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Poem: Love is never going back to yesterday

Article by Sheila Turner Johnston © 11 November 2017 .
Posted in the Members' Blog ( ).

As a student in 1969, I was full of the exciting possibilities of life ahead. I could not know then that the troubles that started in Northern Ireland would be the background for my studies, my work, my marriage and my children’s entire school lives.

Despite the accompaniment of explosions, tears, suffering, murder, and the blackness of the abominations of those times, the goodness in people also shone as a lighthouse in the black ocean. We cannot know opposites unless we know the extremes and so I learnt about goodness, love and hope because of the badness, hate and despair. Those times have carved deep channels of experience that are engraved on my thinking and inevitably on my writing.

Events have made me pray that goodness and love and hope are still as strong as they were then and that the new generation, which includes my grandchildren, will never have to swim through such misery and fear as there was then.

When two people whom I love very much, one Protestant, one Catholic, were getting married they asked me to write a poem for them. This is it, written as if we watched these two, from our respective sides of the church.

For M and M on their Wedding Day

is you and you
standing here together.

And love
is us and you
here together with you,

For love
is all of us
here together bound,

A love
that starts with us
and shines from us.

A love
to heal this place
must start with us

For love
is never going back
to yesterday

And love
Is all our hope
for your tomorrows.

(c) Sheila Johnston

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