Saturday, 21 April 2012

Journey Into Space

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._N._Taber

Readers ‘Raoul’ and ‘Sunita’ have asked for this poem that last appeared on the blog in 2010. Their, too, has to be a secret love because their families are on opposite sides of a socio-cultural-religious divide and would not approve of their relationship. Sadly, I often hear from star-crossed lovers, gay and straight alike.

It isn’t only gay people living in a gay-unfriendly environment that know all about that cold, dark closet I experienced many years ago as a secretly gay youth and young man. I would have hoped we were done with all that in 21st century Britain, Tragically, there are as many if not more people having to endure the same unbearable loneliness that goes with the territory whenever divided loyalties conspire to make us to live a lie.

It has to stop, and the only way a fair, peaceful society stands a chance is through education. Socio-cultural-religious prejudices need to be openly, fairly, sensitively and intelligently debated in schools so that future generations will come to understand what I keep saying about our differences not making us different, only human. Many parents do understand that, of course, but I look around and suspect they are in a minority. All good teachers understand it, but are prevented by school politics from passing it on to their students.

Yes, yes, I know. I am repeating myself yet again. But as my dear, late mother used to say, if something is worth saying, it is always worth repeating.

JOURNEY INTO SPACE

Stars on the water like little ships
sailing down the river;
full moon like a lighthouse beacon
guiding them to harbour;
shadows on the bank applauding
the event
like ghosts from history’s pages
passing by

No one about but lovers, you and I,
keepers of the night
on behalf of all kinder humanity
while nature sleeps;
for a while, even ghosts dare relate
to the little ships
sailing past like wistful thoughts
on a leafy breeze

We pause, you and I, enjoying a rare
sense of freedom,
engaging with Earth Mother at peace
before dawn’s call to arms;
there will be other nights, ships too,
but none like this;
witness the universe open up its heart
and let us in

Come night’s illusions beaten to pulp
by daylight’s hooves,
its lovers shall bear witness wherever
shadows gather
to empathise with time’s penchant
for mortality
and nature’s persistent, eternal passion
for life

[From: Tracking the Torchbearer by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2012]

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