Colin F. Jones

THANK YOU

We all strolled slowly down the widening road,
To where the crossroads were where we would meet,
Each cautious in the way we boldly strode,
With tiny steps from such eager feet.
We touched and tested with polite restraint,
Used our nicest phrases to carefully show,
That we were nice and had no real complaint
Yet we could not say yes, when we meant no.
Truth claimed its place through respects design,
Brought us together through a growing Love
That surged like fire through our written lines
That we, like fingers, filled a cherished glove.
And though tis by the pain and loss through war,
We form together what we did lack before.

Time has passed; debate has never ceased,
What we are and think has been revealed,
Love and faith and friendships have increased,
We are as grass is to the shepherds’ field.
Some come and go but most have returned
To sample yet again loves powerful call,
For wondrous lessons in this group are learned,
That one affected doth affect us all.
Ere though the words this poet strives to write,
Are wasted in a world that may not care,
It will until I die be my delight,
To know my inner thoughts with you I share.
With this I thank you while I rest awhile,
For at last with satisfaction I can smile.

There came upon our group a stranger fair,
Who used a vulgar tongue to pave his way,
Rebuked he answered with a genuine care,
And we decided then to let him stay.
He wrote his verse from a hospital bed,
With bloodied hands but with an honest ink,
He scribed the horror of the life he led,
And made us veterans of the present think.
A warrior true but with a heart of gold,
Who knew the art of killing was not fun,
A soldier made from the finest mould,
Whose verses hit like bullets from a gun.
We shared his work; with honour and with pride,
And wept in sorrow, when from his wounds he died.

Two Texas creatures of a beauteous type,
Made light of all the pain their verses scribed,
With genuine humour without the hew and hype,
Presenting hope which could not be denied
The Texans made a splash with good effect,
With little ripples spreading through the clan,
With clever words which on the Lord reflect,
For this was verse no one could ever ban.
And nobly with a Kingly kind of grace,
A Subritzky kiwi like a wise old owl,
Carved the pattern of this special place,
By painting smiles over every scowl.
Thus we stumble to an unknown end,
That yet perpetual sweeps round every bend

His heart was heavy to see his comrades go,
Where he could not, to face the fear of war,
That built in him a special kind of foe,
That in his heart began to slowly gnaw,
Less came back than those who went away,
Faces missing but faces he could see.
The clouds blocked out the sweet sun of his day,
For he had learned the price of being free.
Yet his verse he boldly shared with all,
Wherein his plight depended on his truth,
For he had answered to the trumpet call,
For in his heart the pain there was his proof,
Some warriors die while others live in pain,
Who’d willing go where they can’t go again.

Feeling old and shattered; misunderstood,
He joined us with a passion to reveal,
To those he loved what writhed inside his blood,
What pain and anguish his good heart did feel.
He relived again the moments of his time,
Leading men into the battle fray,
Pleading to his God; the Lord divine,
Asking why his comrades died this way.
That now his verse simple and refined,
Reveals his thoughts of shadows with new sight
For darkness blocked the torment of his mind,
Until his stanzas brought them back to light
What caused him thus to suffer all alone,
But now revealed welcomes him back home.

He landed like a plane on a narrow strip,
Descending from the clouds on angel’s wings,
And from the poets goblet took a sip,
Then exclaimed ‘What joy these stanzas bring.’
Hell he’s no Angel as his words describe,
In stories spanning time so finely told,
But while he builds our images with great pride,
Tis our delight to see his soul unfold.
Almost quietly another joined the group,
With verse reflecting mostly that he kept,
A great deal to himself lest he do stoop,
To doing things that others thought inept.
We watched him stumble but he stood up tall,
For friends let not another comrade fall.

We heard an Eagle crying on a ledge,
With feathers blown by wind and torn by thorn,
A wondrous creature seeking out a pledge,
Distorted in the confusion of a storm.
The spirits of her ancestors bore her up,
Renewed the strength which beautified her wings,
And while she fills the poet’s golden cup,
She hears the words her Warrior Father sings.
Here in this sanctuary she comes to share her heart,
Where mingles many hearts from places strange,
Where freedom truth and fine respect impart,
The love that causes all things foul to change.
God would be pleased I think to see us here,
For among ourselves there lacks foreboding fear.

We are like nature made of hills and plains,
Of wild rivers and of roaring seas.
Volcanic surges lava, binding chains,
And forests filled with ever changing trees.
And oft our defects make us bow and crave,
For that which renders all our pride amiss,
That none without great courage ever save,
Themselves from foul addiction feigning bliss.
But we have one here; still her Father’s girl.
Who stands for victory in all the things she does,
Who takes the stone and turns it into pearl,
Yet humbly shares her artistry with us.
And we are proud to call this woman, friend,
On whom we know, we can all depend.

There came a hero quietly through the door,
A fine Marine a warrior strong and bold,
Who risked his life in the face of war,
To save his comrades from deaths bitter cold.
His words are wise and always to the point,
His manner firm yet his hearts display,
Determined with good favour to anoint,
His friends with hope as is his true found way.
From him you learn the value of a group,
The special bond which moulds us all as one,
For we are like a close knit battle troop,
That lives long after all its men have gone.
We are so blessed that men like this exist,
And greatly proud of this one in our midst.

Though fleetingly a presence in our midst,
A complex poet wounded in the war,
Who almost with devotion still persists,
In imagery of all the destructiveness he saw,
Is one who mixes thee with thou and they,
Emerging briefly through his crowded words,
Promoting anger yet to sometimes pray,
Disguising what he says with quaint absurds.
His is his own complexities of self,
Not sharing as one would of sharing note,
Yet in his search to raise poetic wealth,
From time to time he crosses his own moat,
To join us here like a traveller on his way,
To somewhere else where also he’ll not stay.

