A few years back, I used to be part of an extremely active email poetry group and one of the finer poets, Eve, was talking once about the fear of death and dying. Most of us, I think, for the most part (using “most” twice and now three times in the same sentence)…and then losing my train of thought completely. Old poets never die; they just digress away. Or metaphor away. Where the hell was I?!!
Oh yes, Eve. And my thought that most of us, most of the time, handle fear of death and dying pretty well. We’ve developed lots of techniques to deal with it. And if I have the courage, I’m thinking of talking about some of that in the next few blogs.
BAGMAN: I’d rather watch an hour long video of a baby making vowel sounds!
Anyhow, Eve once said that she never dwelt on death or worried about it much, but that sometimes in the middle of the night, she would suddenly wake up and find “the gray monkey sitting heavily on her chest.” Hence the title of this series, if, indeed it becomes a series. I read once that the most difficult subjects for married couples to talk honestly about were: 1. Money. 2. Death. 3. Sex (or maybe it was Politics).
BAGMAN: Let’s talk about Sex.
BAGMAN: We argue enough to be a married couple.
BAGMAN: I thought we were talking about married couples.
I’m doing to ignore the B-boys for the moment although getting through the changing cycles of marriage is also a good topic for another series someday down the road. And this will be short anyway today. I really just wanted to share a gray monkey poem I wrote a while back, although it doesn’t contain the word “gray” or the word “monkey.”
(Definition: A conical heap of stones built as a monument or as a marker, sometimes used by hikers to indicate a trail they are following)
words of stone
beside this path
before moving further on.
I woke beside the ash of last night’s warmth,
watching how the gap between lonely and alone
has grown. Broke camp sensing something lost,
something small, perhaps a single word, a thought.
My early fears of avalanche or sudden storm
assuaged, replaced by watching only pebbles
rolling one by one away. Another grain of sand
eroded from my brain, leaving me forever less.
Ahead, the trail appears to disappear in fog,
I fear there will be fewer stones to find,
to mark where I have been
or maybe I will cease
Tomorrow or the next day, I’ll continue on this theme. I think. I’ll have to do it alone since Bagman just went out, slamming the door after him.