This poem is dedicated to the Šebek family who have responded to the darkness of Alzheimmer’s with warmth, light and love.
And I never knew the man, really the man.
And perhaps the rantings more sentient when all to me are ranters. And so the tiniest of connections causes the hiding of the soul.
To be one man in a world of sense, to be sitting closely by the light as the blinds slowly draw closed. To be in a world of crazy people lost out there in the world of darkness. They seem to want to call me out there, why so?
I am close and warm sitting by the fire of my own peace, my own soul. Once in a while I hear them call me out, I ask them in but they don’t know where the door is. It seems exciting out there, but every day they seem a little further away and another blind is drawn.
I am at peace in here, it is all things so beautiful I cannot tell, our worlds are now too different for you to comprehend. But still the oblique lighting warmth of your love pours through my window bringing energy to my soul, my salvation, my way to God, my way back to you.
I still leap with delight when I understand your world, or not, or maybe. It doesn’t matter, you send me love. Simply that – warm, delightful, unconditional.
Today it is harder to see the light of me in you, of you in me. Each day is taken less for granted, each vision of your love adding heat to the fire of my soul.
Allow me gently away, my soul will burn an eternity with the love you have supplied. I am not alone, a soft transition back into the care of my maker.
And when the last blind is drawn, then I will be fully and safely in his arms, to be kept safe until I am in yours again. The pains of this world are slowly drifting away, and I to the warmth of my own soul bathed in perfect innocence.
Paul O’Grady, 2004
I wrote a list, a party list, a party for my mind.
Will Ego come with Vanity, as Vanity is blind
Considerate will come for sure, life’s necessary deed
Humility feigns happiness but thinks she is a bore
When finally my Introvert comes meekly through the door
he’s greeted there by Moderate who, seems to know the score
I sit them down, I deal the cards and Ego shouts for drink
I, Introvert, Humility, into our chairs we sink
Well Vanity she has a queen but not as beauty her
And Moderate she takes her time in choosing to defer
With Moderate I’ll stick for now, they’ll be no win or lose
Then Ego ups, throws in his chips, course vanity does too
Of meekly bunch Considerate now folds to play again
And Introvert with social hurt submits and sips her gin
To me again, my chips, my mind, I call another card
Now Ego’s hurt, he must take two, should winning ones he find
Well Moderate still in the game, she smiles and calls for three
Then Intro folds the lights too bright, four aces go astray
We raise some more and Vanity holds cards close to her chest
Moderate then weighs the odds and wisely plays no bet
He drops his cards by Vanity, says dear this must be yours
With style and grace and etiquette he knows he’ll have no more
From Vanity I expect so much, for looks I’m sure she’ll raise
From top her cards she caught my eye, she knows that sliding gaze
Content to know the flesh is weak she smiles but will not fight
She’s out of game but lips exclaim, how great she looks tonight
Me, Moderate and Ego play, now Vanity’s not in
She has the look that we’re all fucked but looks are what she’s in
Then Ego bucks, slams down his cards stands up and kicks the chair
Says, “I’m getting beer you losers here, only one here playing fair”
I’m left alone with five wild cards and only me to beat
I raise me more, throw down a score will I or me now cheat
Me now calls I to show I’s cards, I lay my five wild flat
Me laughs aloud, his cards are proud and shouts I’ll say goodbye to that
Paul O’Grady, 2006