A Good Home, Courage, Daydreams, Exile, Family, First Home, Flowering shrubs, Flowers, Homecoming, Homeland, Poetry, Refugee


Home now to that place of your youth

The beautiful land whose  brutal truth

You fled.

Memory – that minefield – would not rest

But love and fame were in the West

You thrived.

Blog Photo - Pink Peony

The news came on and you grew  still

The anger bubbled; it made you ill

So silent.

But now to homeland you’ve returned

I pray you’ll cope, and that you’ve learned

To forgive.

Bloodroot Flower
Bloodroot Flower

I wish you peace, and even joy

In that place where you were that boy

Long ago.

Permit yourself to laugh and play

To tuck the anger back away

For now.

Crocus in Spring
Crocus in Spring

Permit yourself to have some hope

Allow yourself the needed scope

To dream.

That land you love may come to be

A place you would have loved to see

Take shape

Mature Shrubs in Bloom
Mature Shrubs in Bloom

And though that seems so far away

So distant from this present day

Take heart

Now feel the sun upon your face

The rhythm, light, and sense of place

Once home.

Forget-Me-Not in Bloom
Forget-Me-Not in Bloom

Dedicated to my friend “Chad”.

All photos by H. Grange.

29 thoughts on “RETURN OF THE EXILE”

      1. Indeed. Every year, almost, I contemplate a visit to my birth country. Every year, I chicken out. I loved my birth country but returning there is bound to resurrect the ‘whats’. And the ‘whats’ can be uncomfortable.

      2. I hear you.
        Those ‘whats’ can be indeed unsettling.
        My friend Chad has returned to S. Africa to live for good this time. That poem honours the first time he returned.

    1. Indeed. Thank you, Johanna. This poetry thing is new to me, and I always like to know how poems like this one affect my readers.
      Did you know that I started writing poems to force my brain to think in sentences again?

      It was a most ridiculous outcome at first, so I kept writing funny/ridiculous stuff. But that eventually led to more serious ones, like the one above. When did you start drawing/painting, Johanna?

  1. This is a poignant tour of Chad’s past home and life. Sometimes I torture myself with what ifs, other times I am able to move on and make the best of here and now. I enjoy your poems and how you weave the photos into the story. To enjoying the moment,

    1. Thanks, Brad. This poem is one of my favorites. The poems that pour out within minutes always end up being my favorites, but this could be great pride at work — because in recent years, writing and thinking were so difficult that everything took forever.

  2. Beautifully written and thought provoking, and the photos are lovely 🙂

    As much as I love my birthplace, a place that I spent the majority of my life, it is hard now to go home. Being from a small, Southern town–everyone knows everyone and his or her business–so leaving that behind was a relief. I am free to be me–to start over without having my family history told to me or being compared to members of my family. I am not reminded of the time when I was five and flipped my dress up showing the entire church congregation my bloomers! I am free to be me without worry. When I go to visit the hometown, I feel that suffocating control all over again–and for the time that I am there, I am no longer myself–but a image of what I should be. I do feel like an exile when I walk the streets…because I was able to leave it behind…and be me.

    Love this poem! It really got me to thinking…and probably will be thinking about it for the rest of the day…I think it is time for me to fix a pot of coffee and sit a spell on the porch 🙂

    1. what a wonderful reply this is, Chasidy. and I’ll be thinking of your five-year old self flipping up your dress to show your bloomers. I’m pretty sure I must have done that too (and if I’d known that I would reach a stage in life where I would never do that, I would have flipped up that dress many, many times!) I love the feeling you have – free to be you. It really is hard to go home again, isn’t it?

  3. Beautiful post and words so full of emotion! I enjoyed Chasidy’s response as well. Fun tidbit: We had chosen the name Chasidy for our daughter but was overturned by her dad on the day she was born and we settled on Chase. I still LOVE the name Chasidy though!!

  4. This made me think of being home, as in, where your loved ones are, in your heart.
    I really enjoyed this, Cynthia…if you’re new at poetry then I can’t wait to read your later work. 🙂

  5. I do love this poem, Cynthia. The rhythm is just as fine as the words are. It has that uncertainty about it – the couple of steps forward and a step back that you would imagine a nervous person would do in a doorway. As I said before – you must collect your poems together and publish them. I would buy that book.
    Hamlin’s photos are excellent as always and you have placed them just-so!

    1. Awww… Clare, this is such valuable feedback. For one thing, the metaphor you used gave me an added insight into my own poem! I hardly know how to say thanks, so I’ll just say “thanks!”

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