Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Caress of Understanding

When I see someone
With malice in his heart
I want to be the mirror of his hatred
Until I let myself see the God in him.

When I stand in error
Having done a thing I meant never to do
I view myself with loathing
Until I let myself know the God in me.

When we stand apart
Making differences of all we are
I want to win the battle of our wills
Until I allow the thought that we are both Creators.

Is it respect I must then admit to
Or tolerance or acceptance?
Or is it the caress of understanding we are One?

Copyright © 2009 Mary Beth Watt. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lessons from a Dying Friend

This poem is for my friend, Dale, and his wife, Marilyn. Dale has lung cancer, and they are going through the end times... with love, with dignity, even with gratitude. Not long ago, Dale experienced a crisis that had us all believing he would leave us soon. But he recovered from the pneumonia that threatened him, thanks to his own strength of will. This is the poem I wrote following that time. I've shown it to Dale as a way of thanking him for what he is teaching me.

Dying’s not for the faint of heart, I recall my father saying
Watching you, my friend, I know the truth in that
Seeing you suffer and strain, I wished for your release
Wanting to free you from death through an easier death

But you wouldn’t give up your stubborn life hold,
Not as easily as we wanted to wish for you
Your frail form strove for more life than you had
Your strength overwhelmed the reaper’s call

And I watched you with discomfort at first
Refuting the choices you’d made in your freedom
Until I understood the power of your desire
And gave you your right of sovereignty

What place had I to deny you the full life’s length
Of suffering, of humanity, of unmitigated existence?
You taught me the boundaries that cannot be crossed,
The judgments that cannot be judged

So live fully, my friend, until your own hand
Lets loose of the lifeline you grasp so tightly
I’ll watch through your journey, a friend by your side
And remember your strength till my own life light fades

Copyright © 2009 Mary Beth Watt. All rights reserved.

Thank you, Dale and Marilyn