You know sometimes when we are sharing love
We oft feel greedy; that we would wish it all,
For she who is our symbol of the dove,
Makes each of us feel more than ten feet tall.
Each one would claim her special love their own,
And in so doing would not have claimed it wrong,
Though in our greed we would not so condone,
That all who know her sing the same love song.
Thus in my greed I know you’ll all forgive,
That which your selfish hearts do seek as well,
For if there’s purpose in the time we live
Then I shall dwell alone in her sweet spell.
We have our tulips, daffodils and rose,
Inspiring that which is our humble prose.

Though some do breed love in their special way,
And size more levels able to be reached,
Though meekly lakeside basking in the day
Our tone in his astonishment is beached,
Upon an isle where rubies shine like gold,
And Woody tracts provide a special fruit,
Where Pidi patters from a land so cold,
A different charm grown from a noble root.
Where Eagles fly and walking sparrows dwell,
And Dani’s fairies ride the great horned horse,
And spirit weavers vanquish pain to hell,
And Steven marks the complicated course.
And where in this you find our Poppa’s God
Depends on if you follow where they’ve trod.

Christina is a name which steers our minds
Towards the son of God our saviour yet,
But better portrayed as a Mother kind,
Who sorrows from the wars of mans regret
She writes of soldiers; though tender is her pen,
Each word and stanza soaking up their pain,
She weeps out words to comfort shattered men,
And praises all the veterans without shame.
Here in this place where poets gather nigh,
She sets the standards of the written verse,
Which seeks to tell the world of those who die,
Lest what they have they foolishly reverse.
She truly is the Mother in our world,
Whose love of peace is like our flags unfurled.

You can be prejudice here if that’s your will,
You can among them all your own God choose,
And also you can every defect spill
But not one person can you here abuse.
You can in anger make your hatreds known,
But also make your peace when you are calm,
Here all who’ve stayed in some way they have grown,
For here we know how spiteful words do harm.
If you choose to come and dwell here for a while,
To write or read or yet to be at peace,
You’ll soon reward your features with a smile,
For sadness wilts as joys in you increase.
For here the international word we share,
Unites our love because the word is care.

All poets here; we write of death and war,
Record these verses that they may be read,
And understood because we went and saw,
By folk who seek the truth of hope and dread.
There is no praise here for the man who kills,
For there is no glamour in the scope of war,
Though battle gives to heroes many skills,
Those heroes fear to kill and death deplore.
War will rage so long as there is life,
So long as doctrines mesmerize the mind,
So long as man would want another’s wife,
So long as hatred denounces being kind.
For man’s great defect is survivals greed,
That lives in him an ever hungry seed.

Joined by war most seek their own good souls,
Their inward verse to outwardly express,
The pain and anguish that their words unfold,
Revealing stanzas of their own distress
Of themselves they paint their portraits bold,
Defining features from disturbing thought,
For first the poet must himself unfold,
Before reaching out into another’s court.
For bitterness first must find it’s inner peace,
Inner rue must on the surface show,
For only then can sadness ere decrease,
That through another one can seek to flow ..
I must say this: in youth lost to the gun
I found my strength that now I see the sun.

When I observe a poet’s verse like mine,
Stumbling through the obstacles within,
Seeking all ones feelings to define,
I know their way is harsh and still so grim.
Tis like the soldier training to be good,
Learning all the tricks of a Warrior’s trade
That never seem to emerge as they should,
That hope for effort seems to wilt and fade.
Then one day something sparks their inner fire,
That like a seal breaking from the sea,
All life’s thoughts amalgamate to inspire,
Simple verses like branches of a tree.
That fill with leaves that wind doth soon admire,
To carry them off for all the world to see.

I write to write it is a desire in me,
When lesser verse was ailing from my pen,
I thought of fame and greatness oh! Yippee!
But I am not as wise as I was then.
Yet always I did seek to furnish hope,
And scribe those words that people might desire,
Who might without them find it hard to cope;
But who was I to light such warming fire?
First self sorrow captured all my themes,
Then loss of love and hopelessness so vain,
Then loneliness and fear at their extremes
That nothing seemed of worth to retain.
But in my heart there always shone a light
That told me sorrow would one day bring delight.

Indeed those hardships of unhappy youth,
That set my eyes to see where few had eyes,
Where I so fearfully trod untrained aloof,
Did not in me grow hate nor build up lies.
I did in fact grow stronger in my mind,
Though none agreed with my points of view,
Which made me more determined that the blind,
Take notice of the more enlightened few.
Accused so much of always being right,
I oft depressed thought I must then be wrong,
But then if I was wrong then who was right,
It seemed to be an ambiguous sort of song.
So I came to know I was not a poet yet,
And that conclusion I never will forget.

Now I conclude my thank you to you all,
Who have by your fond courtesy and love,
Made me the poet my life was wasted for,
Though I know of no real purpose from above.
But if my purpose is to write one word,
Which changes sadder thought to that of joy,
Then by your kindness though it seems absurd,
I am the poet I imagined as a boy.
I read no verse; I copied not one line,
I juggled words and made some up as well,
And battled every day to define,
A way in rhyme my private thoughts to tell.
But then it seems by chance a place was made,
That into sunlight I crawled out from the shade.

I am in wonder of the group I’m in,
Where glorious poets scribe such truth in rhyme,
Where people state their minds, express their sin,
And make an empty space in time divine.
And all of us are here because of war,
Linked by sorrow, passion and regret,
Because of what we feel and what we saw,
But now with courage stand so proudly yet.
I love you all you know, my poet friends,
You know not how you’ve filled my life with joy,
Though life’s river keeps winding on and wends,
It simply means I’m still a little boy.
God bless you all; and now I’ve had my say,
Tis time to greet another lovely day.