This is one of the pieces I published when I began here a year ago when nobody knew I was here, and I quite happily wrote and published and looked for pictures for months on end, which was all I wanted to do, and which I still love doing. I rewrote a version for my dad’s funeral service. One year later, I miss him deeply. I thought I would redo this in his honour…he urged me to keep writing when I’d given up, and now I know you all better, and thank you, I’d also like to share.
Inspired by William Shakespeare
“To be or not to be, that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to — ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub,”
~ W Shakespeare
~No Man Nor Beast…by Anita M Kulkarni Nabonne
A gentle hand, cool and unafraid, stroked a young man’s head.
‘No Man, nor boy, nor Beast should hinder.
Unscramble that tethered brow, tame that beast a restless heart.
Smooth the toiled and ingrained lines of tired and old pastures,
make them soft and as green as new pastures can possibly be,
they are laid out just for you, as far and as long as your eyes can take,
pulling and calling you lest they remain forever fallow, unforeseen,
even when seen in daylight’s dream.’
His prickled elbows rest and suffer both old and new veneer that holds
the lack lustre days of lost dreams and freshly varnished wants.
Once a man, now as a boy, he leans and he gazes, reaching
with his welling eyes. The mist is his but is in the wind,
the wind before him, with it’s teasing breath in rapture, it is the wind
who tells him to, ‘follow,’ to ‘come with me and see…’
Beyond the horizon, way ahead, past corn fields and ambition
and laughter and submission, yesterdays, nighttimes and dreaming
of tomorrows, his friend the wind, bristles through the slender, tall grass
and swims in these waves all the way on green and pleasant ocean –
past the weary belly of the setting sun nestling on the checkered
tablecloth – horizon of another land, another time, an even fresher pasture.
Its hem flaps with whooshing exuberance; each tiny, chasm
of possible space bristles the golden hair of the barley till over
and through the friendless, picket fence creaking in the distance.
Once there, it teases spindly legs till through those and up the frail,
wooden stoop, it bursts through a sad, silk screen, that can barely
cling to the original tender arms of it’s beloved, but tattered frame,
but is loathe, so loathe to let it go.
Once inside this other orphan; the mischievous child – lost, but now free
and with abandon, like his friends around him and like the wind – strong
yet gentle, he breathes life into sleeping cobwebs that hold memories
of families and laughter and runs with the ghosted voices till he pushes them with renewed force through the tired, resigned and cracked shutters; its paint now just warped layers of pain, sadness and dusted,
streaming light, until they are flung unashamedly and without resistance
…well and truly open.
Together they spill in a tumble like bedraggled weeds
onto pastures new. They need no coax or invite till they in turn dive
with naked knees tucked into a warmer chest, into yet another pond, to swim
among the playful faces of wistful dreams that are dandelions, clover and buttercups floating in their own warm and tropical seas till
the daytime sun grows weary and tells them ‘time for bed and dreams…
dreams that have yet to be spoken, touched or those unsaid.’
Small and tired limbs bask on this gentle wave that responds and ushers towards a silvered horizon. Waiting, is the moon’s maternity; arms outstretched and beckoning, ‘Come sleep now, rest your dreams and your happy but aching brow, for tomorrow is another day, another pasture, another lifetime. Let eager rest up a while before you swim again, but dream of what is beyond my skirts.’ She wraps his shivering body and blankets his doubts and fears, keeping safe till tomorrow all his hopes and all his dreams. Kissing his forehead, smoothed and calmed, she whispers to the child, vulnerable but as yet unharmed,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
that flesh is heir to — ’tis a consummation
devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
to sleep, perchance to dream.
by wakening them we say live them
in this warm and quilted pasture. Acres
secreted by distance, out of reach no longer.
devoutly to be wish’d. To live, not die;
to sleep, perchance a dream?
when you waken, it will be there,
when you dream, she will be there.
When you begin to live
you could have it all.
But, sleep now.’