Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

"The trouble is, you think you have time."  

                           – Buddha

( another real problem is that this month there seemed to be so much to write about  -- and so little is one take.)


Two singers casually debated

 “Is melancholy a bad thing?”  said the first

“It is cathartic” The older second one chimed .

“Nostalgia is another matter” added the first and the two nodded in agreement.

The pilgrim’s heart cried out to the two talking heads on the screen,

“You are both confused!“   
"He silenced his voice as he questioned his own memory. Before he could conjure courage to continue the challenge the conversationalists had removed themselves to the stage harmonizing about fields of gold and resting high on a mountains. The pilgrim listened as the crumpled letter written in gratitude filled with a veil of tears and bleeding words fell floating in slow motion to the ground. The report of how one of the original posse called “the Wanderers” had gone home having his ticket punched to Pleasant Stream .

“No time to grieve about that now” the pilgrim thought. He packed his bags to journey to say farewell to the one mater while wondering if she was welcoming his youthful companion in crime.

The sun still rose, no clouds just a crystal blue canopy , the birds sang and the rivers continued to flow to the sea. The recollections of what once was were fueled the redemptive silent flame . Endings were coming faster than expected. The lost moments of smiles outnumbered the regrets. His salvation history had another chapter completed.

Whispering with eyes closed his thanksgiving meditation closed with,

“Two more saints to pray to today.”



Faces wrinkled and bent bodies seek
Searching for words as myths are born.
Prayers of the pastoral presider sooth slightly
but cannot resolve the great mystery.
Reality polished as tears fall and smiles half –fabricated fill
the reunion of lost souls where memories are attempted to celebrate.
But the truth is buried.
Children, now women weep at the father’s vulnerability.
 Dionysian delights cannot drown the sorrow
As the great absence grows more evident .
All present hunger to be nourished by something
More satisfying than that which is on the menu for the day.

                             - JF Sobecki

News of Death

Last night they came with news of death
not knowing what I would say.

I wanted to say,
“The apple blossom flakes like ash
covering the orchard wall.”

I wanted to say,
“The fish float belly up in the slow stream,
stepping stones to the dead.”

They asked if I would sleep that night.
I said I did not know.

for this loss I could not speak,
the tongue lay idle in a great darkness,
the heart was strangely open,
the moon had gone,
and it was then
when I said, “He is no longer here”

“He is no longer here”
that the night put its arm around me
and all the white stars turned bitter with grief.

~ David Whyte

A Hard Life with Memory

I'm a poor audience for my memory.
She wants me to attend her voice nonstop,
but I fidget, fuss,
listen and don't,
step out, come back, then leave again.

She wants all my time and attention.
She's got no problem when I sleep.
The day's a different matter, which upsets her.

She thrusts old letters, snapshots at me eagerly,
stirs up events both important and un-,
turns my eyes to overlooked views,
peoples them with my dead.

In her stories I'm always younger.
Which is nice, but why always the same story.
Every mirror holds different news for me.

She gets angry when I shrug my shoulders.
And takes revenge by hauling out old errors,
weighty, but easily forgotten.
Looks into my eyes, checks my reaction.
Then comforts me, it could be worse.

She wants me to live only for her and with her.
Ideally in a dark, locked room,
but my plans still feature today's sun,
clouds in progress, ongoing roads.

At times I get fed up with her.
I suggest a separation. From now to eternity.
Then she smiles at me with pity,
since she knows it would be the end of me too.

                -  by Wislawa Szymborska
(translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak)

“Death is not the last sleep. It is the final awakening.”
-       Walter Scott,

Remember Boston ! 


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