Now that autumn is here

My thoughts run to you –

The softness of your sculptor’s hands,

the warmth of your touch,

the twinkle of humour never far away.

You were named for the merry month of May.

This year as her floral warmth turned towards June,

you turned with tears, to pass the poet’s bourn

to discover a new country.

Until now, my heart was light,

eased by the sense of your release

from a body worn beyond repair.

But as the morning frost colours the leaves with gold,

my joy at your new-found freedom is tinted with sadness.

These five years past, I have shared with you,

and with all those whose hearts

had crossed the nasturtium-dripping paths of your garden,

what is now revealed as a journey to the border.

An existential border,

by river bank or mountain pass, in the mind’s eye,

a meeting place of what we call “Life”

and that which we have named “Death”.

A place that vibrates with prayer,

Where hearts are numb and the mist of ignorance

floats above a ripple of memories.

This five year journey, was nourished by my flights across the world,

To be with you in convalescence as the body recovered slowly,

to release the heart and mind for another term

of loving the trees and people of this rolling, crackling world.

Each flight’s cloudscapes reminding me of your imminent departure,

whispering of awaiting light and groundless beauty.

Such precious times for me;

Revelling in the peace of your home.

Sheltering under the eaves of age’s equanimity –

a haven of life full lived and beautifully spent.

Of compassion bound with wisdom,

Patience peppered with laughter.

A sacred sharing, spinning threads of joy

into the twine of increasing physical weakness.

Weaving frustration and discomfort

with camaraderie and fascination for life.

Now that autumn is here

and the falling leaves reflect the sun’s glory,

carpeting the ground with gold,

I grasp at memories of you.

The warmth of your voice, the softness of your skin,

the twinkle of humour never far away.

That last night, as I sang by your bedside,

all unknowing, I learnt to welcome the feel of an aching back.

Grateful for the muscle-memory that now takes me back

to the womb of love that surrounded us,

as the labour of your birthing into beyond

lifted us out of existence into life.

And now out of the shelter of your company,

When the winds of life cut through my peace,

I recall your hand in mine,

pushing to relieve the pain of a broken body.

So doing, I let that tender memory,

sweep away the lesser anxieties

that snap at the heels of my conscience.

Some would expect comfort at all costs,

as a just ending for your long journey.

Yet that pain was a window, breaking

through the mist of Morphine,

leading you back to us,

for a last sharing of song and laughter.

Then quiet once more, a resting space

while still you stayed, awaiting the morning.

So that we were three to wave at the gates,

in that existential mountain pass.

Within that space,

there was, for me, yet another gift,

of time alone with you.

Holding your hand, working on a word puzzle,

in memory of your Saturday morning tradition.

Until my greater self was pushed into prayer,

Awakened by the breath of an opening door.

As the autumn leaves now give back the sun’s glory,

I tried, in that moment,

to give you back the gold of your faith and joy in life,

with the poetry and prayer

you had instilled in me, these fifty years past.

With the turning of the seasons,

From the late spring’s blossoming bounty,

through the sensuous sweep of summer

into the present burgeoning of autumn’s crackling colours,

I have journeyed back from that border,

towards the business of being,

where gravity hammers out the rhythm of earthbound existence.

You have moved on and I must nourish myself now,

with fruits grown from the life-loving seeds that you sowed in me.

Still Now


 


Monir my love, how can I thank thee ?


 


No words between us, just a purr of warmth and love,


Soothing my heart, harmonising my soul.

 



Fine boned feline lies still now.

 



Monir has moved on.


Sweet little whiskered one.

 



Your pupils opened like full black moons, 
seeking light, as this world’s life withdrew.

 



A last gasping breath as I reached you,


Your final response to my voice, my caress.



Fine boned feline lies still now.


 


Once more death opens the door to deeper understanding and sweeps away petty irritations.


 


If mind could stand aside, what would soul perceive ?


If my clenched heart could open wide, 
what might my soul then read in thee ?

 

Still, now.


Nolonger the fluttering heart-beat
 so often felt against my thigh, as you nestled on my lap.



So quick, this ending, after 19 long years,


within minutes soft warmth recedes and cold stiffness sets in.

 


My little bat-eared beauty, 
soft-furred, golden-eyed darling.


This parting’s sorrow makes a mockery
 of my tears for the abstract sadness of an infertile womb.



 

Such peace we shared these long years past.



Soft-furred, warm, whiskered peace,


With no words over which to snag and stumble.



What being of light was caught in the physical net 
of your little body and now swims free ?

 



I cannot measure the gift your company was to me, these 19 years,

 save in tasting the quality of love 
you brewed within me.



My first wish, to have one more week, 
one more day, knowing it to be the last,

 has faded now.

 



Your absence aches throughout the house,


yet is comforted,

knowing you no longer
 bullied by the discomforts of old age.


 


I would ask, and will work now,

 
to keep this moments lesson sharp and fresh.


May it’s sting not fade but keep my love awake 
in mind and heart,

 for years to come, 
as a golden-eyed, bat-eared lantern,

 
to light my path, 
reminding me of the purring peace possible in every moment.


 


And for you, my lovely,


may this moving on be as it should in every way ;


lined with peace and nourished with grace.



Still, now ;


in the divine stillness 
that is so sparkling with life,


it dazzles our human perceptions.


 


Joy be to thee.

  

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