POEMS BY DAVE EDMOND

 

THE NATURE OF LIFE

We walk through this life,

at times by ourselves,

but never alone.

For God has His Angels

Not far from our side.

Oh Lord,

bless this day,

bless this hour,

for I am here to see, to breathe

and continue my journey.

I have lost so many

of family and friends,

acquaintances, younger and older,

and some in between

to illness, to accident, to the end of their time.

 

Life is precious, to be embraced

by one and all, all races,

all religions, all beliefs, just all kinds,

for together we can make

Your World, just as You envisioned.

People die,

to be replaced by others,

to carry on the work that

You have bestowed

upon each of us through time.

As in all of nature

there is death and regeneration

The cycle is established

by You and controlled by You.

You alone control the universe.

Famine, floods, quakes, wars,

are the challenges we face,

but not without Your provision

of means to cope.

For as we evolve as people,

as a society

We have achieved the means

to assess the situation

and to apply the appropriate response.

Lord, You guide us,

You challenge us,

You reward us,

You allow us liberties

and at the end, You welcome us home.

 

IF

"If", such a short word,

but one loaded with great significance.

In all our lives,

a potential game changer.

 

For "if" is not a state of being,

but more a state of "want to be".

A wish for something different

from that which exists.

 

The realities at birth,

do not provide for all,

an equal opportunity

to grow and prosper.

It matters not the circumstance,

it only matters how we evolve.

Those of prosperous means,

are not necessarily favoured over those impoverished.

What determines our future

is how we handle today.

We must accept who and where we are

and work to betterment.

"If" exists, only to define the needs

required to be in place, to push us onward.

Once identified, the work begins

 

"If" is a land of make believe.

It's not reality.

However, desire and determination

can transform that land of make believe, into a reality.

And "when" not "if" we act,

the situation "as is"

will soon transform the now,

to that which we desire.

 

OUR LOSS IS OUR GAIN

The twentieth century

was one for all time.

Countries were formed,

countries expanded.

Aggression was the order of the day.

For expansion was not achieved

through discussion and political means.

What was wanted, was taken.

 

Armies were formed for aggression.

Armies were formed to resist.

Alliances made

between countries of like mind.

 

The world of the time

was thrown into turmoil.

The expansionists

versus the status quo.

 

Europe was the centre of conflict

for the most part.

The participants came from all over the globe

forming two opponents.

 

Wars cause devastation

to land and to life.

Land can be restored to original state

while lives can only be memories.

 

But it is these memories

that tell us the story

of your bravery

in action in fighting a wrong.

You're not here today

to enjoy all the comforts

for which you gave your life

nor for the freedoms we have.

We have lost a great number

of beautiful people, in wars

of destruction, to gain for all time

the goal of freedom.

While you lie in your grave,

you are never forgotten.

Your memory lives on

in the hearts and minds of your countryman.

Your graves are not neglected

as you have earned the respect

of countries far and wide.

And for that they pay homage.

Your stones are preserved,

your grounds kept immaculate.

you stand proud and tall

in the eyes of one and all.

Words are not enough

to say "thank you" for your actions

It can only be shown by our actions

in building the dream we all had.

Thank you, sons and daughters of the world,

Children of God,

who acted in the interest of good over evil.

You have earned your place in Paradise.

 

 

OUR SOLDIERS

As time marches on

so do our soldiers.

From the inception of time

man has had trouble

living in harmony.

Armies have formed

to aggress and resist

those of differing minds.

Some have wished to dominate,

some have plundered for profit,

but regardless of reason,

peace was not prevalent.

In the beginning,

armies were formed

and readily distinguished.

Wars were fought using tacticsand strategies tested out.

Much like a football game,

one side tried to outplay the other

with modified stratagems.

Winning and losing was part of the game.

Each side had a leader,

that shouldered the load

and sought the attention

that winning would bring.

And much like the football game,

there were rules of engagement,

a sort of civilized,

way of destruction.

It has now become harder

to fight an opponent

who no longer has scruples.

Who will no longer identify himself

or play by the rules.

It is no longer an army

against a recognized foe,

but matter of survival

against the unseen enemy

or the weapons in use.

