On the Death of my Mother’s Sister Cath

I am asking and praying –
I am singing aloud my request and prayer.
I call upon God for more.
For I am tired of feeding on crumbs
As delightful as they might be.
But there is no response.
I have called all these years
In vain, though I have sung and cried,
Even though I have danced and loved,
Crumbs come to me,
Scattered not by God but the wind.

You are a false God,
An ancient hope erected.
And I turn from you
Watching others cry
That you are a faithful God.
But my turning away is as difficult
As the parting from my mother
In my manhood
And the death of my father in middle life.

Yet I turn.
And I stand under the sky
And I sing under the Moon.
I do not squirm like an ant on the earth
But stamp my feet firmly
To declare my existence.
It is lonely here without you
But I exist thus
In the great space of the world
Holding my cry to you
Wondering where to put its strength.

Were not people calling
Before my father’s fathers?
All those voices raised to the sky
And I must take my heart into action
Alone, without you.
I see the idols and the holy names,
The hopes and images of the world
Like a great cloud, an ocean of memories
In which we all live for our birth
And our comfort from the cold dark.
All the dreams our ancestors
Gave life to, vital in the cloud
In which we dream anew,
And call out the ancient rituals,
Clasped to its breast.

The ocean of consciousness
In which all swim
And I, in my work
Have placed my head under its waves
And seen the spirits of the dead.
They pull our feet
And they speak through us,
So of this I write.
I speak too of
All else that lies in the ocean.

There is the dark
Where all the terrors
Held in human hearts
Have form and
Land on which to breed.
There is the light.
The gods, the images of love,
Hope of angels and fairies,
Saviours and mothers,
Reside here to be called upon.

Here is creation.
Here is destruction.
Here the images of birth.
Here the images of death.
An ocean of them from all times.
In here all dream.
And into this passes
My mother’s sister,
As passed my own father and mother
As I too must pass.

So I call upon the bright
Blessed images
That men and women
Created for their
Healers and helpers, their stay.
Be with my mother’s sister
As she slips into the ocean deep.
Come too the sweet hopes,
The fragile, foolish dreams
We all fashion.
So easily torn,
So unreal,
Yet from them are
Forged great forces of love,
Courage that shapes our very earth.

This mystery I bow before –
That the tenderest
Is the most strong,
And the most strong
Falls to rust and division.
So this I place with the departing life.
And I weep for the loss of the living
And offer it them,
The exquisite life
Of forlorn hope.

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved