Friday, November 14, 2008

In A Box of Black Wood

It’s funny how things happen sometimes. I think everyone at one time or another just sits there in a quiet moment and reminisces. That’s the time when it seems the flood gates open and a whole box of memories run rampant all over the living room floor like the memory alphabet gone mad!

I had a day like that not too long ago; the truth is, I get many nights like that, it must be an age thing, or maybe just reviewing inventory of my life.

Sometimes I sit here looking over my files and thinking where did all these thousands of words came from, not only that, but also under what circumstances did these words make their escape. It’s a writers thing I guess.

Recently I was having one of those such moments and “The City of Poets” came to mind. The city was a forum where many people like myself would go and post their poetic creations. The forum was put together and run by Roy York, a southern gentleman, better known online as “Knight-owl or Sgt. Pop”, we quickly became online friends. It was a great place to be and you met lots of good people. Roy is an excellent writer in his own right with some beautiful creations to his credit. I saved a piece that he wrote that I want to share with you, I think it is a brilliant poem. So without further ado and Sgt. Pops permission, I give you his poem.

In A Box of Black Wood

Opening the book, he searched for the final paragraph he read the last time he had this problem. It was only two nights ago, not time enough to catch up with the sleep necessary to make each day bearable. Somehow he managed to keep going though.

The tasks of the day were minimal, amounting to not much more than picking up around the house, which was always picked up anyhow.
No one there to make a mess; the dishes were not used,
save for his plate, a coffee cup and an occasional glass, like now.

Not remembering the last passage in his book, he slipped it into it's slot, placing it just so to match the neat soldierly line of its neighbors.
Walking to the porch, he surveyed his part of the world, spying William across the road, and Perry next door, hard at their labours.

Suddenly, with the fury of a terrier pup in hot pursuit of the neighbor cat, a small bundle of energy burst through the thick, green hedgerow bearing down on him with a look of joy and determination in it's eyes.
He was shocked when he thought; "How fast that boy seems to grow!"

In the boy's arms was a tiny ball of fur; his little friend, a small kitten. Their advance was swift, but the attack on the steps was a slow one.
His joints were stiff and painful and his heart was weak. But he came to love and to cuddle; then sleep came to an old man and his grandson.

The boy was seven; he was seventy-seven.
Though he still had his sleepless nights, so had the child his painful days.
Each, when he could, made the others' life full in so many ways.
He survived twelve more years.

On a cloudy, windy day in May, Cat and I laid the old gentleman to rest in a box of black wood.

We were alone. I wondered,
"When my turn comes, will I have someone, or will I be alone?
What do I do now?
Will there be a grandson to build my box of black wood?"

Roy York, Sr
© October 20, 2002



swenglishexpat said...

Eric - there's a sweet and humane thought, moving.

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Swen, it is a very thought provoking story.. :)

cyclopseven said...

HE holds the answer to the mystery of creation and dissolution. When the moment comes, be it in solitary or amidst crowd, we surely have to part, Eric. Twisted my mind today reading this:)

Janice Thomson said...

What a beautiful story. Kudos to the poet. Having just lost my Papa recently that thought has crossed my mind too.

Eric Valentine said...

Very true Cyclpos. He is ever present, but the human element also plays its part in life.. :)

Eric Valentine said...

Hello Janice, yes it does make you think when you lose a loved one so close to your heart.

Roy will be pleased that you enjoyed his story and that you can relate. :)

sjonesdesigns said...

It was a good story! Thanks for posting it, Eric!

Eric Valentine said...

Anytime SJ. That story had to be shown I feel..Thanks for dropping by. :)

Roy said...

I wasn't going to post anything here, but I will anyway.

Thanks for all the approving words everyone. This is a question from my past that I wrestle with every year about this time. I'm 69 next month and that question still remains to be answered.

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Roy glad you dropped by for a visit. I think we all have a few questions like that my friend.. Keep well buddy. :)

Sam!! said...

Its truly a great, thought provoking story Eric.. thanks for shairing:))

Take care

Eric Valentine said...

Thank you Sam, but the thanks go to Roy for writing it to share.. It is a great story..

Be well my friend.. :)

zirelda said...

Its a very well written story.

I have missed several of your posts. :(

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Z, yes you have but you R here now, so thanks.. :))