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Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saddleworth Moor

Hi all, and good to be back, even though a day or two later than intended. Thanks for all your good wishes. I had intended for this morning a short post about my recent break, but over breakfast I was struck by what seemed to me an eerie photograph of two soft toys on a wire fence on Saddleworth Moor. This, of course, in connection with the renewed hope of finding the body of Keith Bennett, the only one of the four child victims not to have been found. All four were tortured, abused, murdered and buried there forty eight years ago. I was so struck by this that over breakfast I sketched out the following poem.
Two Soft Toys

Looking lost
not elegaic,
hung on a wire fence
like victims themselves,
their forms are limp
heads bowed towards earth
as if they know
from bitter experience
how cruel the moors can be.

And was it the moor, perhaps
did this to them? Did
they start out like any
child tribute, expressing
the virtues we give to our young:
innocence, hope and a sense of fun -
not to mention our incomprehension
at the death of but one?

Or are they heads down
searching the ground
in the hope of finding Keith's grave?
Don't judge by appearance.
However they're looking - neglected
maltreated, lost, lonely, afraid
or weird and uncanny -
they're two of the angels,
they symbolise light.

16 comments:

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Tis beautiful Dave and enormously sad. I hope Keith's body is found for the sake and peace of his mother who is quite ill.

Although you have made (with your wonderful words) this happy gal a little sad this morn - I am so so glad you're back!

Anna :o]

Mary said...

Welcome back, Dave. Hope you had a relaxing break. You have returned in fine form with a poem of thoughtful sadness. I liked best the last stanza....the angels. I do hope angels have been with all of those who never had a chance to grow up, who are forever children.

Friko said...

These forlorn mementoes remind us of a life cruelly and needlessly extinguished all those year ago. The mother's pain cannot be imagined by anyone else. If only . . . . .

Brian Miller said...

great scene set in your words...however they were out and about or their intentions they did...and angels they are for doing that...or at least they were on their side...great to see you man...have missed you...smiles.

Carl said...

You started back up with powerful stuff my friend.

haricot said...

Wellcome back Dave!
You depicted the terrible incident with some vivid images. As for Moor
I remember " The Hound in Baskervilles"...

Tabor said...

This is lovely, Dave. So true to what we may feel on seeing such a tragic symbol.

Helen said...

Missed you ... reading your poem reminds me of just how much.

jabblog said...

The sadness of it all is that Keith Bennett's mother died yesterday without ever finding the truth about the whereabouts of her son's remains. So cruel.

manicddaily said...

Oh dear. So sad. So great to have you back--notwithstanding sad and wonderful poem. Very vivid and telling. k.

The Elephant's Child said...

We see soft toys at the site of fatal car accidents. As a consequence, if I see a soft toy without a child nearby, it speaks to me of grief and loss. Speaks quite loudly of grief and loss.

cloudia charters said...

Well processed - and welcome back!


Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=
> < } } ( ° >

Dulcina said...

Welcome back, Dave, with this touching poem, a tribute to five angels.
Winnie Johnson, Keith's mum, died yesterday not knowing where her son was buried, so sad.
Well, hope she is now with him in Heavens!
(Dave, have a look at the word elegiac)

ds said...

Oh, how terrible, and how sad. Very poignant image, those toys.

august1aday said...

By way of catharsis and emotional release, both the writing and the reading. Didn't see the picture, but your words are bound to be stronger.
Such a distructively messy business, spread over half a century. Some humans get grief heaped on grief. How they cope is a mystery. Or do I mean miracle? I hope it is.

Dave King said...

hyperCRYPTICal
Me too glad. Sorry sad! Thanks.

Mary
I am sure they have: angels or something like them.

Friko
Amen to that.

Brian
Thanks Brian. Good to be back.

Carl
Though a tad rough. Probably needed a bit more work...

haricot
Moors are inheriently eerie somehow. Thanks for your thoughts.

Tabor
Much thanks for saying so.

Helen
Thank you so much. Really good to be back.

jabblog
Agreed. And now we hear that the police took a fortnight to respond to the letter. I do hope there were vaid reasons for this.

manicddaily
Mmm, thanks. Didin't intend to return with a sad poem, though. The image just struck home.

The Elephants Child
I think what moved me in this case was the eerie location. And one of the toys itself looked decidedly eerie - may have been a trick of the light.

Cloudia
Thanks and thanks.

Dulcina
Yup, I know what you're getting at. I knew I was forcing it a bit. I guess if the poem had gone to a second draft I might have found an alternative. Appreciate the comment.

ds
Agreed. Thanks for saying.

august1aday
Hi, welcome to my blog and my thanks for your much-appreciated thoughts.
I think it is. Let's settle for that! I wished I could have included the image, but couldn't
find it on the web.