Posts Tagged ‘remembering’

untitled love poem number two

lips finding me    e v e n   i n   d e a d   o f   n i g h t
mid-stride in thought, then    t o s s e d   a s i d e
rosetta flowers pressed    i n   t h e i r   b o o k
poured ladles wanting more    a s   e a c h
breath    e s c a p e s
lips and teeth and jaw
just that fierce,    b o n e   t o   p u l s e
fire    w a s   a   t e n d e r n e s s

coda pas de deux:
a kiss decades close    l a y i n g   h e r e
h o n e y   a s h e s   o n   t o e s


neil reid © june 2013


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A Statement in Remembering
September 11, 2011

Many have had something to say marking this day in our nation’s history.

September 11th some years now past was indeed a day of worthy notice for us here.

I have then and now seen and listened, considered how this meaning has arrived.  I feel, I understand, the startled pain enclosed in that day.  I have no lack of care, of regard for those many lost, lives now spent, and those many of us by common relation, also touched.

Yet I felt something more, both then and now.  And at neither date have I heard the situation so attuned nor questioned for us to understand in most meaning all equal to the challenge given here.

This remembering is here framed in acknowledged spiritual regard – and so said, stay or leave as you desire.  (This is not bound to any single religious creed but rather some elemental notions of understanding our existence here.)  But this is how it begins for me.  There is this classic statement once given into childhood ears that, “god is everything”.  I took that to mean, as it says, literal.  And nothing of many years since has bespoken that spirit as instead something, anything, less.

That said, then we are in essence a unity even if under the illusion of our perceptions and material sight.  So then one question arises first – who of us can possibly be outside of us?  Including even those we might be tempted to otherwise despise.  Now, isn’t the issue of our mutual agony moved in-house?

That being considered so, and if you accept, then here we are, the one receiving the blow and the one from whose hand it comes.  Might we not also append, is there any living creature, any being who desires good life, who would deliberately wish for a life in a state of pain?

So now the question fostered becomes, for whom and how did the notion of crashing their body and others out-of-the-sky, how even remotely did this come to seem like a good idea?  What tortured bowl of labored pain did this spirit reside within to cast it in so shallow worth?  Consider being prisoner within such dire thought.

How do the best and brightest of us feel when we might harbor pain or anger or hate?  Does it not put teeth into the life of us, dim and darken the experience of the very air we inhale?  How else would or could it be, for any of us!

This is neither to welcome nor justify an action that resulted in such dire harm.  But it does inquire, do we say anyone is stranger, is “other” to us, or merely reflecting back or passing dark on an older pain done, or so perceived, to them?  And whether we, us here, are directly or indirectly, consciously or casually, responsible in common share for some history of harm.  Why in some other mind did we seem, true of not, to merit this ill regard?  There are more than ample dark national histories enough to have reasonable suggestion for some introspection in this regard.

Can we even declare innocence if some sister, some brother, some neighbor lives in pain or need and we disavow, turn our heads, walk away?  Even in distant ignorance, what excuse?  Where then will we say, draw the line, these lives count and these others don’t?  This is not to make villains of any one, yet to allow that if a bear in pained hunger takes some bite of us, should we be all surprised?  Not an issue of fault nor blame, but simply responsibility – the ability to respond to what is so in this life.

I have neither ability or desire to paint my own notions onto yours.  Yet I would treasure our willingness to allow some questions, some healthy doubts, so to breath right out in the public air.  Then you look, you examine your sense of experience, and you decide how to be who you most genuinely are and want to be.  That’s for you to say.

Love should be this big.  Love is this big.

This is what I’ll call remembering.

neil reid

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read write poem   napowrimo #10

prompt by Pamela Sayers celebrate!

RWP member Pamela Sayers says, “I live in Mexico, and one of the things I love most about this country is that people here celebrate their family and friends to the utmost.” And it is in that spirit that Pamela asks us to write about any celebration we have been to recently.

Write about a birthday party, a wedding, a baptism — any kind of celebration where you were with family or friends or both. Write about the colors you remember, the sounds (and how they made you feel) and the tastes you remember from any of those events. Did these things make you feel good? Did you experience any new foods? Did you meet any new people?

Sometimes, beyond our control, festivities can take a turn for the worse. Maybe that happened to you or someone you know. Whatever happened, be it great or not so great, let’s write about it!

(A church gathering, family really to us. Celebrate. And just one moment of that kept coming back, begs me to speak again. So be it.)

I remember you

Three-quarter moon of white linen tables

Twelve gather, make a ring, acknowledge roots

Eyes ahead, who we are

that might become


Food on plates, the service is robust

sparks were silverware might be

hand to mouth. Old tomes beneath the tables,

we call them feet

The river’s miles that brought us here

Share to speak, all of us as one

Then comes one hand, remembering

Thanks for those parted from

                    * * *

It was an afternoon some when

far past. I was the one who got the phone

Sister of one of us, family

The river was high, the water fierce

His son was plucked and safe on the bank

But Paul, a father, a friend, one of us

He was not coming home again

And it was me who got to turn, face family

and speak his name, say, he was gone

                    * * *

Years later now, again, it was me

remembering (and how we all forget)

(not unkindly, but we do you know)

but not that day, and I remembered now

A second time, to speak his name

and celebrate the life he had given us

Neil Reid © April 2010

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