“Wherever there is a Shrine” by Jeannie Meekins

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Wherever there is a Shrine


Wherever there is a shrine, there will be a remembrance

In the church graveyard, the town square

On a street corner, in a garden or under a paddock gum


Whether ten thousand attend or only one

Look out for the ghosts of the names engraved

They will gather again as they gathered once

Fathers, brothers and sons


The living and the dead united

Families and communities rejoined

In that hour of darkness before dawn

As the night begins to blend with the day

The spirits in our hearts and our imaginations take form

They touch us with a breath

That we know them once again


Let the sun’s first light dry your eyes

Return to your life with your heart uplifted

For their spirit has touched your soul

And yours has touched theirs

In a way that can only be experienced

Not pondered or understood


By your mere presence and by theirs

Lives cut short will live on

For they will not be forgotten

Mixed Bag

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Mixed Bag

He appeared on the doorstep one day

Both big and small in size

A dog of mixed bag breeds

We decided to call him Heinz


For Dad, he’d work all day

Running with the sheep

He asked for little in return

A pat, kind word, a sleep


To Mum, he was a protector

Of danger, he had no fear

Any threat around, he’d bark it down

No stranger would dare come near


The baby, she had him intrigued

Crawling around the house

Nose to the ground, he followed her round

Like a cat on the trail of a mouse


After school, he’d wait at the gate

We’d play till the sun’s last light

Exhausted but happy, inside for tea

He’d sleep by my bed at night


To each, he was something different

Loyal, right up to the end

That bitzer, mongrel, mixed up mutt

Worker, protector… best friend.

Jeannie Meekins