Sunday, 13 October 2013


Annie died today, in 2009. In memory of here, I've written this poem:

One Autumn day, I still remember so well,
The phone call, out of the blue, telling me
That you had died. Surely a glimpse of hell
So suddenly, and then I could scarcely see
Through the floods of tears. So much I wept
And eyes red raw with pain within the hour.
I went to see you; even now a memory kept
Rise up again, would that it were in my power
But it was not to be. There you lay so still
Bruises on your face, where they said, you fell
The moving finger writes, then lifts the quill
And the words are at an end. You were unwell
But we both thought there could be a few years
Of happiness remaining. But like a broken spell
All was gone, and all the sorrow, all the fears
Came crashing down. No more time for talks,
And how we talked, so much always to say
As we went outside, enjoyed so many walks
But now the day is overcast, dark and grey;
Dust windswept across the rocky headland:
This was what you wanted, how you left me
In the end. Where, oh, where the summer land?
I thought it left behind, memory fades, tears flee
But a colleague's husband died so quick and fast
Just like you, one second there, and then just gone
And once more came the memories of the past
Flooding back. Do we ever really move on?
Or is this the human condition, to bear our loss
To our own grave, missing all those sunny days
That never were. We take up and bear our cross
Along the paths of the dead, the ancient ways
And I lay flowers in the graveyard by your name
Yet where you never were, not buried in this place
Just a fragment, just a place, that I could claim
And see once more your so, so lovely face
Beside the ancient chapel, where for hours long
I would be weeping, in the darkness of that womb
And pouring out my grief, my sorrow song:
Memories are alive, not dead, buried in a tomb;
In ancient times, they came to pray for the dead
And I hear still the echoes of their distant chant
At times, haunted by the moment, filled with dread
But then the joy of days together flowers like a plant
And how you loved the flowers, your garden a delight
Afternoons you slept, cosy under your blue rug
Your body weary, but your mind so very sharp and bright
As lovers, we would smile, kiss, embrace and hug
And I would come to visit, you standing by the range
And fear at your cough, water in lungs, failing heart
It was a time of joy that I thought would never change
But that morning, suddenly, not so; so swift we part
And I recall you laid out in the coffin, so quiet, at peace
No more struggles, no more fighting in that body frail
Poor heart worn out, even against your will did cease
Departures remembered, when you went beyond the veil
And I lost you, but the memories still surface, rising up
And who can tell what will happen, we can only pray
As each in turn sip from that dark wine, that final cup
The distant shores, to set sail and leave this rocky bay.

No comments: