How quickly Fridays - and the Auction mart - come round here. It seems to be the contact point of the week somehow and it always seems to be Friday before we get over the weekend. So it is rush round, tidy up, look at the e mails and then go into the market while the farmer looks at the prices and hears the gossip at the Mart.
It is a glorious Autumn day here, mild, sunny, a light breeze ruffling the changing leaves and the smell of Autumn bonfires in the air. Lovely.
TFE has set us quite a challenge for the Monday Poetry Bus. I have chosen to read Sylvia Plath's Lady Lazarus "many times" as he instructed. Poor old Sylvia was a very mixed up lady - and a brilliant poet (maybe the two things go together) - and, with hindsight, it is almost impossible to read any of her poetry without reading into it the "hooks", the "barbs", the covert references to death. So, inevitably, my Monday poem is about Death.
I always feel sorry that there is such a taboo about death here in the Western world. As my brother used to say - we are dying the minute we are born, so why get so het up about it. As I get older I find I view it with equanimity - it is inevitable, so best to enjoy every minute before the Grim Reaper comes for you. That's my philosophy in a nutshell.
However, to get back to that Poetry Bus, which seems to be gathering momentum and hurtling along now. I wrote two poems. Naturally I am saving one for Monday morning, but I thought I would give the other one an airing here today - to see what you think. Before writing I read a lot of Dylan's poetry (he is another one who wrote at length about death, isn't he?), and John Donne (he even kept his shroud pinned on his study wall - I think that is going a bit far), Ted Hughes - and various other poets, and as I read I made notes. This poem is constructed from those notes:-
Yes, cover the mirrors,
save the souls.
Let his last frail deeds,
his plucking at the blankets,
the last thin words,
the dying light,
move through inexorably
'til that silence
it can be heard
signals that he is
Could I make a plea to all readers. If you know someone who has recently lost a loved one - if you meet that person in the roadway then please make a point of speaking directly to them and asking them how they are and how they are coping with the death. When I was widowed I watched people I knew well cross the road to avoid having to speak to me (I suppose they just didn't know what to say), and this week I spoke to someone who is now going through the same experience. If you don't know what to say then say "I don't know what to say". People who are recently bereaved need every tiny human contact they can get - a hug, a smile, a hand on the shoulder - anything rather than being ostracised, for whatever reason.