A Solstice of Music

for Beth Nielsen Chapman

Wear the sunís music and dance as
before, although, for reason of winter,
a chill runs deep where death comes
again to the dead. A whisper of
darkness caresses the eye and again
light makes no shadow through the
dead, the dead we had loved, perhaps
the best we could. The wheel of seasons
rolls easy again. They are dead;
they make no shadows dance.

We too will die one lifetime short of
summer, but, for now, we are happily
mortal. The sun plays midwife to our
senses, even as our bones age and bend,
like music that drifts incestuous upon
its ending. May the sun dream roses
into being, as we sing, and sing loud
again, the travellers through our flesh
who stood defiant when the world
pounded many suns out of them.

How mortal are we to imagine a
kindred fire in the sun? How
immortal to defy the despairing want
of light? When love is born of no
beginning, though in love thatís
taken we also die, we touch our dead
slowly once again. And in this
darkness, seduced from time, they
touch our skin, the way one spirit
caresses another, like a secret. No
need of angels here, where love
becomes a greater love. Still we know
these angelsí blessings one by one.

(from the book 'Beside the Hemlock Garden')