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John Simkin

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Carl Sandburg's love poem, Paula, was not published during his lifetime, although it was written in April 1908. It was found in his papers by his daughter. His wife's name was Lilian, but apparently he called her Paula.

Woman of a million names and a thousand faces,

I looked for you over the earth and under the sky.

I sought you in passing processions

On old multitudinous highways

Where mask and phantom and life go by.

In roaming and roving, from prairie to sea,

From city to wilderness, fighting and praying,

I looked.

Dusty and wayward, I was the soldier,

Long-sentinelled, pacing the night,

Who heard your voice in the breeze nocturnal,

Who saw in the pine shadows your hair,

Who touched in the flicker of vibrant stars

Your soul!

When I saw you, I knew you as you knew me.

We had known far back in the eons

When hills were dust and the sea a mist.

And toil is a trifle and struggle a glory

With You, and ruin and death but fancies,

Woman of a million names and a thousand faces.


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Poetry by local pensioner Jim Sharp, who is an accomplished poet in his own right. Jim began to write poetry during his years as a POW in Germany. This provided him with a creative outlet. His book of poetry is available from the Barrhead Community Library.

A comment on the P.C. Learning By Jim. D. Sharp


I thought one time to make a rhyme

While at the evening classes;

But, the guys just stood like a plank of wood,-

And there weren't many passes...

In days of yore, when boys were bold

And a click meant loving glances

And only Girls were nice and "Chic"

Yet kept romantic fancies...

A lass who had him in her eye

Would hide such futile yearning

But sure, the lassie was not shy,-

The lady's not for turning...

But, P.C. Mode has made a load

Of words without restriction:

Now E-Mail notion finally showed

How mixed-up was my diction!''

Written by J.D. Sharp

Barrhead, Thursday, June 20th 2002 A.D.

Jim Sharp, a well-known veteran of the left and labour movements in the city, launched his book of poetry, entitled Leftside at the Queensland Council of Unions building on July 31. About 100 people attended. Speakers included Marxist historian Humphrey McQueen and music was provided by Jumping Fences.

Sharp is a retired meatworker, who was active in the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union for more than two decades. He has also been active in peace and environmental movements. The book’s blurb says Sharp’s poetry explores “his early background in the coal mining region of northern Yorkshire; his experiences both personal and political during fifty years of working class struggle; and some of the issues of power, authority and domination which workers, organised in trade unions, constantly face.” http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/45072

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I come and stand at every door

but none can hear my silent tread.

I knock and yet remain unseen

for I am dead, for I am dead.

I'm only seven tho' I died

in Hiroshima long ago.

I'm seven now as I was then

when children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame,

my eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind.

Death came and turned my bones to dust,

and that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice,

I need no sweets or even bread.

I ask for nothing for myself,

for I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace

you fight today, you fight today,

so that the children of the world

may live and grow and laugh and play.

Nazım Hikmet [1956]


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