Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Death At The Window

I heard the dull sickening thud,
swallowed hard that last sip
as “Oh no!” involuntarily hissed
through the opening in my lips.
I rose slowly from the bed,
slow motion to the window
to see if injury was waiting.

But I couldn’t see from there
so I stepped outside
surveyed the stones and bushes
and almost missed you…
a speckle of feathers,
a trickle of blood,
but still warm
now in my gloved hands.

I willed the Reiki
through your body,
said a prayer
and held you for awhile
cursing death
as if that could hold it back
or stem the tide
of life force leaking.

Retrieved the Rescue Remedy
and the stethoscope
holding it to your breast
only to hear nothing
but the moan
that leaked from me.

As if I needed another reminder
that death can come knocking
at the window
silent and uninvited
arrive between sips,
turn instantly bitter the taste,
the cup so innocent--
a simple hope of morning coffee.

1 comment:

Gary Taylor said...

Accidented upon your blog as a Penwheeler. Found this set very, very nicely imaged on my heart (from Death at the Window). Excellent phrasing.

"As if I needed another reminder
that death can come knocking
at the window
silent and uninvited
arrive between sips,
turn instantly bitter the taste,
the cup so innocent--
a simple hope of morning coffee"

A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

BARBARA'S WORK IN "LOOKING BACK"
I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...