Archive for the ‘tears’ Tag

Lacrimation   2 comments

Lacrimation

flowing

here, is my liquid soul
a releasing of my emotion
by me, for me, for you

it may be an overflow of sadness
or happiness, where measure
will never be found equal

streaming

in regret or anger it will show
no difference – never clear –
collected, it will have no gender

from the corner of my eye
in that place of furtive glance
awe and elation will be released

running

within the culture of my dreams
that which is of me, it will never be
undignified or infantile to express

there will be no insincere display
no pretence of crocodile, taste
the salt as it will lay upon my cheek

falling

breathing will be convulsive, the
upper body will spasm, look in to
the eye to capture the moment

it will always start with one and though
age may slow it, to know the truth,
look within the eye and see my

tear

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Posted 10/03/2014 by DarKarsean in Life, Love, Musing, poem, poetic, Uncategorized

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The Gift of Tears and Love   2 comments

The Gift of Tears and Love

Tears! Small, large, sitting, flowing, running. As I sat and watched the day’s event unfold I was amazed at the depth of emotions now showing from this hardened middle-aged man. His story was the reason that I was at the Governors residence in Brisbane. People had said that this man was as “tough as teak” and that nothing would ever stop this man, let alone make him cry.

He had the pedigree to live up to everyone’s expectations though. A 25 year veteran of the Australian Army, he had seen more horror during his years of service than any normal person should be forced to endure in a lifetime. The Sinai, Somalia, Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan were all areas in which he had seen service. The sights of death and horrific injury had stalked this man for more than half of those 25 years. It was said that at no time had he ever shed a tear, for friend or foe, over the carnage that he had, by the very choice of his calling to arms, faced on a sometimes-daily basis in those areas.

He was born in a small bush town in outback Queensland. The son of a loving mother, it was the violence of his alcoholic father that would shape this man for, as he grew older, he was often beaten by his father for showing any kind of weakness. To shed a tear was a quick way to get a backhander across his face from this violent man. Leaving home at 17 and joining the Army he was quickly identified as a man not to be messed with. He was never known to be cruel, (his mother did have some influence), but he was never a man to show any emotion, no matter what the circumstances. The expressions, “dragged up by the bootstraps” and “hard as nails” seemed to epitomise this man.

After 25 years in the Army, this legend of the service had decided that it was time to retire. A quieter time beckoned this hero and his family. The decision prompted by the death of the younger of his two sons, both of whom were serving in the Army, in a rather innocuous incident in an Army gymnasium. Unable to show any outward sign of emotion at his son’s funeral, he decided that maybe he had missed something in his life and it was now time to leave the Army and discover those emotions that he had never experienced in his life so far. No more the hero, no more the horror. Leaving an Army married quarter for the last time he was looking forward to moving into what would be the first home that he could truly call his own.

After ten months living in his own home in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, he had settled down quite nicely to civilian life. Despite words to the contrary from ex Army friends, he had found that he did not miss the service life at all. During those 10 months he had found the time to become involved in the local community and had also joined the local volunteer State Emergency Services unit. Initially welcomed for his wealth of experience he quickly became a popular member of the unit. Members would comment after this day at Government House however that although he was a popular man, he had shown very little emotion during the period of time that they had known him. If they only knew that any showing of emotion, no matter how small, was an improvement in his life from all that had gone before.

Often called in to assist the police in search and rescue activities, such was the case on the 25 December 2007 when the Emergency Service unit was activated. They were to assist in the search for a mother and daughter who had failed to arrive for Christmas dinner at her parents home. The woman’s parent lived in an area of the Hinterland known for its unsafe dirt roads and rugged country. At the least, dangerous in the dry, the roads had become treacherous that Christmas Day due to a sudden, heavy, prolonged rainstorm. Called out at 9.00am they did not find the wreckage of the vehicle until 6.30pm that evening. In fading light and still falling rain, the ex- soldier was lowered to the vehicle by winch to be confronted by a scene that he found as dangerous and devastating as any that he had witnessed in his time in the Army. The vehicle had rolled a number of times down a steep embankment before coming precariously to rest balancing on a ledge over a 300-metre drop to the valley floor. Both mother and daughter were, by some miracle, still alive. Conscious, but in extreme pain due to the horrific injuries she had suffered, the mother screamed for him to save her daughter before the car went over the ledge.

