Hope Regained ~ A Poem


This poem was originally written without a title; a second version was written a few years later, given the title “Hope Regained”. This is the original version, with title added.

 

*

Hope Regained

All alone, inside ice cold and sad tonight, here in this empty room;
Listening to the sounds of passing cars and voices bouncing back from bare walls.
Memories slowly enter my mind and then come crashing into conscious thought
Recollections of that happy day not so long gone by
And yet an eternity of events in memory
Bring on slow, burning tears as I feel myself being to cry.
Why ask for any answers? Leave alone each How and Why.
There are no questions allowed, but my God, where are you now
When I feel like I could die?
With such spontaneity and many an expectation we made our hopeful plans,
We gave much of what we thought we had and worked to make our home.
Our love so fresh and warm, invigorating and strong,
The only foundation to build our future upon.
We had only known each other for a while and yet could see so true:
That very definite bond, so evident, incredibly held us to one another –
See now, it should have been just me and you.
This is not merely a move for me, it’s a severing of golden thread,
It’s a tearing down of newly-built walls, a shattering reality.
Might I hope rather: a great step forwards into happier, secure opportunity?
Do you?
Dreams save when lonely and frightening the world seems,
Holding the future to promise of sunshine and laughter.
Who warrants a guess at what awaits us?
Who knows what turning the next corner might bring?
To lose hope now, to forget the dreams, warm fuzzies and smiles
Is to encourage futility and shatter all good intention.
May I feel the sweet temptation of determined effort?
Torn and bruised in heart and mind, a fear to test new emotion –
Dare I allow the shock of optimism?
Why, what good to brood and ever backwards slip
As Life strides and onward we must plod without fear.
Alone, first I thought, but now no longer …
Have my Life, it will not leave me;
My dreams, my work, my love, my hope and patience
To these combine ever faithful with honesty.
Together, see us win: Life and I – once again it’s “we”.

*

Holly M Maxwell

Written 29 April 1984

 

*

 

 

© Holly M Maxwell Boydell


All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Love Spent In A Moment – A Poem

Love Spent In A Moment

Love struck as sharp as lightning;
So what if merely for an instant?
It clutched me to its sensual bosom,
Held my thoughts, and soul, imprisoned.

Infatuation, in this game,
Wants its name to come before all else,
Yet this time I know that it is Love
Who has captured and quickened my pulse.

If only for a few more blessed hours
Love and I could be as one, aroused,
Shutting out the demons of destruction
Ever wishing claim that Love’s not ours.

With determined effort, I savour
The richness of Love’s gift;
I feel, intensely, deep emotions  –
A sense of being encapsulated, embodied
In Love’s tide …      Until adrift …

I’ll find myself spent, once more forlorn,
And Love but a glorious memory;
A bush of fragrance on thoughts adorned
Will be all to remind that I once was
Into Love’s pure life reborn.

*

© Holly M Maxwell 

Written 26 July 1986

 

*

 

 

Note:

The first verse originally read …

Love struck as sharp as lightning;
So what if merely for an instant?
It clutched me to its sensual bosom,
Held my thoughts, my soul, my very being.

… and was later changed to read, as above.


*

 

© Holly M Maxwell Boydell

All rights reserved.

 

 


 

WordPress Prompt:
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flavorful/

In The Garden Of The Mind – A Poem

    

In The Garden Of The Mind

With sweet bitterness I think of the way we hurt
And wonder at the monstrous thoughts
That claim for themselves
The precious moments of our lives.
What right, these demons of destructive power,
To tread so heavily on our dreams?
How dare they obscure the sunshine from our view
And with such brutal force
Plant their small seeds of gruesome despair
In the shadowed flower beds of our minds?

A little love!  A friendly touch!

New energy begins to fizzle
Through the branches of my thought,
And with gathering momentum
Strength finds its plotted course
Whilst perseverance warmly nourishes
Far into the recesses of my seedling memory.
Fed and tended, my bruised resolve refreshed;
For in His mercy the Gardener plants
New seeds of faith and hope
And graciously
silences
my Lamentation.

 

 

~ : ~

 

 

 

Written on 27 April 1990.

