When the boy starts to die!

Walking downhill to my car – which was valued @ £100 recently, I looked down at my feet and like a flash remarked to myself how different I didn’t feel as compared to me a decade earlier. This is the lie of growing up: for some, your dimensions change in scale thus making you unaware that time’s relentless purge has, and is, working.

All of a sudden I took stock – such an adult thing – and realised I was almost 27, Married, deeply in love, holding responsibilities, and about to drive a car. Fear, excitement, trepidation, and sorrow washed over me in waves. There were long summer days when all I worried about was the grasshopper I was hunting, or the accuracy of the slingshot my older brother Simon was making. These were the carefree days before I learnt how to conceal my tears, and my pain. (I’ve become so proficient at it they don’t even fall when I’m alone. When I feel the cry it is in much the same way as before but my eyes are too proud). The boy was dying, I needed to keep him alive.

What was the difference between us? Brutal Honesty. He was surviving on the fumes of my loud farts, on the rush while playing football. He loved it when I cared honestly for myself and others, or when while driving home, I marvelled at the yellow motorway streetlights that led straight into the red sunset (I used to tell myself, and still believe it sometimes, that God painted fresh sunrises and sunsets just for me). He loved standing in font of the grill and watching the fire, smiling without reflecting: enjoying the moment. Running for fun, rolling down hills, hiking, biking, and doing handstands.

But wounds from hurt people, threats from insensitive people, pain from fearful people, and lack of courage from myself – to swim against the tide – are chocking him.

I promise him I’ll try. They sound like the empty promises of a realistic – cynical – adult, given to an ever hopeful child. He hopes we survive.

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Poetry 034: The seat

A poem about a blind poet

Seated, he heard the foreign sounds
Of passing cars, of children, of hounds,
Of planes sailing through the clouds
Of silent moments, and of crowds.
The wind through the leaves whistled
The bamboo heaved along with the thistles
Distant worlds in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds

Seated, he thought to find the nouns
For subtle smiles, for tickles, for frowns
For faces floating from the downs,
through greens, through forests, and through towns.
Deep within old cinders glistened
He strained his heart so it would listen
And the world without in torrents neared
But window blinds blocked out the mounds

© Denis Adide 2011

Poetry 033: Live!

“Let us make man in our own image
and in our likeness form him.”

Perfected yet dead; still he lay
void, recent from the deep.
No thoughts emerged nor receded
None pleaded for victory, none defeated,
And none rebelled: He was balanced,
inanimate, formed but still,
alive but perfectly dead.

Then breath, hovering over the deep;
the same that churned him from the mound,
approached from steep heaven
and un-barrened sea to seep
Awakening earth from death to sleep.

Inhaling, he embraced life – the gift;
drifting into the breath that once crept
into the crypt – fleshy heart at the mercy
of fleshed earth – made first animate.

Before him he saw his naked arms,
with naked eyes saw naked feet,
felt naked air be drafted in
and blown on naked skin.
Untamed wind within,
unchained wind without,
both whispering “Live!”

© Denis Adide 2012

 

Poetry 032: Happy Father’s day

Your absence –
felt more than empty clouds,
or late rains after hot days,
or delayed snow in the cold,
dark winter months,
or breath withheld
by clasping hands,
the dry well,
a moonless night,
shadowless willow,
no pulse on a flat line –
is killing me.

My heart –
like new shoots,
empty young beaks,
and soft small fingers –
reaches out,
calling
weeping
….
immersed in the hope
that wherever you are
on this, our day,
you’re happy.

© Denis Adide 2012

 

 

and to all who received him, all who believed. He gave the right to be called the sons of God

Poetry 031: Recompense

How am I to face the eyes of pity
that will surround and follow me
the rest of the days before they all
begin to forget, Knowing that I,
for the love – yours – sowed within,
am reaping eternal – internal – grief?

I can’t unless you give it all back.

I had enough love for four lifetimes
and more, all you to do was ask;
all you had to do was talk, take,
walk, live… give – a little.

