Posted in Essay, Liz Rice-Sosne, memoir, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

I Imagine …

I imagine Mummy

She is listening for Doodle Bugs

Running past St James Square

They make a swooshing noise before

Hitting their targets

Windows are darkening now

As she scurries by them

Like a mouse

Shades being pulled down

All light receding and gone

She is heading towards St Paul’s

She is meeting with a friend

At the statue of St Ann

Dinner was to soon follow

Constant gray clouds of dust

Engulfed her in dirt

London was under

Aerial bombardment

The Luftwaffe would spend

Fifty-seven nights

Bombing this great city

Wishing to eradicate it

From the face of the earth

This symbol of London and God

But London endured

St Paul’s remained standing

A symbol of British


Mummy lived to return home

To the USA

But I still imagine

I still wonder

Was it the war that

Shaped her personna

Making her harsh

She once said to me

During a phone call

With Mummy

Not long before her death

She told me that

The war was the most

Thrilling period of her life

I understand that feeling

I know what she was saying

She is gone

St Paul’s is standing

London thrives

Yet still I imagine

We all must come to terms with our upbringing.  For some there is more pain to work through than for others.  I had what one might call a proper upbringing.  Yet still, one filled with much pain.  My mother was not in London during those 57 nights of the Blitz.  This was of course poetic license on my part.  However, she was living in London during 1943 and 1944 in WWII.  She became a lifelong Anglophile.  This fact set up some difficult goals for her children to attain for they were not British (and we came after the war).

Sometimes due to her scrapbooks I feel as though I was there, in London during the war.

There was a time that I knew nothing about war.  A spiritual experience that I was willing to have in 2005, dictated that I learn about war.  Mummy never spoke of her work in London during WWII.  She worked for the US propaganda office or the OWI – Office of War Information.  I really never knew until I found two scrapbooks while cleaning out the family home.  Finding these scrapbooks made me realize what a vary brave woman she had been.  As a result, instead of harboring resentment towards her (resentment that she earned) I came to have significant admiration for her.

I wish to redo these books as they are in a state of disintegration.  However, it is exceptionally difficult for me to work with them.  I am very emotional about the subject.

Politicians never give thought to the consequences of wars into which they enter.  They have no clue as to the gravity of the collateral damage that accompanies their warring ways.  The United States of course had to enter WWII.  But, Hitler did not have to begin The War To End All Wars.  That war like so many have touched people down through the ages, times long past the end of the war in question.  War shapes people for generations to come.  Peace begins at home.  Not in the country, the state or the city.  No peace begins in the heart of the individual.  For it is when you get peaceful individuals together, one at a time that real peace begins to grow into a movement.  It becomes sizable and a peaceful nation is born.

The following paragraph is taken word for word out from Wikipedia:

“On 31 December, the Daily Mail took the unusual step of publishing the photographer’s account of how he took the picture:[

I focused at intervals as the great dome loomed up through the smoke. Glares of many fires and sweeping clouds of smoke kept hiding the shape. Then a wind sprang up. Suddenly, the shining cross, dome and towers stood out like a symbol in the inferno. The scene was unbelievable. In that moment or two I released my shutter.”  – Herbert Mason


© 2013, essay and photographs, Liz Rice-Stone, All rights reserved

unnamed-2LIZ RICE-SOSNE a.k.a. Raven Spirit (noh where), perhaps the oldest friend to Bardo, is the newest member of The Bardo Group Core Team. She is also our new Voices for Peace project outreach coordinator and our go-to person for all things related to haiku.  She says she “writes for no reason at all. It is simply a pleasure.” Blogging, mostly poetry, has produced numerous friends for whom she has a great appreciation. Liz is an experienced blogger, photographer and a trained shaman. We think her middle name should be “adventure.”


Rainforest_Fatu_HivaPLEASE JOIN US: Beginning at  7 p.m. PST this evening, we are celebrating Valentine’s Day with love – not the love of and for another person – but our love for our mother planet ….

WE INVITE ALL writers, poets, artists, photographers, musicians and other creatives to join us at The Bardo Group for our Valentine’s Day event, BLOGGERS IN PLANET LOVE. Link in your work that shares your appreciation for the beauty of nature or your concern for environmental issues. You can share the url to your post via Mr. Linky, which will stay up for seventy-two hours. Corina Ravenscraft (DragonDreams) hosts. Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day) will visit sites and comment. We hope you will also visit others and comment on their work, lending support and encouragement and making connection.

