Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Remembrance Day

My dad Frank was an amazing man, and when his 5 children were small told us many stories (actually we begged him, he seemed to have tales that were better than anyone in the world)! I want to share something from my childhood, on the long car trips with mum, dad & my 4 siblings, Grandparents & sometime random "extras" (people called 'Trotting Ray' or 'The Shadow') squeezed in like a budget pack of sausages, well more often than not those long trips led to a dog track where my dad worked as a broadcaster, in the packed car we'd sing, have talent quests (winner's lollies were always shared) and sometimes dad would recite a poem, as his father before recited to him, and it was learned off by heart, and recited with passion... this one's from the vault, written by Fr John O'Brien, an Aussie of Irish decent born 1878, it's about the war, it's about that in the grandest & largest scale, war is still about the individual, and those they leave behind... he wrote after a young boy in his parish didn't return...
this is for Remembrance Day. 

They have brought the news, my darlin', that I've waited for so long.
Faith, 'twas little news they brought me; every story, every song
That I've heard since you enlisted seemed to bear the one refrain,
Till the whole world used to tell me that you'd never come again,
They've been cruel times, alannah, since you left us for the fight,
Potterin' dazed-like all the daytime, thinkin', thinkin' through the night;
Yerra, what's the use complainin', when the world is all amiss,
When the hopin' and the strivin' ever come to dust like this.
'Twas the green months when you left me; now the brown, brown months have come
Stand the ripe crops in the paddocks, but the harvesters are dumb.
There'll be flowers again in plenty, and a carpet o'er the plain-
Oh, it's hard you won't be comin' when the green months come again!
Still, I'm thankful, oh, I'm thankful for one golden memory.
That the last time spent together was to say The Rosary.
Don't you mind it, boy? we said it in my own room there beyond,
Where I have the little altar where your early prayers you conned,
By the statue that I cherish of the Holy Mother fair,
With the blue cloak round her shoulders, and her white hands crossed in prayer.
They were singin' in the parlour, them that came to say good-bye;
And they sang their gay songs to me-och, I knew the reason why!
They are always kind in trouble in this big warmhearted land;
Ah, but their way was’t my way, and they mightn't understand.
So I lit the little candles, and I beckoned you away,
And you came-God bless you for it, boy-the partin' prayer to say.
Ay, the partin' Rosary, darlin'-I can see you kneelin' there,
With your big broad shoulders bendin', and your hands joined on the chair,
And your man's voice like an organ rollin' out its soul apart-
Och, to-night, boy, in my dreamin' it is dronin' in my heart.
Yes, we said it with the music strummin' ragtime songs throughout,
Just our two selves there together, answerin' t'other turn about.
'Tis a quare, quare world, alannah, when the storm can work its stress
On the strong limb, while the withered leaf is left in loneliness.
"Lay your treasure up in Heaven," for there's nothing here below;
Och, we Irish mothers learned it in the old land long ago!
Short life's springtime with its blossom; and it comes not back again,
Only haggard trees in winter stretchin' naked limbs in pain.
Oh, I'm thankin' God, my bouhal,* though the achin's in my breast,
'Twas He took you from me, darlin', and He knoweth what is best:
And His Holy Mother Mary, with her Baby on her knee,
Sure she lost Him in His manhood, for He died at thirty-three.
There's a numbin' in my heart, boy; like a cold, cold hand it grips-
Oh, I'm thankful that we parted with the Rosary on your lips.
It has ever been my refuge; it has been my hope and stay,
Been my hymn of sweet thanksgivin' for what good there came my way.
It has been my only comfort when the heart was sick and sore,
When the bad days past the countin' flung their troubles round my door.
I was taught it by my mother; ay, and when we crossed the sea
For to seek the gold we never found-the old man there and me
(Sure he stood six feet and higher then, and coal-black was his hair-
Och, you'd never know 'twas him at all, that bent old man in there)-
We have said it in the slab hut, strong and clear in flood and drought,
Just our two selves there together "answerin' up and "givin' out."
We have said it by the cradle, we have said it by the cot;
When the babes the angels brought us made us happy in our lot.
When the house was full of childer, and the pride of livin' glowed,
Och, we said it till the neighbours heard us, passin’ on the road.
But ye've gone and left me lonely; one by one, my doves, ye flew;
One by one the circle's dwindled, till the Rosary's said by two-
Said by two old husky voices, old and weak and wearin' out,
Just our two old selves together, answerin' t'other turn about.
Sure it won't be long, alannah, till the troubled sea is calm,
And the beads drop from my fingers and they bind them on my arm.
You would tease me with the "trimmin's" in the dear days that are dead,
There's another trimmin' now, boy, every time the Rosary's said.
But there won't be many Rosaries, for the singin's in my ears
And the Holy Mother's beckonin'-I can see her through my tears.
These old feet have done their journey, better leave them restin', then;
They will bring me to the hill-side ere the green months come again.
Sure I'll tread the House of Glory, where the soul is free from harm,
And you'll know 'tis me, alannah, by the Rosary on my arm.

Thanks for dropping by, the two aceos posted here for PPF I did this week are a visual ode to Remembrance Day, lives lost & those who lost them. Please visit & join the other wonderful creative artists that take a part in Eva & Kristin's ever expanding weekly showcase. I want to thank each & everyone who made a comment last week, if I haven't got back yet, I am on my way... freakin work get's in the way of my blogging time ;)


Lesley said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Wonderful evocative!
Happy PPF.

