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Passions in Poetry

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Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


0 posted 07-31-2003 01:34 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

And so my friend, the Hospice nurse has told you that it will all be over soon.  And no doubt it will.  Perhaps it already is at the time of this writing.  You say to keep you in prayers.  So much is happening it is unreal.  This I know.  So for today I kept you in my thoughts for six hours this morning.  And for seven hours this evening.  I send you all the energy and spirit that I have. The waiting is the hardest part though it seems.  But that last breath will come, when he puts his head back against the pillow and inhales, then exhales, then, just doesn't.  

As you watch them in pain you hope it comes.  And with each breath you're glad it didn't.  But, it will come.  With it will come new energy.  As you've been struggling to just stay awake and for personal comfort and think your body can't go any further -- when that time comes it will be like you just woke up.  There will be lots of things to do.  Do them.  Get involved in them.  There will be time to cry later.

You'll look inside yourself too.  And ask questions.  What does life mean?  What does death mean?  When it was my time to be in your shoes I remember those well.  I wish I had the answers to give you -- but you'll have to find them yourself.

I can only offer some of the fuel that took me on my own path.

When my father invited the black congregation to come to worship with us one Sunday morning the pastor of their church got up to speak with the biggest smile on his face.  He was so happy to be there.  I still remember what he said that morning.  

"One day
You're going to die.

One day
You're going to die
And they will dig a hole
In the ground
And they will
Put you in it.

One day
You're going to die.

And they will dig a hole
In the ground
And they will
Put you in it
And then they will
Go back down
To the fellowship hall
And eat potato salad.

And they are
Going to talk about
You

They are going to
Talk about you.

What they gonna say?

When you were born
You cried
Everybody else
Was happy.

When you were born
You cried
Everybody else
Was happy.

When you die
Is it gonna be
The other way around?"

Now you can look around at the people that are gathered at those hospital beds and you can tell what kind of life your loved ones have lived.  I don't know anything about the details of their lives except that they gave you to the world and you -- you're a good person.  That says enough to me.

I know that you're close to them -- and that maybe sometimes you weren't.  Things you regret.  Things they may have done that hurt your feelings -- I just don't know -- can't know.  But, you're a Christian person and there are some words that everyone can draw on for power from Paul's letter to the Romans

quote:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Neither Death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powrs, nor things present, nor things to come.



Whether we're agnostics, or Christians, Jews or Buddhists, Hindus or Moslems, we can find strength in the power that love has to cross all boundaries -- even to the places we can't go -- even from people we may have never met.  And with the power of that love we can transform lives and say as Paul said 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course.'

As you ask those questions remember this is where the real power is -- not in petty judgments and recrimination over sins of weakness -- sins of life.  Who cares about that stuff?  Let the Bible thumpers have it.  To look around the room and say 'these are the people that loved him' -- that's the final judgment.

I have the little black notebook that belonged to my father.  That he wrote in.  It contains some of his thoughts on dying and death -- he put his funeral sermons in it.  He always ended with this poem:

quote:

What is dying?

I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails
To the morning breeze and
Starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength,
And I stand and watch her until, at length,
She hangs like a speck of white cloud
Just where the sea and sky
Come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says,
"There she's gone!"

Gone where?

Gone from my sight.. that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
As when she left my side:
And just as able to bear her load
Of living freight to the place
Of destination.

Her diminished size is in me...
Not in her.

And just at the moment
When someone says, "There she's gone!"
There are other voices ready
To take up the glad shout
"Here she comes!"

And that is dying.

-- Author Unknown (at least to me)



Namaste
Peace and energy to you.

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


1 posted 07-31-2003 06:54 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Reb, this so...you have managed to make sense on a subject that has never made sense to me. For that I thank you.

Peace to you, and peace to your friend.
nakdthoughts
Member Laureate
since 10-29-2000
Posts 19275
Between the Lines


2 posted 07-31-2003 07:01 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Those who have lived through another's death can understand what you are feeling, and those that haven't will be touched by your words.

M
Carolina
Member
since 08-17-2001
Posts 231
Myrtle Beach, SC


3 posted 07-31-2003 08:47 AM       View Profile for Carolina   Email Carolina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Carolina

Two weeks ago this morning, they told my Uncle that he would have only six months to live.  He passed away last night at 7:00.  My Grandmother was sitting beside him, as he started the "death rattle" that she's heard so many times before.  She called the family into the room, and as they were coming in, the phone rang.  It was the Hospice nurse, calling to check up on things. (She had started calling instead of staying because she saw all of the family around and all of the loving care that was given to him each and every moment of the day and night.)  She arrived 5 minutes later, checked on him, and quietly closed the bedroom door behind her, leaving my family to be with him.  We gathered hands and made a circle around his bed, and started a prayer of thanksgiving, a prayer of peace and love for my Uncle.  With each breath he struggled to take, we continued with prayer, each person took turns, one by one, praying.  On the last prayer, from the last person, just before everyone said Amen...we heard him take his last breath.  Our circle of family got smaller, but in our faith and love, it became stronger.  He will be cremated, we'll have a short memorial service, and we will all go to the beach, spread half of his ashes off the Cherry Grove pier, and the other half will be spread over the Waccamaw River.  How fitting your poem was, LR.  We know he was met by alot of family and friends as he joined our Lord in heaven.  

