Happy in the Garden of Life

Seven Poems

For Mary Shaver Hobi

1946-2014

 

1.

 

On the immanent departure

of a dear friend

 

The news of your departure

Your infinite voyage

Is still too fresh a wound

Opening my heart like

A red flower opening too soon

 

You are alive in me

And I in you

Closer than sisters

Bound heart and mind

In laughter and consolation

 

We have played rings

Around each other

All these years

Delving deep into the sweet

Rich cake of life

 

Raising babies

Loving and losing husbands

Our children flying free

While we hold them to us

Secretly

 

Steady and learning

The patience of rock

We’ve waited

Always there

For everyone…

 

And now is your moment

Now is your time

As the great door opens

And you prepare

To take flight

 

Soon you will slip free

When the moment is right

And the door opens wide

With a blinding wash

Of limpid light

 

And you let go

And ride that sweet tide

Home

Into the beating heart

Of life

 

 

 

Wakeup Calls

 

Yesterday an Earthquake

Snapped me back from dream

Shaking me awake at 3am

Like a mother gone mad

And when she let go at last

Pacified

I could only cry out in wonder:

Oh! This is life!

 

And today

As if I had not had my fill

Of shaking

You dear friend

Have slapped me awake

With your incomprehensible news

Of departure

And I can only cry out in wonder:

Oh! This, too, is life!

 

 

3.

 

How desperately

we wish for control

for logic

for simplicity

the apple falling

to gravity

and that’s that.

 

Last night

in my dream

I screamed and screamed

a long EEEEEEEEE

unceasing

til i ran out of air

because something

had disappeared

impossibly vanished

was just

no longer there.

 

And you were with me

friend and mother

of us all

epitome of normalcy

homey and reassuring

and solid as a rock

but you were ill

and sleeping

and I was screaming

because you

were disappearing too

 

Where is the logic

the reason

the rightness

that you are leaving

so soon,

walking out of this world

of the seen

the reasonable,

of Mother

and apple pie,

where no one is ever

supposed to die?

 

You

who were supposed

to be with us

beyond the end of time

have pulled a fast one

and soon will vanish

leaving only

the imprint of your hug

the trace

of your soft kiss

 

I keep dreaming

of you

still here

but ill and resting

and there is nothing

I can do

no magic pill

no potion

no bargain

i can make

with Destiny

 

Only love

our fate

and the grace

with which

our fingers unfold

lightly

in soft farewell

as dawn awakens

and the great wind

rushes in.

 

 

4.

 

I’m driving to your funeral

I know it’s your Life Celebration

But tough, it feels like a funeral,

And I’m in a funk:

I’m late, my significant other

Will eventually die

As will I

No one loves me

And even you kicked me out

Saying you had other fish to fry

So I’m in a funk

Not smiling, not cheerful

The way I’m supposed to be

 

And suddenly

There you are beside me

In the passenger seat

Jiggling along over the bumps

Squinting into the sun

As if you were on your way

To a war

Facing forward

Just dealing

With the force of gravity

Not smiling, not cheerful

The way you’re supposed to be

 

Which surprises me so much

I come tumbling down

And land

Like a parachutist

“Thunk” on the ground

And there we are together

In sisterhood

At peace

With this grim and wondrous reality

Not smiling, not cheerful

But just here

The way we’re supposed to be.

 

 

5.

 

Mary at the Portal

 

Purely content

And filled with joy

The Day comes

And the Night

And all good things,

And Mary stands

At the Portal

Welcoming everyone

Home.

 

Only yesterday

She awoke with a jolt

As Silo hurled

His lightning bolt

Through her whole being

Head to toe

And she vanished in joy

Nothing more to know

Or show

 

Now everything melts

All is well

Time and space

Open wide

Nothing to hide

And she stands

By the Portal

Radiant

As the Sun

 

Her friends come forward

Each carrying a world

And she embraces them

One by one

“Walk right in

Dear friends

Go in before me

For I

Am already

Home.”

 

 

6.

 

Mary of Red Bluff

 

Calm presence of joy

And best of best friends,

On this earth you were

Kindness incarnate

Welcoming all

Into your heart and home

With the warm hand of caring

And your hug that had no end

 

Your house was a haven

Of laughter and the wonder of life

In your garden

Grew fruits of ecstasy

And your kitchen gave forth marvels

Both succulent and sweet

An alchemy

All things right and deep

 

Vulnerable wonder woman

Forthright commander

Of all that must be done

Encourager of all hopes not false

Humble Master Builder

Of Sacred Spaces under the sun

You were most definitely

In on the Plan.

 

Thank you for living

And giving your life

We know you are with us still

In that time and space

Where nothing is lost

Your hug still endless

Your heart still true

Up to the elbows in the feast of feasts

To welcome everyone home.

 

 

 

Good friend

You are the rain

To my drought

I know you will come again

Companionable and at home

At twilight and dawn

And all seasons

Happy

In the garden of life.