I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

4 June 2017

Jim Died Today

(or, The Beginning of Winter)

Jim, who was my age, died today
at 2pm his daughter's email said.
He was my husband Bill's best mate
since they were wild young lads.

Later, a good friend to me too.
Best man at our wedding. 'His family
was my family, and mine his,' he said
in Bill's funeral oration decades later.

His Joy went on ahead six months ago.
Since then I've phoned him once or twice,
exchanged emails ... the last few days
he was so much on my mind, I meant to call.

And Bill, too, has been around a lot.
Now I think I know why, for both.
I was remembering already, this last week, 
his words for Bill. A reminder?

There's only me left of the four of us, 
who married about the same time, 
whose kids were like cousins. They're all
in middle age, with children of their own,

still I resolve to travel the long miles
to help lay Jim to rest. I'm now
the only one of that generation here –
not blood, but very close family.

‘Aunty Rosemary,' the emailer 
called me. As always. 
I look back over the years;
I phone my son and cry.

The sun starts going down
behind the mountains.
The air develops a chill.
Grey clouds fill the sky.


(For those who may wonder – I was married to Bill for 27 years before I was married to Andrew.)

PS Travel to the funeral from where I live proves complicated, costly and time-consuming, so after all I'll be staying home and saying my own prayers here instead.

23 comments:

  1. Sorry for your loss of old friend. Good poem. Take care

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    1. I'm glad you think it's a good poem. I'm a bit too close to it to know.

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  2. Rosemary, what a prefect way, to honour both men, in your life, who have you, such memorable moments. Although, their physical bodies, may be gone, their souls, continue on, with these words. Thank you, for sharing yourself, like this, Rosemary, as you work through your grief.

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    1. I appreciate your comment, Therisa. Poetry is what we turn to, isn't it, in moments of turmoil?

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  3. What a deeply touching poem. I avoid writing much that's true because it worsens the hurt, but you have done such a beautiful job doing just that --- allowing yourself to heal by really feeling the pain as deeply as it will go.

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    1. I have always thought that plunging straight in is the quickest way to come out the other side.

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  4. Sending love, Rosemary. xoxoxxoxo

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  5. Wow. Thus we mark the years with joy and sorrow.

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  6. So sorry for your loss Rosemary. Hugs.

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  7. Very touching. I watched my parents become the last of their generation in their family. And now I read the obituaries and usually know someone who's my age.

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    1. It is universal, and yet we must experience it personally.

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  8. So very sorry for this loss, Rosemary. Gentle hugs.

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  9. Oh Rosemary, I am so sorry. I am glad you will go to help lay him to rest. Interesting that you have felt Bill near, and were jogged to call the last few days. Spirits in communication, in loving support. Travel safely. It will be sad.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. I don't know the arrangements yet, but will be informed. It will be in Townsville, in north Queensland, so I won't be driving. I'll be looking into other means of travel today.

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  10. So sorry, Rosemary. May you find peace.

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    1. Many thanks, but after all the trip is cancelled – travel from here is difficult, particularly at such short notice.

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  12. Lovely tribute. You will miss him not being on this earth, we are sorry.
    Brings memories, thank you. Mike was our best man, my ex-roommate. We last saw him at a mutual friend'funeral. Hadn't seen him in years, we reminisced. Arlene and I met through his at-the-time girl friend.

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