Civilian communities now live in fear,

as they know not whom to trust

Friends and neighbours

may not be trustworthy.

And weapons to kill or maim

may be hidden from view.

And to some, life is not sacred,

as they give up their life

to impose hurt on others.

The true and trusted soldier today,

has suffered more

from the stresses imposed

on his being

as he diligently seeks out

the unseen and the unknown.

For casualties accrued

in the theatre of war,

can be counted and honoured.

The casualties of war that

are hidden from view over time

are the ones that are

forgotten and robbed of recognition.

To live out a life in pain or rejection,

is to have no life at all.

The soldier himself

is a burden to all.

Himself, his family and his friends.

The worst of the worst

are those present in body,

but totally lacking in recognition,

For the wars of today

have taken on new dimension.

They have shattered more lives

than those of the past

which had recognized rules.

The wounded received medical aid.

And it is now for us here

at home and abroad,

to ensure that the living casualties of war can

be seen as the heroes they were,

for being there in our place.

They too, looked forward

to a life in the sun.

Much like ourselves who

were safe in our homes.

Let's make it a priority

to see that they get

a semblance of a life

at the end of the day

for them and their family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

OUR HEROES

Those who stood in line,

who gave up their freedom,

their lifestyle,

for those who could not

when the world was in crisis.

They answered the call

of a nation committed

to fight for the rights

of each one and all,

to live secure and free.

And not all who volunteered,

were qualified by age,

but their commitment to the cause

was greater by far

than their fear of death.

The truth of the matter

is that many who served,

their life was cut short

as they gave all they had.

There are those who returned,

scarred forever, by what

they experienced day after day.

There are those interred abroad

who stand as a reminder

of the cost of our freedom.

Those who returned, and

those who did not,

stand proud and tall

in the hearts and minds

each Remembrance Day.

They are our heroes,

each one and all.


JOURNEYS END

All aboard, for the ride

of a lifetime.

The train leaves early

and will deliver you

to Journeys End.

It is not an Express,

more like the milk run.

Stops are frequent

and the chance to dally

is offered.

Transfer tickets allow

for continued travel

on various other lines,

which crisscross

the main line.

Those alternate lines

all have Journeys End

as their final destination.

So if you missed a stop,

you will still arrive at Journeys End.

Along the way,

passengers disembark.

Some are replaced by others

while some retake their seat.

There is always enough room.

And it is between stops

we encounter other folks.

Some like ourselves,

but also those of differing ways.

Schooling out of a classroom.

That is the beauty

of the milk- run train.

We interact with others,

we learn new things,

we impart our knowledge.

The train has been in service

forever, it would seem.

Some of the coaches retain comforts,

while some have hit on hard times,

and the ride can be rough.

Switching lines,

will allow things to even out.

Periods of comfort interspaced

with times of bare bones.

We soon learn how lucky we are.

Most times we leave the station

as part of a family.

But with all these stops,

family members disembark

at their own station of choice.

Sometimes we will re-engage,

sometimes not.

For the lines are there

to allow us choice of stay,

a stop-over, as we go to Journeys End.

While Journeys End

will be our destination,

how we arrive is never guaranteed.

The time of our arrival too,

is never known with certainty.

Most of us would hope to arrive

by entering the tunnel leading to the gate

at a decreasing rate of speed.

But when the wheels come off the train,

an abrupt and early stop ensues.

 

Ah, we seem to be slowing down.

I think my stop is next.

Thinking back at all my stops

I feel privileged to have met

so many wonderful people.

Friendships formed,

alliances made,

heartfelt moments shared

along the way.

Who could ask for anything more?

 

THANK YOU CANADA

Good-bye mom,

good-bye dad.

Not to worry,

I'll be home again

in six months time.

I am only going abroad

to do what I am paid for.

I asked for this life, and

I am anxious to do

what I have been trained to do.

After all dad,

isn't that what you did?

You went to school,

then university, before

finding a career you yearned for.

A couple of years ago,

we went through this process

when I left for university.

You cried, I cried,

but life went on.

Here I am today,

in the middle of a fire-fight,

thinking about our last visit.

You saying take care,

me downplaying the danger.

