Tuesday, March 25, 2014

a long way from home (for Jan)...

"Do you know what happens to scar tissue?
It's the strongest part of the skin."
(Michael R Mantell)

I held my breath,
you taught me how to breathe.
And when there's nothing left,
That's my cue to leave.

I held my breath,
you taught me how to breathe;
there's always something left,
That I now believe. (1993)

This morning,
after so much pain,
you have slipped away from this world.

Tonight, I read in a book
that scar tissue
the strongest part of the skin.

Turning out the light,
lying still in the dark
I wonder,

what of the heart?

In forty five short years,
this tiny, fragile heart of mine,
it is covered in so many scars.

Does this loss indeed
make me stronger?

Te Maunga (the mountain),
should Moana (the sea)
threaten once more

to swallow you up!!

I promise,
Jan Marie...
I will always remember you.

I woke this morning,
you're gone,
but the world still turns /

I take an extra breath (for you),
my dear.
Because even in death,
my dear:

Your fire still burns.

Our bodies,
they are merely cages.
And Moana, she still rages,

with perhaps a little less foam.

Memories can bind,
leaving us blind;

Tonight, in a cafe
a stranger, a Kiwi, reminds me:

I am a long way from home.

Through your touch, you touched so many.
You gave new meaning

Safe sex.

Sanctuary for so many healing souls.

The guilty shall be named.
The innocent unshamed.

I still remember your long, flowing hair,
orange flamed.

You took this broken man
and taught him how to dance.

This man I chose to be,
not an easy choice. Even now.

You got it, and more than that:
You appreciated it.
The biggest gift you ever gave me.
Thank you.

And here now,
far away, in a land of red soil,

I think of your long flowing hair still;

And how it now joins
the blood
pumping unseen
inside the very heart of Te Maunga.

So much I want to say,
but I have lost the words.
These are the only ones
that come to me
the morning I hear of your passing:

"And long after you have left,
the truth has remained...
That (even in death)

You could never be tamed."

Your big, pure, beautiful heart
and unfailing, safe arms,

they will remain for me
(and so many fortunate others):

A work of enduring beauty,
best left


In your lifetime, my dear...

You carried
heartache & pain
than a thousand men

could ever bear.

But I still hear your laughter,
and I will always see your face
in the face of Mt. Taranaki.

No one can ever
take that away from me.

Thank you for flying me home
for one last dance.

I am a long way from home.
I am a long way from home.
I am a long way from home.

I held my breath,
you taught me how to breathe:
There's always something left,
that I now believe.

(c) Brent Harpur, 2014.

- For Dr. Jan Marie, RIP.