Twenty-five years of Army service now came to the fore. Calling to his other team members, he directed them to attach two of their ropes to their Landcruiser and then throw them down so that he could tie them off to the wrecked vehicle encasing mother and daughter as they held tenuously on to life. Water was now rushing down the embankment and the car was in danger of slipping off the ledge. Anchoring the vehicle as best he could, he slowly entered the back seat of the vehicle to rescue the daughter. Blood covered her and on checking for injuries he found that along with two broken arms and two broken legs, she had been “stabbed” a number of time by tree branches that had come through the window of the vehicle as it rolled down the embankment. Broken limbs and cuts from broken glass were the least of her troubles as he was amazed she was still alive considering the amount of blood she had lost. At that moment the vehicle was hit by a large mudslide, caused by excessive water runoff, and the vehicle lurched closer to the edge. Going against accepted rescue practice, he quickly removed the young girl from the car. The Ambulance Service and Fire and Rescue service had not yet arrived and time was running out.

Placing her out of the way of further harm, he moved around to attend to the mother. Again the car lurched forward as it was hit by another mudslide. He could not call for assistance from his other team members as they were desperately trying to stop their own vehicle from sliding over the edge of the roadway. It took him 10 minutes to force the driver’s door open where he was confronted with the mother in extreme agony and obvious shock. The steering wheel pinned to her chest, the seat rammed forward pushing her legs (both of which were broken) up under the dashboard of the car. She too was covered in cuts from the glass of the broken windscreen and had a huge sliver of glass protruding from her neck. Using his reserves of physical strength gained as a member of the Army, and not lost in civilian life, he managed to move the steering wheel off her chest giving her some immediate, though temporary, relief from the pain. With the vehicle being slowly pushed towards the ledge from further mudslides piling up against it, a decision had to be made. Closing his mind to her screams, he managed to pull the mother from the wreckage and held her in his arms as she passed out from the pain. Even during these heart rendering events, not a tear or sign of emotion did he show. At that moment a loud “twang” was heard and both ropes snapped under the strain of the mudslides and the vehicle slowly toppled over the ledge. The Ambulance Service and the Fire and Rescue service arrived and the rescue was completed. At 11 pm on Christmas day he finally arrived home, promptly had a beer and a shower (in that order) and went to bed.

So here we were, gathered in Government House in Brisbane for this brave man, a hero to a number of people, to receive a bravery medal for his actions in saving both mother and daughter. Even as the Governor spoke of his heroic deeds he showed very little, if any, sign of emotion. After pinning the bravery award on him the Governor turned to the gathering of people and spoke of one other award that was to be presented to this man. Gesturing to her aides, they slowly opened a door at the side of the hall and entering in two wheel chairs were the mother and daughter that this brave man had rescued. A number of months had passed since the accident but their rehabilitation had been very slow. As they were wheeled to the podium the ex soldier, that boy from the bush with the violent alcoholic father, for the first time in his life, began to feel a strange well of emotions swell up within himself.

To the amazement of all gathered, the little girl slowly and painfully raised herself from the wheelchair. She spoke softly into the microphone and recalled the events of that Christmas Day and her appreciation for this man who had saved her and her mother’s life. She then turned towards him and still in extreme pain, walked slowly but determinedly towards him. Reaching into her pocket she withdrew a small box. Opening the box she withdrew a small tear shaped photo frame and presented it to him. “I love you – please accept this small gift as a token of my love for you for saving my mum and me”. With that she lent over and kissed him on the cheek. Stunned and unable to speak, he stared at the tear shaped frame to see a small picture of the mother and daughter. This gift, this small gift, then unleashed a wave of emotion within him that he had never experienced in all of his forty-three years of life. His tears flowed freely, a lump rose in his throat and he had trouble breathing. Looking at her he gently held her to his chest and said thank you – I will treasure this gift from you forever.

We all sat and watched with tears in our own eyes as he gently released the young girl from his hug, stood up and walked to his wife and remaining son and gave then an emotional embrace. This man who had never showed any outward sign of emotion in his life gathered the hands of his wife and son in his own and quietly, and with dignity, left the award ceremony.

As I sat to write his story, I reflected that a lot of us on that day realized that when you give or receive a gift, that it does not have to be a gift of large or expensive proportions for it to have an affect. A gift given with true love and affection, no matter what the cost or size, can have a more profound effect on a person than a gift given with the only intention to inflate the ego of the giver.

Posted 04/01/2012 by DarKarsean in poem, poetry, Uncategorized

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