Tag Archives: empty house

Farewell poems

Not here

If I put this poem into an envelope
address it to you in the Bardos
will Jaime find a way to get it to you?
Or perhaps I should drop it in a creek
flowing down to the sea . . .

After a busy dry day I break down
leaning against the kitchen sink
shaking, seeing you not here, not here
not here wearing your flowery silk robe
not here, smiling as I hand you half a honey tangerine.
Not here . . .

How can I possibly say, “Not here”
when I see across our round oak table
(Uncl’n Alan’s gift in 1963)
your flowery red silk robe
a red box full of Tibetan mandalas
your books — Peace is Every Step
Exploring the Labyrinth
Pema’s No Time to Lose

There’s Hanuman leaping into the air
carrying the Universe to safety
(you brought him to me from China in 1980).
On the bookshelf slender Ganesh
dances to remove obstacles
dances to bless new beginnings.

March 7, 2014


A month now since you left.
BJay took your elegant clothes
(the ones you were waiting
for a special occasion to wear)
to the Sali and consignment shops.
Your closet’s empty now.

I’m still eating your rosemary crackers
your dried stawberries and apricots
all the treats I’d stocked up for you . . .
perhaps my magic to keep you alive.
Your bottle of Proseco sits in the fridge
awaiting a last toast to you.

Dozens of lilies on the front porch
are rising up to bloom for you soon
but your fragrant sweet peas
aren’t ready to flower.

I’m not ready to stop grieving,
missing you, my long-time lover
with a pain deeper than a bear’s bite.

Maybe, My Lady,
after fifty-seven years
I’ve just started to know you.
March 28