Friday Surprise: A Poem by Maureen Weldon


No city, just rubble.

Soldiers in black play hide-and-seek,

We are East, West, North, South, they shout.

So we packed him away, our precious boy,

our precious child; packed him away

for a better life in a better place.

No city, just rubble.

and me an old lady, a widow wrapped in weeds,

wrapped in tears.

Daughter, daughter sit by my side.

‘Where are they mother?’

Walking, walking. Gone – all gone.

by Maureen Weldon (Wales)

Lifejacket, Summer 2016

About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. In 2018, I was honored by the Governor of Illinois for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of seven books including: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; Your Original Personal Ad; and my latest, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu by Charlotte Digregorio." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for two Pushcart Prizes in poetry. I have won fifty-nine poetry awards, writing fourteen poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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11 Responses to Friday Surprise: A Poem by Maureen Weldon

  1. Paul Beech says:

    The plight of innocent people fleeing war abroad is an issue my partner Maureen Weldon cares about passionately, and her poem “The Empty City” graphically conveys the horror of it all.

    ‘Lifejacket’, the anthology in which “The Empty City” was first published, was launched at Waterstones, Liverpool 1, on Monday 20th June 2016, with the editor Lew Kelly presenting. All proceeds from sale of the book would be donated to support refugees.

    Maureen, as a contributor, was invited by Lew to attend and read her poem, which she did… and, Gosh, how proud of her I was, for she truly put her heart into it and, I’m sure, moved everyone deeply.

    Yes, my darling Maureen, you were wonderful!

    Love always,

    Paul xxx

  2. haikutec says:

    An incredibly powerful piece, showing how not showing ALL the information can make a poem a poem and not a report.

    Very very powerful.

    Alan Summers
    Call of the Page

  3. Maureen Weldon says:

    Thank you very much Alan Summers for your comment.
    Warm wishes,
    Maureen Weldon

    • haikutec says:

      Thank you.

      It’s heartbreaking that children are still considered a legitimate target. When I was renga poet-in-residence in Hull (who suffered the very first world war 2 casuality, an adult on sea watch), it was otherwise children and women as first targets followed by factories etc… It is always thus, from the ancient Greek empires onwards.


  4. janhedger7 says:

    I know this poem and dear Maureen is a good friend – who along with Paul Beech took part in in a ‘Writings for Refugees exhibition I co-ordinated and staged at ‘Our Space’ Ellesmere Library on behalf off Refugee Week and the marking of 100 years of ‘Save The Children Charity’ founded by Eglatyne Jebb who was born in Ellesmere and indeed the Jebb family still are resident in the same house. Maureen has such a good heart for this subject and for poetry – and this poem is a marriage of both. Using the compass points is such a powerful metaphor – for soldiers speaks of all nations as if they are ‘everything’ against people and children who loses grounding of self and have to seek self elsewhere form conflict and desolation. As in the poem – some cannot leave just fill with sorrow and emptiness like the city all gone. Their souls are gone – their bodies are left. Thank you for putting this on site for a wider sharing – Jan Hedger

  5. Maureen Weldon says:

    Dear Jan, Thank you for your special comment. It was indeed an honour to have my poem “The Empty City” first published in LIFEJACKET 2016 Editor Lew Kelly. And this year in ” Writing for Refugees Exhibition” which you dear Jan co-ordinated. With love and all good wishes, Maureen

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