Today, I am delighted to welcome poet and blogger, Lorraine Lewis to Robbie’s inspiration. Lorraine blogs at https://blindwilderness.wordpress.com/ and shares some lovely and moving poetry.
A poem for my father
Through the mullioned windows I saw the sheep,
Illuminated by the sun,
As I gazed at them my spirit danced,
Then they disappeared behind the hill,
Now, again, all seemed dark,
I waited, hoping that they would come back.
To my delight they soon came back,
Huge was this flock of sheep,
When they returned it was no longer dark,
Again I could see the sun,
But they went again, behind the hill,
So I got on my feet and danced.
I remembered another dark day when I’d danced,
Though I knew he was not coming back,
With him I climbed that enormous hill,
Rugged, just as it was for the sheep,
I longed for him to see the sun,
So his journey would not be so dark.
I danced at his bedside that day in the dark,
Holding hands, we danced,
Many days we had spent in the sun,
But now I knew he was not coming back,
So my heart danced as I saw the sheep,
Coming out from behind the hill.
He once climbed that enormous hill,
Sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the dark,
I thought of him when I saw the sheep,
And remembered how we had danced,
Soon, none of us will be coming back,
May we always see the sun.
Even when in the dark we remember the sun,
Letting it guide us up the hill,
The one thing we know, we can never turn back,
Be forever in the dark,
All that will matter is how we danced,
May we take our cue from the sheep
Sheep climb safely up the hill,
Whether in the sun or the dark,
I remember how on a dark day I danced, never looking back
About this poem
This poem is a Sestina, a form which I love to write in, and it is about my father’s death in 2001. In this poem, the sheep represent my father, and the whole poem was inspired by my sitting in my Study one day, in a beautiful little English country cottage with mullioned windows, watching the sheep appear and disappear behind the steep, rugged hill behind the cottage. When my father was dying, I took his hand and danced at his bedside to Abba’s song, “Dancing Queen,” which he loved to have on in his hospital room. I was his Dancing Queen. I hope you enjoy the poem.
Thank you for sharing this poem, Lorraine, it is very beautiful. Here is Abba’s Dancing Queen:
Since being a small child I have loved writing. I well remember my father, one day, emptying onto the table, six beautiful tortoiseshell notebooks and many pencils. It was the best present he could ever have given me. I cherished it.
As I grew up I continued writing, until, as an adult, I began studying Creative Writing formally, through various degrees. I learned different poetic forms, and it seemed that free verse was favoured by most. I discovered, however, that for me, writing in form liberated me. So, often now, I write to a particular form, though sometimes I do write free verse.
I decided to write in earnest after I had cancer, from which I almost died, and indeed was expected to do so. Chemotherapy put me into remission, but left me blind and in a wheelchair, with no feeling in my hands, feet, legs and face, including lips and tongue. Through this experience I began to “see” things differently. I became much more spiritual, although I had always had a faith. Indeed, I pursued two degrees in Theology, and began a Ph.D in that area, but had to abandon it after my father’s death.