Thursday, December 2, 2010


'The mind has mountains,
cliffs of fall,
sheer no-man-fathomed...'
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Some lives are ended, others just end.
Some deaths make sense; others stun reason
and make minds bend.

Death's a dark gate somewhere unseen
which springs shocking surprise when sudden
but which, when bidden,
delivers definite deletion.

Of the latter the sense lies
in the mercy sought or
in the justice demanded:
a plea for rescue from unacceptable pain
or a rage to remove intolerable evil.

It's when death's gate opens unbidden
when one is caught in the clutch of chance
('accident') that death offends,
morphing from mercy to menace.

In such a death the mind gropes
for meaning, flings grappling hooks
up sheer cliffs one is desperate
to climb up out of.

Deep down its crater
the heart calls out but
no answers come,
only echoes of the cry.

Bereft, what is one to do?
Speak out now, let loose rage
lest it churns currents in caverns
inside the self? before sorrow floods
the basin and burst its chambers?

Or just sit still and be,
aware and wakeful, holding steady,
girded and all for this
dark night's journey of the soul?

Will the time come for answers
to fill the void and bring to heart
love's peace and to mind
its calming balm?

Isn't there a nagging doubt
that all this is but wishful thought,
casting about, seeking anchors afloat
after a loved one's life, sorry to say,
comes to naught?

A senseless death stirs these questions.
The heart is hurt, the mind muddled:
A beloved presence is gone;
a life's work's undone.

One strives to bury griefs;
remembrance is a pledge.
That one will understand and accept
who is to tell, who the sage?

Old prophet Job, you were buffeted too.
What say you of this damn, dumb

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