Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Not online

Edgar's headstone
Originally uploaded by goforchris
A new poem which I began a year ago. It seems to me that there is a link between our cyber-communication and the sense of connection with the dead, but it can be the case that funeral rites can underline the finality of death even as they affirm the continuation of the spirit.


It is finished. All the rites
Which mark the parting of a friend
Completed in an afternoon
Of sunlight hot on new-mown grass
And birdsong aching in our hearts.

I cannot bear to have it done –
This last farewell, the final act
Of thanks and loving at life’s end.
We turn to face the road again
And though we talk, remember well
And fondly laugh at what we shared
There will be no more actual space
Devoted to the life now past.

I leave his name upon the list
Of those who phone – but if I rang
The screen would tell me “Not online”
And that is what it means. The end
Of sharing words across a world,
The end of wisdom, comfort, grave advice,
Of laughing, teasing, human faults –
All stopped. No sharing left. Cut off.

The hot grass undulates in folds.
A lone bird calls and in its song
Repeated: User not online.

©C.M.M. 07/07

No comments: