Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Watchers of the Past ((On the 50th Year Reunion, Washington High School, St. Paul, MN)(1965))
I have touched the age where it is easy, or perhaps as easy, to part with the departed as well as with the living—
That said, part of my life shall stay behind with you, my dear old High School Alumni, old friends!
And here is that tribute to that end.
Now that I see that my life is in the wintery season of God’s prearranged years, I realize how preoccupied, how pensive, how pondering it has been.
I’ve taken to rethinking the journals in my mind of those High School years and days so long ago—
As now it is the 50th Anniversary Year, and a forthcoming reunion but a few steps away…
To an old man’s weakness, I`ve learned: pain, love, fear, God, hunger, things that cannot be learned in books, or by hearsay, but experienced, practiced, expressed; by, travel, fortitude, and perseverance!
I’ve learned the long way—for some things take time, such as understanding the human failings of others, and mine!
And surely you have too!
To act instead of reacting, to my thinking, not my feelings—
To focus on the good and clean in the world, not all is contaminated!
By not judging another’s sin, if not knowing its cause!
And I’ve learned them quite well, as perhaps many of us have.
And as they say, the hard way!
Always for me, in my younger day, the hard way.
How vain it is for me to think anyone should remember me, from those far-off days, perhaps a few!
Where fell tenderly in my youth, a rain of life, where now falls the shadow of death, and a few last requests
I hope no more regrets!
The trophies and the nobler spoils of time I leave behind.
How does one say, I’m still here I hope you are! Knowing so well, so many have gone!
So many voices crying from the dust.
Not all as of old, but some with the blaze of steel from war long ago, and the voice of war’s command, takes precedence!
I have been there, and beheld the deathless star upon the brows of men.
And whose streets with tears are wet, from the dark and cruel state of some untimely death, those once we knew from High School:
Dying before their time, whose light they craved, ere, now a world away: yet set free, save they have found their way, by and by, through the true vine where every branch He purgeth, has beareth fruit, and brings forth more fruit!
Alas! How distant they are to us, to us watchers of the past!
Left behind, to celebrate our once memorable youth, and their once earthly presence too… I give to them with earnest, the laurels from my brow!
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, without the vine, lest he not be withered and cast into the fire…?
Thus, I pray He abideth in me, and I in him, so I can bring honor unto them—
Lo! In what shadowy and mysterious ways we all went on to our allotted ways; O to those everlasting gates, those once far-off gates we so longed to chase:
For a fairer day that waits, for new splendors and dawns, selfish bonds, waiting for love to be, and sometimes unfound, only to be set free to search again! And sometimes to no end!
Living from one season to another beyond seasons of dismay, seeking always seeking God’s bountiful grace—
As if in a race!
I for one see life brief, broken and imposing, as if hastening to its end, with tales to tell:
At times swineherd drinking, rooted in my youth sly and shy, and light with my thighs, chasing milk skinned fleshly women, by the moon-shade light, hissing like a viper for wayside brides!
At times too blunt, like a fox an ox, with a pretext:
After butterfat goose-shaped girls, with breasts full of honey, snout blunt and drunk in a uproar vomiting out my youth:
Quick at love, and so I was until I found my just pilgrimage.
And perhaps, so many of us were, not so unlike the white owl who searches the night, for the worm, the bird or the mouse, claws that could rip out a throat, to swallow up and spit out: under a dipping moon, high as a kite, like a dropped camel, with a twisted leg.
To such sultry biding ways, I SAY, Oh, time enough, those memories creep cold that was when I had a coal black, black soul!
That was when I was half a man, and then some: sizzling, gusty young man, the other part was all beast.
Never dying for a woman, but simmering like a calf in milky grass, but always finding a cat in the flame.
I for one see life long, long enough, if you have lived enough.
Not waiting for tomorrow, yet awaiting a dream that shall not altogether die, before I die, to awake to my divine journey
—but we often get lost along the way, as I did, then found to follow one’s dream, once again!
If indeed, God permits!
The Dream, a lament, to find it I had to tiptoe shy in the telltale woods, and I could not find it until I was a gusty near middle-aged man and a half, where I slapped the rude owl from its branch and he seesawed down to the ground, I wooed his wicked eyes, for he was a demon in disguise, who had followed me half my life—
But I had learned in life how to track his fiery prints.
Once leaned, never forgotten!
And once found dispensed of him: to earth, air, water, and fire with some miracle muscle, and a prayer, and there I saw him this hunchbacked, lulled black ghoul, with dingle-torn eyes hanging deep in dark-spacious ebon framed, cold lifeless sockets, —
Sockets with expanse, and no gleam of light…
They contained no heat, there he stood until crock-crow in midair, soaring out my window, cawing for his lost home!
And then he evaporated as if into some willy-nilly, williwaw dew!
Into some muster seed in some mildew meadow…
Strange to say, but I shall, have we not all been between the devil and the deep sea?
Stuck in a desperate strait?
Where God, or his seraph steps in, whispers: “No more …pretense, it’s time for the truth, no avoiding the issue, —lest, ay!” And that ay! …is deep regret!
And sometimes we listen, and sometimes not, and sometimes we doubt and seem not to be able to control it!
Especially standing at an empty threshold, the unknown, until the door is pushed open and we are shown absoluteness—
All such things we must go through, after we leave High School!
Wherein, there wasn’t any guessing back then.
Yes, I’ve seen enough of the devil, and perhaps so have you.
Some of us have reached beyond our dreams, with Almighty God’s blessings, I have tried, reaching pinnacles against the dawn! Did I say ‘tried?’ I have reached them.
Going beyond our limits, for we came out of a daring age.
Now, seeing how small we are in the greater plan,
— Now with age, we must draw up against the Night our last plan, or forever plight, if I dare call it that!
Each face facing the best-beloved’s face.
And let me end this poem by saying: to watchers of the past,
Be ye lifted up, for a fairer day awaits.
For on this short day we will surely sail, liken to ship-shaped clouds, with guardian angels, forever and day, by all the vows given by the King of Kings…
—to the ignited mount, by Heaven’s gates, to be judged and weighed, —once called Calvary!
No: 4756/4-2 & 3-2015 © All Rights Reserved by: Dlsiluk
Drawing by the author2014 © Dennis L. Siluk Dr. h.c.
Note: This poem is a tribute by the author to his longtime schoolmates, of 1965, it is not associated, nor does it represent the feelings or ideas in any way with anyone other than himself, to include: organizations, or planning of the forthcoming event for the ‘50th Anniversary Reunion of Washington High School, 1965’ St. Paul, Minnesota’ due in September, of 2015. This is a private work of the Poet Laureate, Dr. Dennis L. Siluk, and is independent of any group.