Through the Years by Allan D. Stewart - HTML preview

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Allan D Stewart

1946 - 2005 Through The Years Index
Always There
When
The Youth of Yesterday
Thoughts
My Heart
The Last Farwell
Why Me
The Wanderer
The Missing Link
Internet Love
To My Special Friend
What is Love
The Windmills of my Mind Life’s a Bitch
Love On Line
Broken Friendships
Wishful Thinking
The Loneliness of the Lonely
Memory Lane
Home Alone
Our Christmas Message
Through The Years

Introduction

This is the third book of poetry that I have written, and published over the last 40 years or so. Those of you who have read either of my previous books – ‘Just
Me’ (1971) and “Through The Windmills of my mind” (1983) will recognise several of the
pieces in this book, along with some relatively new pieces with a link to the World Wide
Web and the Internet.

I have used the word published. That however, is just a dream. What it does mean is that I wrote, typed, proof read, retyped, printed and photo copied them and put them into folders myself. That means you wont find any of my books on library shelves, not just yet.

Over the years, both readers and critics of my work have all come up with the same question, albeit phrased in different ways – and that is – ‘Where do you find your inspiration’? Well I could have used that old cliché that says 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration; but that would not be true. I actually find it a close to home.

My inspiration comes from something that breaths, from something that has nothing to do with culture or religion, class or creed. I find my inspiration in LIFE itself. Let me explain.
In any one day of anyone’s life, they will have to face a whole myriad of feelings and emotions, and deal with them in their own unique way.

Emotions such as love and joy. The same feelings that I had when holding my newborn son for the first time; the way I feel when a stranger smiles at me, or my boss gives me a compliment; the emotions I have on receiving a letter from a dear but distant friend.

On the other side of the coin you have those not so nice, but oh so necessary emotions, for you cant have sunshine without rain. Emotions such as anger – the sort you feel when you come across cruelty to animals or humans; your reaction when you have spent twenty minutes in a Post Office queue and it closes just as you reach the front; or how you feel when you come across injustice, stupidity or ignorance.

One emotion that you will come across in my poetry, is loneliness. That feeling of desolation, of wanting to belong to someone. somehow, somewhere. However, you will also find humour, honesty, truth, understanding, confusion, betrayal and many, many more emotions that I don’t have a name for or room enough to print them all.

A Poet can be likened to an Artist. An artist will often paint something that he sees or has seen, in the hope that those that view his work might somehow share in the emotions he felt as he painted the piece. A Poet - paints pictures with words.

I hope you find pleasure, perhaps a hidden memory, and maybe a better understanding of me, in what you are about to read.

 

Allan D Steweart

 

Milton Keynes – December 2005 1

This first piece, though not actually poetry, demands a place in every book I write. It was first written over thirty five years ago, when I was a young and inexperienced sailor joining my very first ship. As I settled down that first night, although I was surrounded by many other’s, boys and men, some probably feeling just as I was - I felt so alone. Everything was so different, there was no familiarity around me. I was alone. I was heading for pastures new and places I had only dreamt about.

A lot of water has passed under the keels since then, and as time passed by, a few more lines were added to this piece of prose - but…this is exactly what it was at that time - a dedication to two wonderful loving people that were……”

Always There

As the ship sailed out of the harbour, and into the wide blue yonder; I felt the first pangs, of loneliness, that strange feeling of being homesick. For the first time in my life I was alone, or as alone as one can be on a ship with a crew of 2000 ,but to me I felt alone. And I was alone; alone to make my own decisions; alone to follow my own path in life; alone to stand on my own two feet.
Prior to that time in my life I had, I must admit; taken my parents for granted… for whenever I had needed them; they had always been there, both for me, and for my seven brothers and one solitary sister.

They were there when -as a very young child; I had stolen a ride on the tow bar of an Ice Cream Van, had fallen off, and had received a bruised head, and an even bigger bruised ego.

They were there throughout my childhood. In times of illness a comforting hand In times of sorrow, a shoulder to cry on - In times of anger, understanding.

 

They were there, even in absence. My father was so often serving hid country far away at sea, yet his love and presence were forever there with us.

They were there, in times of pain, and sorrow, and hope. My mother, so dangerously ill after a major operation - The doctors could do no more - Only the will to live; to return home to her loving husband and loving family that needed her so much, saved the world, and us, from a tragic loss.

They were there. Each and every time I fell in and out of love - Each time vowing that this would be the last time.They were there to share in the joy of the birth of my son and then in the death of my marriage. There to help me pick up the pieces, and start all over again. Twice.
They were there, as each of us grew, in size and stature. There, as each met, courted and married, and had children of their own. There to help, to guide, and to love each grandchild, as a child of their own………

Some may think, and I have even heard some say; that now we are all grown up, we dont need Mum and Dad anymore - that we are Mums and Dads ourselves. I cannot agree -No matter how old we grow, how rich we become, we will >>>>>> always need them. I believe that we should let them live these, their twilight hours, in harmony and peace; but I still have my memories, and I still have their love, and if they ever need me, I truly hope that I will always be there, for them.

As I said at the beginning of this piece - this dedication was first written many years ago, and has been added to as the years passed by. Sadly, my beloved mother passed away some years ago, it was such a tragic loss, she was an Angel without wings. Thank God I still have my Dad. A saint without halo, A father, a friend and a mate all rolled into one. For him, I will always be there.

2

There have been many times in my life, when I have felt so very alone - times when I would have given anything just to have a friend - a friend just to talk to- …a friend to help and guide me in my hour of need. In time, I found such friends. If you should ever need someone, please remember these words……”

WHEN

When you reach out your hand but find nobody there.
When your feeling so alone and so sad… and in deep despair.
When you really need a friend….. I will be there.

When your mind is so full of confusion and your heart is so full of doubt.
When you feel that you are being used…. And need to talk it out.
When you need a friend just shout And - I will be there.

