Shadow People – When the Lineage Merges and Generations Fade

Shadow People – When the Lineage Merges and Generations Fade. It’s rather easy to look back, to be the receiver and say that “she contributed this, he offered that.” And then children emerge, and very soon you can sense it all begin to flow away, of everything beginning to pass.

When small, there’s a sense of “mine” in one’s children — “my son, my daughter.” But this is a terrible illusion.

In fact, we are theirs.

As Persian Poet Khalil Gibran said in his remarkable poem, “On Children,

“…their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” https://poets.org/poem/children-1

But a downstream lineage requires an injection – a partner, a husband, a wife to be inserted into this stream so it can flow onward. And right there begins the obsolescence. Suddenly it’s apparent that you no longer matter quite so much, even it takes time for this to sink in,

that you’re rapidly becoming little more than an old story

someone your child might recall years from now

and, if you’ve been very fortunate,

smile.

And while this is natural, it does bring with it the opportunity to love in a completely different way. This is not the love born of biology, nor is it a love shaped from an accumulated lifetime of shared experiences.

This is a love born of learning, of tolerating (in both directions, of course,) of getting to know, of bumping against each other, of embracing, of creating new shared experiences, and ultimately, heaven willing, of standing together to support the launch of the next generation.

Lineage. True Lineage.

And Gratitude.

the downstream begins

shadow people


they begin as shadow people
two-dimensional, replaceable
appearing only for a moment 
then fading, leaving only a name 
a story to be laughed about 
over dinner 

translucent satellites
in temporary orbit around this child
you’ve birthed and fed, the one
you’ve poured your life into, saw fall 
and stand again, then mature into the rich 

three-dimensional life you see before you 
who one day brings home another 
and suddenly you sense 
that this just might be 

“the one” 

the one that takes root in the rich soil 
of your son, the one he now turns to 
before you, the one who clearly holds all 
of his new secrets, the one who’s ear hears 
all of his dreams

and though you try to be happy for him 
and for “them” 

you can already feel yourself 
beginning to thin, to lighten, to lift 
ever so slightly above the floor 

where they now stand together 

can feel yourself darkening 
and spreading up the long wall 
as the sun drops low in the sky 
stretching the day’s last shadows 

which even now are beginning to fade 
as day inevitably progresses 

into night


In case you missed it, here’s a link to the Sixth Lineage Poem – This Father’s Imperfect Love: https://oldbonesnewsnow.com/2022/03/01/this-fathers-imperfect-love-sixth-lineage-poem/

The Gift of An Exquisite Love – the Fifth Lineage Poem

The Gift of an Exquisite Love – the Fifth Lineage Poem, on Valentines day no less! We were eighteen years old, in our freshman year of college in a small town in Michigan. I’d borrowed the money from my girlfriend (a long story) to take her out to an old-school, no-alcohol coffee house called “the Troubador” in Kalamazoo Michigan.

The room was full of cigarette smoke, and we were with three other couples, all there to hear a band who’s name I’ve long forgotten. Between sets, we all ordered coffees and the talk was fast and loud. She was seated directly across the large round table from me. Thinking of nothing much at all, I happened to look up and straight into her impossibly large green eyes.

And I was done for. I fell in love in that instant, and have never stopped loving her.

The Gift of an Exquisite Love

A love that I’ve never relinquished. A love that has sustained me now for over forty years.

These poems were written a very long time ago

Each one came as a completed poem

Each was a gift

The Gift of an Exquisite Love

the gift of an exquisite love
those impossible green eyes
I felt myself break


I felt myself break

and drift back
and back, and down

to settle here
forever

on the deep green floor
of your eyes


And the second, once that gifted love had begun to breathe.

the soft, soft sleep of dawn


I awoke this morning
to the brush your lash
on my neck

like a light
on the still darkened stage
of our bodies held tight 

and heavy and warm
in the soft, soft sleep
of dawn


my Love, my Sara

Link to the first Lineage Poem (the ground):https://oldbonesnewsnow.com/2022/01/09/a-joyful-noise-root-music-of-the-heartland/

Link to the second Lineage Poem (father dying):https://oldbonesnewsnow.com/2022/01/16/on-the-way-to-heaven-2nd-lineage-poem-over-ohio/

Link to the third Lineage Poem (burying my father): https://oldbonesnewsnow.com/2022/01/24/a-father-returns-home-welcomed-by-the-land/

Link to the fourth Lineage Poem (missing a mother):https://oldbonesnewsnow.com/2022/02/01/a-mothers-love-a-sons-regrets-fourth-of-the-lineage-poems/

And a closing link to the incredible Pablo Neruda, Love Sonnet XI:https://hellopoetry.com/poem/9927/love-sonnet-xi/

it means we made promises

I embraced her as we left the church forty years ago today, and she has not released my heart ever since…

edit wedding.5309

 

it means we made promises

 

it means we made promises

on the last day of may

both still clean still possible.

 

it means we made plans and babies

and sent them both

to bang against the world.

 

it means we learned to cut

and leave no trace

no blood trail for evidence.

 

it means we gave up on wonderful

and wove a nest

out of ordinary.

 

it means we rattle now toward evening

in our dark compartment

as the engine enters the tunnel’s mouth.

 

it means I can still catch your breath

between my fingers.

 

it means you

can still close my eyes with your lips.

 

it means the fire burns

until the last dry wood is gone.

 

 

 

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