 

© Holly Maxwell Boydell

Poem: Caught Betwixt

This is a reposting of one of my poems, which was published on The Holly Tree Tales a couple of years ago.

~ : ~

 

The Holly Tree Tales

Ifafa Beach - rescanned - 1960s - THTT signed

I came across a journal containing a few of my poems yesterday, scribbled down in pensive moments many years ago. This poem was written in September 1986 … less than a year after reluctantly leaving my beloved Africa. I cannot recall whether this was personal or a reflective observation, but have no doubt that I would at some time have known the emotion.

~ * ~


Caught Betwixt

Beating on the shore of a sensitive ocean
Lashing waves of tumultuous emotion
Deepest feelings, passionately wild
Rhythmically drumming in the heart of this child.

Great gusts of hurtling, mixed desire,
Tingling dramatically, searing like fire.
Tumbling like flames through veins vulnerable
Affecting this child, young, green and gullible.

Coming together, the fire and the sea
Warmth and coolness of sweet discovery.
This child torn apart, not knowing direction
Wary of love, afraid to meddle in reflection.

One will win through to dictate the outcome;
One will show…

View original post 43 more words

New Hope – A Poem

 

IMG_7683 - THTT signed

New Hope

Star of David, there you stood
Behind your cross made of wood.
When you looked down into my eyes
The love I saw was a huge surprise.
Just when I was feeling low,
I had no hope, no place to go,
You stepped in and took my hand;
You showed me heaven, a wonderland.
Now, like Alice, I feel delight,
No longer afraid in the dead of night.
Living for today, not fearing tomorrow
New Hope is mine, far flung my sorrow.

~ : ~

Written 5 May 1990.

© Holly Maxwell Boydell

 

A Poem To A Young Man Entering The Army

IMG_8182 - THTT signed

Some of my Readers know that I grew up in South Africa, during the Apartheid years.  At that time, all boys who had completed their schooling (or immediately after attending university) had to do their ‘national service’, in either the Army, Navy or Airforce.  They had no option and were forced to do this compulsory service in one form or another.  The threat of national service in South Africa led many to leave the country, or to protest in various ways, or to seek office roles within the services . Few were in the Defence Force as a matter of career choice, at the time. Some Defence Force experiences were a lot easier than others.

When I was a teenager, many of my contemporaries went away to complete their service in the South African Defence Force over a period of two years – part of which consisted, for some, after ‘Basic Training’, of being sent up to the Angolan Border for around six months.  This was often a time of deep testing for the boys, just as they were becoming young men, and it was emotionally challenging for their families and friends as well.  There was little contact with them, and all letters were censored. A friend from the time, whom I recently reconnected with after many years, reminded me of the food and letter parcels that I had sent to him and to various others of our friends during the months of trials on the Border. It was a tough time, and many of us supported our friends as best we knew how, under the circumstances.

At some point, I cannot recall when, national service was reduced to eighteen months, and then to one year. I left South Africa in 1985, just after my twenty third birthday, and have not lived there since, so there is much that I have yet to rediscover about the land that I grew up in and loved. There are large gaps in my knowledge about the country as it is now.  However, I do know that when Apartheid was abolished, national service was not far behind.

Whilst much good can, and often does, come from the lessons that life teaches young people in challenges such as those experienced by the young men of South Africa, the brutality of much of the Defence Force system there at the time, made life very confronting, often graphic. It was especially life-changing for young men stepping into the real world just beyond the school gate.

I was twenty one when my brother went into the Army, just before his eighteenth birthday.  I remember that day as if it were yesterday, the tearful farewell, the sense of utter bereavement at the sight of his empty bedroom – and my brother was one of the ‘lucky’ ones, who it turned out was able to perform his national service duties close to home. Due to having suffered serious illness as a young child, my brother found himself exempt from much of what other young friends had to endure during their national service time. That, given all else that we had been dealing with, was a blessing in disguise.

This is a poem I wrote, privately, to my brother, on the day that he went off for his first taste of Army life. I poured out my ‘grief’ through my pen. I do not think I have ever shown this ‘poem’ to my brother before, nor to anyone else. Yesterday I typed it out and published it to my inner circle via the internet, today I am posting it here.  It is amateur writing and it speaks from the heart of an older sibling, who was carrying a lot on her shoulders at the time.

