Day 46. Something Wonderful

Welcome to Day 46 of the Poetry for Peace Poemathon, Friday 1st June 2018. I am very pleased to be joined again today by fellow-poet and writer, George Yesthal from the United States. His beautifully crafted and heartfelt poem, Upon the Shining Shore ( a fallen soldier's hymn) is included below. Its inclusion is rather timely considering the theme of my own poem today.

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Something Wonderful

by Steve Cook

Something wonderful's happening,

Has anyone noticed?

We live on a planet

Overbrimming with artists.

Wherever you listen or look,

Whatever you will,

Musicians and painters

With consummate skill,

Sculptors and designers

With the deftest of touches,

Composers and dancers

With magical flourish

Are busily working with true dedication

To revive and to nourish

The soul of their nations.

Down through the ages

There never has been

Such an army of angels

Stoking our dreams.

Where once there were dozens

The numbers exploded

So now there are thousands

Just as skilled and devoted

Or creatively driven

As Goethe or Turner

Keats or Beethoven.

Where do they all come from

To so suddenly appear?

Perhaps nobody knew it

But they were always right here,

But dire economics

And the strictures of living

Imprisoned the spirit

In straits unforgiving

And generations of genius

Died undiscovered

Under penury's shroud

By illiteracy smothered;

While the poet ploughed furrows

Alone with his rhymes,

The composer too harrowed

By the demands of his times

Could only make ditties

In the back of his mind.

But now it seems to me

That a miracle happened

And the arrival on Earth

Of our great civilisation

Freed us from the chains

Of want and starvation

So artists can flourish

And their wondrous creations

Can dance on the airwaves

Of mass communication.

Thanks to the progress

Of past generations,

This wonderful window

Of freedom flew open.

To create something wonderful

Therefore is our obligation,

To pay our debt wisely

Without reservation.

But the debt shouldn't weigh heavy

Or occasion some guilt

For rebirth is real

And we've contrived to inherit

What we ourselves built.

All I can tell you is

This much I have learned;

All we are heir to

Is thoroughly earned.

Upon the Shining Shore (a fallen soldier's hymn)

by George A. Yesthal

Would you await, dear heart

In the early morning’s glowing

By the meadow long for me

With the sleepy cattle lowing.

All along the wayside

And by the coursing river wide

I shall come a rolling home

For alas I have, in battle died.

But e’en if I shall bend and fall

My spirit heeds the loving call

Of your sweet beck, I shall return

In spring when the sweetgrass is tall.

And we shall join a merry dance

And I will take your lovely hand

To kiss once more then I shall leave

To touch no more the loam and land.

Should you in quiet evening hear

A soft ‘I love you’ brush your ear

‘Tis only me drawn back to you

So shed for me no mournful tear.

But tell my tale, my lot and lore

And miss me not forever more

For I shall wait for you away

Upon the distant shining shore.

Upon the shining shore

Upon the shining shore…