There is an apple tree, old and gnarled
At the bottom of my garden, again in bloom
On which in childhood my brother and I played
Climbing high and low, swinging on branches
Laughing, so full of fun, chasing each other
Loving, and enjoying each other’s company.
Sweet memories of a brother long dead
Dying of heart-attack in his sixty-first year.
Tree, a century old, reminder of my brother
Giving September crop of sweet apples.
Now, in my old age it has become a shrine
Where I often go and sit beneath on sunny days
And if I listen very hard I hear the happy cries
Of my brother and myself, climbing high and low.
Once upon a time I dreamt of a world, Utopia
Where love and peace were supreme
With no more hatred and war, people united
Lives joyful without pain, misery, and despair
No one cursed or despised for race or creed
All free and equal without evil crush of tranny
Hearts true, bold and resolute, only truth spoken
Doors unlocked, neighbours giving support.
Wildlife protected and safe from extinction
Rivers flowing clean without pollution
Brotherhood of man united, spirits joyful
Stewards of the flourishing green planet
Giving all life a bright future full of promise
Global warming and war memories of long ago.
She in her beauty
She in her beauty makes each day perfect
And I am in awe of her and her love for me.
Joyful and wonderful I never want it to end
Her kisses sweeter than wine, such passion in her arms
Bodies entwined, we are forever soulmates
Journeying life’s highways we support, encourage
Climbing mountains we never thought to conquer
Love our guide and strength we fear nothing
Enduring purple storms until walking safe in sunshine.
She in her presence dazzles me with sweetness
Navigating the way, leading brightly to happiness
Time seems paused, entrapped with our heart beats
And when she is away from me I count the hours
Until love returns to my arms and I am made whole again.
My father’s grave
My father’s grave is my Sunday morning visit
Where I kneel at his tombstone remembering
The joyful things he did to make me happy
And how he was proud to call me his son.
An hour with him, so close, with memories he inspires
The strength of love he gave without reserve or rebuke
Always supporting, encouraging, gentle and understanding.
Because of him I stand tall reaching for the stars
Treating peoples of the world as one great family
Not divided by religion, race or colour.
Fresh flowers for my father with tears, and a prayer
Thanking my father for teaching me right from wrong
And about a man who walked on water
Was crucified so those who believe will see God.
Happiness is elusive like the wind blowing free
Soul soaring mountain high, eagle free
Coming and going like migrating birds
Sounds of echoing peals of church bells
Sighs of old people for what they have lost
Now but memories of throes of youthful passion
Never rejoiced again with blood running hot
With road ahead short, straight and true.
We never know when we are truly happy
Until it has passed leaving heart grieving.
Oh, how I would keep happiness safe and strong
Never lost amid furies of purple storms.
Once, I was royal without fear of passing time
And through folly have lost all to loneliness.
About the Author
Colin Ian Jeffery (born 1942) is from Surrey, England. He is a poet of our times and numerous collections of his poetry have been published.
Colin was educated at St. John’s Church of England school in Caterham, and at seven went to the Modern School for Boys in Purely, and then on to Clarks College in Croydon. He grew up in the Church of England where he was choirboy and server. In 1964 he became a Roman Catholic. Colin was baptised and confirmed in both Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
He was accepted for the Roman Catholic priesthood by bishop Cashman of Arundel and Brighton in 1969, and offered a place in a seminary in Spain. But Colin had met the great love of his life and was racked with indecision. He chose his soulmate and returned to the Church of England.