GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XXIV: On the Death of Lazarus

Today NaPoWriMo challenges us to write an Elegy – a poem typically in remembrance of someone who has left this mortal veil, except with a tone of hopefulness. That’s an innately beautiful thought, and one that might even be hardcoded into the human animal – the thought of bright lights, of a place beyond the darkness. And whether its real or not, it’s a nice thought. And there are fewer of those in the world than there should be.

As for my poem today… well, there are many kinds of death… and many kind of hope…

Goodnight sweet prince
You wonderfully naive soul
Farewell to your brave heart
That once made mine whole

I can fondly remember
The stupid smile on your silly face
I’ll never forget
What you’ve tried so to erase

They say fools rush in
And you were never any exception
Deceit and subterfuge and betrayal
Were always beyond your perception

You lived a dozen lifetimes
So often died and resurrected
But this too did pass
And in the end each is bested

I feel you less and less now
With each passing day and year
Not gone, not entirely
But not as quite here

Your trials taught me well
And though I am not man you were
I will try to honour your lives
Your lessons I will not spur

Forgive me if I falter
If I cannot open my heart as you did
I am scared where you were not
My spring not undiluted

Lazarus you were the best of us
And now gone you are missed
Your shadow hangs over me
Your spirit not yet dismissed

Goodbye is not forever
Though I do not know, I have faith
One day we’ll see each other again
Whether mortal flesh or ethereal wraith

Goodnight sweet prince
Farewell my friend
And may we never say goodbye
If you ever rise again



GloPoWriMo2017: Day IV: Google (Revisited)

(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt…Well, it’s a bit of a sad one. Writing an elegy – a poem that mourns or honors someone dead or something gone by – could rarely be a purely happy experience. Perhaps bittersweet at best. But in following this prompt I hope I’ll find something sweet or funny or just down right dumb to say about a friend who was all those things and more, and who I lost some time ago now.)

You were the most adorable thing
I had ever seen when we met
You insisted on sleeping next to me
Or on me sometimes, in bed

You grew up like any human
With your angry angsty phase
But then mellowed out severely
In your grown old man days

We grew close and then apart
And in the end it seems all love was lost
That was my fault, I left
And then you lost the plot

You were a bully, an attention whore
A friend who always stole my seat
And god I hated your guts
When you pissed on my bag or sheets

Waking me in the middle of the night
Staring at me with those wide eyes
Trying, hilariously, to fit
In a box that was half your size

Garfeldian, Nirmalian
You were so many things in your time
I’ll always be your friend Googie
And you’ll always be mine

(Old readers may remember and note some throwbacks here to a poem I wrote for NaPoWriMo 2014 – “Google“)

NaPoWriMo – Day VII – A Valediction: Leaving Behind A Virtue

I still dream
Of days filled with laughter
Of stolen moments
And playing hooky

I still hope
For a life once promised
For happiness desired
And your smile

I still wish
That I was a better man than I was then
That I had been stronger
And held on

But this world is not dreams and hopes and wishes

And I can no longer wait

I do not have the patience

I must wake from dreams
To move forward
Live the life that lies ahead
And no longer look behind

I must move past hope
To build real things
Friendships and relationships
That will see me through years ahead

I must forget my wishes
And find genuine ties
Not just the ones that haunt my heart
And this time remember hold on

I must do the one thing I cannot bring myself to do

I must say goodbye

I must let you go

I think I feel better


“Oh my god!” James exclaimed, “I can’t believe you guys did this!” He shuffled through the crowd handing out the standard half-hugs and shoulder bumps to the many people who had been invited to “pad the numbers”. Nancy from accounting gave him a big hug, spilling a splash of champagne on his shirt. “Whoops,” she shrieked in her excited giddy voice, “clumsy me!” The evening progressed slowly, but after the clock struck two the people hustled out exponentially, till there were just the few “hardcore drinkers” left, making coffee or trying to find their keys. James made his way to his bedroom, leaving the party and its few remnants to their own devices. He would slip the maid an extra hundred for the trouble. She’d understand.

As he rifled through his bedside drawer looking for his cigarettes he went over the evening in his head. He’d had way too much to drink. Not so much that he felt sick, but enough that he would now go over thoughts best left untouched. Thoughts that would hurt, and jab, and keep him up that night, but would be shoved back down deep the next morning, where they belonged. Thoughts of his beautiful ‘93 Firebird. Thoughts of his mother and father, who would be all alone now. Thoughts of his best friend’s 30th birthday, he never got around to getting him that pocket watch. Thoughts of her.

He stood outside on the terrace and lit up a camel. Pulling deep and holding the smoke in his lungs, as if he knew that as soon as he exhaled, the floodgates would open. And just as they were about to, his best friend came up beside him and handed him a glass with a beautiful 18-year-old blended scotch. He preferred Single Malt. But he took the drink. It was probably going to be the last they shared for a while.

“What’cha thinkin’ about?” Chazz asked, taking a cigarette out of the pack lying on the small antique table James used to leave out on the terrace for his ashtray. “Stuff” James answered, taking another deep drag off his cigarette. “Like?” Chazz added. A small smile crept across James’ face. Chazz was a man of few words, but most of them questions, questions that didn’t end until his curiosity was satiated.

“Thinking about all the people who showed up today” James said, “and all the people that,” he paused for a second not quite knowing how to end the sentence, knowing that his best friend of two decades would see right through an attempt to be stoic or elusive. “And all the people that didn’t.” “Meh!” Chazz retorted in his characteristically aloof style, “Their loss. Good party.” And it had been. A great party by most standards. Hell, between the hours of 9 and 1:30 James had completely forgotten about the “drama” of the last month as well as the huge new changes coming in the very immediate future.

“Gonna miss you man” James blurted out after a big swig of whiskey, “Gonna miss this town. Gonna miss my family. Gonna miss Angela and Rick and Vijay.” “We’ll miss you too,” Chazz said “you know that.” They stood there staring out into the woods behind James’ place for what felt like hours before another word was said. “I’m scared man,” James mumbled, choking back on the words even as he said them. “In 48 hours I’m going to take off, leaving my entire world behind. There’s just some things I’m not ready to give up on. Some things I don’t wanna have to let go of.”

Chazz refilled his glass, topped off James’ drink, took a deep breath and then said, “You see those stars up there man. In two days you’ll be on your way there. Reaching into the heavens as only a handful have before you. True, you’ll be gone for a while. But the world won’t stop spinning. It’ll still be here when you get back. I’ll still be here. Everything else, well” he paused to take a drag, “That stuff will work itself out too, if it’s meant to.” He clinked his glass to James’ and said, “To the stars man.” James smiled, looked up and sighed, “To the stars.”