I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

4 February 2013

The Goodbye Ritual


On the night of the full moon last
I did the ritual —
I called the Powers to witness
my long-delayed, formal goodbye
to the dear man who has gone into my past.

Not that I could see the full moon.
It was utterly black, that sky —
not even pin-prick stars.
Heavy, relentless, the rain fell and fell.
Light would not pierce that veil, not soon.

So I came indoors,
and from far and high
I called them all —
the elements, the God, the Goddess —
into my bedroom, which used to be ours.

And there I said goodbye to my beloved;
a final, deliberate farewell
within a circle of sacred space,
watched by the moon’s invisible eye …
admitting at last that he is dead.

This form, invented by David James, is called Karousel
Poem submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight #82

33 comments:

  1. A powerful piece of writing. It is hard to make the transition of having a person present to having him/her be past. You wrote about the ritual well; and I hope it was able to bring you some peace.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Rosemary, you are brave. It is so hard to say goodbye. We cling to their memory as if to keep their presence from escaping. I love "within a circle of sacred space" and "the moon's invisible eye".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Sherry. I received a dream which told me I must stop clinging or I risked getting stuck in the past. The Message of the Terrible Dream

      Delete
  3. Oh, Rosemary... this makes me cry, but is such a necessary step in the healing process. Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laurie. Yes, I'm afraid one must go through all the steps of the process.

      Delete
  4. i know how hard it is to say goodbye. you've expressed it so delicately and beautifully. i loved the part of calling elements and a space watched by the moon’s eye..a deeply poetic and moving piece, thank you for sharing and thank you for the visit and kind comment~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you for your visit here, and kind comment! :)

      Delete
  5. Heartbreaking, so sad. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ayala. When all's said and done, I do feel blessed.

      Delete
  6. gosh..wow...there is a lot of emotion behind this for me...it would be so hard to say that goodbye...it takes great strength...i find your ritual so moving though....it is a risk getting stuck in the past...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sometimes, a ritual is the only way to get things out of your system to feel whole again. Fire helps much with me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Every time, every time I read this I quiver just a little. I feel like I'm with you because your words pull me in and yet it is your pain so out of respect I stand at arm's length. I'm not sure this even make sense.

    So let me just say that your love and words are powerful and leave me feeling a little awestruck.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You captured the sad finality of admitting that a loved one is gone forever, but , in the admission, is the power to move forward, however slowly that process may be. The first step is taken! Wonderful writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      Although I hate the fact, I know the moving forward is essential. And taking that first step has made a difference.

      Delete
  10. You so generously share with us, in accessible and beautiful verse, the journey of release, goodbye, you're on. Every time you write to this theme, I am touched and enlightened. Thank you, Rosemary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim. I'm glad to no it is not yet becoming too repetitive or gloomy.

      Delete
  11. Such a sad poem - so sorry for your loss. My father recently died - very hard for my mother after sixty years together. So wonderful, at least, to have been loved--your poem shows that love. k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it IS better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. :)

      The loss is hard enough after 20 years together; cannot imagine how your mother would cope.

      Delete
  12. i like how you make saying goodbye a ritual, it used to be like this in former times and in some cultures still is..i think we need the time to really come to that point... hugs your way rosemary...
    rgd. your comment.. she's in sydney and studying there for half a year..a shame you don't live closer, i'd sent her over for a cup of coffee otherwise...you would like her...smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Claudia.

      I'm sure your daughter will make friends wherever she is! :)

      Delete
  13. Wow I have to get my Mom to read this one. We just lost my Dad a few months back and I think my Mom coud really use this poem now. I will make sure she comes here to read this one. I use part of her account when I created the poetry blog on it. So when the messages is seen at times it is in her name. But I do love this piece and I have it marked to read it to her tomorrow. Thank you so much. http://gatelesspassage.com/2013/02/02/reflections/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I hope she finds it helpful.

      Delete
  14. Such a lovely form containing your sorrow ~ I love the goodbye ritual with the moon ~ I hope you find peace in letting go and accepting his death ~

    Thanks for sharing ~

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, Rosemary. This is huge, courageous, beautiful and loving. I need to share it with my mum too.

    Big hug.

    Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope your Mum will get something from it. xx

      Delete
  16. Such a power-filled strength in sorrow. I still long for those that have passed on without me. Perhaps a farewell is needed but when the time is right... Blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think it is a very personal thing, and we must all take it at our own pace. For me it seemed necessary at this point, and this was the right time for me. I think we have to listen to our own hearts and intuition.

      Delete