Posts Tagged ‘Love’

copyright Gay Harper
It seems that,
with every death,
I lose a part of me.

There’s very little left,
now,
of who I used to be and

this person
I’m becoming
isn’t able to see

the person
who I was then or
treasured memories.

Locked in this head
are places to which
I no longer have the key

My identity
must have drained out
with the last bag of my IV.

A hollow shell;
mask on tight,
I still resemble me.

The me
I used to know.
The me
I used to be.

Cringing white,
terrified,
I anticipate
the swift slap
of ink & metal

just before
the key
strikes,

crushing into
my thin, blank chest

a mark
that will be here
forever.

My Father’s Ghost

Posted: January 24, 2012 in My Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I dreamed I saw your ghost last night.
You seemed to have lost your head.

I followed your gaunt shuffle,
waiting for a sign;
some reason you’d come back

but you wandered, headless,
down the hallway
turned a corner and were gone.

You’d gone into your office,
so I went there too.

You weren’t there, just
your books, the newest published
a month after your death.

So many things you cared about
with passionate intensity.

The publisher asked
what we wanted done with the royalties.

Of course, they’ll fund your scholarship for
botany students with promise:
your namesake and your baby.
Plants were your only true love.

I guess you’ll live on
in leaves of various kinds.

Leafing through the pages, now
I feel your quiet presence.

Lost Time

Posted: January 7, 2012 in My Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Our hearts beat together
in intimate embrace,
reflecting each other;
infinite repetition.

Like children, we accepted
the inevitability of Us.
Too innocent to question
an impossible future.

Forgetting all decorum,
tradition or taboo,
thinking only of each other.

How can I capture that wind
with words?
It tore us apart,
limb from limb, heart from heart.

Invisible but powerful enough
to drag you from my arms;
cleave you to her
like a tornado driven splinter:
sharp and irresistible.
Too deeply imbedded
to ever be freed.

I clutched my heart in bleeding hands.
That poor, shattered mirror
reflecting nothing but distortion.

Flayed feelings, burned then buried alive.
No eulogy was spoken.
They clawed at raw earth,
clinging to hope, but
nothing can set dead love free.

Neither fire, nor silence,
that grey ice sliding down my spine,
could unearth what was gone.

I mourned the loss alone;
vigil for the broken mirror.

7 years bad luck.

Grief is
an uphill climb in sand
with no oasis in sight

Hot wind erases footprints
as if you came from nowhere.
No path to show the way.

This journey is taken alone.

Unable to find your bearings;
Maps become senseless
when blinded by harsh light.

Stumble through a world
where nothing ever changes and
everything looks the same.

Perhaps it is the same and
you’ve been walking in circles
like a dog chasing its tail.

There is no past –
not anymore.
Memories are unwelcome.
They make people nervous.

Death is so uncivilized
especially suicide.

My sister says she misses you.
I wish I could agree.

I don’t miss you.
I hardly knew you –
at least any “you” I liked or respected.

To me, you were The Bogeyman;
origin of my self-loathing.
I’m relieved that you are gone,
happy that you’re dead.

Not because
I hate you, though, and
I thank God for that.

All those nights, alone with you –
You could have been my victim too,
a bitter role-reversal.
But I made a different choice.

I rubbed your back, held your hand,
changed your bedding, clothes and diapers.
I loved you when you were helpless,
because you couldn’t love me when I was.

When you died,
I was happy that you’d escaped the pain,
free from that worn-out body.

I too, was freed:
released from a lifetime
of hate and fear;
your whipping post, no longer.

We went our separate ways,
finally at peace.
Who could ask for more?

Then why do I feel so envious
that my sister had something to miss?

Between a breath and

the one that never follows,

you slip away;

crippled body left behind

like leaves dropped after a storm.

Forgotten, unnecessary –

marking the end of a season.

I knew a man
who used to say
“Without love,
I am nothing.”

It turns out,
he was right.

The monitor
picks up
my father’s breathing,
the occasional moan, a cough,
some swearing.

Dying is not easy.
It’s hard on him.
It’s hard on us.

Watch him wither
like a flower, cut;

first drooping,
now drying out –
becoming something else.

He wavers
in and out
of focus
like a star
too dim to clearly see.

Muttered halves
of conversations
held with people
invisible to me.

I wonder what he sees
when his eyes
turn blank
to this world.

He comes back,
eventually.
Asks for a cola,
maybe ice cream.

The simple pleasures
of childhood.

Then he turns,
curls back to that place
of lucid dreaming.
Eyes open,
but unfocused.

Like a brittle husk,
he’s mummifying
while I watch,
helpless
to stop the process.

I wouldn’t if I could.
He wants what he sees
when his eyes dim
to this world.

It must be something
good.

Creature born,
fully grown;
not like a foal
on shaky legs:

invincible warrior,
claws honed
for tearing
truth
from the flesh
of unreason.

Innocent
need not fear
this spawn,
which grew,
undetected,
for years;

crawled at night
from my belly:

a force intent
on saving me.

From myself
when necessary.

It germinated
in the lush jungle
of secrets;

grew stronger
every day
until
it pulled itself
from me,
fully-formed.

Stroked
my face
with claws
like obsidian blades,

whispered
“We are one
in purpose.
I will be
your savior.”

And I believed.