When the dreams you had planned no longer seem very real.
When you feel that life itself
has dealt you a rough deal.
When your heart is full of such pain that time alone can never heal. I will be there

Though I cannot promise you an answer to everything.
I will try to ease your suffering.
I can help by understanding
the way that you feel…..
Those dark secret thoughts
that you dare not reveal.

I can offer you guidance, in time of need. I can show you the way. .but never lead. I can offer you time, compassion and care; But…most of all….
I will always be there.

”This next piece is the shortest in the entire book, yet it describes exactly what this book contains – my thoughts – which – along with my emotions , create the backbone to every poem”

Thoughts

Thoughts.
They fill our minds a million times of a day.
They are the prompters of all that we do or say. They are the building blocks of memories and dreams. They are a necessary part of life it seems.
They can be joyful or happy – sorrowful or sad. They can be deep or fleeting – good and bad…… They are our own, yet so very often of others… …strangers, friends, sisters or brothers.

3 They help us to read and to understand
They nurture the hopes and the dream we have planned
From the moment we take our very first breath
And even beyond, some believe, our death.

Thoughts.
They have been here beside me every day of my life…. This book - contains but a few.
Thoughts from deep within my heart
That I would like to share - with you.

“ If I was asked to choose the one piece from all the poems that I have written, to signify my view of this world -it would be this one. It was originally written in the early 70’s,when, as a young sailor; I was serving on a warship on coastal patrol in the Persian Gulf. These thoughts echoed my feelings at that time - and now reading it again I realize that nothing much has changed – and in my mind I can still hear the haunting words of…….”.

The Youth of Yesterday - The Old Man of Tomorrow

“What is thy purpose on the earth my son? the Old Man asked of me –
as we stood on a cloud, high above the Earth a warring, raging sea - of people.

As I thought on how best to answer him… the stars in the heavens and the moon grew dim. Yet, I could still faintly see the Old Mans face; so full of love and compassion, for the human race and so - I answered him.

“ In this hostile world of ours, Peace is just a word. Often spoken of, .but never really heard.
This is a world where Ultimate Power is the aim of one and all A world where nations rise, and just as swiftly fall. A world where Strength and Winning is the name of the game and with that comes Power, Glory and Fame
Where the loser, loses hope, loses faith. loses face Yet where the only real loser -is the human race.” It is a world where to lose is wrong. and to win is always right. If one is to be the strongest, one always has to fight. No wonder its people find it so hard to unite.”

It is a world where religion, has caused many tragic wars where brother will fight brother in the name of the cause where Life and Death are decided behind closed doors Where Peace -is just another word for a conflict pause A world where each religion insists that God is on their side. If so, what happened to the millions of people that died Does any one really know -.can anyone ever tell… Where did they go to, is there really; a Heaven or Hell?” The Arabs, the Israelis, Ireland, North and South. A gun in the hand and a prayer on the mouth.
Bombing - .Murdering - …Devastation
And we call ourselves a peace loving nation?”
My purpose on Earth, is. .to me, so very clear

Yet -…a rather impossible dream I fear.…
But I will speak, and I will pray, that some will eventually hear my words.”

4

My aim is to bring unity, between class and creed.. in my actions - in my words - and in my every deed. I will write, in the hope, that others may read.
To show people that Life really could be worth living… if we were more caring; more loving and much more forgiving. If we accepted that in life, we are not all the same. Then - Peace could be more, than just a name.

Why should we care about the colour of a mans skin? Surely what’s more important is the soul that lies within? What is so different between a Muslim and a Jew… they both worship One God…..as most religions do? What is so different about the way we offer our prayers? be it kneeling on mats. .or sitting on chairs.

What difference if we worship in a synagogue in a Mosque in our homes or in a Church? If it is for the same purpose we pray and search…. for Peace on Earth; and Goodwill to all Mankind. Or…..is true Religion…just a state of mind? We are all Gods children -or so the Bible tells So what is that lights the fuse, what is it that impels men to kill and to maim, in the name of the Lord ? By bombing, by missile by the gun or by the sword.

Is it Power, or Jealousy…or just plain Greed…. Wanting something from life; that we dont really need?

As I paused to consider on what else I had to say; I looked up at the Old Man…- but he quickly looked away. Yet not before I had seen, the tears in his eyes… tears that he tried, but could not disguise
tears for the failure, of Gods Universal plan.
tears of blood, shed - for the stupidity of Man.

As I looked down, at the Earth far below… an anger within me began to grow So, I continued by saying-…I know… that the task I have set myself is daunting indeed. But someone has to start so that others may lead. My greatest hope is - that I will one day, succeed.” As I finished speaking, the light returned
and now I could clearly see, the Old Mans face; but as I did so, my heart began to quicken and my pulse began to race!

For it was then that I began to realize With a sense of determination and sorrow that I was that Youth of Yesterday
and - …the Old Man of Tomorrow.!!!

5

This next poem, was written not so many years ago, a time when I was in a relationship, that might, or might not, head anywhere. My partner of the time had asked me to tell her, in writing, my true feelings about our relationship. This was my answer.This old and weary heart of mine, is scarred, with time and

age.
Each love, a different story, Each romance, a different page
in the Book of Life.

My Heart

It has shared the youthful experience of romance. Pure and new. It has known the joy of tenderness -of love, sincere and true. It has felt the emotion, and the happiness of the wondrous birth of a child. The love, and the trust, of children - pure, and undefiled.

It has known the joy in sharing the love of colleagues and friends. And touched the very heart Of a love, that never ends.

 

Yet -it has also faced the bitterness -and the heartache of divorce; The tearing apart of life itself by some invisible force.

It has survived the anger, the bitterness and the pain and the loneliness when one has to face
The loss of that special ‘someone’ who can never be replaced. It has travelled to the very depths of despair;
When faith, and even faint hope, are gone.
It as also lost the will to live………. to try soldier on.

Yet somehow, it still beats on - it’s eternal rhythm of Life. And time does dimmer the memories of sorrow and strife. It awaits the day, when someone new
rekindles the flame - someone perhaps…. like you.

