talking to the dead

WhatsApp Image 2017-04-29 at 20.38.34
With drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman.


he said it is quite simple
but really pay attention
and was speaking very quickly
as the dream was the length of the road
which was only the height of the mountain
and at the speed at which i was driving
was not very much time at all.

and i was just so happy
hadn’t seen him since he’d died
and was content with the small talk
the random bits of life,
but he said it was important
so really really listen –
and i was driving up the mountain
in the old white rattling conquest
and at the speed that i was traveling
there was not very much time at all.

he said the light is like cancer
and i winced
because that was what killed him
but he said no, listen closely
light in the world is like cancer
the way it moves in the body is the same.
it is the same.
if cancer is forgetting
on a deeply cellular level.
deep within the body
a cell forgetting its purpose,
living only to grow.
and as one forgotten cell
touches on another
it too forgets its purpose
until we have a mass of cells
feeding from the body
growing only for themselves
but still the body lives
until other nodes of forgetting
grow into their very own masses
bumping up against each other
until there is no space
for life.

i probably tried to make light of it
because i was afraid of the silence
and our words were casting a net
across the abyss between us
and i could not think
of anything to say,
but there was mist now
on the mountain
low flung bits of cloud
and i could not see the road
or how much time i had to dream
because we knew this time was borrowed
and the mountain only so high.

he said i must tell you about the light
and with that we were above the land
laced with nodes of brightness.
in a darkness darker that night
i saw these hills i am living
saw the nodes of light.
there was an awakening in the world
he said, though this had never been his language,
at a deeply cellular level
in every stone and bone and tree
the earth is remembering
why it ought to live.
we are merely cells
one kind of cell in the body of the earth
one kind of cell in the thrumming
complexity of the juicy aliveness of the earth.
it is our job to grow the light
become earth grown nodes of light
to speak it back into being
to remind the earth of its living
so that we too might live.

at the top of the mountain
the road widened to a view site –
low stone walls built from bits
of where we were
i stopped the car
he got out and closed the door
i have not seen him since.
it was important.


6 thoughts on “talking to the dead

  1. Hi Paul and crew hope you are looking after your hands, feet and bottoms !!! ( nurse Di ) where do crabs and lobsters catch trains ? … at kings crustacean . Good luck keep up the hard work .


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