Thursday, October 11, 2012

paint the town purple...

"For what is it to die, But to stand in the sun and melt into the wind? And when the Earth has claimed our limbs, Then we shall truly dance.” (Kahlil Gibran)
It is nearly
thirteen years to the day...
A day when
the world
(one warm
 Saturday October morning)
cracked open,
and all the purple
threatened to
bleed & spill
right out of it.
it is a beautiful Spring Melbourne day.
And outside the local library
purple flowers bloom brightly.
They remind me of:
Your hair,
your tattoos,
your amethyst eyebrow ring,
even that
larger than life laugh
that contained
every ounce & every shade
of purple
within its thunder.
Will I ever see you
(or the likes of you)
I would give up
everything I own
(and more)
to have one last
red wine
with you.
Oh, to talk about art,
and to tell you
about this woman I have met
(whose art, heart & smile has captured me
 like your's once did).
You'd take the piss of course,
laugh that laugh
that I miss so, so much.
Nothing was ever
serious in your company
for too long.
Then again,
Gentle Piscean Purple Man,
then again.
One thing
that perhaps you did believe in
(and maybe
 even more than your art??)
was Love.
In fact,
that was what I loved most
about you...
(even more than your
 accomplished, well practiced,
 enviable passion & play
 with paint.)
Here we were,
two young men barely
in our thirties,
sitting at the edge of a new Millenium.
Two young artists
who had been stung by love
(and who had broken a few hearts ourselves)...
we remained two hopeless
hopeful romantics.
(or maybe because) we'd
 had our hearts broken before,
we still  believed
there was
a girl out there
who would save us.
Save us, by loving us.
It seems like only yesterday:
That I remember seeing you
in that small, cramped casket,
so still & cold & pale,
all life gone.
I still remember
thinking that no coffin so tiny
could ever contain
such a huge heart.
I also remember
(and it still brings tears to my eyes):
Your beautiful Clan
of older sisters
presenting everyone
 that attended your service
with a purple "Vivid" marker.
So that, as we went in
a select few at a time,
to see you in state
and to pay our last respects...
...we could do so
 by drawing & writing
in permanent purple ink
on the outside of your white casket.
- Such a fitting tribute,
to a man who spent most of his life
creating & making art.
And when it was finally
carried to the front
of the (full to bursting)
Nelson hall,
everyone laughed at a message
someone had scrawled
on the back panel
of its lid:
"You can visit"
I remember standing there in
my purple suit,
reading a poem
I had written for you
on the flight over.
And seeing everyone sitting there
from the Wellington Art Posse,
wearing their purple armbands
in tribute
to a fallen artist & friend.
And I remember Rimu
tenderly playing his guitar
and singing
with all his young (raging) heart:
"Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?"
by Van Morrison.
At the end of the service,
you were carried out to
the speakers crackling, spluttering & vibrating to:
"Purple Haze"...
(I'm sure that
you and Jimi must still be
talking & laughing
about that one.)
Time is a strange, strange thing.
All of this feels like it happened
only a few weeks ago.
And I am sure that this week
I am not alone
in thinking of,
(and celebrating)
Seeing those purple flowers
outside the library,
I smile,
& shed a couple more tears
behind my purple Raybans.
It appears
that you are still finding the time,
my Friend:
Getting out there
in this world
with your
paintbrush & palette,
and painting the town
in bright splashes of purple!!
I will raise this glass of red,
and (quietly) promise
that I will never forget you...
And all those days
of your long / short
(thirty-four year) life...
That you gifted
& blessed me:
With your company,
your heart,
your humour,
your compassion...
and your art.
- For Maru "Marz" Cummings,
  (March 1966 - October 1999).
(c) Brent M Harpur, 11th October 2012.

"It is eternity now; I am in the midst of it.
 It is about me in the sunshine; I am in it, as the butterfly in the light-laden air.
 Nothing has to come, it is now. Now is eternity; now is immortal life."
 (Richard Jefferies)

1 comment:

  1. So wonderfully sensitive. A beautiful, touching poem.