The Right Word, Cornish Lane and A Cat

06 Aug

As we listen to the news around the world of wars and oppression, a poem I read once by Imtiaz Dharker came to mind, “The Right Word” and I thought again as I have before of how important the ‘right word’ is.  The women fighting for the vote a hundred years ago, including my Great Granny, were sometimes described as terrorists. Imtiaz Dharker puts her finger on it perfectly here as she so often does and makes me think of the children who are sometimes used in wars.

                The Right Word

Outside the door,
lurking in the shadows,
is a terrorist.

Is that the wrong description?
Outside that door,
taking shelter in the shadows,
is a freedom fighter.

I haven’t got this right .
Outside, waiting in the shadows,
is a hostile militant.

Are words no more
than waving, wavering flags?
Outside your door,
watchful in the shadows,
is a guerrilla warrior.

God help me.
Outside, defying every shadow,
stands a martyr.
I saw his face.

No words can help me now.
Just outside the door,
lost in shadows,
is a child who looks like mine.

One word for you.
Outside my door,
his hand too steady,
his eyes too hard
is a boy who looks like your son, too.

I open the door.
Come in, I say.
Come in and eat with us.

The child steps in
and carefully, at my door,
takes off his shoes.

I love the dappled sunlight that scatters its glow around our Cornish lanes.

Cornish lane

Walking back from our rehearsal at St Euny Church tonight, we were accompanied by this pretty cat who wouldn’t keep still for a photo!

The cat who followed us almost home


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4 responses to “The Right Word, Cornish Lane and A Cat

  1. valeriedavies

    August 9, 2018 at 5:07 am

    An amazing poem Sally … so many layers – about non-judgement, different points of view and above all, keeping an open heart…
    As for the glorious Cornish lane – homesickness wrings my heart !!!

  2. Arkenaten

    August 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Aaah, Sally. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff!

    There are still enough great things to make you smile.

    Odd as it might seem we are living in the most advanced and productive period in our history.

    Watch more funny movies!
    I recommend Grumpy Old Men!

    • mybeautfulthings

      August 7, 2018 at 5:41 am

      Normally I don’t. That is the whole point of Beautfulthings but foolishly I watched a programme about the battle for Mosul and it got into my head. It won’t happen again! Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂

      • Arkenaten

        August 7, 2018 at 7:52 am

        As Sheldon Cooper once said:
        ”Peace out! ”



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