Poem in Westerly

 In Poems

























One of Andrew’s poems is included in the latest issue of the literary magazine, Westerly (Vol. 59, No. 2, Summer 2014). Andrew wrote the poem, “Missing”, in memory of his brother, David. It is reproduced below:



i.m. David


The last time I wrote to my last brother

I lacked the words, so I wrote the words

of The Innocence Mission—wrote them as I recalled them,

enhanced by the singer’s melody and phrasing:


                    And I can only say

                    that I had hoped for you

                    safety from fears and darkness.

                    Are you feeling better than before?


I got up from the tossing bed

where the thoughts of him missing

and the feelings of missing him

would not let go my heart or leave my head

and I wrote, And I can only say …

and I sent these words into cyberspace

in the faint frail hope they might find him

and in finding impart a form of grace.


But I could not send them singing

and I could not send them straight—

and besides it was far, far too late.

In the innocence of despair he was on a mission

to decimate despair—and how was I to know

he had accomplished it already?


Oh, save for doubts, I am all unsteady—

yet truly, brother, beyond all saying


                    I can only say

                    that I had hoped for you

                    safety from fears and darkness! *


I am sorry, sorry I did not send these words to you before,

before you were feeling poorer than before.


And now I can only say: Since you have gone to stay

with the sweet Man of Sorrows who is acquainted

with all your grief, I’m glad you must be feeling better,

better, little brother, than even your best before.

But how can I find safety from the fears and darkness,

the tears and starkness, you abandoned at my door?


          © Andrew Lansdown


* From the song ‘You Are the Light’ by The Innocence Mission on the album Birds of My Neighbourhood.

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