When joy and passion , and tenderness
are found in a smile - a tender caress.
When life is worth living -every moment of every day. And so, my dearest friend - to you….this I say;

If your heart, and my heart should someday become entwined. Before you actually tie the knot please bare this thought in mind. If my heart should beat, for you, and you alone
with a love, that is so deep and so rare.
Please treat it, as you would, your own,
With tenderness, and with care.

You are probably sat reading this poem, in a comfortable chairin your comfortable home. Now try to imagine what it would be like to be torn away from your family, your home,
your loved ones. Imagine what it must be like for a Sailor, or even the sailors wife:

The Last Farewell

You remember that day, so clearly now.
The dockyard. The Jetty. The waiting ship.
The sadness. The sorrow. The trembling lip.
The kiss - that said” I love you, more than you will ever know… And though it breaks my heart, I really have to go”
The hooting of the tugs as the ship pulled away.
The sky matching your every mood, now cloudy and grey.

Then – those first bitter moments of loneliness
As you remember his touch, his kiss, his caress. 6 But now – you are alone.
Alone to think. Alone to cry.
Alone to ask yourself…why?

Why was each parting such bitter sweet sorrow. Why did he have to go away, again.
Who would be there for every tomorrow
To wipe away the tears that would fall like summer rain? Were loneliness, and separation, just part of the price – Of being a Sailors wife?

As you slowly left the dockyard and made your way home – A ship slipped out of the harbour and into the raging foam. It’s destination – who knows – somewhere near, or maybe far away. It’s duty, one that all sailors must obey.
To preserve the freedom of our homeland and sea.
You silently whispered a prayer – “Lord bring him back safely to me”. When you reach home, though the children are there –
The house seems so empty, so bleak and so bare.
Little Jimmy asks “Where’s Daddy”
You reply – “He’s gone away”
Silence. Then….”Why Mummy, didn’t he want to stay”

Later that night with the children in bed and past asleep Your thoughts and your mind, drift away into the deep And you remember another time, just like today You remember how it was – the last time he went away.

How at first, your nights and your days, were filled with tears. How each month seem to last for a hundred years. How you longed, each day, for some word, maybe a letter And how each loving word made you feel so much better.

Yet – still you asked yourself, “are there many other wives like me, Married to a man, whose first love is the sea.”
My friend, this is not story, About a love that died
For now you will discover, this story’s other side
That of that sailor so far away at sea
For not so long ago – that was me.
Just like that sailor, I was once a wanderer to
And I left behind me, someone special, like you.

Yet, it was not for a life of adventure, that I went to sea. It was just a lifestyle that had appealed to me.
My father had been a sailor for over twenty years Listening to his many stories had given me ideas I wanted to see for myself, those far away places I wanted to met different people, different races. I wanted to travel before I settled down
With a wife, children & job in an anywhere town. So I signed up for nine long years & travelled far and wide My home each ship I served on - the sea, a willing bride. Yet a sailors life at sea does have a serious side .

Endless drills, secrecy and silence, far out at sea Preparing for war or any other eventuality.

After seventeen years I grew tired of the life
and the heartbreaking months and years away from my wife. A life of adventure, a life at sea

7
no longer held any pleasure, or excitement for me…. And so, with my final voyage done
I returned home to England, my country -and my wife and son.

I can promise you that your loved one, will one day feel the same and you will be more than just a photograph in a golden frame and the children’s daddy, will be much more than just a name. Then love will become once more a reality – and not – just a memory. There will be no more loneliness, no more sorrow
No more having to face alone, the emptiness of every tomorrow.

You cam live your lives together, in harmony and peace until the sands of time begin to cease
when all sailors must answer, to the ringing of the ships bell for that final trip – to Heaven – The Last Farewell.

“This piece was written just a few month’s ago….and requires no introduction. The reason will become apparent very soon after you commence reading…yet still I would ask…

Why Me ?

The shock.
The agonising pain… that shot across my chest down my right arm… and then back again.

I couldn’t move.
I felt paralysed.
I asked myself swiftly, why -was it fear Was that day - finally here?

I couldn’t see -I couldn’t speak.
I was completely dumb.
Yet, I could hear a voice calling me in my head. But - was I alive, or dead?

Who are you, I asked -what do you want ? is this just a warning or - do you just want to chat.” No, replied the voice – “my name, is Stat”

I answered him -”Stat who -…
I have never heard of you
Leave me alone-go away-.leave me be.” And then- suddenly it dawned on me……..

So, now you know, said the voice
and yes, it is your turn now;
you know me, you know why, and you know how!” And then before me was a sight,
One that I will never forget.
I saw thousands upon thousands of corpses… Each one smoking a cigarette!

I watched, as the smoke went down in to their lungs.
I heard as they all cried out, in different tongues.
I saw smoke, clinging to and blocking their arteries.
I saw black lungs-dead hearts -I saw disease. 8

I saw old people-young people- even children to. “This”- said the voice, “is now happening to you. Every cigarette you smoked. .millions of them has been eating you away……..
Don’t you remember the rasping cough and that horrible black phlegm?”

But I will change- I cried out. I will never smoke another one”. To late! - the voice replied… the process has begun”

But I will change, I repeated.

 

I will try that thing I read about-the patch.

To late- was the reply-Your losing this match. But why! I cried! Why now-why me?
Why not, he replied-and I had to agree

Nobody had forced me to smoke all my life…. Regardless of the danger to the children and my wife I had seen the adverts -read the warnings
But had ignored them, just the same.
There was nobody else but myself to blame

Who are you, I asked, my conscience, or what?” Oh yes, he replied -I almost forgot!…
my name is Stat - or statistics to you;
you must have heard of me, or do you need a clue?

This is nothing personal he said,
but I cant give you a break;
For I have my quota of people to take.
Perhaps then people will listen with every breath And stop smoking themselves-to death.”

