creativity · Family · poetry · relationships · spirituality · writing

When We Meet In Heaven, Dad (2)

I picture it: a convention
of like minds, congregating,
sharing, aspiring to betterment.

A conference of healing,
for the newly deceased –
like limbo, only educational.

Surprised to find you there –
you who seldom attended
any of my performances.

I’ll stifle the discomfort,
suppress doubt, cherish
the moment, except that

I know you – will catch
the gist of your duplicity,
your self-serving motivations

feel the rage intact, intent
on one final confrontation,
to track you down, and decry

your brick-wall tendencies,
the cruelty of absenting
yourself from a child’s needs

will check the registry –
surely there is one in Heaven –
likely not find you listed there

the alias you used in life,
now redundant – will find
you under that moniker

I refused to ever pronounce;
will stand at the door of your chamber
inflated righteousness ready

to denounce you for eternity,
only… revelation will strike,
decades of wrath disintegrating

into sorrow, and as you open
that door, hesitant to receive me,
I’ll declare:  “I am sorry, Dad.

I accept you just as you are,
I just don’t want any more
distance between us.”

(When We Meet in Heaven, Dad originally appeared April, 2017.  I am submitting a revised edition here for Manic Mondays 3 Way Prompt:  dirge.  A response to this poem, from my Father’s point of view, is posted on One Woman’s Quest II.)

aging · culture · life · poetry · spirituality · writing

A Final Mystery

Is death a gentle reprieve,
a final release of suffering
a promised resting place?

Or is it contemplation
coloured by memories
demanding retribution?

Will death bring reunion
unleash forgiveness
shine with revelation?

Will one final earthly breath
call forth all the fragments of the soul
and restore wholeness?

I have witnessed death –
both embraced and unwanted –
snatch the spirit from its nest

felt the whoosh of escape
and a swirl of celebration,
known the peace that follows

witnessed the body, open-eyed
and open-mouthed
become a vacuum –

discarded membranes;
an impotent shell.

The spirit does not dwell there;
it lives on borrowed time.

Where it goes when all is done
remains life’s poignant mystery.

(Originally posted January of 2015, this poem fits V.J.’s Weekly Challenge theme of mystery, hosted on One Woman’s Quest II.  There is still time to participate.  Head on over and check it out.)

creativity · dreams · Family · health · poetry · spirituality · writing

Talk To Me Of Horses

Talk to me of horses,
the young man says,
thin locks of blonde matted
on a sweaty brow, flashes of blue
that fade as eyes succumb
to weariness, the constant
whoosh, whoosh of respirator.

Talk to me of horses;
the world is losing its grip
and I have no cares for

the weather or car mechanics,
but I dream of horses
and I am feeling so emotional,
help me understand.

So I come to his bedside,
wait for moments of lucidity
ponder the implications
of his questions, wrestle with
my own inadequacies –
I am merely student here.

And we discuss horses –
the power of their bodies,
their beauty and grace,
their relationship to people –
decide they are ferrymen
transporting souls across worlds –
an explanation that satisfies, then

I am seeing things, he strains
embarrassed even in these final hours
to describe what seems inconceivable –
between sleep and awake – figures grey

and frightening that hover
over my bed like body snatchers…

A chills runs over me, as if icy
fingers have caressed my skin,
and I shudder despite myself,
scramble to maintain calm,
wonder aloud if it is not just fear
projecting grey into light –
clouding his vision.

My timing is off the next day,
arrive too late to see him pass,
find his mother waiting to receive me,
with a message from her son, my kin,
says that it makes no sense to her,
but he assured her I’d understand.

“You were right about the visions,”
he’d said; “there was nothing to fear.”

I smile through my sorrow –
ever the teacher that one,
now dead at twenty-one –

“Oh, and one more thing – could you
talk to me of horses.”

(Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo is to write about the mysterious and magical.  This poem is dedicated to my cousin Tyler, whose aspirations were to be a physicist, but for whom life had another fate.  He taught me so much.)

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creativity · poetry · spirituality · writing

A Flower Knows

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenges us to move beyond our comfort zone.  It involves selecting a photograph, and then finding a poem in a language we do not speak, and writing a ‘translation’ assuming the poem is about the photograph we chose.

