Photo of United Nations Headquarters in New York‘Requiem for the U.N.’ and Other Poetry by Rod Walford The Society January 17, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 6 Comments Requiem for the U.N. 73 years—countless billions of dollars— And here we are today… Behold the statesmen smartly dressed Assembled from the East and West United in your global cause To feed the poor and end all wars. Yet still we wonder why we see The daily carnage on TV The bloodied flesh, the burning skin The poisoned children’s screaming kin Whilst all can see you know no lack Upon the toothless tiger’s back Where platitudes are pitched and tossed As children burn and lives are lost. You had the means, you had the call Diplomacy ignored it all United Nations—carve your name On tablets of eternal shame! Eroticus Gratifica Love is in the morning dewdrop that enfolds his moist embrace ‘Round the newly dawning rosebud as she turns her pastel face To the glories of the sunshine yearning deftly to arise As the night-time’s fading shadows flee the splendour of the skies. In the gleaming mellow sauna of the slowly rising mist Comes the haunting culmination of the moment they had kissed Then his velvet charms en-trance her as they linger and abide Like fairy seeds of dandelion upon a fairground ride. As the rosebud gently opens and the dewdrop falls away With his dying remnants fading in the newborn warmth of day Glowing echoes bloom and shimmer with a beauty rich and rare And a radiance that, but for love, could not have lingered there. Somewhere deep within the darkness, in the confines of the night Love had cast its jewelled sequins in the silver moon’s soft light. There is power in the healing whose caress all life sustains He may vanish with the sunlight, but his legacy remains. He came not with cries of passion, nor with promises of power But with grace in love abiding through the silence of the hour. In her dreams and smiles and sorrows still his spirit shall remain As it was from the beginning … and will surely be again. Late for Supper A Tribute to Parents of Soldiers Who Never Returned They were standing on a cliff top, it was bleak and grey and cold And their boy had been a soldier, barely twenty-six years old Now they stared in desolation ‘cross the great Pacific void At the distant northern shadows beyond which he’d been deployed. He had died a bloody hero as so many soldiers do Now for sure there’d be a medal and a carved inscription too And his country would express its thanks upon a concrete wall But, standing on that cliff, they wished he’d never died at all. Now he’d not be late for supper or fix up his noisy car He’d not be laughing with his mates down at the local bar His bed would not be slept in nor his clothes left on the floor They were parents of a soldier and they’d lost their son to war. And the wind felt cold and hostile as it swirled around them there Full of emptiness and aching with the pain of dark despair And its song was all-consuming as it chilled them to the core They were parents of a soldier—and they’d lost their son to war. Then they turned back from the ocean and they headed for their car A part of them forever both a hero and a star They thought of all those yet to come and all those gone before Who were and will be Mums and Dads whose children went to war. Still the winds of war keep coming and the bullets find their mark And every loss leaves one more loving family in the dark They say it’s all for freedom, so the young can have their day But for parents of the fallen there’s no higher price to pay. All poems © Rod Walford Rod Walford is an Englishman living in Auckland, New Zealand and has been writing poetry for some 25 years. He is a semi-retired diesel fuel injection engineer. He has self-published several books of rhyming poetry including “Timeless,” “Real Poetry for Real Women (written by a man),” and “One Hour before the Dawn.” Access his website here: www.rodwalfordpoetry.com NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 6 Responses Alan January 17, 2020 Your first poem packs a punch. (I like the fact that your rhymes don’t depend on inversions.) However, what can we expect from an organization like the United Nations? I don’t know much about that body, but if most people want war, then war is what we will have until some other force overcomes people’s desire for war. What Jesus stated is still (unfortunately) relevant today: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” (Matthew 11:12, NASB) As for your third poem, I think there are many reasons that young people go to war, including poverty, the need to have a purpose and join with a larger group, the need to feel patriotic, the need to take revenge on real or imagined enemies, and the need to prove their mettle. But I don’t think that, in the end, the young “have their day” or benefit from war. Many die, but even more live with PTSD and other problems. Your lines are very smooth, but I think you can improve this one at “or fix up,” which kind of changes the rhythm: “Now he’d not be late for supper or fix up his noisy car” You might try something like this: Now he’d not be late for supper to repair his noisy car Reply Rod January 17, 2020 Hi Alan – thank you for your comments. Sadly for the human race both Jesus and yourself are quite correct as Matthew records. Both the first and third poems are more about consequences than method ( or lack of it). The line you mention is a nod to New Zealand vernacular – as vs1 indicates, the particular bereaved parents are in the South Pacific area where they are far more likely to use the expression “fix up” than “repair”. I didn’t think it upset the flow that much. Kind regards – Rod Reply Alan January 17, 2020 We also use “fix” in the US: “I’m going to fix (prepare) dinner.” “I’ve got to fix (repair) my car.” But, to my knowledge, we don’t usually use, “fix up.” The reason I mentioned the line is because “-er or fix up” seems to me to have two weak stresses followed by two strong stresses, but that’s just how I hear it. It’s not a big problem. I’ll bookmark your website so I can peruse it later. C.B. Anderson January 19, 2020 In the first poem I appreciated your take on the toothless U.N. disorganization, but I found the other two rather sappy and lacking pith. Reply Rod January 20, 2020 Thank you C.B. for your candid opinion. One out of three ain’t bad I guess. I’ll try to do better next time. 🙂 Reply Rod February 8, 2020 Did you actually pick up on what the 2nd poem is actually about C.B.? Just interested – the clue is in the title 🙂 Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.