this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters
image and poem below the fold
Jameela Abbas weeps over the loss of her youngest son, Eissa, as she holds his photograph in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005. Three months ago she bathed him, helped him get dressed, combed his hair and sprayed him with perfume before the six-year-old left with his father for Syria. Nearly four hours later, her husband called to say their son was mistakenly killed by U.S. fire, becoming one of the many Iraqis who die simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Lament for Sion*
by Lewys Glyn Cothi
One son was my darling–Dwynwen!
Woe to his father is his birth.
Woe to him who’s left to grieve
for love evermore with no son.
The death of my little die has made
my ribs ache for Sion y Glyn.
I am forever wailing
for the lord of boyhood tales.
The lad loved a sweet apple
and a bird, and white pebbles;
a bow made of a thorn branch,
a flimsy wooden sword;
he feared the pipe and bogey,
he begged his mam for a ball;
he would sing a note to all,
he would sing “oo-o” for a nut;
he would fondle and flatter,
he would get angry with me,
and make up for a bit of wood
and for dice that he loved.
Oh that Sion, pure gentle boy,
were another Lazarus.
Beuno brought back to life
seven who had gone to heaven;
woe, once again, my true heart,
that Sion’s soul cannot make eight.
Oh Mary, alas that he lies dead,
woe for my ribs that his grave is closed.
Sion’s death is like a stab wound
implanted deep in my breast;
my son, my baby’s playpen,
my bosom, my heart, my song,
he was my mind in my lifetime,
my wise poet, he was my dream,
he was my toy, my candle,
my fair soul, my one deceit,
my chick learning my song,
my Isolde’s garland, my kiss,
my strength, woe is me after him,
my skylark, my magician,
my love, my bow, my arrow,
my beseacher, my boyhood.
Sion is sending to his father
a pang of longing and love.
Farewell, the smile on my lips,
farewell to the laughing mouth;
farewell now, sweet amusement,
and farewell to games with nuts,
and farewell, ball, for ever,
and farewell to loud singing,
and farewell, my cheery friend,
buried while I live, Sion my son.
*a variation of the name `John.’ The Irish was originally Eoin, (Oh-en or Oh-een). It derived from the Latin Johannes. Sean became a popular Irish form after the Norman French introduced Jehan to the island. Other variations are Shaun, Shane, Sion, Shawn, and Seaghan, (See-a-gun).
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