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As poetry evolves ...

oscar wilde
oscar wildeGoogle images

Tentatively entitled: Zac's Lilies/A Poetry Anthology

"A poem evolves only as the poet matures."

Dedication: To my Son, Ben, whom I love with all my heart, all my soul and all my might, help me to live my life free of anger and bitterness. Search for us as we for you in the brightness of the starlit skies. But unlike the night of November 22, 2000, let's find each other this time.

Preface (under construction)

Wednesday, December 22, 2000, the day of our son's death ended quietly in my apartment where I fell asleep after a drink or two.

'Tomorrow will be unlike any day I have ever experienced.' Does it make sense to the reader to say I knew what was going to happen; I just did not know what to expect?

I have been writing about Ben since the publication of my first poem "Mourning Reflections" in an anthology of bereavement poetry, Passing. It was a bittersweet achievement; here my first published poem but could barely tell a soul about it.

As writers we change. Whether “change” is synonymous with “growth” is a question one can answer only on a case by case basis. For example, I shortened the original poem "Mourning Reflections" to four lines, renamed it "Graveside", each line representative of an essential element: 1) finality, 2) incredulity, 3) obedience, 4) acceptance.

"Mourning's Reflections"

Illusory strength...
quivering knees.
Witnessing ...
irreversible finality.

Near the edge ...
swaying,
clutching a moment's time more
until words enough, this end a beginning,
reality obscene.

Linger intimate friends,
voices hushed.
Sobbing disbelief ...
soon resignation,
what choice ...
really?

Faith, Thou art with me,
though alone I remain
but a shadow of time before.
A mound of earth returns to its void,
last glance, turn to depart
from this ground.

Fading memory ...
searching
mind moments
yet recalled.

(end of original poem)

"Graveside" the author ponders his son's burial …

1) We swayed by the edge until cold winds bid us leave.

2) Sobbing gasps hush the whispers of lingering friends.

3) What could we have done but return the earth whence it came,

4) then depart lest happier moments burst like bubbles upon children's fingertips.

(End of "Graveside")

Each one corresponds to the same numbered line of the poem.

Some of the language discarded from the "Mourning Reflections" evolved into another poem "Mourning Raindrops” (title submitted by Renee Ransenberg-Gale)

"Mourning Raindrops"

Quietly I knew He had called for you.
'How, without you, would life be to live?'
Nary a moment before I'd always thought,
'my life for yours I wouldst give.'

Far fewer fallen were the raindrops that morn
than the tears our mourning eyes did shed.
Yet, we take such comfort in knowing Son,
to olden souls wilt thou soon be wed.

I have no more words Ben than these to say,
How difficult it has been for all without thee.
But of a more special love I do not know
Than mine for you and yours for me.

The author welcomes Civil Comments (of either a positive or negative nature).