Contributions | Poetry
The Poetry of Jon Downie

The Great War

Shells fly o'er the weary heads
The men below are almost dead.
As darkness falls for another time
The soldiers slumber in mud and slime.

Back home where songs and praises rang
Where wives had kissed and hugged and sang.
The birds of air now are so still
As bullets slaughter, hunt and kill.

In Flanders' fields the bodies lie
As flames and gas grope for the sky.
The papers say we'll win the war
But the merry dancing lives no more.

As famine stills the angry fist,
The Germans sign the Armistice.
The Kaiser's forced now to descend
And soon the Great War's near to end.

To Absent Friends

A toast.
Raise your glasses in the air
To absent friends who are not there.
They left some time ago you see
And now their hearts no longer breathe.

They left
To sail the seas and conquer all;
But from bare ground their bones now call.
Their rifles point up to the air
While good men, dead, are lying there.

They fought
To halt the march of Hitler's men.
They gave their lives for freedom then
The one force that they could not fight:
Death seized the men and quenched their might.

They died
Their bodies strewn on France's fields
Of green. In front the mourners kneel
To remember them and cry a tear
For absent friends who gave their lives.


You're Accepted

One simple prayer: love from my lips.
One change of heart, how I longed to see this.
I start my new life: I'm never the same.
I hear a voice and it calls out my name.

You're accepted,
And I care for you.
You're forgiven,
Nothing's holding you.

My eyes see your face, it's smiling at me
I look in your eyes: it's passion I see.
I call out your name: I'm changed as I stand.
I'm reaching for you; you're holding my hand.

I'm accepted
And you care for me
I'm forgiven
Nothing's holding me

I lift up my voice: all glory to you.
A new song is come: we're dancing anew.
Power abounds as we sing out your name.
You're changing our hearts; we'll never be the same.

We're accepted
And you care for us.
We're forgiven
Nothing's holding us.

Let the world praise the Lord: his blood comes to cleanse.
His body was torn: he died, rose again.
To cry out for you he still is alive.
He's calling for you to give him your life.

You're accepted
And he cares for you.
You're forgiven
Nothing's holding you.

I held the door open

Today I held the door open for an atheist
He said I wasn't there, that it opened itself.
He walked in, looked around and walked back out.
It wasn't for him. It had walls and a ceiling.
He didn't like that, so he left.

Today I held the door open for a post-modernist.
He said it could have been anyone holding that door.
He said he could pick any door.
He looked inside, turned around, and picked another door.
I will miss him.

Today I held the door open for a Buddhist.
He asked "will I suffer inside?"
I said "no, I did it for you."
He thought, he cleared his mind, looked at nothing,
Sat in a lotus, thought, asked questions,
but wouldn't listen. He said the room was round:
it wasn't. He went nowhere.
I hope he comes back.

Today held the door open for a religious man.
He asked "what's the price?"
I said "I paid it."
He wouldn't believe me.
He went in, crossed himself, kissed my feet,
sang a hymn, preached to the walls saying
You are not straight enough. Come down.
They didn't.
He left, my room was wrong, for him.

I held the door open for people who loved me.
Twelve came in, sat down and ate with me.
One left. More came.
Now, their children's children and their friends
Hold the door open for others.
While, I, still there, smile contentedly.