Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Pathway

Sometimes there are no words left to speak in prose form. That may be one of the reasons for writing and reading poetry. Poetry is verbal music. Music is more abstract, of course. In poetry, it is words speaking rather than harmonies or tunes. But there is a companionship about poetry that is unique. Writing poetry takes away the embarrassment of sharing feelings (or even feeling emotion at all). We are all human, with human traits and foibles. How many of us can express them adequately? The words are there, however. Let's use them as the instrument of thought, because that's what they are.

Some humans have drifted so far from the humanist idea that they kill and maim for what has replaced it in their minds - whether that be religious or bogus religious ideas, or simply the kick they get from being evil and terrible. I'm glad I live in a country where mothers do not rear sons so that they be killed or kill, or rear daughters so that they can be abused.

A longtime friend of mine died at the weekend.. She has left many behind to grieve, not least because years of pain and suffering in a heroic way preceded a merciful death. She bore it all with dignity and a sad smile on her face.  Now she has gone I'd like to dedicate a new poem to her, but I have no energy to write one at the moment, so I'll include an earlier work, but in her memory. Thanks for reading.

The Pathway (a symbol of life's journey)

Midst the silence of the forest
I can hear my footsteps
As I go.
Somewhere above a bird is calling.
Walking along the pathway is like a treasure hunt.
Around each corner is a pot of gold.
Out of the light into the shadows and back again.
Measured footsteps matching the rhythm of the soul.
The trees are playful.
Their leaf-laden branches sway in the breeze,
Making geometric patterns with the sunlight.
But summer is retreating.
Soon the leaves that fall in twos and threes today
Will be jostling for a space below.
I must hurry.
I want to arrive before darkness spreads its shroud
And the light at the end of the pathway is quenched.
The end is the beginning.
I shall return.

And here's a painting I once gave her:

Daisy Daisy
It's one of two because I painted it twice. She had expressed pleasure at the first one, but it was in oils and not dry, so I painted it again in acrylics (it's not identical, but the idea is the same). I think one reason she liked the painting was that it reminded her of her mother, who had sacrificed so much and worked so hard so that her daughter could have a college education and a good career in teaching. She herself had no children, but my son was like a son to her and is grieving for her as intensely as if he had been her son. I'm glad about that, too.