Today I really feel the seasons changing. Change is good, disruptive, rejuvenating, difficult. From simply having to move your desk at work to a new location…to loosing a loved one. Change is everywhere and ignites emotions, creating opportunities to pump our next moves with reflections, accounts that drive the best in us.

In addition to the warm sun, smell of cut grass and sounds of spring around the corner, I found two things today: 1) a poem my uncle read at my dad’s funeral service last month and 2) a poem I wrote 15 years ago, just out of college digging my North Beach beat life in San Francisco. Both have that mix of melancholy and inspiration stirring inside me today.

Death is nothing at all…

I have only slipped away into the next room.

I am I, and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the easy way you alwsys used.

Put no differnece into your tone

Wear no forced air of sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the housefold word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort,

without the ghost of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same as it ever was;

there is absolutely unbroken continuity…

Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval,

Somewhere very near, just around the corner.

All is well.

— Henry Scott Holland, English clergyman, First World War, slightly adapted


A Denizen’s Dream

We are all breeders sparing time for change

We seek destinations, resolutions

But memories are made from the travel between

Interludes of intra-interpersonal interpretations

So much passes with silence

Becoming habbits and addictions

Fixations that unveil the mask of true ignorance

Eyes drooping

Nostrils relaxed

and tongue hanging agape dry and white

I languish in the thought

The dank doldrums wherein we stay steeped so spiraling…

Licking lips to keep a head up

While knee deep in purposeless splendor

Like the unfathomable delight of a denizen’s drive

Dreaming of talks

We’ve had in teh future

Face forward

A jettison through the breeze

— Ken E Kaplan, North Beach in San Francisco, CA, October 12, 1993

One thought on “Melancholy and Inspiration

  1. The first is a wondeful poem and expresses all I feel about death. Ah, the mysterie sof life and eath, we know little about them and yet, we do know. When one lets down all the curtains that our culture uses to blind us, we do know.

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