Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adieu
for Keva Bethel

1.
what though of deep laughter
is that from a child's belly
is that the laughter of a little girl
or is that or is there
a woman deep inside her brewing
or already brewed

I'd bring my mug for her to fill up
she has before-
with laughter- with more than laughter

sighs, other noises, with singing
with things she'd ask, with things she'd say

she can make my mug overflow
whenever she wishes, with dark beer

in Belfast, a boy allowed his first pint
is initiation to what is good in life

she is out in the ocean where I am
where whales and sharks swim

ready as we are, whatever happens happens

us too, we are dangerous too- plus two
though polite, we can strike if/when necessary

we know also how to/when to switch off lights

2.
with the heart filling up
it is almost time to cry

learning more and more of Keva
whom I thought I knew

turned down being Ambassador
of The Bahamas, to the USA
because: I promised Michael
[her brother, the bishop]
that I'll take care of him, she said

how well we know and how well
we do not know those to whom
we are attached

even our parents- even our siblings
even our children

at my own mother's funeral
I saw people
I did not know from Adam
I did not know from Eve
washed in tears

here I am holding back tears
heart so full of- so filled with
the beauty of this, I could sob
I will eventually or before eventually
or very soon after eventually

my upper back aches so much
I feared I'd not have made it
I thought to remain in bed

but I had prayed to make it
had asked God to make it
His will that I be here, I am

though I cry, I happy
though I happy, I cry

where it's at, place to be
for me, if not for Dee who,
in the middle of Thursday
has to be at St. Andrew's, in school

here in Christ Church Cathedral
the stained glass window,
above the high altar, is reflected
in the church's marble floor

recall when, without fail,
I used to attend 11 a.m. Mass,
every Sunday morning

Keva used to be here,
Nicolette, her daughter, with her
every Sunday morning, for low Mass

3.
to be able to add
to the beauty of this world
as ugly as it is
as ugly as it is inclined to be

to be numbered among
the beautiful people
when you could, with knife, alter
or could have, with knife, been altered
or with gun shot or gun fire, in an instant

what am I writing,
a presumptuous friend, interrupting, asks
as if unaware or just to be playful,
just in jest

what I am writing, is one thing
what I am writing with is the point of it

suppose I am writing a poem
I know I am writing with tears,
in silence

it is with love as well that I write
for words and light and death and life
and for time, without end,
swiftly passing away and we with it

4.
however did I get
on your wrong side, your left side

I only ever wanted
to be on your right side

whatever did I do
to cause you to turn
on the wrong side

in Madagascar
they dive for octopus
to disable them, to end
their struggling against them

diver underwater
shoves an arm in
pulls up, pulls out

octopus on the wrong side
is no longer alive

we must not be
we must not turn
on the wrong side
or turn each other
on the wrong side

turn the world on the wrong side
when we do, if we do

upside-down
what should be right-side-up
dead what should be
alive and well

artificial what should be real

5.
necessary to know
when to step forth
when to step back
when to add
when to subtract

when to retreat
when to advance
in the battle of life

when to ignite fires
or candles
when to put them out
or blow them out


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2011
Written between 10:40 a.m. and 1:48 p.m.
on Thursday, February, 24, 2011

2 Comments:

Anonymous d.a. said...

From what I have heard, Ms. Bethel is an amazingly wonderful human being. This poems succeeds as the perfect farewell song or see you soon letter bon voyage wave hasta luego kiss for a woman whose shoes cannot be filled.

Monday, February 28, 2011 12:26:00 AM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

Dee, it is interesting that your response is as well a poem. I am grateful that you bothered to reach down so far and so genuinely to respond. You have something special and you are someone special. How happy I am of our attachment. Did you ever imagine that you had enrolled in BWSI, 2009, for two persons - two lives to be so very much transformed, yours and mine?

Monday, February 28, 2011 2:59:00 AM  

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