Now, this makes my heart glad 😄🥂🍾
On my return to blogging in April, I was deeply saddened to discover that one of my favourite poets of all time had died in December 2016.
Cynthia Jobin was a blogging friend and a masterful poet, whose art was superior in form, structure and rhythm. But what I love most in her work is the way she infused it with mischief. Her intellect and humour shines through her poetry.
Sadly, Cynthia’s WordPress site is no longer up. I hope her unpublished work will not be lost.
I will miss you, Little Old Lady. You were a beautiful light in the darkness.
My work meeting finished at 4pm. I still had minutes to type but was also due to meet a friend for dinner and the theatre at 6:30pm on the other side of The Bridge.
Anybody who lives in Sydney knows that trying to get across the Sydney Harbour Bridge by car into the city from 5pm onwards gobbles time. So I made the journey at 4 and typed the minutes here. A lovely way to end the work day.
I’m in a city of 14.50 million
(give or take a few, including me)
souls. I know no-one
here. I’m a nano-human, a speck
in the smog. I make myself big
riding the subways with no-one
with light-coloured hair. No-one notices
the gweilo; the ghost-person, I think,
until I step into the deluge at Shanghai
Library, and a dark-haired
girl steps in time beside me, her umbrella
banishing the rain, her words, my ghostliness
“Where are you going?
Can I take you there?”
Cynthia Jobin, over at littleoldladywho.net, is one of the finest poets I’ve read. Her poems are exquisitely crafted, evocative, and at times wonderfully mischievous.
A recent poem of Cynthia’s – The Palpable Obscure – is a spine-tingling evocation of the ongoing mystification endured by those of us who have experienced the death of a loved one. In it, she writes:
“Once a day, at least, I stop to wonder
where you are.”
Is this puzzlement not at the very heart of the Human Condition?
If my father were alive today, the 27th November 2015, he would be 83. I started this blog mainly as a response to the lingering grief I felt about his dying. And this poem, which I first posted on the 27th November 2010, is about the day he died.
Like Cynthia, I still wonder…
Eternal Mysteries ( a repost)
With the ring back on your finger
you sighed and slipped away
but forever it’s a mystery
where you went that day
Did you see them watching you
and whispering in your ear?
When you took your final journey,
did you know that they were there?
Did you sense that we were not?
No-one can ever know,
yet child-like we still ask ourselves –
that day, where did you go?
She’s there every morning, glaring down at me, when I open my eyes.
“If you’re going nowhere, neither is that extra chin”, she seems to say. “I have limits, you know. If we’re to ever get any closer, you should be out there, not hitting the snooze button repeatedly!”
She’s right, of course, my ideal dress size. I breached her boundaries a long time ago and won’t be fitting back in any time soon, unless I get out there and move. Every single day.
“And cut out the champagne while you’re at it, lardarse.”
By my calculations, transforming Matilda’s reproach into rapprochement is about 720 km away.
When the sun turns
away to southern lands
we find ourselves awake
on a strange, familiar shore
where those who’ve gone
before sleep beneath moss
in forest graves, and wild apples
jump the fences
Across the Baltic Sea
history comes full circle.