This year began with the passing of my Grandmother. She was a humble and inspiring lady who will be dearly missed. Among her many pursuits and passions, Grandma had a great love for words and education, as seen through her achievement of three University degrees, an enjoyment of cryptic crosswords, of scrabble and writing poetry. Grandma had a rich and full life and I am blessed to have so many special memories of time with her. I am sure she wouldn’t have minded me sharing the first couple of verses from one of the poems she wrote which was my favourite:

The Mad Voyage of Space Ship Earth

It spins through space and time, parts packed with life,

Divided in itself, ‘though held in one,

Here glowing hot and red with fire and strife-

Here anthill cities, bursting, outwards run.

While here is desert, desolate and bare,

Poisoned, eroded, empty legacy

Of some sad trial of strength or science there

Beside a putrid patch of lifeless sea.

And some live lavishly and look for more

While others starve or sicken in the sun,

Why do they squander wit and wealth on war

Who need so urgently to work as one?

See the thin smoke of prayer and sacrifice,

The tiny wisps of service and of love,

Which still steal upwards from the seething life

Seeking the maker of the stars above…

Excerpt from The Mad Voyage of Space Ship Earth written by Jessie Allen-Williams (1925-2017)

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