Friday, 3 April 2009

Poem: Eternal Silence

To think that one day I will not feel
the sun’s rays kiss my skin as spring beckons
the bluebells and honeysuckles in
to droop and arch in bell and lantern shapes

while under my feet the crackle
of twigs against earth disturb
a blackbird with an orange
beak; it warbles and tweets a sanguine

tune as it skips off its perch on a bark
up high. I close my eyes and recall
with a sigh the kite I flew when I was eight
running through a narrow graveyard gate...

To think that one day I will not raise
my hands in midair and twirl in a circle
without a care, breathing in the smell
of freshly-cut grass, or admire the dimpled face

of a child peppered with freckles
while he suckles on a popsicle, or of the twins
lolling on swings in the village green; their glee
merging with the natter of mothers and passersby...

To think that one day I will not share a laugh
nor a tear with a friend or more:
over love and loss, or a disgruntled boss,
the missed flight last summer, the lasagne gone sour,

the parking fine, the baby I always dreamt of having –
as the years drift like blossoms fluttering off a tree
these images and sounds will one day cease, become a fibre
of fiction woven in the flesh of an eternal silence.

Catherine Mark

I came across a great quote today and thought I’d share it with you (I’m dipping into a wonderful collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov, 'About Love & Other Stories' (translated by Rosamund Bartlett)): “...Everything is beautiful in this earth, everything that is, except what we think and do when we forget about the higher purpose of existence and about our human dignity.” (Checkhov, The Lady with the Little Dog).


Sarah-Paige said...

A very chilling poem ! But with so many delicious images, really enjoyed reading this :)

lissa said...

another engaging piece, I have the same thoughts, I wonder if I would regret not doing certain things as I get older...the last few lines says so much, if one doesn't write these thoughts down, will it still exist in our heads?..very provoking

June Saville said...

You poem is very tender Catherine. I would say to you that you have a heckova lot of life left yet my girl. Things seem a lot closer when you're 72 - and yet I press on regardless.
By the way 'Paternity' concludes in Journeys in Creative Writing today. Go to it girl. Let's know what you think.
June in Oz

Strawberry Girl said...

A delicous journey through familiar sights and sounds... beautiful. I really like the last thought that you leave us with as well that everything is beautiful, unless we forget to appreciate our purpose here.


Khaled KEM said...

"a fibre of fiction woven in the flesh of an eternal silence".
That's an amazing closure to that inner monologue. I did not know that you are a poet as well. You describe your thoughts and feelings in such beautiful images.

Rogue said...

Exquisite, yet sad. Beautifully done Cath. You inspire me to more than I can be.

Cynthia said...

Beautiful. You've captured the
essence of life, vividly and the
part wonderful Mother Nature plays
in our lives.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Wow. This is so powerful. I've had those thoughts, too. In fact, my husband and I were just discussing them. And, of course, he brought up the same point he usually does: We rarely think about what happened before us - just what will happen when we're gone. Still, it's easier to just not go to a party than to leave once you're there and having fun...

Anonymous said...


Writer on Board said...

I like it, Catherine. Very much. Got me. Got me deep. Thank you.

CathM said...

@Sarah-Paige: Hmmmmm... yes, the juxtaposition that is life... the ‘beauty and the beastly’... the ‘chilling and the delicious’!

@Lissa: I remember... when I was 11 or 12 years I vowed vehemently that I would never live a life that was full of regrets. A very naive position. I regret many things that I’ve done, and indeed not done (smile)! Yes – it’s an interesting question re writing our thoughts and giving them life...

@June: Hmmmmm... indeed, but some of us may not live to our 70’s, 80’s or 90’s (smile)... it’s just not a given (some folk luck out, if you know what I mean)! By the way, I really enjoyed the conclusion to ‘Paternity’... gosh – you inspire me to get cracking with a full-length novel.

@Annie (Strawberry Girl): Yes – life is a ‘journey’ through both the familiar and the unfamiliar... and seeing the ‘bigger picture (or keeping in mind the ‘higher purpose’)’ while navigating through life is important – hence, the Checkhov quote reminds me to make sure IT all counts towards ‘beauty’!

@Khaled: Thank you. Such a generous comment. By the way, I’m still waiting for the recommendations of Arabic writers. I’ve just started reading ‘Snow’ by Orhan Pamuk (the Turkish writer). Have you read it?

@Rogue: Thanks for commenting. Yes – at the moment, contemplating many ‘sad’ things that also whisper the beautiful and the exquisite...

@Cynthia: Yes – you’ve connected with the message of the poem ‘the essence of life’... the sum of our experiences – snapshots of sound, colour, relationships and silence.

@Caryn: Indeed, I think many people do have these thoughts – some (like me) indulge in them perhaps too often (lol)... hopefully, I’ll come through this ‘grey phase’ that’s persisted this past month and SOON start posting more positive and optimistic things!

@Paul: Lovely to have your comment...

@Alex (Writer on Board): Thanks so much for visiting and leaving such a positive comment. Hope you’ll pop by again soon!

I really appreciate ALL your comments especially during this period of downtime. THANK YOU!!!

CathM said...

@Marvin & Chris: WELCOME to my blogspace... and thanks for joining up as ‘blogging comrades’... I look forward to staying connected to your blogs too :)

judith ellis said...

Catherine - You have expressed the beauty of the simple pleasures of life so well. Thank you for this.

Ponderer said...

Very beautiful Cath. You're young and have a full life ahead, enjoy life and make wonderful memories :) Cheryl

Chuck Dilmore said...

Eternal Silence is a wonderful poem!

I read it once, then aloud
just to feel it in this room with me!

Very nice writing!
Thank you for sharing.
peace, Chuck

CathM said...

@Cheryl : Thank you... it’s always lovely to read from you!

@Chuck: Thank you for your generous comment. It’s very encouraging :) Welcome to my blog and I hope to stay connected with yours!

Calli said...

This is a powerful poem, its meaning goes deep, deep in the here and now, to the past and the future.
I wouldn't want to miss a thing, that is what comes to mind most!

Wonderful writing, Cath!