If tonight is date-night for you, remember that you do have seventy-two hours to link your work in. It doesn’t have to be a new or recent piece, just something in the spirit of the event, something that expresses your love of our planet.

Photo credit ~ Tropical Rainforest, Fatu Hiva Island, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia by Benutzerseite: Makemake via German language Wikipedia under CC A-SA 3.0 Unported license.


Old, crafty, stylish, shape shifter, loyal, kind, takes no prisoners nor any B.S. But sometimes, just feels old! Still in love with her best friend to whom she has been married for 38 years and known for 43. But now he is sorta grumpy.

7 thoughts on “I Imagine …

  1. I feel a huge kinship here, Liz. It was not until the mid-2000’s that I finally researched my father’s death in WWII. And I have once scrapbook completed and a large box of info I was able to discover about him when I finally accepted that I needed to know. My mom stayed in the US and her response was quite different but I did learn that the other survivors of his crew (he was a B-24 pilot) were deeply affected. So much tragedy.


  2. Scillagrace , you are right on target in terms of Character building. We build character or we “change” by sheer force of will “WITH” God’s grace. I am not nor have I ever been
    churchy.” But with God’s grace I made a decision to change everything about my self and did so. I went fro m being a wimp to being someone that no one fu%$# with.

    John I thoroughly enjoyed your comment. I also agree with you about Hitler and the British Character. The only thing that was so difficult was that we were never Bitish enough – well we were not British at all.

    Ah Niamh … what a lovely picture you paint.

    Thank you Jamie – hm, Valentine’s Day spent in the ER and then indisgust without TX for 3 hours I left.


  3. Shaping character, revealing character…is that what all ‘stress’ does? Whether it’s war, athletic competition, poverty or illness, we draw on our inner mettle. If grit, optimism, survival instinct, bravery, calm and other useful graces show up, we are understandably thrilled. If depression, anxiety, despair and anger show up, we might self-destruct. Question is, how do we cultivate the character we wish to bloom?


  4. I apologise, Liz, my overly long comment below was addressed to you, not Niamh, with the exception of reference to Hitler’s intentions. I apologise to you and to Niamh.

    Sack the boy, he’s a numpty!


  5. I already read and, like Jamie I think, commented on this poem, Niamh. It certainly is memorable and presents abiding images of those times.

    I believe that Hitler deliberately targeted all those monuments that the British people treasured most; that represented what was British; that, perhaps he though would crush our will to survive and win. He was, after all, bent on not only erasing those people from the earth, who didn’t fit with his blue eyed blond haired ideal, but also to removing all traces of their memories. So there was no hint of him saving St Paul’s, even if the bombing had been that accurate! I do believe however, that even if St Paul’s had been destroyed, the British spirit wouldn’t have buckled for long, rather I believe it would have strengthened resolve. It might have come close for a while but, like the effects of their destruction of Coventry Cathedral, we remained resolved in the end.

    I think your mum and mine might have got on, Niamh, although she wasn’t too thrilled at being blitzed! She was a Londoner (from the East End), but was bombed and buried under the rubble of her Sussex Gardens home for, she recalled, getting on for three days. This occurred during what was reputedly the worst night of the blitz, 10th May 1941. She remained, to the end of her days in 1994, a gritty, if sometimes difficult, personality, but one for whom I have subsequently come to understand better and therefore respect; one who would always be a surviver. Thank you, Niamh, for reminding me of how hard those war years were for so many of our parents’ generation, and how that war, as did WW1, shaped the character of a generation, including us.


  6. I was born just after the war and moved from Dublin (the city of my birth) to London, and I remember walking to school along East London’s Hackney streets past huge bomb craters in the road. They were part of the landscape. Yes! And how did Christopher Wren’s iconic cathedral jut its rounded, feminine towers into London’s skies, despite it all? If the Germans had bombed that piece of history, it would have, possibly, broken the indomitable British will. Did the bombs miss, or did Hitler give orders that such a beauty as this should not be bombed? Who knows? I love London’s skyline with a passion that has always excited me. Now I live beside Hampton Court, Across from Hampton Court is the house that Christopher Wren lived in. I love breathing in such history. Thank you for your great post.


  7. I may have said this when you first posted this on your site, Liz, but this is where we came in … when you first started talking about your mom’s scrapbooks.

    The values expressedin the post and the photograph are on target in making your point. Why is it we always think that war is a viable path to peace?

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your hubby, Liz.


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