I dedicate this poem to my brother, now, and to all who are going through life-crushing trials .

Keep hope alive!

Be strong ~ even when you fall, know that you can and will get back up again.

With love,

Holly x

To  A Young Man Entering The Army In South Africa

Brother, for years we were told,
But never really believed,
That one day you, too, would have to join
The long, frightened queue
Of young men, new recruits of the Defence Force.
The Organisation, so powerfully strong,
Snatching, from our arms, our boys
So brave, but oh! so young.
Without you all, how would we fare
In these troubled times of war + fighting,
Dangers so desperately near?
They are but selfish thoughts that bring me to tears,
But how can I help feel pain for you
As the next two years seem achingly long,
An eternity of an unknown future.
My brother, you are so very dear to me
And with my heart I pray that you find
Some measure of peace deep inside –
To face the torments and anxiety,
The discomfort of cold and hunger too,
To learn to reveal or to hide true feeling
Whichever best suits a particular moment.
Learn to have patience for those not so strong,
And a kind disposition to  help the lonely get along.

There are many like you, struggling to be brave
Put on your courageous smile then
And show them your way to overcome
Anguish and fear,
Enabling them to gain strength through you.
Have confidence and optimism –
You will survive!!

Written on 12th July 1983
Cape Town, South Africa.

© Holly Maxwell Boydell

Poem: Laughter of the Totally Free

IMG_4886 - THTT signed

 

 

Laughter of the Totally Free

I want to laugh until my face aches;
I want to laugh until the tears pour down my cheeks;
I want to laugh until my tummy is in agony
And every fibre of my being has experienced sweet release.

I don’t care what anyone else thinks;
I don’t want to be imprisoned by judgement any more.
What others think and feel and experience
Is all of their business and none of mine;
I just want to be free to be whom I was made to be.

I want to laugh until the floor shakes beneath me;
I want to laugh until my tummy can take no more.
I want to laugh the laughter of the totally free
And take whoever seeks freedom on the laughing journey with me.

I don’t care for the prisons of ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ any longer,
I don’t care for the falseness and cheap security.
I don’t care for the discrimination, judgement
And deceptive materialism that people hide behind;
I only care about love and wisdom and being free.

I want to laugh when I wake each morning;
I want to laugh before I fall exhaustedly asleep each beautiful night.
I want to laugh until all around are laughing with me;
I want to laugh out loud and wild and free.

~ : ~

by Holly Maxwell Boydell


[written 12 August 2015]

 

 

IMG_4887 - THTT signed

 

Copyright ©  The Holly Tree Tales
All rights reserved.

Poem: Collecting Leaves – Revised Version

DSC00880 - THTT signed

Collecting Leaves

– The revised version –

Golden sunshine captures me as I look into the leaves …
Smells and sights and sounds I feel
As into the depths of golden hues
I allow my spirit to sink and swim and swallow wholeness
From without into within and all around and all beyond me
When all of a sudden the wind whips up and darkness descends into the daylight
Clouds overhead look to me like mighty thunderous promise
While hard drops of icy water hit the surface of the layers on the ground
Sleety icy cold and glorious, windy wet and perfectly sound
I feel the ice begin to enter through my too thin and puny rubber gloves
Knowing soon I shall have to head back inside
But I wish to remain outdoors where I can smell the Autumn and play in her gifts to all mankind
All I want to do is stay outdoors and be warm enough to play …
I look up and see the holly berries ripening on a holly tree
And quickly realise that there lies more promise, more gifts from Nature on this day
Soon I shall gather boughs of berried holly, before the little birds take them all away
And that way we shall have some festive season redness of natural beauty in our home
As we sit in front of log fires, catching up with loved ones who so often are very far away
Playing games and sharing stories, looking at photographs and reminiscing on times we’ve loved
Knowing that every moment is a precious gem, one not to be squandered
But that day soon comes, when we know not when.
And so for now I gather in my harvest of leafy gold dust,
Which when it turns to dust will become my gold
As leaves of many colours and types and sizes become transformed
From rich, papery, vibrant shades of Autumnal tones in every golden hue
Into the rich brown, sweet smelling earth from which they once came …
Once more they are and will become … leafmould.
As we go from dust to dust, so leaves too return to the Earth
From whence we died, we each become new birth.

