Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Words

I don't mean to dwell on this.   But as I shared some witty banter with a friend I just thought how much I miss my friend, Colleen.  She was so damn witty and always had a funny response to everything.  It was always great fun to match wits with her.  Oh why, oh why.  It is such a loss to me, to all those that loved her.

A mutual friend told me that I needed to write a "song" for her.  Well, I'm no musician but I do wax poetic from time to time.  So I wrote this poem for both of my friends.  I just wanted to share it here in case somebody . . . anybody can find some sort of hope and know that no matter how bad they think things are,  there are people who love you and need you.  Please don't cheat the world of every precious minute you can contribute to this life.  I don't know how good of a poem this is, it feels a bit rough and unpolished.  But it was one of those gifts from the muse and I offer it up, lumps, bumps and all.


Tho you feel darkness all around
And death sings its siren song,
Step outside yourself and look again.

The darkness is illusion,
blinders put there by your pain
But in truth
You will see,
there is a flame.

You are the light in someone’s life,
Your smile has dispelled the bleakest of nights
And your darkest hour need not be in vain.

Unbind you soul,
extend your hand,
be assured that many hands
will reach out
to take yours.

Let the love that does surround you
break that barrier that confines you,
Allow the light of love to lift you
from the depths of hopelessness and pain.
The flicker of your soul will ignite once again
To keep you warm, give you strength and keep you sane.

It may feel a lonely battle, but once you
reach for help,
You will find an army of God’s angels at your side.

Be strong for just one second,
Cry for help with your last effort
Open the door, do not shut it,
Let love in.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In Honor of a fellow Lost Soul

I am sad to say that I have lost another friend to the great void beyond.  I wish that she had reached out  to me-- to someone-- in her hour of need.  Unfortunately, it is only human to withdraw when the pain of life is too much.  I pray that angels escort her on her journey to the other side and bath her in the love that this delicate flower of a girl so needed.

My friend suffered greatly with anxiety and depression throughout her life.  I am no stranger to these feelings (as are many of us).  Often times I feel that I am viewing the world through a looking glass, never really part of it, just watching the shadows of life play on in the mirror's reflection.  To venture outside often seems scary and fraught with danger.  These are the times that I count my blessings and know that I can go to my friends who are always there for me, whether I deserve it or not.

For my dear departed friend, an ethereal spirit, witty, kind and beautiful I dedicate the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson:  The Lady of Shallot.  Spinning and weaving are incorporated into this poem so it is a poem that caught my attention a while ago.  And as I think of my friend, I can't help but feel the mood and essence of this poem.

For my surviving friends and relatives:  never give up, carry on.  Life is suffering,  but there is love and friendship that makes it bearable.  Never forget that, please.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.
Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?
Only reapers, reaping early,
In among the bearded barley
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly;
Down to tower'd Camelot;
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers, " 'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."
There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.
And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot;
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls
Pass onward from Shalott.
Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd lad,
Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad
Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two.
She hath no loyal Knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.
A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.
The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazon'd baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armor rung
Beside remote Shalott.
All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burn'd like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often thro' the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, burning bright,
Moves over still Shalott.
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.
In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.
And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right --
The leaves upon her falling light --
Thro' the noises of the night,
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.
Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.
Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And around the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.
Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."