“Welcome back”

“Don’t you know Yet? It is your light that lights the World.”
― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi

old photographs

Some years back, a couple from Uganda came to stay with us.
Each time we returned home, even after a quick trip to the nearby store,
they would say; “Welcome back”!
We asked them why they welcomed us back every time, and they explained that in Uganda there were times when friends or family would leave home and never return.

They also told us how they walked for an hour to the nearby village just to enjoy a soft serve ice cream or a cold drink. Things we take for granted every day.

This left a deep impression on me, and I often think of them with great fondness.
They epitomized love and grace.


Old Photographs (part six)

A tribute….


She loved his beautiful country
the place that he called home.
There were those summers
at lake Kariba,
and camping
at Victoria falls.
Delightful drives on Sundays,
and tea at quaint Cafes.
Magical holidays in Beira
and visits from friends overseas.

There was such joy
being in a large family,
and the school run
never got her down.
The early years were so simple,
being coerced
into attending those plays.
A bit of Culture she would tell us
when enthusiasm
seemed to lack.
The “Sound of Music”
was her favourite,
and Shakespeare her delight.
She would blissfully quote the Bard’s poetry,
and sometimes
his more intense works.


When they moved homes
with unspeakable frequency
she seemed to keep a brave face,
but in retrospect I knew,
her anxiety.
Family and friends
crowded around her
always with love and care,
and sometimes to help her pack.

The years flew by,
and the kids left home,
and they forgot why they fell in love
Depression and sorrow
wounded her heart
as the distance between them grew.

The empty nest became
with almost no will to live.
She was going through the motions
of what should have been
a fulfilling and beautiful life.

She joined the Angels at 61,
our bright and shining star.
She was far too young to leave us
I feel the immeasurable gap.

The tears well up
inside me,
when I think of her glorious face.
Her legacy of love is around me
on remembering her joy and her mirth.
and I still feel her warmth
and compassion.
I know where she’s gone,
there is dancing,
somewhere above the despair.
Tears have dissolved into laughter.
There’s a sense that I’ll see her again.

Old Photographs (Part five)


They made their home in
the City of Gold,
amid the blossoming jacarandas.
“It’s a large family”
people would say
in tones of admiration.

Her Roast beef dinners on Sundays
with Yorkshire pudding on the side,
brought memories
of the old Country.
Though her heart was firmly placed
under the African sun,
she found herself
reminiscing at times.

There were those jovial gatherings
with family and friends
and birthday parties galore.
Christmas’ were festive affairs,
hot Turkey dinners
in the sweltering heat.
Carols drifted through
her home,
and a fir tree was trimmed
with holly.
He inevitably caught a sneaky kiss
under the mistletoe,
which made her blush!

It was a time of unending pleasure
when carefree laughter
filled her home.
Small children running free,
and swimming pools
and beach holidays
and riding bikes all day!

He longed to go back to
his country of birth,
and with time it became
more than a dream.
They packed their belongings
and once again set off,
with adventure still in their veins.

Old Photographs (part four)

mary-3Those effervescent summer evenings
brought friends around.
A home cooked meal,
drinks on the veranda,
friendly banter,
made it feel like home.

Yet she missed
the snow in winter,
and those fireside chats
with her Mum.

Her home was soon filled
with the laughter
of four children.
They consumed her time
and her energy.
Her Mum flew out
to ease the burden.

An uprising
threatened their security.
The children were not safe,
they said.
A rebellion
against injustice.
Another brutal war,
blood shed on a beautiful land!

Sadness fell upon
the beloved country!
Fear mounted.
They said goodbye to friends
to travel South
to find a new home.

Those memories held them close
The mountains of the moon,
the open plains of the Serengeti.
Close friends
kept in touch
and were never forgotten.

Old Photographs (part three)

marriageShe left the gloom and darkness
behind her,
to make Africa her home.
Wild animals on the open plains
were her delight
and a sun forever shining!

It was adventure
she sought,
far from where she called home,
a better life they said,
away from post war woes.

Winter became a memory
under the African sun!

He saw her from a distance
on the wards
while visiting a sick friend.
Her blue eyes sparkled
and somehow he knew
right then,
she would be his.

She seemed demure at first
with strikingly good looks,
her red hair enchanted him.
A young Engineer
on an adventure
of his own.

They married within the year
when love
was in full bloom!

old photographs (part two)


She was just sixteen
when war broke out.
Like all wars
it was cruel and unrelenting.
The casualties were many,
and the devastation vast!

She saw the bombs,
the destruction.
The Hospital
became her home
when darkness fell on the World.

She never forgot the heroes
the soldiers,
who lied about their age
to fight.
It was for their country
that death took some!

Many never returned
many were lost,
the gloom,
the desolation
of war.
The suffering of the innocents,
and a blood stained world.

Old Photographs (part one)


Such memories
became faded pictures.
Recollecting her hopes
and sometimes
living her fears.

Looking towards tomorrow
an innocent child,
full of laughter
and brimming with dreams.

Waiting for him to return
never forgetting his face,
her Father.

He went away
to a faraway land
across the sea.
A place called America,
the land of the free
and the home of the brave.

Those big ships took him.

She waited for him
but he never came back.
He became a hopeless dream
of longing……