The photograph is from my own collection.  The poem is from a Norwegian poet, Gro Dahle (selected randomly).  Here is the original:

Det er ikke alltid
like lett å være pave
sier paven
Han gjemmer seg under bordet
og roper hunden til seg
Der sitter han til det er mørkt
og alle har sluttet å lete
Når alt er stille
i Vatikanet
kryper han fram
fra under duken
og gir hunden
rent vann i skålen
Så spiser han bokstavskjeks
ved vinduet

 ***

Here is my ‘translation’, which is in essence is only a mirroring of the structure, as I do not speak Norwegian:

There is life here
even as a flower wilts

while wilting
has surrendered self to rebirth
is not burdened by self
there is no room for ego here
nor does merit hold space
death is stillness
finality
has no expectation
is mere passage
a silent pause
before the next breath
that violent push to blossom
live again.  
 

(Aside:  I went back after writing this to see the actual translation of the original, which of course, has nothing to do with my imaginary concoction.  I discovered a delightful poem, that intrigued me to read more.  To see the original and its translation visit:  http://www.poetryinternationalweb.net/pi/site/poem/item/22704/auto/0/It-isnt-always)

Thank you to Maureen Thorson for hosting and providing such interesting prompts.

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health · life · poetry

Lachrymose

A dear soul slipped from life’s grasp this week, leaving a hole in many hearts. Diana’s words, here, say so much more than I could have, still raw with grief.

The Wandering Armadillo

so frail now

your fingertips in mine

supported gently

parchment paper skin

venous rivers slow, tepid within

..

as the sand slowly sifts

i squeeze

i try to halt the final grains, yet

this maudlin hourglass only drains

to somber clock tick

sentry gated soldiered seconds fall

the war is over

all is lost

that is all

..

a last dawn

this last day

as curtains part

your light slips away

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Family · Love · poetry · relationships

When We Meet in Heaven, Dad

I picture it: a convention –
where like minds congregate,
learn from one another,
aspire to betterment

A conference of healing,
dedicated to those newly
passing on, like limbo,
only educational.

Imagine my surprise, then
should you be there, Dad –
you who’ve never before
attended my performances

I’ll attempt to stifle the
discomfort, suppress doubt,
cherish the moment,
but I know you too well

will catch the gist of
your duplicity, easily
recognizing self-serving
motivations, feel the rage –

intact despite the body’s demise –
intent on tracking you down
one final confrontation
to elaborate on the deplorablity

of your manipulative ways,
your brick-wall tactics,
the cruelty of absenting
yourself from a child’s needs

would check the registry –
surely they have a registry
in Heaven – will not find
your name listed there

In an aha moment, think
to find you under an alias –
I’d be right – stand at the door
of your chamber, inflated

righteousness ready to
denounce you for eternity,
feel the strike of bolt-like
revelation, decades of wrath

disintegrating into sorrow,
sudden clarity washing over me,
as you open the door, hesitant
to receive me, I’ll declare:

“Dad, it’s okay – I accept you
just the way you are;  I just
don’t want any more
distance between us!”

(Image: dorotheacarney.com)

adversity · dreams · Family · Humour · life · relationships

Choices

“Come live with us”, Mother suggests
in her there’s-nothing-we-can’t-handle
tone of voice.  Father lowers paper,
raises eyebrows, stern blue eyes
flashing over spectacle rims, says
nothing.  Am I supposed to interpret
concordance or contradiction?

“But you live in a box!  Where would
I sleep?”  “More of a rectangle.”
I contemplate room dividers, imagine
claiming a corner of the room.

Or I can move in with the man-child,
learn to tolerate delusions, listen
to incessant rants of how he’s been
wronged, content myself with
picking up after endless trails of
discards – same four-walled
containment, different cohabitant.

But wait!  “Where’s the plumbing?”
How does one discreetly manage
personal excrement in a one-roomed
existence?  I startle; awaken.

No plumbing needed here;
I’ve received an invitation
from the grave!

Sometimes life gives us choices;
no guarantee either will be palatable.

th

aging · culture · life · poetry · spirituality

Immortality

Time passes,
shadows shift, waning
light made precious
by beckoning end.

Once believed in forever,
guaranteed tomorrows –
fallacy now shattered
by mortality’s knock.

New souls, born
of promise, eyes hungering
for what shall be, ignite
a fire of hope in me.

Will I be remembered
when life has begot more life
and I am faded ancestry –
will my essence linger?

Flesh rots, memory
fades, but the spirit
has its own calling –
will mine rise again

in trait, or disposition,
or with fresh complexion
and renewed intention –
an immortal circle?

(Image:  livingwisdom.kabbalah.com)