Read Poetry: Part 1 The Lady of the Meadow, by Fiona Jamieson

Silence , silence , everywhere
Not even bird song in the air
In stillness does the river flow
Yet poppies on the breeze do blow
On meadows that do stretch before
Today, as in the days of yore
What horrors does this scene betray
Under sky of blue on summers day?
Somewhere, within a trench unseen
There is a very different scene
Where prayers in silent whisper said
Whilst hearts do beat with fear and dread
And now we see, Tom, Bill and Joe
Waiting for the sign to go
And somewhere, not too far away
Hearts do beat in same way
Tom holds the picture to his heart
Of his sweetheart, sad they are apart
His finger soft, does trace her cheek
As a single tear his face does streak
A stolen glance, Bill scours the line
‘Do eyes betray their fear like mine”?
The whistle shrills, the hearts do race
And now beat at a faster pace
The silence broken, twas the sign
As from the trenches men do climb
And now the third and fourth do charge
As they their duty do discharge
No longer silence, fills the air
But artillery rattles everywhere
As canons blast their heavy load
With deafening boom does it explode
Crackle of gun, and thud on ground
The latter being quiet profound
Eyes blinded by the clouds of smoke
That shroud the meadow like a cloak
Still with his picture , tight in hand
Tom heads with fear to ‘no man’s land’
He wonders, should he take the chance
To stop and at the picture glance
‘Thud’ the bullet tears his chest
He falls, as blood seeps through his vest
With failing sight his fingers seek
And upon her picture Tom does weep
The light does fade, and darkness falls
Tom thinks he hears the angels call
He looks, upon a sea of dead
As poppies toss their heads of red.

She watched the scene, with tear in eye
Knowing many men that day would die
‘I simply do not understand
Why man can cause such harm to man
Why is it such a beauteous place
Bares witness to such deep disgrace
Where poppies red do grow beside
The cornflower blue, both stand with pride
Must I this bloody scene purvey?
When deep upon my heart this weighs
Have I the right to intervene
And save these men from nightmares dream?
Should I show mercy, I know I can
And in doing so such actions ban?
But I am told, ’tis not the way
For man does lead himself astray
The lessons, hard, and must be learned
If man can his redemption earn
I pledge, as now my tears do flow
Forever here, will flowers grow
Meadows filled with red and blue
Dancing in the breeze for you
And whilst my heart aches with regret
My promise: They will not forget.’

She from his hand, the picture took
Determined she should take a look
A beauty, it was clear to see
Did from the picture look at she
Peach coloured cheeks with dark brown eyes
She saw how Daisy, was Tom’s prize
‘Yes’ she thought, ’twas worth the chance
For Tom to take that one last glance’
A moment, Tom begins to stir
But all around does seem a blur
He knows his heart no longer beats
Yet finds himself upon his feet
Confused, he stares with eyes aghast
Upon his chest ripped by the blast
Blood flows still with growing speed
It seems the very earth doth bleed
He casts his eyes, for treasure lost
Which Tom must find at any cost
The picture gone, where could it be
The only treasure dear to he
Touched, she softly calls his name
Holds out the picture, Tom reclaims
And with a smile says ‘ take my hand
Its time to leave this no mans land
The dark does fade, departs the night
And we must walk towards the light’.

Tom turned, and took her outstretched hand
And together they crossed no mans land
As they walked, before his eyes
A thousand fallen men did rise
A smile, a wave, for Tom sees Joe
The one who’d been the first to go
No longer torn by sense of fear
Just led by she who seeks to steer
Yet Tom is troubled by the thought
Of his sweetheart Daisy, now distraught
‘Lady, I know not your name
And do not know from whence you came
Are you an angel, tell me please?
Do you come to now our souls release?
She smiled, with finger touched his cheek
‘I’ll give the answers you do seek.’
I am one, who guides the way
To every soul on judgment day
But now I have a special task
For I know that which you do not ask
Your lovely, Daisy, yes will grieve
For a telegram she will receive
But I promise , love has no regrets
And her Tom, she never will forget
There will come a time you meet again
Your hearts freed from relentless pain.’

