Friday, May 7, 2010


The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


We stood in C.'s kitchen tonight
and toasted her memory with Cognac
and Pino Gris and Amarone: hefty swigs,
yet pale comfort. And then we danced to her favorite
songs, but all I can remember is something by
Van Morrison, alas. Addled with sorrow.

Her dog tried to get into the mortuary van
with the shell of her body, emptied of soul.
And the ancient black-and-white cat (nearing 19?)
stood vigil on the sidewalk. O sweet grief!
This sting of living leaves us gasping.


  1. Sad for you at this time of great loss of a dear friend. xa

  2. What a beautiful memorial to C. The dog trying to get into the mortuary van, the old cat in mourning, her friends having a wake...
    I loved what you wrote, the way you wrote it.
    I'm sorry she died, but she was loved...
    Thank you

  3. sometimes life is just too damned difficult. your words, however, capture the scene and the emotions beautifully. you've lost a dear one, indeed.

  4. You friend passed, then.

    Many sympathies for you, her other friends and her desolated family, including the four-legged members.

    Love, C.

  5. my deepest condolences in your time of sorrow T my prayers are with you keep the faith love shell

  6. I'm sorry for your loss and hope the Roethke poem consoles, the poem and the cat "standing vigil," as you do in this post.

  7. So sorry to hear about this T.

  8. It was Van Morrison's Wavelength, followed by Bright Side of the Road, also Van. I'm so glad you were there. Love, Jean

  9. Jean, when I saw a comment from Carol's Kitchen, my heart skipped a beat. xxoo