My heart was in such pain
I felt like I was going to go insane
I just don't know what to do
And my eyes full of tears that distort my view
I fell to my knees and felt the urge
My muscle tighten and pin needles struck me like a surge
My body was warm and with feelings so confused
My mind felt sadness had fused
I could not conquer my fears
I just sat down and fell into tears
When some close to you passes on
It felt like a warmth has gone
So I raised my hand towards a box that was empty with no tissue
I first was embarrass and had a little bit of issue
All my friends hugged me and said sorry for your loss
So now I cry in my bed and toss
April 14, 2013
The 18th of December was her last day;
she neither knew the date nor cared to.
Gathered at the hospital, keeping vigil,
we couldn't overcome her fright, or ours.
The pain, too great to be driven away,
was only "managed" with IV drips,
needles stuck in bruised appendages --
bony things -- arms and legs, hands and feet.
Above the medicines and washes, we sniffed
her scent, which, more than her yet familiar
face, to us identified our mother --
a smell we never would mistake
for any other. It went quickly
as her body cooled. The rouged and pickled
carcass they displayed was more a statue
than a person. We planned to bury her
with homely tokens, like an ancient mummy:
a family photo, a brooch she liked,
a pink hairbrush, and the brass bell she rang
to call her keeper during her last years.
But, when the time came, I could not bear
to see her leave so finally;
I took the bell from her metal box.
And, now, I ring it -- not to bring a keeper,
but to recall my mother on her birthday,
and on many dark days when I need her.
She wrote a letter
Which I happily read
Summer baked on
Autumn arrived with a chill in the air
Winter followed with snow
Then the call came
Aunt Stella had passed away
Two months shy of her eighty-seventh birthday
Could I travel to Chicago for the funeral?
My cousin’s voice
Time was short
I would have to leave tomorrow.
The wind brought tears to my eyes
And I remembered why
Chicago was called the windy city.
The funeral was surreal
My cousin and I were lost in the room
Our voices echoed in the chamber
We were the only attendees
Where was the rest of the family
The funeral director nodded
More than we did.
Before the sad procession to the cemetery
We walked to her house
In no particular hurry
Talked old times
There, nestled under trees
We peered through
Rain stained windows
Looked inside an empty house
Sunlight streaming through a den door facing a back garden
We left quietly.
At the cemetery there was a delay
I began reading headstones
Nearby were three
Aligned in a row
Each with the same last name
Following its own order of death
I made out a father, an uncle
And a young boy
Standing over his grave
I caught a glimpse of something faded red and metallic
Chipping the frozen ground
A toy truck
How long had it been there
I could only guess.
As the Priest mumbled
Half forgotten Catholic prayers
I bent down and carefully
Pressed the toy
Back into the cold
As it was
Meant to be
Years and years ago.
When the service ended
We looked at each other
My cousin and I
Thoughts and deeds
Of long ago
Brought back memories
I called out to him
Look after yourself.
He smiled and turned
You visit. Stay in touch.
The Priest remained
Where he was
The cold winter sun
Reflecting his bright colored vestments.
FROM OUT OF THIS EARTH, IN EVERY GENERATION
MUST ARISE A MIGHTY PROPHET...
SO DON'T YOU HAVE NO FEAR, YOU HAVE DONE YOUR SHARE, YOU ARE THE HONOURABLE
YOU BROUGHT US OUT FROM IGNORANCE,
AND FOR THIS WE WILL THANK YOU HONESTLY.
ALTHOUGH WE KNOW THAT IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE BIBLE THAT MANY WOULD BE
CALLED,BUT ONLY FEW OF THEM WOULD BE CHOOSEN.
ROBERT NESTA MARLEY, HE LIVED HIS LIFE FOR WE.
AND NOW WE HAVE GROWN, WE ARE THE SEEDS HE HAS SHOW, TILLED BY HIS IMPERIAL
OH BROTHER BOB YOU WERE ONE.
YOU WORKED FROM DAWN TILL DAWN.
NOW IN THE PHYSICAL YOU HAVWE GONE, BUT IN THE SPIRIT YOU WILL CARRY ON,
THE WORKS OF MARCUS GARVEY.(CHORUS)
NOW BOB ARISE,
OPEN THY EYES.
