Monday, 28 January 2019

Three for my grandchildren

These poems about three of my grandchildren were published in Verse-Virtual in December, 2018.


- for Bella McDonald

She kneels 
amongst the strawberries,
sunshine in her hair.

“I can do it Pa.”
Her little hand takes the plant
and parts the rich earth.

She snuggles in close.
Her arms encircle my neck.
I feel her eyes shine.

Ten thousand thousand
small, miraculous moments 
fill my heart with joy.

First published at Peacock Journal


- for Emmanuel Creighton.


Emmanuel is Born.

Little Emmanuel, 
asleep in your cradle,
milennia ago a prophet 
wrote of a Prince of Peace
whose counsel was wonderful,
whose just reign would never cease,
whose wisdom and understanding 
was such that it seemed as if God 
dwelt in this frail and human world. 
The prophet named him Emmanuel,
“God with us.” 

What then would I have for you
who carry greatness in your name?
Not ease, for strength and power
comes through adversity overcome.
Nor great wealth, for true riches 
never lie in the deceptive glitter of things.
I would have you grow daily in mind
until in judgment you are wise and just
and in disposition gentle and kind.
Desire them, search for them,
for in them are the essence 
of your great name,
little Emmanuel. 


Emmanuel at Five.

You leap and land
surely and lightly.
Your little arms thrust out.
“Body weight,” you say.
You take a ninja stance.
You swirl your plastic sword
in patterns above your head.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!”
You are waging the war 
of good and evil.
Go forth, little warrior.
Fight the darkness.
There’s plenty around.
We need your light.
Shine it, live it, be it,
little Emmanuel.

Wake Up, Little Man.

For Jett McDonald, 
when he was about 20 months.

Wake up, little man,
there’s exploring to be done.
That pile of dirt in the distance
is Everest’s foothill, the narrow gap 
between the post and gate
is where a crevice dangerously winds,
but here she comes to take you away,
saying it’s too dangerous to climb today.

Later there are prizes to be won
if you can open the door
and scurry off up the hill 
to wealth beyond measure,
your Nanna’s fridge filled 
with things sweet to eat.
But she’s here again, kissing, 
murmuring about sleep,
saying it’s late, it’s time for bed,
promising tomorrow to lock
the doors of the shed.

Now snuggle in, little man, 
she’s wrapping you up tight,
giving you Elly the Elephant 
for company in the night.
Your eyes get heavy.
Your breathing goes quiet.
She looks at you and murmurs
“He’s so cute when he’s sleeping,
really, really lovely,” 
but we think, little man, 
that for all of your dream time
you’re finding sweet treasures 
and high mountains to climb.


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