*

by  Holly Maxwell Boydell

*

[all rights reserved]

~ : ~

 

Author’s Note:
This poem was written at lunchtime on Friday 13 November 2015. It was written in one sitting, in a flow uninterrupted by critical editing and nor does it contain much punctuation.  The original poem included two lines which seemed to fit the mood at the time, but have since been removed.  The poem that was written on 13 November 2015, is included in its entirety in an earlier blog post, published on the day it was created. 

Collecting Leaves ~ A Poem With Little Punctuation

DSC00942 - THTT signed


Gifting myself an hour outdoors in the weak Autumnal sunshine this morning, the intention being to collect what I could, in that time, of the bounty of leaves lying piled up and scattered all around the house and under nearby trees, I savoured every minute of the precious outdoor time. Every bagful would, in only one year, become freely acquired luscious soil, a friable bounty known as “leafmould”.

As I walked back inside afterwards, my fingers frozen to the bone, peeled off my cosy outdoor boots and set my sights back onto working at the computer, I heard a beautiful tune playing on the radio: “Anno Epilogue” by Oliver Davis.  The haunting melody seemed to contain a mirror of the mood I was wafting through. I sat down, with intentions of attending other projects, but instead I wrote this poem.

I hope it will make sense  … there was little punctuation added whilst writing, not wishing to interrupt the flow of the poem writing itself!

~ : ~

[Please continue reading until the Post Script, dated 21 November 2015, at the end of this post. Thank you.]

 

~ : ~

DSC00880 - THTT signed


Collecting Leaves

Golden sunshine captures me as I look into the leaves …
Smells and sights and sounds I feel
As into the depths of golden hues
I allow my spirit to sink and swim and swallow wholeness
From without into within and all around and all beyond me
When all of a sudden the wind whips up and darkness descends into the daylight
Clouds overhead look to me like mighty thunderous promise
While hard drops of icy water hit the surface of the layers on the ground
Sleety icy cold and glorious, windy wet and perfectly sound
I feel the ice begin to enter through my too thin and puny rubber gloves
Knowing soon I shall have to head back inside
But I wish to remain outdoors where I can smell the Autumn and play in her gifts to all mankind
It might be Friday the thirteenth, but superstition is not a worry to me
I am free and I am unencumbered by the fears that grip so many on this day
All I want to do is stay outdoors and be warm enough to play
I look up and see the holly berries ripening on a holly tree
And quickly realise that there lies more promise, more gifts from Nature on this day
Soon I shall gather boughs of berried holly, before the little birds take them all away
And that way we shall have some festive season redness of natural beauty in our home
As we sit in front of log fires, catching up with loved ones who so often are very far away
Playing games and sharing stories, looking at photographs and reminiscing on times we’ve loved
Knowing that every moment is a precious gem, one not to be squandered
But that day soon comes, when we know not when.
And so for now I gather in my harvest of leafy gold dust,
Which when it turns to dust will become my gold
As leaves of many colours and types and sizes become transformed
From rich, papery, vibrant shades of Autumnal tones in every golden hue
Into the rich brown, sweet smelling earth from which they once came …
Once more they are and will become … leafmould.
As we go from dust to dust, so leaves too return to the Earth
From whence we died, we each become new birth.

*

by  Holly Maxwell Boydell

*

[all rights reserved]

~ : ~

 

DSC00886 - THTT signed

DSC00935 - THTT signed

DSC00928 - THTT signed

DSC00946 - THTT signed

DSC00923 - THTT signed

DSC00925 - THTT signed

DSC00936 - THTT signed

DSC00939 - THTT signed


 

Note: If Readers too would like to hear the beautiful tune I heard before penning this poem, and replayed while I collected its stream of words, here is a link that I found to “Anno Epilogue” by Oliver Davis, via YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-71KIvYOKLk

 

~ : ~

DSC00853 - THTT signed

Blessings,

Holly x

 


