Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rage, rage at the dying of the light


You will come driving
skeletal and stark, sockets
empty of eyes but full
of blaze and vision, and you
will rattle your bones bereft
of flesh, draped in
tatters and shatter

you will come driving
blurring the road and swallowing
my refuge and fodder. your ravenous
speed compressing my time
to moments without breath to gasp
the words I desperately need to shout,
but your driving frenzy will blow
away any sound of disclosure I utter.

you will come driving,
laughing the sharp edges of your
murk and zeal, you in your rush
for the finish, will rattle
my sanctum, and torment my fall,
with your handfuls of nothing
and mouthful of dark..

you will come driving
from the tumult to the halt,
from the flaccid to the fleeting,
your hingeless jaw laughing,
your fiery breath strumming
the air and bubbling the clouds
into a gulping dirge.

you will come driving
speeding, but leisurely stretching
your time to the limit, with
sulphur and sandalwood
and allure and aversion
you will laugh your demoniacal
laugh we use to share, and the
emptiness that were your
eyes, will sparkle at me
with glee, as I get in too
ride with you
when you come driving.

I find myself focused lately on death.  No, not my own (as other than my somewhat unbalanced obsession with ensuring if I did die everything would be taken care of, I’m don’t brood about my morality to any great extent), but the certainty and the final reality of it. The no more chances, no more possibilities horror of it. 

“compressing my time
to moments without breath to gasp
the words I desperately need to shout,”

says finbar in his morbid but powerful ode to the Pale Rider.

How true!  What a reminder to each of us to carpe diem (seize the moment), to internalize that life is ultimately fleeting and each moment precious in its uniqueness and in its ability to impart emotion, experience, comprehension and thought.  For we don’t know when the “bell will toll” for us.

Will we, when that moment comes – unexpected, shocking and unseen in its inevitability, will we regret those words left unsaid? Will we in those final moments feel our hearts contract as we wail the lack of a last chance to speak?  Will be think in those endless final moments of the things we did not do? The steps we avoided? The paths ignored and rejected through fear or trepidation or a simple unwillingness to upset the relentlessly even tenor of lives half lived?

It has been a year of death for me.  Two good neighbours, one perhaps less shocking than the other (for while his 70 years was not that long, my other dear neighbour’s 33 was an abomination); my precious, beloved, much missed friend Mel – taken so unexpectedly and even now, I find myself reaching for the phone to arrange a time to meet .... and now my cousin Jim, my tragic, sad, unhappy cousin Jim... my mind keeps going over and over his mindset.  I keep wondering if some small change, a phone call, a neighbour dropping by, a chance-met encounter, something might have stayed his hand.... given him the strength to meet another day.

“Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage rage at the dying of the light.”

Thomas’ words haunt me and fill my heart with a hot, rich comprehension for I too rage against the dying of the light. I do not accept death’s claims with equanimity nor a calm heart. I fight and rail against his inevitable victory and descry the frailness of our human state.

I do not understand, you see, where we go. 

Once upon a time there was a god and I thought a place beyond but that myth is no longer mine to hold as a comfort on those cold, dark nights when the sky wheels around me in its endless expanse of deep endless space and I look up and all I see in the glittering fabric of my world are the dying screams of stars.

And as I mourn bitterly the death of a good man, I mourn too the closing of a door I thought open, the loss of a part of my youth and the final tenuous hold on a land I hold dear, whose green fields and sweet air have too long simply been a fading memory, now destined to become muted and dusty and faded until the final tendrils of remembered thought dissipate and are lost.


Buffalo said...

The amount of pain we feel when someone passes is in direct proportion to the amount of love we felt.

Rejoice the love as we embrace in inevitable pain.

littleone said...

i can say it no better than Buffalo.

know you are in my heart

morningstar (owned by Warren)

PK said...

Hugs. Long distance ones with lots of bisous.



Jz said...

"I do not understand, you see, where we go."

Unfortunately, for some, it doesn't matter where we go because any place has to be better than here.

That doesn't help the rest of us left behind, however.

I'm really very sorry.

greengirl said...

You paint such detailed, vivid pictures of people, places, experiences; I think you must live and know them more deeply and richly than most. And, so, the loss is keen and deep. I am so sorry and hope you are able to find some solace.

mouse said...


I wish I had something to say but I don't. All I can say is that I know you mean and appreciate greatly the beauty in how you said it.