Monday, May 29, 2006


In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. --John McCrae, MD, Canadian Army


The moon gives you light,
And the bugles and the drums give you music,
And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,
My heart gives you love. --Walt Whitman


Saturday, May 27, 2006

All my life's a circle;
But I can't tell you why;
Season's spinning round again;
The years keep rollin' by.

In a few days I'll be attending a memorial service for my old love, the first real love of my life.

I've had a lot of losses in my life but nothing that has cut like this.

We were almost high school sweethearts; his best friend from Grady High School fixed up a blind date for his buddy by asking his fiancee from Druid Hills High, gee, didn't she have any single friends running around? And she knew one.

For nearly 10 years we were a couple, passionate and goofy like only teenagers can be, and we practiced a lot of stupidities on one another over the years. There were some very good times and some very wretched ones. We thought about getting married but that never quite worked out for what turned out to be a lot of excellent reasons.

He loved me and I loved him, but he was jealous and controlling and angry. Years later he told me "I was so afraid someone better was going to take you away." And like life does you, what you most fear will indeed come to pass, and that's exactly what happened and I ran away.

Funny thing, though; we weren't done. My family had adopted him and even after we were so not talking to one another he was very much a member of my tribe; for quite a few years he was there more than I was, truth be told. He became my brother Eddy's closest friend. He went to work for my mother for a while. She saved his life by taking him to the hospital when he had a ruptured appendix; from that time on, for sure he was ours, he never forgot her kindness in that painful time. So I got used to it, and accepted it. I never really stopped loving him, even in those times when I didn't like him very much. He was another member of my messy family.

Over the years I'd hear from him from time to time, mostly when things were not so good. And we'd hang for a little while and then he'd say or do something pissy and I'd stomp off again and a few years would pass and we wouldn't communicate. He didn't believe in email and he moved and I even lost track of him for a bit.

So for reasons I can't comprehend this last Christmas I thought about Mrs. Carte's little bundle of day after Christmas Joy and I Googled him up -- and lo and behold, the boy was in the web business. Had an address and a phone number. And I said hi and happy birthday and how you doing?

This time around he was a different, changed, mellow man. Over a few months we disposed of all our issues. Explanations were given; discussions ensued; apologies were made. I found I really liked the man John grew into. He was quite wonderful, even as he struggled with his life and all the problems in it and I discovered I truly enjoyed his email company. He had moved a few hundred miles away and was building a new life, a new career, being his own business sort of guy and was, as new business owners are, too busy to talk much. But the communication we had was joyful and sweet and unfettered by any of the stuff from the past.

We found that all the negative dropped away and what was left was love and deep appreciation of one another. I looked forward to more of this for time to come.

And this last Wednesday he had one of those massive heart attacks that comes out of nowhere and turns out the lights in an instant. Only 51.

I'm so grateful the last thing he ever said to me was "Jenny, I love you."

I loved him too. I always will. That, I guess, is the circle game.

Our theme song tonight . . .

In a sentimental mood
I can see the stars come through my room
While your loving attitude
Is like a flame that lights the gloom

I figure at the very least I'll share some songs and some poems -- few to none actually written by myself (I wish!) -- knock around a few ideas, kick the gong around, get swinging!

Yeah, there's Duke Ellington playing in the background as I'm typing this. Why do you ask?

On the wings of every kiss
Drifts a melody so strange and sweet
In this sentimental bliss
You make my paradise complete

Music and poetry and other assorted creative stuff does take up some of my time. I only wish it could be more but real life is neither very musical nor very creative. That's just the way it goes.

Rose petals seem to fall
It's all I could dream to call you mine
My heart's a lighter thing
Since you made this night a thing divine

In a sentimental mood
I'm within a world so heavenly
For I never dreamt that you'd be loving sentimental me

One can always hope. :)

By way of introduction . . .

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, idolator, worshipper of fire,
Come even though you have broken your vows a thousand times,
Come, and come yet again.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.

My friend Og says to me, you really should be writing more and sharing it with the world. Even if the all the world you share it with is me but other people should see it too. Go start a blog and say something already.

So in the grand old tradition of what the hell and here goes . . . here goes.