Poet's Shed: Week 4

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

Waves, The Dry Stone Wall and Alongside in Grief

Week 4 – 21st April 2020
written and read by Frank Scammell



I saw the wave coming
From a distance.
It was building
Crumbling its power in folds.
I braced my ankles firm
Into the sand
And still it took me
Swallowing under roaring foam,
A power greater than I
Leaving me gasping, grasping,
Dishevelled and shaken
Amongst the pebbles

 Sometimes the wave
Stealths up from behind,
Same power but now unseen
No shield to fight my corner
Just taken off my feet again
No time to prepare or complain.

All your breakers and waves
Have surged over me.
How can I have ears to hear
Your songs in the night
When I have no feet to stand?
Yet somehow Lord
You are in the wave
And under the water.
Even amongst the pebbles
You are there.
If only I could know this Lord
I could face the waves again.

The Dry Stone Wall

I have been placed
Within a dry stone wall.
All around me lie different shapes.
I did not choose my resting place
Or who my friends would be.
I see variety on every side.
Some stones seem beautifully formed.
No cracks and fault lines
That I know so well.
Others are jagged, sharp-edged.
You’d think so hard to butt against.
Yet they seem to have their place
Gently laid by craftsman’s hand.
A far greater mind than mine
Plays out this jigsaw pattern.
The wall works as it is.
There is no mortar here.
It holds together firm
Against all beating weather.
Age brings clinging moss and lichen
Adding beauty through maturing.
Sparrows find their creviced home.
Roman valerian roots and flowers.
All of life seems drawn to our security.
How sad then when our wall
Begins to crumble and dislodge.
Key stones are taken out
By foreign hand that does not know
How much we need each other.
You will not miss this stone
Here and here and here.
A dry stone wall complete
Is a thing of beauty to behold,
But bereft and broken down
It shouts decay, disaster
Brings sadness to my soul
And to my designing master.

Alongside in Grief

Don’t pass me by on the other side.
Stop to hear my grief.
Look me in the eye.
Share my tearful silence.
Give me the time to speak.
Hold your own grief locked for now.
Allow me space for anger.
Don’t laugh when I leave the room untouched.
Stay with all my mood swings.
Say that I’m not mad.
Realise my confidence builds so slowly.
Challenge me to step out but not too soon.
Encourage me with touch and value.
Let me choose the time to bag the clothes.
Know that I’ll wash my hair when I’m ready.
Cook me a meal but let me eat it all alone.
Be ready for my curses, cries and prayers.
Know that this is my journey not yours.