This is a repost. And even though I wrote it myself it still attacks me with tears.
Some years ago I followed a blog by Beckie. Beckie was immersed in the war in Bosnia and Croatia. She saw many friends and relatives murdered.
Sometimes when I would read each new post I would be unable to keep the tears from my face. One time was really hard. She and her family and her village were forced across a narrow single file bridge. She had her mother in front of her and her sister somewhere at the back. She was polite and stood back to let an old lady step onto the bridge in front of her. When they were on the bridge the soldiers shot every second person. That post was one that I couldn’t forget.
Right up until the end she never said which side she was on. And I still don’t know. But it mattered not one jot. It was evil and terribly sad. But Beckie went back and tried to bring the people together; her friends from one side and friends from the other side. But not all her friends stayed as friends. Even girls she had played with at school had become enemies even when they did not know why that had to be enemies.
Eventually Beckie closed her Blog down because there were some people who were not prepared to make friends with people who had been their friends before the wars broke out. And she was frightened and threatened and terrified all over again for wanting to make peace.
We each and all dream. Often times our dreams are wishes. Daydreams are remembrances or unearned riches. Most of us have dreams as hopes but we do little about it. So I wrote the following poem not for myself; except maybe as an atonement for wasted opportunity. Nor did I write it for the boy I once may have been. Nor did I write it for all the girls who never fell in love with me nor the old women who gave themselves to heroes with feet of clay. Or maybe I did write it for all of these. But in the end I wrote it for Becky who, like a Phoenix, was burned in the fire that was the Balkan wars, and rose, along with others of the same ideal, out of the ashes of Sarajevo and Srebrenica to preach forgiveness and healing and to lay claim to a new tomorrow. So this is Becky’s poem.
Old men dream dreams
With eyes awake
And open eyed
accept their age.
With cold precision,
they see the days
stretched out before
like lines upon a page.
And boys dream dreams
with eyes half shut
with gallant sword
held out once more.
They see their self as heroes come
With much acclaim.
And at their side
that they dreamed before.
These beauties did not dream of them
They did not dream
of conquering men
No if they dreamed
They dreamed at night
Of saving whales
And speaking right
And pleading for imprisoned men
Or tilting at imagined mills.
Old women dreamed when no one knew
Of being young
And loving men
Who also dreamed of loving them.
But sometimes women old and young
And men who sit in blazing sun
Awake and find their dreams are naught
And stones are hard on bended knees
The sun, at day, burns on a back
accepting wrongful kings
or breaks from thrown stones.
And sometimes some women
young or old
See through the pain that others wrought
See through the folly others sought
And see that dreams
were last night dream’t……
……..And waking clearly know
That every day must start again.