In Windrush – A Collection Shared, Dirg Aaab Richards told the story of how his recent discovery of a ‘lost’ collection of photographs enabled a vital intergenerational conversation, and stirred deep feelings of pride in his and his family’s journey.
Dirg, no stranger to poetic expression himself, is pleased to also be able to share with us a poem by his father, John A. Richards. The poem, written in November 2014, is his first. At the time of writing, John A. Richards was 93 years old.
Keep a Check on Your Ledger
Life is short: It matters not how long.
The will to live – it matters not how strong:
That will begins to wane, as the deadline nears……. fraught with fears…..
Leaving you confronting your long past years……. sometimes in tears…..
But, as you watch the ominous dark clouds descending,
Would that you’ll be at peace, as you contemplate the ending.
So mend the fences, build the bridge
Life has you counted as an important ridge
And plan while you can in this daily light
For soon it will be the darkest night
When you will want to see what cannot be……
‘Cause life has dropped its canopy.
What will the people say you leave behind –
A pile of doubts, a string of fear?
Or a noble plunge into the whole affair?
Did you dot the “i”s and cross the “t”s?
Or….. did you just do as you please
By the Ledger of your activities?
For it exists in this very place
Yes, but also in time and space.
And when you are called to be reviewed
Will it prove you blessed, or awful rude?
You may face it with the deepest fear - of scrutiny up there
Or…… are you sure when you appear
That all the entries prove you fair and square?
You could have missed, in selfish bliss,
What you fail to see exists
Or you could have floundered upon a cause
That produced a negative clause.
All will be questioned, all will be checked
To see if the full truths monitored meet with your test.
For, before the JUDGE …… it’s not like here: you have no lawyer there –
None but the one authentic Ledger:
It is your Ledger – it does not fail nor falter.
It is your Report – your vital tender -
For joy and peace and happiness - up yonder.
It is your Record. It tells your story.
Hereafter, it indicts you, or…… gains you utter glory.
Keep a check ……. on your Life’s Ledger!
John A. Richards
© 2016: All Rights Reserved * firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, you can view the collection exhibited at We Are 336, 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA. 18th October – 15th November 2019 during office hours, alongside contributions created at the intergenerational workshops – making Windrush Memories for a new generation.