Poetry often has a strong rhythm or beat, like lyrics to a song. Poets use words to paint a picture in the head. The Chinses say a picture is worth a million words. The poem is a springboard into the soul where readers enter to appease their request to share in the joys and sorrows of being human and the complexities of love.' Colin Ian Jeffery
'War is hell on earth inspired by madness.' 'War happens when inmates run the asylum.'
Poetry is the highest of mankind's literary achievements, timeless, appealing down the ages, revealing imagery of a poet's struggles and experiences, stresses, joys, passions, navigating life with determination and purpose. Poetry is word paintings, full of colours, bright and dark, creating from a few words images that inspire the imagination and enhance memories. Colin Ian Jeffery
The good man does not have to believe to enter Heaven. He just has to be himself.