“I want to talk about the themes of hope, peace, joy and love as we head towards the end of the year” said Ian Henery, Poet in Residence of 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton “and paint a rainbow over Wolverhampton”.
There are 4 candles of Advent and one is lit each Sunday leading up to the celebration of Christmas. These 4 candles represent the themes of hope, peace, joy and love are important in all faiths as well as those of none. Ian Henery will write a poem for each of the 4 Advent candles in the count down to Christmas. Every week each of the 4 poems will be broadcast on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.
“Hope is what the world needs right now as the days get shorter, the nights get longer and news feeds are full of bad news” said Ian Henery. “It sometimes feels as if we`re in a tempest, a storm, being battered by the waves. Where`s the lift raft? Where`s our bouyancy aid? What can we hold on to as we`re bobbing about in the mighty ocean, spitting out sea water if we don`t have hope?”
According to Ian Henery hope is like a rainbow stretching across the sky. He wants to paint a rainbow over Wolverhampton.
“In the darkest night we look for the stars”, he said “and in the tempest we look for the rainbow. It`s there, waiting, if we look for it for those with eyes that see.” Rainbows represent diversity and inclusivity. “It`s what we need today”, said Ian. “Hope that things will get better – if only we have eyes to see.”
Since the beginning of human history rainbows have symbolised hope to cultures across the world. In Greek mythology Iris is the goddess of the rainbow connecting people to the heavens. In the Bible God gave Noah a rainbow as a sign that the Flood was over. This account is repeated in the holy book of Islam (the Koran) and Judaism (the Torah).
“We are all brothers and sisters of the holy book” said Ian Henery. Bifrost is the bridge between heaven and earth in Norse mythology. In Asian culture rainbows are a symbol of good luck in Feng Shui. “Hope. Promise. New beginnings. All symbolised by a rainbow if we only look for it as we head towards Christmas with hope in our hearts” said Ian Henery.
Rainbow of Hope (sonnet)
Tempests must come before rainbows appear
Lit up by sunbeams, a gossamer ghost;
The thunder clouds` moisture, vapour at most
But they symbolise hope that storms will clear.
Peace and love after the bitterest tears,
Refraction of sunlight sensed through the eyes,
Magical moments in clearing blue skies –
The promise of calm after doubts and fears.
In darkness, rainbow`s beauty blocked from sight:
Colours are shattered, buffeted by gales
Looking for a rainbow, courage assailed
Cast adrift in the storm, lost to the night.
Bleakness the weather, no stars shining bright:
Wind-battered, filled with heartache and dismay,
Clinging on to hope, clouds the darkest grey –
The rainbow is coming – in all its might.