Set my heart alight – immolate –
this rebellion must succeed.
Failure ensures my mind recedes,
past the faith I held, as the torch of old
that with coloured rings made a whole
of the hemispheres. Once to love,
and to hold, but lo! and behold the bold
did to frailty fall.
Forsaking the rollings stones, they became
immersed in moss. covered in the green
they gave way to the mud that slowly
inched over inches to make six feet;
and ashes – once oaks – returned to dust:
the crowds, like the vicar, slowly left
pinching more earth and spraying them
over the flowers – like the memories doomed
to rot and die – that adorned the lonely casket.

The groom, escorted by all into the sepulchre,
now slept. His weeping stilled by the thick
air, lightly lit, hovering between the stained panes
that crowned the walls. Prayers unheard,
like insence, floating hazily; kept in by
the sooty roof.

When they bury the dead, everyone leaves
except the dead. They stay, singing to the stars,
unrequited songs of love, of hope, of floating dreams
in tins unsealed, of loss encountered in daring
for victory, of death, of end without end,
of conflicted beginnings, of afflicted unamended –
untamed – …
Their affectations slowly, like their flesh, disappear:
Unheard once covered, unseen once left.

I can’t unless you give it all back.

What hurts is the hand that held the blade
and not the merciful blade itself. For edges,
sharp or blunt, have no master, no loyalty,
nor judgement. They serve hearts, and hands,
and feet, and thoughts grown to become deeds,
and deeds done in attempts to undo others:
be they dreams once seeded, now rejected
as shoots – unplucked but doomed to die.

uprooted into insignificance, like a drop of rain
falling from the clouds onto the surface of the sea,
drifting. One among many drops; no longer a drop.
At once sea, no mercy but what is given me,
no power nor self. Shelved until the improbable:
the currents drift me back up into the realms
of elevating rays. For now though, and maybe
forever, the abyss awaits, and hell.

And I can’t unless you give it all back:
all of it, in it’s separate pieces and moments;
spots that form the person that, within your
supposed love, I grew to become: grew
away from being.

© Denis Adide 2012

 

Something new

For all the human handiwork it displays, the bible remains a peculiar holy book. I cannot think of any other text that has such authority over me, interpreting me faster than I can interpret it. It speaks to me not with the stuffy voice of some mummified sage but with fresh, lively tones of someone who knows what happened to me an hour ago. Familiar passages accumulate meaning as I return to them again and again. They seem to grow during my absences from them; I am always finding something new in them I never found before, something designed to meet me where I am at this particular moment in time.

Barbara Brown Taylor

And in reading God’s word, he most profiteth not always that is most ready in turning of the book, or in saying of it without the book; but he that most tuned into it, that is most inspired with the Holy Ghost, most in his heart and life altered and changed into that thing which he readeth; he that is daily less and less proud, less wrathful, less covetous, and less desirous of worldly and vain pleasures; he that daily (forsaking his old vicious life) increaseth in Virtue more and more.

Thomas Cranmer

The Divine Hand

When an operation, no matter of what sort, is brought to a close at the right moment, the stoppage does it no harm and the agent himself is no worse for discontinuing the action. So if life itself – which is nothing but the totality of out actions – also ceases when the time comes, it takes no hurt by its mere cessation, nor is he adversely affected who thus brings the whole series of operations to its timely conclusion. But the proper hour and term are fixed by nature; if not by a man’s own nature – as, for example, through old age – then at all events by great Nature herself, bu whose continuous renewing of her every part the universe remains forever young and vigorous.

Whatever serves the purpose of the Whole is kept always fair and blooming. It follows then that the ending of his life can be no evil to a man – for, being a thing outside his control and innocent of all self-seeking, there is nothing in it to degrade him – nay, it sis even a good, inasmuch as for the universe it is something opportune, serviceable and in keeping with all else.

Thus by following the way of God and being at one with him in thought, man is borne onward by the divine hand.

Marcus Aurelius