BECAUSE WE WANT YOU TO KNOW, I 'n' I HAVE DISCOVERED YOUR FOE,
TRAMPLED BENEATH THY FEET.
SO IF YOUR TRODDING IN A STREET,
OR IN A HIGH MOUNTAIN.
DON'T YOU HAVE NO SHAME,
REGGAE MUSIC HAS BROUGHT YOU FAME,
YOU ARE THE HONOURABLE NATTY DREAD.
(C)1982, 1996, 2006 ALBERT WILLIAMS
A cousin called the other day saying "Another cousin has passed away".
Well my husband said "How old was she.""
A stalwart woman who had served family and community well. Producing one child that
became a missionary serving in a foreign land..
While talking the cousin asked "Did you know ______"?
My husband answered, "Well, I don't think that I knew them".
The cousin proceeded to tale this story.
"The man had been down with cancer for a while and passed recently..The funeral had been
conducted and the hearse had gone on to the cemetary..The family car with the family was
not to far behind..But when it pulled up, the wife of the deceased did not get out and the
funeral home staff was gathering around..The funeral home director decided to go see what
was going on ...."
The cousin said, " That this funeral home director told him". "That he had been in this
business for thirty-five years and faced something that he had never had happen to him or
any other funeral home director that he knew."
The funeral home director said, "When I got to the family car, I found the wife of the
deceased had passed from a massive corornary."
She had said, "I don't know how I will live without him." She didn't have to learn. God called
The roosters crow, the crows craw and are answered by the gobble of the turkey across the
They ran laughing
Into the night.
Hand in hand.
Heart in heart.
Twenty-One, and Nineteen.
Forging new pathways,
Laughing at the wind.
It took only
For the driver
To mow them down.
It took only
For love realized
to be lost.
But years before
He stood next to his father
Who said the choice is yours.
And the proud young man
Checked the box
And signed his name
That the heart
He gave the girl
Would not be
His to give.
Of holding breaths
And the heart
Began to beat
Marla was a friend of mine
I knew from working at UTMB
Over 10 years we worked together
In the department of pathology
Though we actually worked
In two different locations there
We still became pretty good friends
Leaving me memories of times we shared
Besides her friendship with me
To all, Marla was very helpful
She knew her job exceptionally well
And was always professional
Our department felt confident
As we knew Marla was the one
To work in an accurate manner
And get any task completely done
Marla attended a few SSP luncheons
We would both go there to meet
She came as my guest a few times
And we would save each other a seat
I’ll carry the memories of Marla
With me throughout my living years
I know that when it’s my time to go
She’ll be saving a good seat for me up there
Florence McMillian (Flo)
In memory of Bob
A true story.
It was in spring of two thousand when I first saw Bob. I’d just started working at Perth Dental hospital, and in fact it was my first day there. I walked up to the front door of this building, but it wasn’t yet opened. So I turned around and went to sit in the bus shelter which was just outside the building. As I went to sit down I noted a dark skinned gentleman sitting there with a happy, benign look on his face. He was about five feet eight give or take a little, and he was rather a thickset man who looked like he’d done his fair share of hard work in his sixty years or more.
There was something about this Gentleman that I could not quite put my finger on. He had a certain charisma about him; not the phony kind of charisma that one seen in the car salesman or the philanderer who messes with women’s heads, no, Bob had a kind of friendly smile for everyone that he met, and he seemed to draw people into him with his love, and gigantic heart. I knew as soon as I met him that Bob was most definitely for me.
As Bob looked at me and smiled, the whole world seemed to open up. He said “Ow ya going mate” in a loud ebullient manner, then we started to chat. Bob was like myself, a thinker, and straight away we started philosophizing about this, that, and the other, and it was like we had known each other forever. Then all of a sudden I found Bob talking about death, and the difference in the way the Maori people faced death, compared to the rather the silly way us white folk look at the subject with great fear in our hearts. Now this had always interested me, and somehow it just seemed natural to talk to this Maori gentlemen on this subject, and we spoke about it till the doors opened and it was time to work.