“So what happens now”, I cried- “am I going to die?” “Yes” he replied –“you are the weakest linkgoodbye”

The next piece was written as a result of a pleasant afternoon’s stroll through a small park in Devonport England. I have never visited there since…..but I can vividly remember……”

The Wanderer

As I sat there; I watched him, strolling aimlessly along. Mumbling quietly to himself, but doing no wrong. Stumbling and limping-he made his way to a bench. Close by I could smell, his dirty stench……

He had long knotted hair, unkempt and scraggy…… he wore patched up trousers, all torn and baggy… The rest of clothing was in dire need of repair. He wore odd shoes -perhaps he couldn’t find, a pair.

 

9

He pulled from a carrier bag, a crusty roll or two;
with his few black teeth, he began to chew;
All the time, looking around; staring here and there.
Perhaps he was looking for someone, some place, somewhere.

As our eyes met, he glared suspiciously at me. I smiled - but he quickly looked away.
Then he shivered and coughed, uncontrollably Though it was a warm and pleasant sunny day.

He finished his meal. Stood, and turned to go his movements, awkward and slow.
He hobbled out of the park.. and away down the road Heading somewhere, nowhere, for he had no abode.

May be he really was looking for someone… his memory his guiding lamp
But to me; he was just - a Wanderer Old Nicholas- the Tramp.

“In the same park, just a few minutes later…..I came across a large marble cross….partly hidden from view by some scraggy bushes.
It looked so neglected and so lonely….that it angered me
that nobody really cared for: –

The Monument

It stood in a corner of the park, partly hidden from view. A tribute, in memoriam- yet clearly visited by very few. It stood there, alone, rising up into the sky.
Upon it stood an angel - with a tear in its eye.

As I looked on, I found it, a very moving sight… As I watched the sun setting behind the monument – bringing on the night.

In its hand, the Angel held a wreath of holly leaves. Alone, it had stood there year after year-Alone, it grieves… for those who would never return to this fair land, Or see this angel –or-the wreath in its hand.

Mounted high above the figure, stood a cross. A magnificent sight, though now covered in moss. Around it were insets of wreaths, on every side. And as I looked upon it -…I sighed.
For that solitary figure and that mighty cross Were a dedication to the city’s greatest loss. For those that died the inscription said. Yet. .I wondered …….

Did anybody really care about the dead?

For that monument was clearly in need of repair. Could nobody bother-did nobody care? Or was that monument just meant to be… Like the war in which those men had died… Just a faded memory ?

10 “This next poem is relevant to so many people
that I have met, and spoken to, on the Internet”

The Missing Link

What is it, that is missing from your life?
What is it, that brings you so much sorrow and strife? Is it the boredom, the usuality
of being a mother.. and a wife?
What is it that cuts into your heart
like a Surgeons knife?

Is it excitement, or danger, that you seek?
To climb that illusive mountain
and to reach passions peak?
Is your life so dull without it and your future, so bleak?

Life, is what you make it, or so they sayand as you walk along the road of life, it is You -who decides the way

the role in life, that you play.
All that I can do
is hope- and pray

That one day you will find the missing link That is missing from your life, and heart. And that in your life -I can play a small part My talking to you is a start.

I cannot lead you, but I can show you the way And hope that you understand, the things I say.

though your world, now, seems so empty And the sky so dull and grey.
Tomorrow is a new beginning
Of a brand new dawn
Don’t give in your depression and sorrow Don’t dwell in that world of dismay… Forget the past, plan for tomorrow And make that new start in your life Today.

What--- is Love ?

What is this feeling, that people call - love is it really, as is said, a gift from above. Does it bring with it, eternal devotion or is it just, an over rated emotion?

Is it true, that church bells ring
Whenever he or she comes into sight.
Can it really give you, many a sleepless night. Or -is just a racing heart beat -ringing in your ears; Or insomnia, caused by your unconscious fears.? Is it love that we remember in our memories. Is it a desire to be needed, a desire to please.. Is it the answer to a prayer, or a dream come true. Is it life, is it hope, or is it none of these?

11

 

Is it fleeting or eternal, will it last for ever more. Or does it, in time, become a burden, and a bore?

I do not know the answers, to these questions I ask, for they are hidden, deep within each heart like a face behind a mask.
Yet, my search for it has been, a lifetimes desire that burns within me like a raging fire,
Yet too often ends in divorce,. loves funeral pyre.

Yet, still I carry on, and will do all my life.
Searching for the right woman, to become my wife. A woman that will return, all that I have to give. To love, honour, and to cherish
for as long as we both shall live.

That special someone, who will accept me, just as I am. Neither a roaring lion, nor a timid lamb.
Just an ordinary man, with ordinary needs
Who tries to show love, and sometimes succeeds. An ordinary man, searching for a reason to live.; To forget the bitterness of the past
And then perhaps…..to forgive.

Perhaps then –
With the grace and goodness, of the Lord above I will know the answer to-what is Love? “It is purely coincidental that this poem has the same title as my last book of poetry. However, no other title would fit the story that I am about to unfold. It is a story that unless you know the power of the internet, you will never understand.”

From The Windmills of my Mind

It was, as you said, just a telephone call, yet it meant so much more that that, to me. It was the next stage of our friendship – I was as nervous as I could ever be.

Yet- it all started so innocently,
with a simple request, from you to me.
You asked me to produce for you, an Astrological Chart. Little did I know then, how fate was to play a part.

For those who don’t know what Astrology is it is a method of creating an analysis
of your nature, character, your real personality – from given planetary positions in place at your birth and you could have been born, anywhere on Earth.

Your birth chart started, just the same as any other – It showed you to be both a wife and a loving mother. Yet, soon I began to realise
that what I could read before my very eyes was not an average chart –
for this woman thought, and spoke, from her heart.

12 I saw anger, depression, fear and insecurity.–
A need for a direction in life
and a need to be set free –
To follow a dream that she had had al her life –
To escape from restriction, sorrow, and strife.

What was truly amazing was that we had never met and yet –
I felt I could learn a lot more, about the real you. So we chatted away on IM as thousand now do.

