Saturday, December 12, 2015

Steve Turner: A Soldiers Silent Night

'Twas the night before Christmas. 
He lived all alone,
In a one-bedroom house 
Made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney, 
With presents to give
To see just who,
In this dwelling did live.
I looked all around, 
A strange sight to see
No tinsel, no presents, 
Not even a tree.
On the wall hung pictures 
of far distant lands.
Medals ‘n badges and awards of every kind;
A sobering thought came alive in my mind.
This house was different …
It was dark, it was dreary.
I had found the home of a soldier, 
I could see that most clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping. 
Silent, alone;
Curled up on the floor 
in his one-bedroom home.
His face was so gentle, 
The room in such disorder;
Not at all how I pictured 
a British Army soldier.
Was this the hero, 
of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, 
the floor for a bed.
Then I realized the other families 
that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to soldiers 
Who were willing to fight.
In the morning, around the world, 
Children would play;
Grown-ups would celebrate 
A bright Christmas day.
But they all enjoy freedom, 
Each month of the year,
Because of soldiers 
like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help but wonder 
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve
In lands far from home.
The very thought 
Brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees 
I started to cry.
The soldier awakened, 
I heard his rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, 
This life is MY choice.
I fight for freedom, 
I don’t ask for more;
My life is my God, 
My country, my Corps.”
The soldier rolled over, 
and drifted to sleep,
But I couldn’t control it, 
I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, 
So silent and still.
As both of us shivered 
From the cold night’s chill.
I didn’t want to leave him 
On that cold, dark night;
This guardian of honor, 
So willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over,
In a voice soft and pure,
He whispered, “Carry on Santa, 
it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch, 
I knew he was right.
Merry Christmas my friend,
May God bless you this night.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Robert Graves (Deceased December 7th. 1985): Counting the Beats

Robert Graves Tomb at Deia, Majorca

You, love, and I,
(He whispers) you and I,
And if no more than only you and I,
What care you or I?

Counting the beats,
Couting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Cloudless day,
Night, and a cloudless day,
Yet the huge storm will burst upon their heads one day
From a bitter sky.

Where shall we be,
(She whispers) where shall we be,
When death strikes home, O where then shall we be
Who were you and I?

Not there but here,
(He whispers) only here,
As we are, here, together, now and here,
Always you and I.

Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Samuel Graves (1924-2015)

Samuel Nicholson Graves, Robert’s youngest son with Nancy Nicholson, died peacefully, in Orgiva, Spain, last night (13-10-2015). 

He was 91.

He came over to Mallorca just over a month ago to say his fairwells to his half brothers and sister, Willliam, Lucia and Tomás and their families, and he visited his father’s house to which he had been a frequent visitor. He left after signing his name over two pages of the visitors’ book! His sense of humour never left him. 

Sam studied architecture at Jesus College, Cambridge, in the 1940s, then worked in an architect’s office. After marrying Anneliese Hildebrandt, they moved to Whiltshire where he renovated old houses. In the late 1980’s he moved to Orgiva, in Granada.

He leaves his children, Manuela and David, and grandchildren.

Samuel N. Graves, el hijo pequeño de Robert con Nancy Nicholson, murió anoche (13-10-2015), en Orgiva, Granada, a los 91 años.

Vino hace un mes a Mallorca a despedirse de sus hermanastros William, Lucía, Tomás, y de sus familias, y visitó la casa de su padre donde venia mucho en vida suya. Típico de su gran sentido del humor, usó dos hojas de nuestro libro de visitas para firmar su nombre.

En los años 1940 Sam estudió arquitectura en Jesus College, Cambridge, y trabajó en una empresa de arquitectos. Después de casarse con Anneliese Hildebrandt, se instalaron en el condado de Wiltshire donde renovaba casas antiguas. A finales de los años 80 se instaló en Orgiva, Granada.

Deja sus hijos Manuela y David, y nietos.

Foto Douglas Glass: Sam Graves en Cambridge, 1944

Monday, August 17, 2015

Robert Graves: Jonah

Robert Graves and Michael Caine, filming "Deadfall" in Majorca

A purple whale 
Proudly sweeps his tail 
Towards Nineveh; 
Glassy green 
Surges between
A mile of roaring sea. 

“O town of gold, 
Of splendour multifold, 
Lucre and lust, 
Leviathan’s eye
Can surely spy 
Thy doom of death and dust.” 

On curving sands 
Vengeful Jonah stands. 
“Yet forty days,
Then down, down, 
Tumbles the town 
In flaming ruin ablaze.” 

With swift lament 
Those Ninevites repent.
They cry in tears, 
“Our hearts fail!” 
The whale, the whale! 
Our sins prick us like spears.” 

Jonah is vexed;
He cries, “What next? what next?” 
And shakes his fist. 
“Stupid city, 
The shame, the pity, 
The glorious crash I’ve missed.”

Away goes Jonah grumbling, 
Murmuring and mumbling; 
Off ploughs the purple whale, 
With disappointed tail.