The Challenge

Just say the word
and from concrete corners of the city
I’ll call the plastic bags
to leave their spiralling affairs
and glide this way towards
your home
to cut a ghost ballet
in your street,

Just say the word
and starting from the trailing ends
I’ll roll up
the criss-cross of the nation’s roads
and pull the drawstrings that
the sea-bed’s edges
I’ll tear them from the land
to curl and reveal their black basalt
that enfolds a sea of dreams

Just say the word
and we’ll drive the earth from its
measured ellipse
and take it where we like
skidding across
the sun’s corona
to catch on the whiplash tip of a flare
hurling back past planets,
and watch the world explode,
in catastrophic events of our own
leaving us floating in space;

and if the light should fail us,
we won’t be lost,
in darkness
we’ll hold each other
and start over again.

10 Replies to “The Challenge”

  1. it felt very sad….I wondered….
    the emotions seem to be floating yet on silvers strings tied to a heart somewhere
    not sure that makes sense….
    there is always such beauty created when sadness seeps through heart walls
    Thank you for sharing….

  2. Thank you for your supportive thoughts and yes ‘silver strings’ makes complete sense. Grief doesn’t happen in orderly stages and experience tells me time is a poor healer.

  3. grief is our own interpretation,
    no one can make rules for it
    I have decided time does not heal…
    it always seems to leave me sinking in it’s sand….

    and you are very welcome….

  4. Some say there is ‘moving forward’ or closure. But any recovery, if there is one, sometimes means we revisit the same roads, same doors and have the same ‘goodbye’ conversations long after the appointed time. I guess this is what makes us human. Who knows Mary?

  5. Beautiful poem, Powerful emotions here, powerfully expressed.
    Yes, grief can shake one up, and yes, I too believe time is no healer. Each day brings its own ‘beginner’s’ rhythm – some feel healed, some take us back to where we were.

  6. Dear Meenak,
    Thank you for adding this comment to piece. You write: “Each day brings its own ‘beginner’s’ rhythm – some feel healed, some take us back to where we were.” That is true, in fact the realization the each day returns us back, in some way, to where we were is one of the most accurate descriptions of grief I’ve read for a very long time. All the mainstream literature talks of moving forward, yet for some loss there is little or no healing, only carrying onwards.
    Thinking about loss, I believe the larger group of humanity are members of the walking wounded, most of us belong to this group at some point during our lives. It has no initiation ceremony and graduation seems unlikely.
    However writing does help, as does sharing ones thoughts. Because we are all in the soup together :). Lee

  7. Sorry, I missed this comment too. It seems I’m still to figure out wordpress fully. Therefore, please forgive my delayed reply.

    The sense of loss never goes away, for me. It is a hole in my day, a hole in my life that I simply learn to pass by on most days. Some days, when I pass too close to the hole and I touch its edges, it turns into an ache that must be soothed and patiently attended to. It never goes away… walking wounded… you said it very well.

    I remind myself that it is what I can deal with, for I believe the Qu’ran that says: “No soul is given a larger burden than it can bear”.

    Have a good peaceful day!

  8. I’ve always felt the walking wounded is the larger group within the mass body of humanity, most of us have been touched by loss, death and dying. It happens every day and it’s all about us. Yet knowing this offers no comfort. I wish I could say or do something useful whenever my friends are hurting. I tend to do practical things, tea making, make a nice dinner and offer flowers. Its not much, but its a gesture of “being in the soup together”. And that we are!

    I have lost those I’ve loved, the ache never ends and I know nothing can restore normality. So what are we left with? an emptiness, like you say (so well) we circumnavigate daily the enormous hole, or space within. We will always have this space and often it renders us incapable of simple tasks. But at the same time it also connects us with this larger group… walking or otherwise…

    And it’s true that grief can leave us on the fringe, living in exile, and I’ve encountered this with homelessness. but I don’t wish to depress you. There is no other home except the one we make here and now. With time and attention we rebuild our lives with gentleness. This may be all we have in dealing with the the scars, and the accepting the necessity of tears.

    I hope you are ok, Meenakshi your message does leaves me wondering. I don’t mean to be intrusive, but if you prefer, you may write to me on rather post this in the public domain.

    Anyway keep on painting!! It’s a good place to check where we are at, in the scheme of things. I find it helps,

    Take care

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