As the days and weeks passed by, I learnt more and more about your life and struggles many years before. We talked how you had been badly affected
by fear of rejection
and how that was affecting you now, by reflection

The more I heard and learnt, the more I could see that in many ways you were so very like me – a normal person
who needed a friend in times of sorrow –
one who could show you how to leave that past behind and face the future with a stronger determined mind.

The advice I gave you came, partly, from your chart But also, from experience, and from my heart.

 

However, soon, to soon, I began to see

 

that you were becoming more than just a friend, to me.

But, you had asked for my advice, purely as a friend – so I kept my thoughts hidden until the bitter end; until I could no longer hide my feelings for you – I was in such a panic, I didn’t know just what to do.

Should I tell you –

and risk losing the very special friendship that we shared; but what if you felt as I did, if you truly cared –
so though my mind was full of indecision and doubt’ I eventually told you, at last, my secret was out.

You listened as I opened my heart to you
knowing that everything I thought, or said, was true. Then, you explained how you felt about me, gently, honestly, and truthfully.

Only you and I will know the words spoken last night but I know now that the future, looks bright, We share a special friendship that is quite unique and we always find time on line, to stop and speak.

We talk of bad times and good times, old times and new – Just as any special friends would do.

I am happy with that for we are two of a kind. for now you know what lies within –
The Windmills - of my Mind.

13

I am thankful that I had a wonderful mum and dad throughout my formative years – but I cant help but wonder what would have
happened if I had had neither.”

If you should see me lying here Please don’t just pass me by – With a sad -Oh Dear –
Please, stop and take a closer look. I would be grateful for the time you took.

Look closer, look deep within my eyes,
and maybe, just maybe, you will begin to realise that what you see before you in this cage like cell has a poignant and harrowing story to tell. So please, if you have just a minute or two let me tell you how it was for me
and how it could be - for you.

Life’s A Bitch

I was born, so I have heard, many years ago though the date and the time, I will never ever know. I do know, that I was the youngest of three. That scrawny little runt- is what they used to call me. I had a loving mother, but never knew my dad, but I hear he was a bit of a dog, and a cad.

My mother tried to feed us, all fair and square but my brother and sister were a brutish pair. At mealtimes I was always the one who was left out and all I got for complaining was a clout.
As a result, I grew up, al skin and bone.
I felt so unwanted, unloved, and so alone.

Then came that awful day that my mother died, as they took her away, I cried and cried. I felt that my life might as well be over now for the future looked so dim, and so bad – mum had been the only comfort I had.

After some discussion I was given away, to the friend of a friend of a friend as they say. Perhaps, I thought, with this change, this move my life, and my future, might improve.

They took me in a car, to a place far away. It must have been some distance
for the journey took half a day.

My new home was very small
It was in what I think you would call, a flat. I shared my new home - with a big fat cat who hated me from the moment
we first set eyes on one another.
Suddenly, I missed by sister and brother…

14 Any hopes that my new home would be
an improvement, was soon kicked out of me. I didn’t even have a bed, so I slept at night On a dirty old mattress where the bed bugs did bite!

My meals were scraps of food left over from each meal. What had I done, to receive such a rough deal. That cat, however, sat on a cushion made of sable being fed tasty morsels from a well spread table.

One day, I decided that I had suffered enough Surely I could do better than this
even if it meant living rough?
So I escaped one day when a door was left ajareven then- they tried to run me down, with the car. I just ran, and ran, until I was very far away.
My new home now would be, wherever I decided to lay.

At first life was hard, and decent food was still very rare – but I survived, with the occasional Rabbit or Hare – or whatever I could steal, by courage or dare.

Life moved on, and by and by I am glad to say I grew stronger and bolder with every passing day. I spent my nights sleeping or hunting for prey and spent my days with friends, at play.

And then came that terrible day, that I got into a fightI was attacked by a pack of dogs, it was late one night, And even though I fought them with all my might When they had finished with me, I was a terrible sight; One leg was broken with a savage bite

Then worst of all, they took me, again and again, I remember the darkness. I remember the pain. I cannot remember much as to what happened then. They say I was rescued by some gentlemenwho took me to someone’s home and put me in a bed. For the first time in my life, I was washed, and fed.

Then they took me to some man to repair my broken limb. I remember feeling sleepy as the lights grew dim. When I awoke, I was washed and fed – again
and given injections to take away the pain.
I was cared for at last, and fed well every day
But why did they call me, that little orphan stray?

Well, that is my story but I hope its not the end for what lies in my future, will still depend on whether you are looking for a companion who will bring you hours of pleasure my friend.

I don’t care what you are, be you a saint, a sinner or a witch For what you see is what I am
A homeless and lonely, Doberman bitch!

15

Unless you are into the World Wide Web, IM’s, Chat rooms and e-mails; you will not understand how the following happened to me, and how it could, happen to you………..”

Is this real Love

How do you know it, when you have fallen in love, does it hit you, like a massive thunderbolt from above? Is it prompted by the written word, something said? [ Be careful, for the written word can often be misread].

For me, it was something - very different indeed it was a thought planted in my mind, like a tiny seed As I listened, and as I learnt, more and more about you this seed of friendship, grew and grew.

As we talked about our pasts, our hopes, and our dreams we shared so many thoughts and needs, it seems. But these things, these emotions that I was feeling – what was it about you that I found so appealing

Was it just sorrow, was it pity, or some other deep emotion or was it wishful thinking and a desire for devotion?

When it happened, it was just a sudden realisation, and everything became clear to me
so sudden and unexpectedly.

The feelings that I felt were such that I could not ignore, I recognised them as love, for I had loved before. But, was now the time, to reveal all to you –
or should I wait, I didn’t know just what to do.

Yet, the more we spoke and chatted, the more I found that this seed that had been planted
could no longer remain underground
I could no longer hide, the joy I had found.

It could only be love, nothing more, nothing less. A need to share with you, my life, my happiness. So, what of the future, what does it hold in store – I don’t know the answer
for this has never happened to me before. > > > > > >

I can only take each day as it comes, as they say, and hope, and dream, and think, and pray.

