Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
This one is pretty well-known, but still my favourite. The first time I read it, I almost cried.
There are people in the world you know - you once talked to them, you once enjoyed their company and they will forever live in the memories you made together, in the moments you shared with them.
And you probably have a picture of a particular person in your mind: that one special friends, that shy classmate, that funny person from parties you attended, an ex lover you can't get over.
And maybe that person has a special place in your brain, randomly poping up in your mind, and you think to yourself "I wonder how he/she is doing," and promise yourself you will see that person again, someday.
But the harsh truth is: you won't.
I guarantee you, there is someone out there you may think you will cross your paths with again, but realistically, you won't. And that's okay, too. For what I learnt in a difficult way is that it is impossible to keep everyone special to you close to you forever. Most people are meant to come to your life, and through just spending time with them to teach you a lesson and help you grow as a person. And then your paths go different ways. We all grow, we all change, we all set different life goals for ourselves.
And there may be some sorrow in that, but there is also joy.
Because when we grow and when we move on with our lives, new people cross our roads, new lessons get learnt and a new growth proceeds.
So, the lesson: enjoy the time now and here, with the people around you, be grateful for their exsistence, show them you care, let them know they are loved - because it's probably the only time you will share this prescious time and moments with them.
What to do when there’s no muse?
When to write when there’s no time?
Why to say when there’s no one?
Want to try but there’s no how?
What, what, what ...
In that case,
Rely upon yourself.
The inspiration you seek is right there on the other side of the mirror.
The time you need is amidst those long sleepless nights.
When there’s no one, scream it to the sky, you might just find anyhow you like better no reply,
When there’s no skill, just try.
Look to the left and the right.
Try, try, try.
This is the best I can give for now
The message now:
Everything you need is right where you are.
How do you think then
That this poem came to be -
It’s author, too, was stuck in blues.
Isn't it weird to see someone you once cared about after so much time?
Somehow, it's not them who have changed, but it's you. And you just look at them and they look at you, and you smile sadly inside, knowing it's a goodbye. Because even though they are the same, everything has changed.
First Day of Spring
Spring was finally here; she could tell from the flowers that welcomed her in the morning. Sally opened her eyes and saw a bouquet of flowers of every colour imaginable on a window sill. She sat up in her bed, stretched her arms and lazily yawned. They have been married for 23 years and still he did that – placing flowers in their bedroom while she slept every year on the first day of spring. She remembered the first morning she found flowers; she felt so blessed and happy that this was the guy she was married to. It used to be so sweet, but now it frightened her; were they stuck in a routine? When did he get so predictable?
‘Might as well put them in a vase,’ she thought to herself. ‘The same vase as last year, and the year before,’ she sighed and walked to the window.
Sally’s eyes were greeted with the richest variety of flowers in their neighbour’s garden. There were white daisies, red roses, yellow daffodils, and some flowers she never even knew existed. The garden was always perfectly maintained, there wasn’t a flower out of place. One thought flashed her mind: ‘Whoever lives there, their lives must be perfect. Only people with perfect lives have gardens so beautiful.’
There was a loud DONG coming from the hallway. ‘Finally’, Mr. Schuster whispered quietly. He knew the sound was coming before he could even hear it. He has been lying in his bed for 20 minutes now. Just lying there on his back and waiting for the clock to strike and announce it was 8 o’clock. He pulled off his blankets, sat up on the edge of his bed and one by one slipped his feet in his brown and worn-out slippers. He hated these slippers, but every time he would put them on, he could hear Jane’s voice in the back of his head. ‘Put the shoes on, Michael. You don’t want to catch a cold, we’re too old for that.’ How he hated these words. He wasn’t old, thank you very much. When hearing them, he would reply with something like ‘You’re the one who is old’ or ‘Better dead than old,’ which would make Jane frown and make him smile. How he missed teasing her.
‘That’s it! Today is the day I find out,’ Sally proclaimed. ‘Enough is enough, Matt. We’ve been living here for ten years and we still don’t know who our neighbours are. Stop laughing at me!’ Why was he laughing at her? Sometimes he could be so annoying! Good thing it was only a phone call or else he would have witnessed the biggest eye roll in the history of eye rolls. ‘Fine Matt, get back to work, sorry for bothering you so much.’ She hung up the call and sighed. It’s not like it was a real fight, he would call back in about 20 minutes anyway, telling her he’s sorry. She knew him too well. But, she smiled, this meant she had 20 minutes to find out who their mysterious neighbours are. If he’s going to call back, she could at least have something to brag about. She didn’t even think, her legs were guiding her; pulling the front door, walking down the driveway, pulling the fence doors, walking up the driveway, ringing the bell. She exhaled deeply. Was she holding her breath this whole time?
DING-DONG. It took Mr. Schuster ages to get to the door, and he tried his best to walk as fast as possible, he was afraid that whoever was standing there would leave. He opened the doors, and there she was – a young woman, looking at him, surprise written all over her face.
Wow. She wasn’t expecting that. In front of her was an old man. His hair was white, he wore big glasses, his sweater was too big on him, and he had the saddest expression she has ever seen. It broke her heart. He was the complete opposite of what she imagined her neighbours would be.
‘So sorry to bother you,’ she said after a while. ‘I’m Sally and my family lives next to your house. I was just wondering about your garden – how do you keep it so beautiful?’
The man was at first taken aback, then he smiled and kindly invited Sally inside for a cup of coffee.
’And then he said: ‘That garden brought so much joy to my wife. Our house used to be full of children and life and there never seemed to be the time to tend to it. After a while, kids moved away, our friends stopped visiting, and then Jane got sick. She always wanted a beautiful garden, so I started planting flowers one by one, trying to make her happy. The joy on her face when she saw something new was priceless. She died the same year, and I still tend to the garden as a reminder, that we have to appreciate people once there are in our lives and that we need to make time for the things we love.’
Matt, what I’m trying to say is, I appreciate you; your predictability and your small gestures,’ Sally said with tears in her eyes. ‘And oh, I’ve invited my new friend Mr. Schuster for dinner.’ She could hear the happiness in her husband’s voice and for the first time in a long time she smiled from the joy that she felt towards her life.