Your words have always brought me comfort and strength, and I will always be thankful that God sent me a beautiful and caring friend to be here for me when I need him.  

Thank you, LR

[This message has been edited by Carolina (07-31-2003 03:20 PM).]

Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


4 posted 07-31-2003 09:04 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Holding thoughts
with you.
Marge Tindal
Deputy Moderator 5 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 11-06-1999
Posts 43042
Florida's Foreverly Shores


5 posted 07-31-2003 09:33 AM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Carolina~
May His power of comfort be with you all in this time of need~

Reb~
This is, without doubt, the most touching piece I've ever read here~
He has blessed you with the words-of-comfort for another~
I am keeping this piece ... for it contains so much compassion and 'understanding'~
Sincerely~
~*Marge*~

~*The pen of the poet never runs out of ink, as long as we breathe.*~
noles1@totcon.com

quatro
Member
since 04-29-2003
Posts 400
Galveston, Texas


6 posted 07-31-2003 01:16 PM       View Profile for quatro   Email quatro   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit quatro's Home Page   View IP for quatro

Reb,

I respond to your post with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.  You have udoubtably touched the very core of what we all want to know.

I have not posted much here in a while but I come by and visit every day and I read and sometimes respond.  I have been going through my own journey and am preparing myself for surgery on the 19th of this month.  Although my surgery is routine, it is still a major surgery and I have children at home to care for.  I am scared, but have faith that all will go well.  Your words have somehow comforted me in a way I can't explain.  There is very little chance that anything major will go wrong during my surgery, but for that slim chance I am comforted in knowing that there will be someone on the other side shouting "Here she comes!"

Thank you
quatro
Toerag
Member Ascendant
since 07-29-99
Posts 5839
Ala bam a


7 posted 07-31-2003 03:37 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Reb...No Toerag comments this time....this is superb my friend....Just superb...
Martie
Moderator
Member Empyrean
since 09-21-1999
Posts 28608
California


8 posted 07-31-2003 03:53 PM       View Profile for Martie   Email Martie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Martie's Home Page   View IP for Martie

Rebel....I'm adding this to my library.  Your words here mean a great deal to me, and for that I thank you.
Enchantress
Member Empyrean
since 08-14-2001
Posts 37801
Somewhere in time~


9 posted 07-31-2003 03:53 PM       View Profile for Enchantress   Email Enchantress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Enchantress

Reb..Thank you.
Marsha
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Rara Avis
since 07-10-2000
Posts 7542
Maidstone Kent England


10 posted 07-31-2003 03:57 PM       View Profile for Marsha   Email Marsha   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marsha's Home Page   View IP for Marsha

Thank you for this beauty, your words are incredible.

Love and stuff
as always
Mushy

Tomorrow is another day I don't know what it holds
but I can face the future with courage brave and bold

Footprints In My Heart
Kethry

Patricia
Member Elite
since 04-06-2003
Posts 2232
Missouri


11 posted 07-31-2003 04:08 PM       View Profile for Patricia   Email Patricia   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Patricia

While I began reading with mind upon the petty things of life...I ended with revelations of what is important. My friend, you have guided my thinking into a new direction today.  I shall save this, and when I slip (and I will slip for I know me) I will refer to these words.

Patricia
Trillium
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Patricius
since 03-09-2001
Posts 12129
Idaho, USA


12 posted 07-31-2003 04:40 PM       View Profile for Trillium   Email Trillium   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Trillium

This is so moving and answers many needs! God must have given you guidance in writing this wonderful piece!  Thanks for sharing.