‘Come , she said ‘and watch with me
Come, Tom, see what I do see
Spring forward twenty years or more
See Daisy, stood, her heart still sore
Though older now her eyes still shine
Her heart for ever still is thine
See how she stands before the grave
Lips tremble, yet I know she’s brave
Look, Tom, she clasps unto her chest
An image of you, she loved the best
Watch dear Tom, she’s in a daze
As falling tears her eyes do glaze
Listen Tom, hear her yet’,
‘I promised I would not forget.’
‘Go now Tom, its not remiss
And on her cheek plant softest kiss
Go dear Tom, for I know its true
She knows that kiss does come from you.’

Alone, walked she, among the dead
That o’er the summer meadow spread
She stopped, and watched, still poppies danced
By those who fell as they advanced
She saw how flowing blood did feed
The also fallen poppy seeds
She knew that by the month of June
The meadow would with poppies bloom
A sudden breeze, a summers chill
For Tom did stand beside her still
His face she saw with angst was torn
‘I know my Daisy, how she’ll mourn
I know how deep her heart will ache
Lady, please, for Daisy’s sake’
With outstretched hand again he spoke
‘Please give to her this envelope.’

She took the note and promised he
It would find its way to dear Daisy
Its words did tear her heart in two
For she knew the words were pure and true

‘Love, if you this letter read
I beg you, let your heart not bleed
I did not weather storm of night
And blackness now has dimmed my light
But give to me your loving smile
For I’ll be gone, for just a while
Cry, not for me, my Daisy please
For I come to you on mornings breeze
Let not your cheek be stained with tear
Just call my name and I will hear
Remember me, and times of joy
And kiss for me Arthur, our boy
Know my soul is filled with love
And looks upon you from above
Bonds that bind both you and I
Cannot be broken when I die
Ask my friends to raise a cheer
And drink for me a pint of beer
Smile, my Daisy please stay strong
Always , your own beloved Tom.’

Still stood amongst the poppies red
The cornflowers too still swayed their heads
The Goddess knew what she must do
To Tom’s request she would be true
The letter was a precious gift
She knew would Daisy’s spirits lift
A gift that she would always treasure
For through it Tom would live forever
Across the meadow , she did screen
Her eyes upon the tragic scene
‘How many men did die this day
Too short their lives to end this way
How many Tom’s their lives did give
For those unknown, that they might live
How many Daisy’s now do grieve
When their telegram they do receive?
How many hearts today now break?
For them my very soul does ache.’

Unseen, she stood beside her bed
And watched her toss and turn her head
Stifled sobs, and breaking heart
What wisdom could she now impart?
She took the letter from her cloak
And then to Daisy softly spoke
‘Sleep, for you will find your peace
And from your pain will come release’
Slowly did the sobs subside
As she moved to stand at Daisy’s side
She placed the letter in her hand
And a poppy red, from no man’s land
‘Daisy, though your heart does ache
Tom begs a smile, for his souls sake
The words he wrote I know are wise
For he sees beyond his own demise
The bonds that bound you and he
Will last for all eternity
When you do feel the summers breeze
It’s Tom’s kiss that does gently tease
And yes, he stands beside me now
With gentle finger strokes your brow
Listen to your place of dreams
Where all is not quite what it seems
Dream dear Daisy, he calls your name
And says his death was not in vain
Know that when you feel despair
Just call his name, for he is there
Another time, in depth of night
He’ll come to lead you to the light
A light to lead your new journey
And then, I know, you will be free.’

Twas another forty years and four
Before Daisy saw her Tom once more
Daisy, sick, lays in her bed
Confused, she cannot clear her head
Baby Arthur, long a man
Does sit and hold his mother’s hand
A whispered word, ‘Mum night does creep
It’s a good day for your longest sleep.’
The clouds do lift from Daisy’s eyes
And joyous from her comes a cry
For stood, beside her she does see
Her Tom, who says ‘I’ve come for thee
Come my Daisy, fast comes night
And walk with me into the light
I promised then that, you and me
Will live our life eternally.’
Gently now, he stroked her hair
And whispered ‘Ever still my Daisy fair’
Come, for now the lady calls
To take you to the judgement hall
Come, my Daisy, here’s my hand
Its time to leave this mortal land’
Come my love, ‘no time for tears
The light shines bright, the way is clear
Come my love, begin anew
Your Tom is now returned to you.’

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