Haiku # 529

Ecoutant le silence
et la chandelle qui tremble
au souffle des étoiles

~

Fuyant dans les herbes
le haïku du poète mort
un jour d’automne

~

Ma vie s’écroule…
il ne reste de moi
que ce poème d’amour

~

Fleur dans les herbes…
poète mort un automne
foudroyé d’amour

~

Brume dans les feuilles jaune…
de la vie il ne reste
que l’éternité d’amour

Wandering Thought # 55

I remember the fear in my sister’s eyes as she laid in her deathbed. I felt so helpless and powerless, and this feeling kills me to this day, cuts into me with a pain I cannot describe. It haunts my dreams at night. I could not ward off death and save the being I love most in the world. They tell me to get over my guilt, that the responsibility was not my own, and though that is true, you cannot not be or feel responsible, and hence powerless. I do not know how to get over this feeling, this incredible pain, but maybe I do not need to…

I also remember the light in her face, a light that became so clear to me towards the end. I don’t exactly know what this light is or why it shun with such clarity, or why her dreams became bathed in white as death approached. Was it her soul, getting ready to leave her body? Was it the beauty of her heart, a beauty that was there her whole life but that became more visible to me as I saw into who she truly was, beyond and inside the flesh and form. I don’t know, but this light! God, this light. As though I was beholding her essence, and it reduced me to tears.

I remember being haunted by this question (and I still am): Will I ever see her again? I will see her again and again as I bring her to life through me in my daily life. I will meet her around the corners of my life, as I live out more and more my own heart, love, and essence, as I become truer to the great love that bound us, that will forever bind us. But the question remains: Will I ever see you again, Sarah? You will come to me in the moments of my life, but at the moment of my death, will you be there with me? Will I feel the press of your hand in mine as you welcome me into the eternity of light of which you are now part.

Cursed be this life! Yet infinitely blessed for having allowed us to share this love even if for such a small period of time.

Living With Faith

Even in old age,
Even when you know
You’re dying,
Live as if tomorrow
Belongs to you
And is yours to live
To the fullest,
Live with that faith
For tomorrow
Lovers will still love
And you will be there
In their belonging,
Birds will keep singing
And you will be their song of praise,
Children will still laugh
And you will dwell
In their innocent play,
For life does not abandon you
Even as she draws
Her last breath from you
And pulls you down
From the stage.

Gardener of Joy

I wake at dawn
and find you
stretching
ahead of me,
the honeycombs
of a day
flowing
with golden light,
each cell
a white abyss
pouring out joy
and calling me out,
into you,
calling me
to ready my body
and come out
and till your fields,
join your golden dance
and plant my seeds
inside of you,
in each nook and corner,
each stretch
of a verdant sky,
and become
with you, through you
the gardener of joy,
and call my labor
poetry.

In the Company of Death

Why must we isolate the world of the dead?
This awe before the spaces incubating
the bodies of those who travelled upstream
through the dark river — what is it?
Is it from fear of incurring
the violence of death
that our hearts tremble?
That stirring the deathly sleep infects us
with an indelible stain,
a stain waxing to engulf us
and immerse us in the dark realm?
Or is it to preserve those we loved
and who under the dark arch have passed?
The bodies of those we loved,
the playgrounds of our fondest
intimacies and memories
now so fragile that a most supple breeze
scatters their dark fires
and dissolves their limbs
like wisps in the air?
To preserve them, yes,
but also to save ourselves the pain
of watching those we loved
more than life itself dissolve
as the boundless hunger of death
feasts upon their flesh.
Or it is before the unknown that we tremble,
and death being the ultimate, impenetrable mystery?

And yet, ‘die before you die’ the Sufi said.

John O’Donohue – When Death Visits

Death is a lonely visitor. After it visits your home, nothing is ever the same again. There is an empty place at the table; there is an absence in the house. Having someone close to you die is an incredibly strange and desolate experience. Something breaks within you then that will never come together again. Gone is the person whom you loved, whose face and hands and body you knew so well. This body, for the first time, is completely empty. This is very frightening and strange. After the death many questions come into your mind concerning where the person has gone, what they see and feel now. The death of a loved one is bitterly lonely. When you really love someone, you would be willing to die in their place. Yet no one can take another’s place when that time comes. Each one of us has to go alone. It is so strange that when someone dies, they literally disappear. Human experience includes all kinds of continuity and discontinuity, closeness and distance. In death, experience reaches the ultimate frontier. The deceased literally falls out of the visible world of form and presence. At birth you appear out of nowhere, at death you disappear to nowhere. . . . The terrible moment of loneliness in grief comes when you realize that you will never see the deceased again. The absence of their life, the absence of their voice, face, and presence become something that, as Sylvia Plath says, begins to grow beside you like a tree.
—  John O’Donohue