 

That one day, all my hopes and dreams will come true that true love will blossom for me and for you.

There are problems to be faced, hurdles to be crossed – As we face them together
Lets just hope the dream does not become lost.

Will this love we share now, be strong enough to last – or am I moving to fast –
For you?

Let us just accept that what we have, is precious and new Lets face the future together, me and you.
If what we have now is love, sincere and true
We cannot fail, if we are honest, in all we do.

Friendships, especially those that are formed through the Internet and chat rooms, can be brief and fragile, here today and gone tomorrow, or honest and caring. But, you only know what the person you befriend wants you to know. Dishonesty can lead to Arguments, disputes, sorrow, and”:--

Broken Friendships

Who do you turn to when your feeling rather low? Where do you head for when there’s nowhere else to go? Who will always be there to cushion the blow? A Friend.

Who will support you when you are in the right? Who will defend and back you in a verbal fight? Who will always be there for you, day or night? A Friend.

Who gets you to smile when you really want to cry? Who always help you to keep your head held high? Who always says aur revioir – never goodbye? A Friend.

But, what happens - -

When that friend, suddenly turns away
and wont even say hello or give you the time of daywho take away your sunshine
and leaves your life a murky grey?

You ask, why did it happen, why are e-mails never replied has that special friendship, just died?
Why is her away sign, always on –
where has that bond of friendship you once shared, gone?

Was it something somebody did, something I might have said? [You swiftly go through the last conversation in your head] You ask her, has someone been telling her untruths or lies – If so, my dearest friend, please stop and realise –
That your friendship to me is a very special thing
And I had hoped that our friendship would last.
Focus on the present, and the future, not the past.

Where is that person who had become a big part of my life? Has our special friendship, reached its end –
Are you listening - are you there - my friend?

“ This poem is simply a collection of thoughts that went through my mind, as I went to a friends second marriage marriage service.

I had just become divorced for the second time. As I watched them,
and their six year old daughter as I felt their togetherness, it lead to”:--

Wishful Thinking

Against my better wishes I decided to go
To the second wedding of a good friend I know. Though I was still recovering from a second divorce I was drawn to their marriage by some invisible force.

So I went- perhaps I had felt that the time was right to forget the nightmares that haunted me each night. Time to get out and meet people, and maybe, just maybe then I could start to live again.

I had known the bride and groom for a number of years. They had been there for me and has shed my tears – but this was their day - a day of celebration –
the very air was full of joy and elation
as they made their pledges and vowed to be
true to each other, for all eternity.
I wished them every success, from the bottom of my heart. Seven years together so far , they had had a fair start.

Yet, as the other guests stood around chatting and drinking – I indulged myself, in a bit of wishful thinking.
I wished it had been me, getting married that day -– or that I had been the father giving the lovely bride awayor that I had such a lovely daughter as their Mary May.

I then remembered all the games that I used to playWith my son, before that joy had been torn away. Yes, that had been long ago, he would be much older nowBut still I ask myself, why - and how?

Many years have passed on since that lovely wedding day And that marriage grows even stronger I am glad to say. But my thoughts on that occasion for ever more will beRemembered, in this book-and in my memory.

“This poem is not one of my personal favourites, and the only reason it is appearing in this book is at the request of friends and colleagues. It was written many, many years ago when I was a lot younger – it is full of loneliness and sorrow – it was written at a time when ‘real’ men didn’t show their emotions. It shows distress and desolation – It shows in every word” :--

The Loneliness of the Lonely

People.
They passed me by with many a scornful stare. It was no wonder, for what they saw there before them, was a young man –
tears running down his face.
He certainly looked out of place.

People.
I saw them, as I swiftly passed them by – yet I cared not that they saw me cry – for I could not hide my breaking heart that breaks more and more
the further, we are torn apart.

As a sailor, I had faced many such partings before through the years
and each time I had shed a million tears.

Yet each parting became much harder Then the one before –
and I wondered- could I take much more?

People.
They did not see me as I entered my hotel roomthe darkness of the night, matching my gloom.

They did not see me as I knelt beside my bed and bowed my head
in prayer.

They did not hear me as I prayed to God above To protect the child and the woman, that I love. The woman that I had married, just three short years ago. And for whom the tears flow.

People.
They could not truly understand the way that I feel
Only these words, and these tears, can reveal
Just how much I long to leave, this life I spend at sea. > > > > > >

To go home and find them, waiting there for me. To be able to share all our lives together as normal families do –
Lord, is that to much to ask - of you?–

But until that time comes, at the end of each day I will quietly kneel and pray –
For the day I can reach out, and she will be thereMy life away from wife, is so very hard to bare.

That day, however, may be many moons away
But I know that she to, is praying for the day,
that I can change this emptiness, these tear stained eyesthis sorrow, this depression, and these endless goodbyes –

For Peace, and Joy, and so very much more beside With my wonderful son, and my beautiful loving bride.

As I draw back the veils of time and look back over the last fifty years – I can remember and relive wonderful moments, but I also the bad. I remember places and people, far and wide from Bournemouth to Bombay, from Portsmouth to Perth.

I remember two marriages and nine years at sea…so join me now As I take a leisurely stroll down………

 

Memory Lane

Memories.
They are our personal journals of days long passed.
Some pages may be missing, but others linger and last – perhaps to be remembered at some later date.
Some of my memories may even relate
to you.
They bring back powerful feelings such as happiness and sorrow Some may even bring a tear to the eye
others, a sense of nostalgia and a sentimental sigh.

Your own memories may remember a face, a name Someone who so affected you
life would never be the same.
You remember a special place, a song, or a film you both saw All are stored away in your memory - for ever more >>>>>>

My first memory takes be back over thirty five years. I remember honour and duty but also bitterness and tears. I see a young sailor aboard a ship, staring out to sea from the bows of a mighty ship.
I see sorrow in his eyes as he struggles to keep a grip on his feeling.

