No announcement yet.

The Fifth Chamber

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Fifth Chamber

    I recently re-connected with a friend who I had not seen for over 40 years. I was saddened to learn
    that her husband had died of cancer when her two boys were 3 and 5 years of age.
    She has raised them by herself. They were 33 and 31 when I met her again this summer, and were both living at home.
    A few weeks ago her 33 year old son died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep. I have written this poem for
    her but have not as of yet shared it with anyone.

    Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them
    enters suffering, in order that they may have existence.
    – Léon Bloy

    You imagine this quiet room
    To be sparsely furnished
    Quakeresque – simple furniture
    Without prideful or deceitful decoration

    Perhaps a Shaker tilting chair
    For rumination
    The walls painted in light cerulean blue
    Where cirrus clouds have dominion

    This camera ardente
    Is hers and hers alone
    In which grief has carefully stitched itself
    Into the sinews of her heart

    You are not an invited guest
    Or allowed to breathe its air
    Your well-chosen words are no comfort there
    Or spiritual balm

    But the dross of dead stars
    Cast out of Heaven
    Let her heal and purify herself in time
    Like the Desert Fathers in this cell

  • #2
    Oh, that third stanza!

    It gripped me.

    There are crevices of mourning, only the grief-stricken know!

    Words fail to capture them, and yet, my friend, you have come so heart-wrenchingly close!


    • #3
      This is indeed a beautiful gift Tanner. May it allow comfort and healing in due time, and speak love to an intolerable situation.


      • #4
        As RLW says beautiful


        • #5
          A wonderful poem in both concept and execution. I especially like the assonance and ad hoc rhyme or near rhyme, that makes for such a gentle cadence.