POST SCRIPT

Saturday 21 November 2015

I wrote the poem “Collecting Leaves” at lunchtime last Friday, 13 November 2015, and posted it onto The Holly Tree Tales that afternoon.  Little did any of us know that, later that day, the most atrocious tragedy would hit Europe, matched only by some of the atrocities being carried out in other parts of the world too.  Two lines in the poem have been haunting me all this week:

“It might be Friday the thirteenth, but superstition is not a worry to me
I am free and I am unencumbered by the fears that grip so many on this day”

At the time of writing, those words seemed relevant to the ambience and experience on the day, but in hindsight they appear truly crass – which is not and was not, by any means, intended. Out of respect to all those who were hurt on that day, in untold and known ways in Europe and around the world, and to all those who are still hurting in the aftermath of the atrocities,  I have since removed those two troubling lines.  There is now a revised version of this poem, which appears later in the blog, republished and with more punctuation inserted.

In mindful consideration, I continue to hope for peace to come into all of our lives.

~ Holly Maxwell Boydell

Ek Wil Huis Toe Gaan – An Ode to South Africa – With Translation

A Power of Prosperity moment.

A Kwa-Zulu Natal house martin, resting on a telephone wire at the Author’s home in Berwickshire, UK.

In my previous blogpost, I explained the writing of this poem, which seemed to write itself one chilly evening in Britain, during October 2013. I have now cobbled together a translation, which appears below the original, for those who do not speak Afrikaans nor know the South African lingo …

Ek Wil Huis Toe Gaan

Ek wil huis toe gaan …
Weg van hierdie koue plek;
Weg van hier, waar die mense kan nie lag nie;
Weg van die grys en die vreeslike ys,
Daar waar die hemel dikwels blou is;
Waar die mense lag en speel,
Waar die vriende warm is,
En die blommetjies baie is;
Waar die dikdikke dik,
En die blomme lekker ruik;
Waar die koppies loer my in,
En die pad lekker warm onder die fiets is;
Waar die biltong smaak,
En die boerewors kraak;
Waar die sonskyn soos parfum op my vel voel,
En die wind so lieflik oor die veldt grassies ‘skyn’ …
Ja, ek wil huis toe gaan.
Ek moet huis toe gaan.
Ek kan nie langer wag nie,
Ek moet huis toe gaan.
Die pyn is soms vreeslik koud.
Ek moet huis toe gaan,
Voor alles is vergeet en ek is baie oud.
Draai my huis toe nou,
Op die wind en die voel se rug,
Nou, asseblief, gee my ‘n bietjie verlig,
Ek wil huis toe gaan.

Asseblief. Net huis toe. Nou.

~ : ~

 

And in English, a rough translation …


I Want To Go
Home

I want to go home …
Away from this cold place;
Away from here, where the people cannot laugh;
Away from the grey and the terrible ice,
There where the sky is often blue;
Where the people laugh and play,
Where the friends are warm,
And the flowers are many;
Where the dik-dik call,
And the flowers smell divine;
Where the little hills entice me,
And the road is hot under the bicycle;
Where the “biltong” tastes delicious,
And the “boerewors” crackles;
Where the sunshine feels like perfume on my skin,
And the wind shines so beautifully over the “veld” grasses …
Yes, I want to go home.
I cannot wait any longer,
I must go home.
The pain is sometimes freezing cold.
I must go home,
Before everything is forgotten and I am very old.
Draw me homewards now,
On the wind and the back of the bird,
Now, please, give me a little relief,
I want to go home.

Please. Just home. Now.

~ : ~


Explanation of Words used

Boerewors :  a spicy South African sausage.
Biltong : a dried meat, often spiced with coriander seed.
Dik-dik : a very small type of antelope, named for the sound  that they make.
Veld or Veldt : the wide open spaces of natural African grasslands / meadows.
Verlig : literally translates as someone who holds progressive or enlightened views, in this poem used with liberty to describe a sense of relief, lightheartedness, or respite from continual care or burden.

Holly x

The original poem, written in Afrikaans on 26 October 2013.
Translation on12 August 2015.
~ by Holly Maxwell Boydell