He is young, this is his first time away from family and friends will he last the year away - it all depends –
for this is the life that he had decided to lead
but it would be a very different life indeed.

That he seeks knowledge and adventure is plain But as I look into his heart- all I see right now is pain. – As he stands there thinking of those he left behind – A time, a place, and a name come to mind.
Shirley.

A wonderful, beautiful woman with a heart so pure and kind Who, just like him was probably lonely and going out of her mind. Yet, their love would keep them together, though torn apart. He carried her love, and her memory in his heart. > > > > > > >

Next, I see them together, bridegroom and blushing bride and I can feel how proud he was, with her by his side. I see her standing there in a beautiful wedding dress. I hear them give their vows, and hear the vicar bless our marriage.

Next, I see the wondrous joy of fatherhoodand let me assure you, it felt pretty damn good! I see a son and his father just walking hand in hand Lost, together in their own private land.

But then my joy turns to anger, for as the years roll by I see this love, this union, just crumble and die.

I see the terrible heartache of forced separation – As the wheels of progress take their inevitable course that lead to solicitors, lawyers, and in the end - divorce.

I see that young man again, now so alone in his world – his heart so full of bitterness and strife
as he comes to terms with this tragedy of life.

I watch him, as the years pass swiftly by. Another Marriage. Another Divorce. I hear him ask himself- why

Was he to blame, was it this life, his chosen career? If so, his duty had cost him very dear.

Had he loved to much, had he been to soft, to strong? Both wives had left him for another man
So- where had he gone wrong?

Yet this young man had both determination and strength and he knew that he would go to any length
even to lay his life on the line
for that illusive dream, a love divine.

No longer do I see that sailor boy in the bows of a ship for in time he had completed his last, final trip. He had journeyed the world, seen all he wanted to see. Now, all he wanted was to settle down
with a wife and family.

As the years pass by I see him, still walking alone
but in between those years, that young man had grown. Instead of a love perfection, he would accept something less. So he searched on and on, in search of trust and happiness. > > >

> > >

 

I found that love in you; your my reason for living but life I am afraid has been less forgiving.

For my health has begun a general decline The body may be crap but the brain is fine. For I now have something
that none can ever be take from me. True love, Real life, and my memory.

Maybe one day, we may take a gentle stroll again From the past unto the present -–
down Memory Lane.

“This next piece was written some many years ago – and was written for a friend - who became my wife! We were both
working shift work for the same company. One special night
she had finished work for the weekend and was heading……”

Home – Alone

Life working in the Security Industry Is long hours with little pay
At least thats how it seemed to me on that Friday at the end of the day.

The goodnights were short for I was busy on the phone As the office staff swiftly disappeared.
Leaving me the controller to face the night alone It would be another long boring night I feared.

I am thankful that I had the duty that Friday night Even though your day shift was done.
But I knew that the night had for you no delight of a few beers or a night of fun.

You left work and drove to a house- but not a home for there was no special person there to greet you. No loved ones, no family- just a couple of cats would be waiting there to greet you.

As you entered the silent house into an even more silent room the darkness of the night, added to your gloom –
as you headed up the stairs for a wash and a change and found everything as you had left it, nothing new or strange. Having done so you decided to have something to eat though as you were dining alone, it would not be a treat, probably beans on toast - with the cats at your feet. The night was getting colder, so you turned up the heat.

You looked at your watch.
It was only 8pm, there was a whole night aheadwhat should you do, watch TV or go to bed? You thought, I will ring my daughter and see if she would like a visit, from me.

No answer, so it was back to TV or bed –
But you decided to just sit and relax instead.
However, so many thoughts in your mind began to play that you wouldnt have been able to sleep anyway. > > > > > > >

Memories enter your mind, some of them painful and deep and before you could stop it, you mind made a leap to a time when you had a special man by your sidein your mind you saw a wedding, and you were the bride.

You remember that loving night and every living day – Days that now, seem so very far away
But you also remember, cruelty and pain
And you wouldnt and coundnt go through all that again.

And then, as the past disappeared before your very eyes you suddenly, it seems, began to realise –
that just because a marriage had failed in the past it shouldnt mean the end, the final, the last
of love.

The past was over.He was gone. You were divorced. Apart. So why did you carry such a deeply troubled heart?

You began to realise that to make something of your life You could not live the past, and remember all the strife. You needed a special person, to be his lover or his wife.

You needed the companionship that other couples share You needed someone to love you, some to really care You needed someone, who would always be there.

But, where do I start you asked yourself?
Am I to old, am I stuck on the shelf?
You asked, who could ever want someone like me? Tears fell from your eyes, and you wept, silently.

Well, I have been there dear friend, so I know how you feel And how to get over it is no secret to reveal.
Face the future, and let people see the- real-you. Get out. Meet people. Make friends anew.

Real beauty lies within and in the eyes of the beholder. Beauty does not diminish just as one is getting older. I to have known your loneliness and I have felt such pain but living in the past brought very little gain.
God willing, you will one day find that special man who will bring you the happiness that only true love can. When that happens, the past, will swiftly drift away – And with it, those sad memories - of yesterday.

“The very first poem in this book was a dedication to My Mum and Dad, and so
is this, the last. Sadly our beloved Mum died some years ago, so this dedication,
written before she died – has even more special meaning”

Our Christmas Message

At 3pm each Christmas Day - the Queen begins to speak – to pass her Christmas Message to her subjects, everywhere – the rich, the mighty, the famous, the poor, the weak.

Yet, I have often wondered if the words she says are meant, true and sincere
or is she just reading from an auto cue
saying things that she thinks we need to hear?

I would like to think that what she says is what she really means –
not just prompted expressions and words from the producer behind the scenes.

At Christmas time we also hear the timeless story told of the baby infant, Jesus, born in a stable dark and cold. How he came to earth as a gift, from our father above. To teach us how to live, to teach us how to love one another.

That, is what Christmas should be all about but these days, as it appears to meeverything revolves around money – pleasure and luxury.