Betty Lou Hebert

suthern
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Seraphic
since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


13 posted 07-31-2003 04:43 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

Huggzzzz, my friend. This is not just one of the best things you've ever written... it's one of the best I've read.
luv ya... Auntie
Kethry
Member Rara Avis
since 07-29-2000
Posts 9235
Victoria Australia


14 posted 07-31-2003 05:33 PM       View Profile for Kethry   Email Kethry   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kethry

Reb,
you may never know how many people you will touch with this. It touched me deeply and I thank you for the planting of this seed. May it reap a harvest beyond your reckoning.
Kethry

Here in the midst of my lonely abyss, a single joy I find...your presence in my mind.  Unknown


Munda
Member Elite
since 10-08-1999
Posts 3629
The Hague, The Netherlands


15 posted 07-31-2003 05:46 PM       View Profile for Munda   Email Munda   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Munda's Home Page   View IP for Munda

Thank you for sharing this.
Seymour Tabin
Member Empyrean
since 07-07-99
Posts 32119
Tamarac Fla


16 posted 07-31-2003 06:17 PM       View Profile for Seymour Tabin   Email Seymour Tabin   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Seymour Tabin

Local Rebel
Life is nebulous, thankyou for the post.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


17 posted 07-31-2003 06:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

there she goes....here she comes..

That sums it up very nicely. I've always felt there was something wrong with the system somewhere when that's what we all have to look forward to...one can hope it's a beginning and not an end..

powerful writing. reb...
dgvarner
Member Elite
since 05-13-2000
Posts 3621
High Springs, Florida


18 posted 07-31-2003 10:21 PM       View Profile for dgvarner   Email dgvarner   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for dgvarner

very touching...very deep...
there is something worth hearing, knowing, feeling, in every line of this...It makes me think of my Grandfather -- when he was dying, I'd give anything if someone had sent these words to me...There's someone out there who has a very good friend in you..

Thank you for sharing..

hugs, g
dgvarner
Member Elite
since 05-13-2000
Posts 3621
High Springs, Florida


19 posted 08-01-2003 09:55 PM       View Profile for dgvarner   Email dgvarner   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for dgvarner

"There, She's Gone"

Henry Van Dyke  
  

found at this web addy    http://vicky.com/quotes/death.htm

enjoyed..
g


I want to run naked in the Blue!

[This message has been edited by dgvarner (08-01-2003 09:57 PM).]

passing shadows
Member Empyrean
since 08-26-99
Posts 46297
displaced


20 posted 08-02-2003 01:46 AM       View Profile for passing shadows   Email passing shadows   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for passing shadows

I'm shaking now, in a strange calmness

death and dying...thoughts that have been on my mind lately...and I am soothed by your words...greatly and gratefully
Midnitesun
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Empyrean
since 05-18-2001
Posts 29020
Gaia


21 posted 08-02-2003 10:47 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

quote:
One day
You're going to die.

And they will dig a hole
In the ground
And they will
Put you in it
And then they will
Go back down
To the fellowship hall
And eat potato salad.

And they are
Going to talk about
You

They are going to
Talk about you.

What they gonna say?


namaste, I hope, and safe journey

a powerful moving piece, soulfriend
your heartbeat was heard, your warmth was felt

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


22 posted 08-02-2003 09:27 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Carolina

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


23 posted 08-02-2003 09:45 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

To all;

It was a judgement call to place this here -- it started out as a private message to Carolina -- but I thought there might be some reciprocal benefit of community.  Certainly it is a subject that faces us all.

If there is an essense here that some can take comfort in then my judgement was sound -- but -- I hope you take away from this whatever truth you find inherent here and forget the messenger that brought them.  

There is always a thin line to walk between the proffer of counsel and self-agrandizement.  If I ever thought anybody would pay attention to the things I wrote I would have chosen the pen name Anonymous.

dg;

the miracles of the internet eh?  with what little bit of forensic analysis I can conduct on my father's notebook his copy that he typed himself has been in there circa 1952 -59.  In all that time it only ever said Author Unknown.

I know that Abigail Van Buren went in search of the author one time and as I recall the search wasn't conclusive.

I'm glad that it touched a spark strong enough that you wanted to take the time to browse around and get back to us here with it.

I want to extend my thanks and apologies to Ron and the moderators -- may have been a borderline case since this post is full of other people's words -- I thought the wind of edification might be the right breeze for bending the rules a tad

toerag
you keep on making those toe comments -- humor is a powerful salve -- that's why the world loved Bob Hope -- why the ladies love you

when my father was in the last days and the last of his children finally made it in he had us all lined up around the room and in one of his final cogent moments gave us each our final orders one by one -- and said he was ready to go

then he laid back and closed his eyes

the room fell silent for a breif eternity -- then -- he sat back up and said

'nothing happened'

mel brooks couldn't have produced a better comedy
suthern
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Seraphic
since 07-29-99
Posts 20770
on the threshold of a dream


24 posted 08-04-2003 01:29 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

If it will help any doubts you might have had about posting... I'm back to put this into my library... for I know these are words I'll want to read again... and I know there will be times I need to read them...
 
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