Thursday, January 1, 2009

255. Chintz.

New Year! A time for nostalgia!

The picture couldn't be more appropriate to this poem. The scene portrays the idealised 'Englishness' of my childhood, no doubt seen through rose-tinted glasses. I have often wondered how our parents, with the threat of War hanging over them, managed to create an atmosphere of calm and certainty! Nowadays, with young children learning so much about War and Depression and Crime from the TV it must be much harder to shelter them from reality, which is what my parents did.


A New Year dawns and I recall
Other New Years when I was small,
When 'Christmas trees were still so tall'
And way above me.
When, in the Northern Hemisphere
I woke up to another year,
Surrounded by those I held dear,
And knew would love me.

The world seemed oh, so safe and calm,
So quite removed from all alarm,
So free of anything like harm,
So bright and breezy.
Such chintzy cheer, such fire-bright flames,
Such relatives with well-known names,
Such laughter and such merry games.
Life seemed so easy.

Yet, for the adults at that time,
Life often seemed far from sublime,
The threat of Universal Crime
And Conflagration
Approached from somewhere very near,
And it drew nearer every year,
At any time it would appear
With devastation.

How did my parents laugh and smile,
With Hitler hovering all the while?
Yet breast-beating was not their style;
They showed no sorrow.
That's why, at certain times like these,
When worries tend to taunt and tease
I like to mutter 'Stand at ease!'
To face tomorrow.

Here, in a country far away,
I wake up on this holiday
Hoping, that I, like them, can stay
Relaxed, unflurried,
So that my grandsons may recall
When they are older, strong and tall,
That childhood was good fun, that's all,
And stay unworried.


Winifred said...

Brenda that is such a lovely poem. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for this.

I'm sitting here reflecting too thinking about New Years and Christmases of my childhood. I've often wondered how our parents kept going through those dark times.

I said to my husband last night if the BBC (and others) had reported the war in the negative manner they're reporting the current economic problems we'd have given in to Hitler in 1939!

Winifred said...

I forgot to say have a wonderful year in 2009!

Bear Naked said...

May all our grandchildren have a relaxed and fun growing up time.

Bear((( )))

LA Nickers said...

This one is truly a treasure. I love the artwork, and your verses offer a legacy for future generations to ponder.

Happy New Year, my friend.


Indrani said...

The world definitely was more beautiful then. Beautiful lines.
Happy New Year to you!

Kat said...

"....With Hitler hovering all the while?"

Now the TV has removed the insulation to the children about war, crime and depression which the parents could then provide.

reminded me of your poem (92. Electronic Barrier )- the lost smile of the younger generation..!!