RITE OF PASSAGE, Vivienne Blake

Rite Of Passage —
To the accompaniment of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony

by Vivienne Blake

Grandeur
splendour
cold day
hot tears
seething crowds
what to say?
how encapsulate a life
that ends in the squalor of disease?
dependency
helplessness
mind gone,
thank God.

Insistent rhythm overlays
the shuffling feet
creeping out of the stark chapel,
so much black cloth
conforming to conformity

A surge of sound
of trite remarks
of tearful hugs.
Music says more
of our cherished friend
than any words could do.

Vivienne’s process notes: This poem was written at the very start of my poeming, about the funeral of a very dear friend. The rhythm of the first stanza follows the rhythm of the opening of the Symphony.

Vivienne Blake, who is elderly and decrepit, living in rural Normandy. Her life has been a busy one, so the tranquillity of retirement suits the habits of a poet.

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