The statistics of deaths caused by road accidents in Portugal are heart-wrenchingly high.
A bad year will have about 2000 people losing their lives (needlessly) on the roads of this country.
(That’s more than the combined NATO forces’ annual mortality rate in Afghanistan).
Time to get real
While the agents of these accidents are largely men
The victims are mixed,
Women, old people and children.
So if you are planning to drive this Xmas please
to avoid occasions like this:
We all stood around our father’s body,
Laid out like an ancient Patriarch
Unseeing eyes tilted towards Heaven,
I felt overwhelmed
Carried away by events
Drifting down a turbid stream
With massy clouds already gathering
In my brain.
Later at the funeral I read out a short poem by one his favourite poets, W. B. Yeats.
AN ACRE OF GRASS
Picture and book remain,
An acre of green grass
For air and exercise,
Now strength of body goes;
Midnight, an old house
Where nothing stirs but a mouse.
My temptation is quiet.
Here at life’s end
Neither loose imagination
Nor mill of the mind
Consuming its rag and bone,
Can make the truth known.
Grant me an old man’s frenzy,
Myself must I remake
Till I am Timon and Lear
Or that William Blake
Who beat upon the wall
Till Truth obeyed his call.
A mind that Michael Angelo knew
That can pierce the clouds
Or inspired by frenzy
Shake the dead in their shrouds;
Forgotten else by mankind,
An old man’s eagle mind.
MY FATHER – PORTRAIT by TONY MOSLEY