Children want the latest toys, no matter what the cost. The true meaning of Christmas, of giving, has been lost along the way.

What has happened to those-good old days that I recall with much elation -–
are my precious memories,
just a figment of my imagination?

Were they really as wonderful as I like to recall ?
Did I watch out of every window, waiting for snow to fall? Did we really have balloons and festive streamers in the hall? Was the Christmas tree really ten foot tall

As I close my eyes right now, I can see each smiling face as each parcel was opened, paper strewn al over the place A new bike. A New Doll. A game or two, –
Christmas Stockings, oranges, chocolate pennies too.
That is how I like to remember Christmas, the laughter and joy Of Christmas Time -when I was just a boy.
As time passed by, we all grew up, and one by one moved awayand now have families of our own with which to spend that special day. Yet, as I sit here smiling, surrounded by my brood –
I want to send you this message, of thanks and gratitude.

Thank you for the love that you both s freely gave. Thank you for showing us how to be patient and brave. For showing us the way, when-as often- we strayed For showing compassion when tempers became frayed. You were always there, in the good times and the bad – You gave us a reason to carry on when we felt lonely and sad.

You were always willing to listen, and truly hear Of a dream, a hope, or a secret fear.

Even Dad was there, though his duties meant months apartHe carried our memories and our love deep within his heart. Even you dear mother, in hospital and near death We were in your deepest thoughts and on your every breath

We want to say thank you , for so many any things To our saint with a halo, and our angel without wings.

So many years have passed us by, since this poem was first writ and every year now, a special candle is lit
in memory of a wonderful mother who has sadly passed away yet in our thoughts and prayers, every day.

It cant be easy now, for Dad, to face the world alone even though he knows we are there at the end of a phone. So my message for him this year is, try not to be too sadLook back on the Christmases that the family have had.

Who knows what lies ahead, what each tomorrow may hold We just face each day and each challenge as it starts to unfold Though we cannot go back and live those days –
as special as they may be,
I find joy and peace in my heart, in a wonderful memory.

I have been a friend of Allan’s now for as long as I can remember, and he has asked me to
write a short piece about him and his life. I have agreed to do so but let me warn you, there is nothing short about the life he has led so far. Anyway, here goes –

Born in a small country village is West Sussex, England- he was the second of what was to become a huge family of eight boys and one girl. He lived in this village for the first eight years of his life, and despite the tender years he insists he can remember people and places from that far back in his life.

It was shortly after his eight birthday that life changing events took place that were to have an affect on the rest of his life. Firstly, the whole family uprooted and moved to another leafy little village called Denmead, which was not to far from Portsmouth where his dad served in the Royal Navy. It was also during this year that family life was turned upside down, when his mother and a few brothers were confirmed to have Tuberculosis
- as a result of which, the family were split up and sent to three different parts of the south coast. It was to be year before the family were reunited again, as one.

It was during his teenage years and at Secondary School that he discovered his love of the written word, from famous writers such as Charles Dickens and Denis Wheatley, to the great poets such as Browning and Albert Lord Tennyson. He says “this was also time I received most of my education, including my schooling in love”

However, it wasnt until the early sixties, when, as a sailor in the Royal Navy he found himself sailing away from Englands green and pleasant land, to places unknown. He tried to explain this strange adventure in letters, but found he could put it better in the form of a poem or prose. As he
put it in this introduction “I find it easier to put what I am thinking onto paper then into words from my mouth”.

Although he wrote many poems at this time, most of it was lost after his first divorce and his wife threw out any links she had of their marriage and his time in the Royal Navy. In the 1970s he turned his writing from poetry to creative writing. He had completed 2 of a 3 year postal course on Journalism and Creative writing but had had to give it up before the end for financial reasons

It was whilst serving on HMS Eagle, a Royal Naval Aircraft Carrier that he took up writing in a big way. He had “adopted” a local school in Plymouth prior to the ships departure for the Mediterranean and Far East, and had agreed to write to several pupils on a regular basis telling them about where the ship had been, what he had seen, ect. About a month prior to their due return to Plymouth at the end of the commission, he received over 20 different letters from pupils from the school, all wanting to know ‘everything’ about the trip, from how many eggs did the crew eat in a week, to what did you do when the ship was in Singapore?
As many of the questions were repeated in other letters, he decided that instead of writing to each individual pupil he would write a journal for the school. The result was ‘The Year of The Eagle’ which he wrote, typed, printed and put together 20 copies, in less than a fortnight. > > > > > > >

Although there were some glaring errors in the end product, it covered the culture, history, people and anecdotes from each place they had visited. * A copy of this turned up 20 years later and he has now rewritten it and corrected the glaring errors, if not the proof reading.

Just a year later, in 1971 he produced his first book of poetry entitled ‘Just Me’. As for the title, he says- “ that is basically what my poetry is all about, an attempt to put down my thoughts and experiences on paper, so that others might understand, and in some way experience themselves, the things I saw and thought about during those many months and years away from home”

It was to be twelve years on, in 1983 that he produced his second book of poetry. This time it was entitled “From the Windmills of my mind” which, he says, contained many of his deepest and most personal thoughts, in prose and poetry. Many of the poems from his previous book were rewritten and recreated in the new version.

He left the Royal Navy in 1987 and after a succession of short term jobs, he finally settled down to work for a National Security Company, first as a Security Officer and rising to Vetting and Training Officer, which also led him from Southampton, to Reading, to Luton and to Milton Keynes where he now lives with his third wife June.

Unfortunately his health deteriated during this time and in 1996 he suffered a stroke that left him partially disabled and unable to carry out any gainful employment. He has also been on the Internet for many years, and a lot of his later work has written during this time.

This latest book,’ Through The Years’ is, he says, his final volume. It is all his work and contains his and other readers favourites over the last forty five years. He is heavily involved in local community work and has also just finished writing his autobiography, so I dont think that we have heard the last Of Allan Stewart- --- not just yet.

A. Friend.
March 29th 2005 Milton Keynes England

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