I don’t think anything happens just by chance, and I definitely have this feeling that Bob and I were meant to meet, and I really think this was a major destiny thing. I have found during the course of my life, that as I am aging, I can feel something pushing me into a certain direction, and I always felt that Bob was part of all this; and I had much to learn from him. Although I have never believed in organized religion, and never followed one I have always felt deeply spiritual, and I have met many people who I learned from, and Bob was most definitely one of them with all his great wisdom and patience. As I came to know Bob, we had many dialogues together, on many subjects. Bob used to love music and could always have time to plonk away on his guitar. He used to come round to my place and we would play songs together, though both he and I were no Eric Clapton’s, I would bang around on my guitar and play the harp, while we would both take out turns at singing. We’d have a smoke or a beer or two, and we’d play songs all day long, ahhh, I remember those days well, the memories are so strong.
Bob was one hell of a man, I could tell that he had been a wild one in his youth,
But when I knew him in his sixties he was an icon of wisdom and virtue; he had a kind word for everyone, and gave all his time to anybody who needed him, always.
He used to hear me waffling on like an idiot, trying to make him like me [as I always did] but never once did he tell me how foolish I was, he would just smile knowingly at me. He used to stand there at the window for hours, just drinking in the trees, or the clouds in the sky, and yet he was so aware, I used to try to sneak up on him; it couldn’t be done. His awareness was incredible.
Then one day Bob fell ill with terminal cancer, and he knew that he had very little time left on this Earth. He lay there sick for days in intolerable pain, but you never heard one complaint from him, even when he only had days to live, he was still worrying about the welfare of others. When the day finally come for Bob to leave his shell; he was lying there in deep sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up, with a smile on his face. His children asked him ‘Dad, do you want some pain killers” Bob laughed, compassion written all over his face, and he said to them ‘Not one of you has a clue, have you’ and he died with a big smile on his face.
His daughter got in touch with me, and told me about his death, and also told me that his last wish was to have me watch his soul leave his body. I felt very honored about this and went and sat with his body [as Maoris do]. I got the most peaceful feeling come to me [which I presume was his spirit leaving his body] as I watched his silent body, a Mari war stick and a beautiful rose lay across his chest. I still see it, and I feel blessed by it. He was my Maori warrior, and I adored the man.
My ancestors came here long ago
Tough and strong not weak
But somewhere down along the line
Something went terribly wrong
And now I have to sit here and deal with my legacy
Of not what I thought it would be
Not where I choose to be right now
The legacy that’s me.
I can’t escape the past
The memories seem to last
Of the horrors of what has come before
The graveyard is the place
I can see it on my face
My family’s legacy of suicide
is haunting me.
My generational legacy
Is it going to kill me
Or will it just let sleeping dogs lie
And allow me to exist
Will it allow me to just to see
The me that I am meant to be
To live beyond my years
To grow beyond the tears
To handle all my fears
To defy what could have been
(November 13, 2010 Wausau, Wisconsin)
(c) Copyright 2010 by Christine A Kysely, All Rights Reserved
I still remembered that night
the snow was heavy and unusually white.
We gathered around the fireplace,
Momma was sharing her Christmas grace.
Daddy went home and brought us presents
Momma stopped her story and away she went
out into the snowy streets
buying us winter treats.
It has passed dinner and she’s not home.
Our stomach started to ache and roam.
Daddy began to worry,
and away he went in a hurry.
Me and Anna were still inside
looking through the window with eyes opened wide.
Then Anna started to cry,
I was still wondering why
until I saw a shadow in the foggy snow.
Anna squeezed my hand and wouldn’t let go.
A squeak, a squeal -
a spinning wheel
down the hill
that’d thrill and kill.
It came clashing and crashing
through the glaciers it went bashing
through our door it was breaking,
left us all shaking and quaking.
We did not restrain
the shrieks and tears weren’t feigned.
Next morning the neighbors came
and told us that momma and daddy weren’t the same.
I followed them and what I saw
with only a glance made me drop my jaws.
There, two coffins neatly laid
“Uncertain causes” was clearly sprayed.
I laughed and thought I just got played
but grief suddenly fell when the priest prayed.
Nobody helped when I fell limp on the floor
as they carried my parent’s bodies through the shattered door.
From that day on there wasn’t winter anymore.
Snow were redder than red – the color of gore.
Their tombstones were always cold solid steel
and if you came close you’d feel:
A squeak, a squeal -
a spinning wheel
down the hill
that’d thrill and kill.