You dance through my shattered dreams,
And dance upon my Mother’s grave.
All in the world is not what seems,
The bitter dregs remain.
No happy ending can impart
No closing can remain.
I wish her well and wish her love,
But that must come from high above.
For all love lost and what remains,
We keep and know their hallowed names…..
So here is darkness, damp and dew….
A farther part, a gift from you…
No other part of you I hold;
My love for you is yet untold.
The evening shades with dimening hue
My glittering sight and thoughts of you.
Rest easy in your slumberd dreams,
The world is not all that it seems.
For soon all that you do desire,
Will rise from ashes of the fire.
Time is the fire in which we burn,
Like fallen branches left to learn….
Left to learn a world apart
A quaking leaf; a broken heart.
25 years ago Jane and Ricky met. Friends at the outset, an affair soon started. Both were lonely and the tragedy unfolded. Almost unbearable grief for them both. A child lost. A love lost. Ricky sat in the waiting room while it was done and took Jane home to cry to sleep.Illicit affair. Born of broken hearts. Wonderful joy shattered by the death of a child. No friendship lost, but the affair was over for them. They parted and are now strangers to one another. My Editor has a more detailed account of this story. But I wanted some mention of it to be told. If I can not wash the blood off my hands, I can at least confess my sins. I am Ricky. Murderer of my child. Abortion laws are such that such events are unchecked. Not outlawed, such events are not meant as a means of birth control.. Heartbreaks happen. And God asks why.
In the wake of the media storm around the shooting death of a young black man at the hands of a mixed race older man I am taken aback by both the press response and the outcry for peace by those about me. As the days go by, I meet many of other cultures and races. I am reminded of The Merchant of Venice and Shylock’s speech, If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that. In this nasty part of our nation’s history I find only wrong and one lonely right. Individual choice to accept another. Had that been there in Florida that night, we would not be here. In recent days I (white by the way) met a black man twice my slender build. He came from California, hundreds of miles away. He, too has a like mind. We became friends at the first meeting. A taxi driver from Pakistan gave me a Koran, and in return I gave him a Bible. He kissed it. I revere those of peace and ask of those of an unlike mind….What do you rule over or gain by laying waste to that which you yearn for? In all the great faiths of the ages, the one concept has been stated over and over again. As it has been written in so many tongues, simply, it is The Golden Rule.Never mind the media. Just do the next right thing. Make a difference. Then sleep well.
The world was once an endless buffet of pleasures and choices to be made. Then the gradual loss of my parents and old friends taught me the stark reality of the real illusion of that freedom. The loss and the reality that results comes slowly. The shock is too great to take in all at once. As the sun slowly rises, so does it set. I never will regain the loves I once took for granted; not in the least the most dear of all. What a fool I am. But how can an elder explain to a child that a puppy or kitten will grow old and die? What context can the child frame the concept in? And why does the moth flicker about so close to the flame? With every day so full of life, what room is there for death? At last, that room is found. The last room we will find. The room beyond all hopes and dreams; the room we pass alone. How unfair it is that we come into this world not alone, but pass beyond in solitude….or not? I one day will have the answer, but will not be then able to answer that question for you…
While my father was still in Viet Nam, our family returned to my Mother’s home town. A large, old frame house, with a neighbor’s discarded piano outside. I was enchanted by it, out of tune, but what does a four year old know of that? To make ends meet, my Mother took a job doing advertising for the local J. C. Penny’s store for the local paper. After three years in Germany, I spoke as much German as English and some how learned that non-verbal communications were as much value as any spoken language. Hence the gravity to music. But this story is not about music. It is about human relations. My mother hired a Nanny for her children. A college girl from a family my Grandmother had known for years. As she still lives, at last I heard, years ago, her name I will keep private. In preface, I should write that my Mother was a Civil Right’s worker and at great peril traveled to the Deep South after others had disappeared. She found nothing of help to the solution of the loss of the three later found encased in a concrete dam. Three whites making a statement for the freedoms of others. Blacks. Years after, my Mother needed help to raise her children. The old family friends were there, and gladly. I never will forget the M&M’s the girl my Mom hired put into my hand. I was forbidden to eat in bed, and I laid in my bed until they melted in my hand. Yes, M&M’s will melt in your hand. I knew her love; I knew my rules. At four, I dealt my first dichotomy. Later, Mom and I would come to grief. Another story. Years go by and I get to be first a friend and later a lover to Her I will not name. (She is married).. And yes, she is of African decent. And I still pray for her. From one to another, we were a safe place to hold. Like this or not; I hold no quarter for small tribal minds. Leave to them to their tribes. I would like to think that I am a man of mankind. I was Four years old. I learned by her teaching that Love is universal. My Mom couldn’t pay much. But she gave love to me not knowing that it was to turn into a man beyond racism. Beyond race, I am a man of as many cultures as I can learn. Some bad days find a good rest. And with a peace in my heart, I do find rest. I took that teaching from my Mother, a once young Civil Rights volunteer, and found that all manner of mankind just wanted to live and let live. The news is full of the nut cases, but more copy and air time should be spent on the cases of those from far reaching backgrounds;reaching out in abject love; those who disregard the mundane, common, socially safe, yet still not without the danger of the disdain of the unenlightened. I was but a small child. I was taught to love and to accept. At times, it is hard to follow; and still at times I fall into a quiet solitude to reckon with my heart. And, yes, with both my Deity and my Mother’s example. Peace and beauty are all around, if the will for strife can be set aside. I do my best to lay that away and during the times it gets hard, the guitar or a long walk brings the peace back to me. In closing, I will say one more truth I have learned: The most ignored sense we have been blessed with is that of the heart. It hurts more than fire to the skin or thunder to our ears. Yet in all our days, the heart is always there: Care well for it. In the end, your heart is all you take with you. Too often I have come close to death, and thought, “What is in my heart?”. We all must pass. Let hatred and fear pass you by like the wind in the air. I will go in ease; may you do so as well.