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A Dedication Poem To 
Pope John Paul II

In May 1920, he came to this world,
Then a truly remarkable story, unfurled.
The end of this journey, dramatic to see,
By millions of mourners, in Rome and TV.
From all walks of life, and were seeking good views,
Christians, and Muslims, and Buddhists and Jews.
Politicians, and Royals, State Heads and most nations,
A river of peace, in respectful formations.
In youth he loved skiing, and many a sport,
Loved theatre; wrote speeches, and known as a poet.
‘The Quarry’ his ‘Theme Church’ was built from ‘The Rock,’
Used later in sermons, to preach to his flock.
Ordained the priesthood; - on ethics - a thesis,
Gave Lenton sermons, on ‘Love’ wrote a treatise.
He quoted from Ghandhi, whose words amplify,
And Influenced Pope Paul, in his ‘Humanae Vitae.’
From Priest to the Red Hat, he rose through the tiers,
Doctrinally proclaiming, - no concessions, no fears.
On the eighth ballot, in conclave selected,
As St. Peter’s successor, not ‘crowned’ but elected.
From Papal teaching, asked no deviation,
Preached primacy of next world, to be over this one. 
Advising his cardinals, - ‘The Council’ he stressed,
Their collegiate acceptance, he also addressed.
Latin America first heard, strong condemnation,
Of Bishops and priest’s and their new ‘liberation’
In Ireland he begged them, their violence to cease, 
But met quick rejection, of all pleas for peace.
In The States he waged war, on the greed of consumerism,
Just as much as he did, on the evils of communism.
But with ‘Ostpolitik’ he made dialogue flow possible.
Conceding to others; - won freedoms then feasable.
Against Marxism he fought, with pacific resistance,
“Be strong with your faith,” was his frequent insistence.
Backed ‘Solidarity;’ against Jaruzelski’s authority,
Obtained Polish elections, for the Catholic majority.
To the man who so nearly, dispatched to his grave,
He then went to visit, and expressly forgave.
Waged war on oppression, unemployment and poverty, 
But granted man’s rights then, to owning his property.
Condemned very strongly, all ‘killing’ abortion.
Equally firmly, on all contraception.
For clerical celibacy – the rule’s continuation,
No change in the rights, to the women’s ordination.
Promoting the ‘Faith’ and divine ‘Revelation,’ 
New marketing ways, using new communication. 
Travelling thousands of miles, going globally by jet,
Plus, putting his sermons, well read, on ‘the Net.’
Extolled the value, of humankind love,
The value of life, that’s bestowed from above.
This value of life - from conception to end,
The way of our life, to ‘the Lord’ - should commend.
The ‘Faith’ of John Paul was a granite like rock,
His love of mankind, now etched deep his epoch.
To a secular world, the young mourners brought hope,
But all, -- will remember, -- this strong ‘People’s Pope.’

©Jack  Baxendale


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