Rated: E · Poetry · Experience · #2278104
As Bob Dylan said at Budokan "Here's an unrecorded song. See if you can guess which one."
A brief word of introduction:
My wife and I took a two-day mini vacation this week. We visited a ghost town just north of here, and one or two other sites. At a most excellent museum there, we were shown the horse-drawn hearse (the actual one in my cover image). An air of melancholy, if not extreme sorrow, clings to all such conveyances. This particular one seems more terrible than any other, for it is a scaled down version which was used to transport children.
Though I spent a good deal of time studying it, photographing it, and asking the museum curators questions about it, I could not stand in the carriage house beside it. Rather, I stood helplessly on the street watching it pass, bearing its silent occupant to the churchyard. I walked slowly beside the grieving family without any word which might assuage their pain and dry their tears. Changing the course or the need of this procession was utterly beyond my poor powers. I could but weep with the family. For I too, had lost a sister and a brother and a friend and many other people whom I have loved. He who lay so silently on this journey, no matter his or her name or age, is a part of the one; a part of life's beginning and life's ending. Just as I too am a part.
Though I perhaps might rest in ease
upon the table in the back,
I might prefer to feel the breeze
and listen as the horseshoes clack,
but then I think of all the tears
I cause to fall upon the street
at ev'ry spot my carriage nears
while high upon my dickie seat.
'Tis then I think I'd much prefer
the quiet solitude and peace
I see eternity confer
on one whose soul has found release.
To ride at all, this carriage on,
is but to ride on wheels of pain
and flows of bitter tears to spawn
for those who've sat and those who've lain.
I urge all who read this, if ever you loved another human being, read Meditation 17 by John Donne.