Poet's Shed: Week 11

Poetry readings to give inspiration and encouragement.
Written and read by Frank Scammell

I Cannot Breathe, Not Playing Safe and Will You Play with Me?

Week 11 – 9th June 2020
written and read by Frank Scammell


I Cannot Breathe

This is the season of poppies
Not peonies.
Forty thousand faces
Not dancing in the sun.
Each poppy a family
Sitting quietly in grief.
Carer and cared for
Meeting equally in pain.
Ambulances rushing patients who
Cry out ‘I cannot breathe.’

 This is the season of poppies
Not peonies,
When pent up protests
Crowd our empty streets
To make us look inside
To see if racial hatred
Lies within our pleasant hearts.
We’ve let injustice reign too long.
Now well respected ears must hear
The black man, helpless, Christ like
Cry out ‘I cannot breathe.’

Not Playing Safe

Today I took the path less travelled.
It opened onto a treasure of surprises.
The screeching pheasant feigning speed.
The castle appearing from the mist.
The bright green bluebells promising more.
The still sea hiding its power to rage.

The less travelled path opens onto glory
That the well trod path denies.
Do I prefer my God within a tight locked box
Where I control his every move.
Or will I follow him onto open moors
Where every step demands my faith to trust.

 God, surprise and stretch me.
Teach me how to follow.
Step me out onto the water.
Keep my eyes fixed on you
And catch me when I fall.

Will You Play with Me?

A grandson with a grandad is
A special combination.
‘Grandad will you play with me?’
What privileged words to hear.
The toys are our children’s toys,
The car, the farm, the train track too,
Transport us back through years
To sleepless nights and anxious thoughts
When we were parents with our own.
What were my grandads like?
I never knew, a missing link in time.
Perhaps they would have held me in their arms
And passed on wisdom learned through pain.
Grant me the years to see these grow
Through life with all its dangers.
Keep them safe, teach them love,
Enfold them in a faith that grows
Far beyond what I already know.
For now I’ll settle for these words I hear.
‘Grandad will you play with me?’