Author Archives: anhaga1

Autobiography of a Poem

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When first I wake to rosy dawn, fresh from dreams of heaven, all life ahead of me and all things possible, I see myself an epic: great, a world-encompassing story of heroic deeds and tales of gods.  When my days begin to lengthen I bethink myself an ode: still heroic, honouring bravery and great power, but brought down to size, fitting the measure of one human life.  As I grow into callow youth, into the sweet Elizabethan spring of life, I am enchanted by the lyric and believe if I can be a sonnet with one clear thought, whole and complete like a full-blown rose, that will be accomplishment enough.  In middle life the wind changes and scatters the petals of my verse.  I lose metre and rhyme and blurt out only lines here and there of free verse or poetic prose, stumbling and stuttering like gunfire on a death-strewn field, all light and possibilities lost, or driven helpless in a sinking raft against a rockbound, twisting riverbank, a desolate threnody.  Standing alone upon this shattered field in twilight’s calm, the rapids safely shot and I still alive, I think perhaps I am an elegy, honouring what has gone before, the fallen dreams, ideals that died, all trampled now in mud and mire and blood, or drowned beneath a foaming wave.  But even as I move to close my book, the darkening shadows blotting out my words, I turn to take another look.  In a black sky stars blink on, planets in their stately dance proceed, the moon smiles with a face lit by the hidden sun.  Perhaps my life has been a paean: a hymn of praise, of thanks for being.  I’ll spend the night thus, singing praises of the power that moves the stars and wait with certainty the coming dawn.

First written 29.7.2007/edited 21.4.2019

Fire

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The fire in Notre Dame Cathedral may be a wake up call to humanity. It’s being pointed out that our natural world is figuratively, in some cases literally, going up in flames as habitat is destroyed, species go extinct, humans pollute and change the entire globe. In smaller ways we willingly destroy our own built heritage, the legacy of a past which is being discarded and stamped out at an alarming rate. We are not even educating our children properly any more; they are losing the heritage which is their birthright, the wisdom accumulated by humans over many millennia.

History note

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I am moving into history. When my aunt passed away recently it dawned on me that I’m now the oldest member of this particular branch of my family. This morning I consider what this really means and know the inexorable tide of history shall bear me away as it has taken all the others who went before. Where do we go, we scraps of flotsam drifting in and out on the tides of life? For a lifetime I’ve been asking the questions, who am I, why am I here, what’s it all about? And perhaps, like Wordsworth, am further away from answers than when I was a child. Time, now, to think about returning to the well from which I sprang.