Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Salt Melts

‘The UK seems filled with anger and hate at the moment - much of it as a result of loss...
Liz, who writes for us, penned the poem below after the Manchester terror attack in May. It seems equally pertinent in the light of London Bridge Terror attack earlier this month and the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. We hope that, like us, you appreciate the sentiments expressed and find it to be restorative on some level too.'
–Patrick Duffy

Salt Melts 

Anger has no place in grief
grief is sharp but tender
it insists our hearts stay open
to the essence
to the fragrance which remains

Anger is a time-delay switch
serves no lasting purpose
we all know the picture’s changed 
we don’t need to change the pitch
from grief to hatred
yet anger takes upon itself to ease the agony 
of sudden ends 
to muffle the clanging silence of the iron door
mask the hideous face of madness or diminishment
these are all things we cannot ignore

Anger keeps us in our head
boiling anger, dangerous and red
extracting meaning, blame, hate
from something meaningless
part of grieving? No!
Anger forces grief to wait
‘til she’s well beyond her use-by date

If we’re lucky sounds of gentle pricked by memory
will echo in our ears
surrender us to grieving
cooling anger in a sea of tears

What, then is this frozen fierce which throws me to the wall?
I am halted
stopped short by its call
Outrage! Yes! Out-rage
Can we decide to out-rage Thought
which splices seconds with ‘what if’, ‘if only’ or ‘I so, so wish…’?
which takes our hearts and bodies far from now – 
we have a choice
we can bow 
to wordless feeling

Look! it gathers all that’s left and, see,
it leads to action’s healing hand
summons waiting senses
sighs ‘you do not need to understand’
so out: rage, anger, blame and fear 
out of the cold, numb vessel of the mind
visit if you must my heart but you will find 
life beats on, ‘though faint, confirming I am here
‘though life seems desperately unkind 
this one thing is clear...

and strangers offer sad dry lips a sip of tea
while the world unites with oceanic love and empathy
a tender salve to open wounds which weep
 as ‘other children’ play
unaware of any aftermath on such a sunny day
we helplessly reach out through them to those we miss
as salty water melts its way through this. 

© Liz Darcy Jones
26th May, 2017

(If anyone would like to listen to this poem they can find it on Liz's 'Not-a-Blog' page at www.lizdarcyjones.com )