Pointy Pix said...

What a moving poem, I got goose bumps readings it. Your art is fantastic - I love how you seem to add just a dash and a stroke and suddenly it's an amazingly evocative portrait and a great tribute to the fallen we're remembering today.

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog as always. Wee Lennox has another day in Court today but I haven't been able to find out much about it. I imagine it will start around 10.30 - 11.00 so please God the Judge shows some kindness on this of all days. I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything. x

La Abela said...

Shocking! these images and their colere shrink the soul. Saludos

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Powerful poem, powerful paintings ~ Bravo to you and your Dad ~ and all the Veterans ~thanks, namaste, Carol (Share the Creative Journey) Happy PPF

artistamyjo said...

A truly beautiful post and your art as well.
Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

What a hauntingly beautiful poem so full of bittersweet love. I can feel her pride and sorrow for her loss and it nearly brought a tear to my eyes.

What a wonderful childhood memory of your father, of family, of remembrance. I love your ATC's as they truly capture the mood. Sweet remembrance to all.

Linda in New Mexico said...

What a lovely rememberance day offering. The poem is so poinant and your art so strong. Thank you for such a moving post. Oma Linda

Lesley said...

Your work is lovely. I am doing a 'fly by' at PPF. I hope to come back later and have the opportunity to read your entire story. Just had to stop and say something about your paintings for now. They really convey emotions....the movement is really wonderful.

Mary C. Nasser said...

Beautifully commemorative post and paintings.
Thank you for the inspiration.

Happy PPF!!
Mixed-Media Map Art

carlarey said...

Wow, these paintings are so very powerful and moving. You captured the emotions and the devastation so well.

Tracey Fletcher KIng said...

Beautiful poem and evocative and strong paintings... this was a wonderfully personal post and I loved every minute of it... thanks for sharing xx

Gloria said...

Very powerful words, intense and your work goes well with the words. Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

beautiful remembrance day work! very evocative.

Ann said...

a very moving post...and beautiful art!!

Joni Nickrent said...

What an amazing story and very moving for sure! Wonderful ACEO...powerful!

Phoenix Peacock said...

As someone who has lost family serving... this post made me cry. the writing was lovely.

iamrushmore said...

beautiful and haunting. amazing work.

Rosie Kaplan said...

What powerful and moving paintings

Magaly Guerrero said...

I told myself "Come back after you stop crying like a loon, Witch" but why? I can comment now. This is great, Shelle. Not just the story, but the idea of sharing it with family and passing it forward. That is what remembrance is all about. Not about saying sorry or thanks, but about "remembering."

Now I can cry a bit more... in my coffee... as I grab your button.

Ayala Art said...

Shelle, The one painting with the woman is wonderful, very powerful image.
I'm not participating in this weeks' PPF but was thinking of you and came to visit :o)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful, very moving poem. And the story of your childhood car rides is so very sweet.

Your Remembrance Day art is so striking! I like the blue tones so much.

Robin Panzer Art said...

I love the dark, moody quality of your art! Especially like the 2nd of these ACEOs its thought provoking! ~Happy Paint Party Friday! #61 Robin Panzer Art Studio 33

Magic Love Crow said...

Shelle,what a beautiful, moving poem! Wow! Very powerful my friend! I loved reading about your family on the long car trips with your mom and dad ;o) Very special! And, your aceo's are amazing! Very strong! (Make sure you enter into the aceo challenge) Sorry I am late coming to your blog! Busy week! Big Hugs ;o)

amy said...

hello schmoogly brilliante girl.


i've had a LOT of wine.

i'll come back tomorrow.


i'll talk now too!
i love your aecos.

did i call them the right thing?

aceos. whateves.

do you see them? trade them? how does this go?

i have questions.
you have answers...

i've had wine...


Geckostone said...

Ok Shelle, now that you've got me crying in my breakfast,lol!!! The poem and the paintings absolutely blew me AWAY!!!! Sooooo beautiful and sad, what a wonderful Remembrance! I love it when you share your childhood experiences with us, such a deliciously magical time! No wonder you are so inspired! Deb

EVA said...

Hauntingly beautiful poem and paintings. Very powerful.

JKW said...

Very expressive - it is appreciated. Blessings, Janet PPF

~Rasz~ said...

Beautiful post Shelle, an amazingly moving poem and tribute too. Thank you for sharing that and your fabulous art as well.

NatashaMay said...

Such a beautiful story to read and awesome art. Thanks for sharing!

orchid said...

Dear Shelle,
Oh, moving story and wonderful work!!!
My father fought in war and never talked about it to us.

Thank you very much for stopping by andyour sweet comment. I am so glad you said that my posts are informative.

Love and Lots of Hugs to you, Orchid*

- T.W - said...

Awesome work as always!
The shading looks so vivid, especially in the last painting... Beautiful~

I also finally got back to you regarding your giveaway ACEO, sorry for the wait and for sending you a wall-of-text on top of it... XD

// -T.W-

peggy aplSEEDS said...

that is an amazing and touching poem. wow, did you say your dad memorized this? and your paintings are amazing too. i love the loose strokes of light and shadow that tell the story so well. awesome. happy PPF and thanks for sharing!
peggy aplSEEDS

Jo-Ann Dziubek-MacDonald said...

Wow...Incredible art. Incredible story. Thanks so much for sharing.

Theresa said...

Lovely work. I really like the last painting. Capturing such a mood with color & line. Happy PPF!

Anne said...

Very powerful work, really impressive. <3