A work of mourning
Feb 11 for RM
The skyscape is beautiful threat. Black and white and grey
flagging grinning rows of pale teeth. Who needs colour?
The grey, smooth as paste, is surprisingly lovely, beauty
without implication, but I’ll see the sun again soon.
We had been driving west, further than we thought,
leaving the city behind and its ring of banana plantations
gripping the mountainous slopes. The road swings
up and down and around wonderful wooded countryside
with warnings of black spots made for a motorbike.
You must have ridden this way enjoying the power
that didn’t last long, your new toy became too hard
to play with when cancer began to shred your spine.
Last to arrive, we scan in quickly and sign the book.
The square utilitarian room is bare but for photographs,
picturesque images. I wonder if they are yours, Coffs Marina,
the quaint church at Gleniffer, displayed for today, then
realise they must live here. Still, these shots might be yours.
I love your wicker basket, that looks small and incongruous
against the large, bare brick wall. Never a fan of the baroque,
Vienna’s Karlskirche confection may have its place.
The stream of epithets all ring true. You were a larrakin
and a clever bastard, but I’d have added generous too.
You organised the slide show of life from the hospice
but these always allow more questions than answers.
Who were you, that young, blond guy on his wedding day?
When did fashion forget that hair? Does anyone ever leave
a hospice alive? I didn’t know you are two years younger
than me. At what age should we feel betrayed by death?
We have to leave, pass two young men on the corner searching
a red brick wall prickly with roses. The earth no longer accepts us,
we are burnt out, our atoms circulate the breath of the planet.
We are abandoning headstones with promises that can’t be kept.