We have put together some of Carmen’s poetry for your enjoyment…
I remember the first time I saw your face
We were both students in London and there was a dance at the Chaplaincy and you came to it late.
You stood in the doorway and looked slowly round the room until you came to me.
I felt flustered and for no reason I thought: “no, I won’t get involved with him, he’ll go back home and forget me” and that confused me still more.
You disappeared from the doorway, and new music began.
Five minutes later you were standing in front of me.
You had brought Eulalie, my friend Peter’s wife to introduce us formally.
And that was how it all began.
We were married five years later at the Church of Our lady of the Angels in Kensington on the 1st of June.
“ The first time ever I saw your face” was a song I always loved.
I can still see you standing in that doorway staring at me.
Carmen Fernando – 2nd June 2011
I sing of my love
I sing not of beauty but of kindness,
Unmeasured, often unearned,
Not meant to crush or enslave,
Building a gentle link,
Yet stronger than steel,
I sing of friendship, an ever present safety net,
A strong arm on cobblestones
A guide in dark places
Sometimes a stern critic,
Not always patient, but
I sing of a Puckish wit, a collector of jokes
Stored, shared, or spread abroad,
Used to sweeten the mood
To change the emphasis
To surprise and unite,
I sing of his speech; elegant and measured,
Quiet and polite, or entertainingly funny,
When asked why he never swore:
“I have three daughters at home”
Said the gentleman.
I sing of my love.
Carmen Fernando – 2nd March 2012
Provisions of providence
We bought in bulk to provide plenty
Planned ahead to see the way,
Followed rules and loved our neighbours
‘Be prepared’ was the thought for the day.
Till God’s big boots smashed down our anthill,
Howling gales blew nests from trees,
Thunder deafened, and shattered eardrums,
Loss and fear weakened our knees.
A thousand ants made up that anthill
A hundred birds would perch in the tree
And a million hearts shivered and shrank
When Disaster was all there was to see.
Time went by and life stirred in the debris,
We could not stand so we got to our knees,
We listened and looked and gathered our courage
In dribs and drabs and pitiful lees.
Confused and in pain we cared for each other,
We met the challenges as they came, but
When instinct and logic warred with each other,
Who did you follow, who could you blame?
A gentle hint to the Lord and Master
We got Your message, You need not shout!
When You made the rules for fallible Mortals
They bound You too, and you can’t help us out!
But God! The sun –it is shining
And the breeze blows so gently-
Let our loved ones keep smiling
And life still might be sweet?
Carmen Fernando – 24th August 2012
Underneath the Liquidambar
Three girls stood,
With dolls and rugs and cups and plates,
Eager to climb those leafy gates,
To play, to swing on springy branches,
To drink pink juice and eat small lunches
“I’ll fix them up a pulley” the father said.
“Are they safe?” the mother cried
“They need to learn” said father,
“They need to jump, to climb, to strive,
To stretch themselves, to try”.
The leaves were green, the prickles soft
They learnt to reach beyond their grasp
And when they fell they did not stop,
They tried and tried again.
The tree is gone,
The girls are grown,
The mother now lives on her own,
The father is in Heaven.
He loved his girls, his friends, his life,
The challenges he chose to fight
He gave all up to help the girl
Whose pulley lines got broken.
Carmen Fernando – 9th March 2011