Survivors

Survivors

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Afterthoughts


©  2012 Steve King
All rights reserved

When you labored your last breath,
I had long been elsewhere.
Bad news, they say, travels fast,
though it seems, not far:
I, who once knew much of you,
was then unknowing.

What are lifetimes, looking back?
Yours read well enough to me
even without note of us,
or other quondam artifacts.

No indeed--our trove lay deep,
hidden in the secret bottom
of some misplaced trunk,

while others that I never knew
gathered then to carry you.

Better to have never heard:
another yearwho knows?
might well do all for me;
or better yet a courier
less inclined to squander news.

Nothing now points much to old scenes
though I still choose my moments
to puzzle over absence,
and the haze of ancient afternoons,

or sometimes on fabled afterlives
and happy tales of immortality,
which have always seemed to be
no more than an apology
for absences writ large,
unbreachable.

Yet will I hold these things aside.
and let the skeptic's surety be tried
upon the very thought

that there may be
a shadow of forever clinging near,
so long as this remembrance visits me.


17 comments:

  1. You hold the poignancy and emotional angst very well...I like the deep trove hidden in the misplaced trunk...and the shadow of forever clinging near ~ A pleasure to read your work ~

    You can make our commenting easier if you turn off the word verification in your blog setting ~

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  2. There's a lot of musing on mortality as our days lengthen and the time shortens, and time itself seems like a different fluid--the ritual of funeral is something the living need more than the dead, I think, to mark that particular one of many leavings, on a road that travels to the same place. A fine and thoughtful piece, Steve--I especially liked:
    "...happy tales of immortality,
    which have always seemed to be
    no more than an apology
    for absences writ large,
    unbreachable..."

    And many thanks on removing the word verification--my eyes hate it.

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  3. nice....really like your close steve...so longs as the rememberances visit you....always remembering...the older i get the more it seems to happen...hedge already grabbed the lines i was going to quote back at you...they struck me...

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  4. Into the memory of each
    Can be far back to reach
    And surely teach
    Although some you want to bleach haha

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  5. Emotional and a great write...love these lines...

    Yet will I hold these things aside.
    and let the skeptic's surety be tried
    upon the very thought—

    that there may be
    a shadow of forever clinging near,
    so long as this remembrance visits me.

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  6. wow--beautiful and strong reminder

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  7. "the secret bottom
    of some misplaced trunk"

    That is an image that gets right into my heart and soul. I imagine there are lots and lots of secrets in bottoms of misplaced trunks.Will they ever be revealed?

    xo

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  8. This comforts me. Lovely write!

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  9. I've lost so many friends, loves, and soul partners while far away, and then not hear of their deaths until much later..... Some times I dream of them, and other times I think that I can hear them, or smell some part of them, like a particular cigar smell or perfume. Once I think one of them saved my life, and another, very special friend helped me to prepare for my mom's death..... I don't think souls ever go away, and I don't think the time or distance keep us apart form them...

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  10. It's not often I read a poem so sad, yet so touching. I get it. Beautiful.

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  11. "No indeed--our trove lay deep,
    hidden in the secret bottom
    of some misplaced trunk,..."

    A very sweet sadness you have captured Steve. So many memories we hold dear from people who were part of our lives long ago. A lovely poem, a sweet remembrance.

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  12. there's much comfort in this last stanza.. something like a peaceful conclusion to thoughts that get you restless at times.. a sweet sadness indeed like ginny says above..

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  13. Sadness, of course, but a sensitive, sweet comfort, reaching out to the souls we never really forget, but tuck away in some secret place...calling upon memories when we need them. A truly soulful and beautiful piece, Steve.

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  14. This hit the mark square and sure... phew. This central section knocked me for six:

    No indeed--our trove lay deep,
    hidden in the secret bottom
    of some misplaced trunk,


    while others that I never knew
    gathered then to carry you.

    The power of these lines is finely amplified though by the whole. A sensitive and moving afterthought.. very much enjoyed (although that may well be completely the wrong word).

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  15. Your "shadow of forever" is cast long. Stands as the perfect ending to this elegy. Indeed, though loved ones may be lost far from you, they are ever near in the stories you tell of them. And they are the cloud of witnesses, the keepers of the secrets. A comforting thought on a day when I needed it. Thanks, Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/08/13/broken-angel-sun-scribs-dverse-first-half-for-bloomings/

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  16. It is strange, isn't it, when a person's "second death" occurs? First someone you once were intimate with becomes a stranger, and then dies and thus precludes the possibility of you two ever being reunited. Unless and afterlife is real and you can find one another again there -- a possibility you seem to wish for but greatly doubt (third death).

    And yet whatever you two had (you never say or even hint) can still be alive within you, if -- perchance -- you still cherish it...

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