Well things here are hectic,

shells coming in,

we answer back.

It's what we are trained for

and we are proud to be here.

Yesterday was hard

as we lost one of our own.

A shell landed nearby

and leveled a hut.

He was standing guard, all alone.

It goes without saying,

he will be missed by us all.

He will be leaving tomorrow

for his final trip home.

Today we paid homage.

All I ask of you now,

is to be there for him

as they arrive with his body.

All of us here know a welcome awaits

him down the Highway of Heroes.

It is not what we want,

but it is much deserved.

To know when we serve, and

when some give their all,

our nation in unison says,

"thank you, brave soul".

 

THE SCARRED WARRIOR

To think we live in a democracy,

in a country which espouses freedom

and fair treatment for all

What a fallacy that is.

We push third world countries

to protect the rights and freedoms

of all its citizens,

while. here at home, problems abound.

Our government cherishes our way of life,

our values and our sense of fair play.

It recruits our youth to stem the tide

of aggression in far off lands.

The citizens respond in numbers,

willing to sacrifice their life

to ensure our country is free

to live in peace and harmony.

Having fought in far-off lands,

to introduce a democratic way of life,

our veterans return to mixed reviews.

Fallen soldiers honoured , maimed, forgotten.

Dignitaries are in evidence

the length of the highway of heroes,

to pay respect to those who sacrificed

their life to serve their country,

But what of the physically and

psychologically scarred?

Do they receive the same recognition?

I think not.

Each and every veteran who survived,

must fight to receive recognition

and compensation for all they endured

in battles unresolved.

The most psychologically challenged,

unable to live with visions of the past,

have joined their comrades

in the Eternal Garden of life.

Our parliamentarians

can receive their entitlements

without a word to the contrary.

These entitlements could fund years of medical treatment.

What our vets have left behind

are families, devastated beyond belief.

Help was not forthcoming

to right a wrong inflicted so far away.

The fight with bureaucracy is not what is needed.

Those with positions of power

have used that power to deny claims,

that to the average citizen has been earned.

 

Rather than acknowledge

a sense of gratitude to those who survived,

our government has used its leverage

to fight legitimate claims.

Maybe it is time our parliamentarians

have a taste of the battlefield

and appreciate,

if alive, the aftermath.

 

 

WHO ARE THEY

Who are they?

Two people, unknown to each other,

but linked by a common bond.

Years apart in age,

and miles apart in domicile.

Each had a reason for living,

and in the end, dying for their beliefs.

Two soldiers, proud of their chosen career.

One wearing the kilt of his regiment,

fulfilling his lifelong dreams.

A reservist, chosen to serve as a sentry,

at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The other, having completed an accomplished career,

was preparing to put down his roots.

Retirement beckoned and he was prepared.

Unknown to the nation, but respected by peers,

they rose to prominence in the hearts and minds

of a country at war.

For both of these soldiers would fall while on duty,

serving their country dear.

The elder of the two was felled by an auto.

The zealot, who soon met his end, at the wheel.

The youngest,

was shot in the back,

by a deranged irresponsible soul

as he stood at his post.

This misguided assailant was also despatched,

by the forces of order,

who answered the call.

They died days apart,

at the most memorable of times.

Three weeks short of Remembrance Day

two thousand fourteen.

A nation in mourning for all gone before,

have now two more victims to add to the score.

For Nathan Cirillo,

and Patrice Vincent,

are remembered as victims

of a world gone astray.

They wore the uniform of their country

and for that they should die.

Who are they?

 

Two of the reasons we stand here today,

free of all bondage, and free to speak out for the welfare of all.

If all of us were as responsible as these,

and took time to accept our duties as citizens,

we could ensure that our country will forever be

STRONG AND FREE

Freedom is not a crop, harvested by others

and delivered to our door.

Freedom is something that each of us

must strive to attain through the ballot box.

Governments are elected by the people.

Some governments achieve power by default,

not all citizens choosing to cast a ballot.

When that happens,

then the sacrifices of all our Nathans

and Patrices, are in vain.

We know Nathan and Patrice,

and stand shoulder to shoulder with them

in the fight to remain free.

God keep our land strong and free.

O CANADA