the first sound…and the last

Myth
You cant keep hangin’ on
To all that’s dead and gone
Oh, let the ashes fly

Help me to make it
Help me to make it
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the first sound…and the last
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in the quiet before sunrise…
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before this relentless world awakes…
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at the window silhouette of my
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alone listening…
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i hear the first of morning’s call,
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faint from the dense of sheltering evergreens…
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alighting from February’s greyed and leafless branches…
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in slow breaths past your sleeping lips…
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i can hear our shared living mystery recital
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whispered deep within your down pillowed dreams,
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the serendipitous and storied soliloquy of
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our improbable union of years.
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in destiny devoted season after season…
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that even in this cruelest of another Winter cold,
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we can still scorch
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in the white of our own flame.
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and still… this fool romantic’s heart
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could believe only Love beckons reconciliation,
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but a slow and greying wisdom wonders
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‘is it our friendship we can’t live without?’
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and outside our window long past sundown…
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when the world has turned away…
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i hear the life mating cardinals, like us
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a fated pair
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019
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calling each other home to close another day.
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we are as the Universe demands, and how
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i’m forever grateful it’s your voice i hear.
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the first sound…
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and the last.
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drawing approx. 8″ x 8″ on vellum paper
pencil, watercolor pencil, white and black marker,
acrylic paint and sourced from various Google pics
click to enlarge

what i recall

dear friends…
i wrote this in the car, coming home from our
trip to our farm 2 weeks ago. i’ve been holding it
back because, well, there is a lot to digest here,
a lot of words and a lot of details you don’t know
because i haven’t written about them, except in
metaphors. if you choose to read this, and i will
understand if you don’t, just know that there is
healing and reconciliation, of so much of the
tragedy that is my childhood and family history.

there are no metaphors in this writing, everything
written here is true. there is also a larger message
about how we live now, versus how our parents did just
a few decades ago, a message that’s close to my heart.
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the farm 016
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and driving down the simple gravel road, our recent visit done,
slowly…past the tall rows of corn standing their sentry post
this once random parcel of land, hidden amidst 1000’s of acres
that felt like Home to me the minute the white clapboard house
suddenly appeared in the surprise clearing, over ten years ago

…and I recall what i heard then,
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the easy after dinner conversations
and commitment, a family reciting
its oral history to their children.

the southern rooted melancholy
of the music, this east coast boy
never could appreciate until now.
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and as we took one last last look
down the gravel road road towards
the house, before driving to Chicago

both our hearts so tethered to this farm
Scout with her memories and me with mine
so we sang in harmony to our favorite road trip song
Patty Loveless singin’ ’You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive’

‘But the times, they got hard and tobacco wasn’t selling
And old grandad knew what he’d do to survive
He went and dug for Harlan coal
And sent the money back to grandma
But he never left Harlan alive’

that Scout could get this shy one to sing…
that this scared kid, did manage to escape Brooklyn alive
that no other house I owned, spoke Home like this farm
that it’s just all too much to absorb sometimes

i recall what I heard listening to Carl
a retiree now, still living in the next farm over
in the brightest moonlight he could ever remember
stroll his field, just to hear the snap of the corn grow

i recall Aunt Shirley, who’s not even my blood
on the phone that afternoon, ask which I wanted
should she make apple or peach cobbler for dessert
and then apologizing, ‘‘cause the edges they were burnt.’

that this family has so folded me into their clan
that an orphan with no family of his own…now does
that it’s all been done without a single word about it
that it’s all just too much to absorb sometimes

i recall what i heard listening to Bob, Scout’s gentle father
sharing his childhood memories, working his own daddy’s fields
at 12, hitching horses to a wagon to glean the left over corn
and milking the cows everyday at 4, so his family could survive

i recall what I heard Sue, married 50 years to her beloved Bob
say on the phone last year driving home from the lawyers…
smiling, ‘Well the papers are all signed, it’s finally complete.
We called you first, ’cause we know how much you love the farm’

that none of the many siblings showed any interest
that Scout, her brother and I, were gifted this farm we treasure
that this poor Brooklyn boy, might breathe his last breath here
that it’s all…just really too much to absorb some days
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and i recall what I heard last night, when I walked the clearing
a bird I didn’t recognize was singing his melodic night calling
i just had to stop this walking, to listen to his every pretty note
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and I thanked the universe
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from my very core..
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that I was there
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108
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banner of innocence

thCAP42ZV1
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‘There is a light inside you
To shine if you choose it to
There is a light inside you
To light up the world for you
Light up the world with you
As only you can do’
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oh wounded heart, and how many years
have we walked this journey you and i
the dead ends and aborted beginnings
just how many understandings have
been set aside for yet another day?

only i know your tragedy and depth of despair
because i was there with you every painful day
deflecting the blows hoping i could protect you
covering these ears not to hear words slice so deep

oh wounded heart,

please hear the words i have found for you
forgiveness, love, acceptance and healing
hear them because the bruises they all faded
it’s the words you heard and the cuts remained

these clouds and shadows you live in
the dark and silence where you reside
there is a parting, an unmistakeable stirring
is it the light you’re drawn to or the words you hear?

because i swear

by everything holy in this world or the next
no hurt will ever again reach your gentle shore
and if the ferocity of my sword somehow misses its mark
this man will stand before you, accept the blows, every one

because the days of this silence and this fear are done

so let us swipe away those darkening shades
and open all the windows each and every one
this ambivalent world has missed your tender voice
it’s time to speak in steady words of love and light

my wounded child, this world is nothing to fear
because i have found ears that will listen
because i have found arms that will hold you
because i have found words spoken waiting to heal

here, take my hand and hold it tight
let’s take these first tentative steps
together, side by each other’s side
believing in each other along the way

sing your sweet lullaby’s of love and light
and i will unfurl this banner of innocence
because ours is only a righteous cause
a flourishing, protected and fearless child

my little boy, this world is nothing to fear
as long as we are always loving and caring
and always together, side by each other’s side
and always believing in ourselves along the way
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There is love inside you
To love you if you choose to
There is a love inside you
To love the world and you
Love the world and you
As only you can do.

Light of You
Emer Kenny
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