Monday, November 26, 2012

On The Loss Of Our Friend - Reprise

Herbert James Draper's painting "The Lament For Icarus" produced in 1898 won the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and was later bought for the Tate Gallery.

Herbert James Draper (1863 – 22 September 1920) was an English Classicist painter whose career began in the Victorian era and extended through the first two decades of the 20th century.

As we age, so does everything and everyone. Departures of friends begin to be at some point, then are more frequent than arrivals. This is utterly as it should be.

On The Loss Of Our Friend

Then you are not here.
I wanted to speak with you,
To tell you the truth,
What is in my heart,
How the rain falls near our house,
How the wind blows here
Through my slowing days,
How my lady's older too,
But now you are gone.

This is the way of all things.
The leaves fade, tremble, then fall.

Written November 29, 2008 6:36 AM
First published March 1, 2009

This poem was written four years ago in the early morning one day late in November just like it is now. The coming of winter has something to do with it.

Just so you know. I was living without a lover at this time as I am still and had been for a couple years. The poem was not written in a period of actual loss but in remembrance of earlier losses and anticipation of later ones.


As a side note, it has settled down now. I no longer use the word verification. I don't know what happens to others. I have a presence on the internet due to the width and breadth and frequency of my postings. I get about twenty-twenty five spams a day. At least it is true that they all collect in one way or another, but life was so much simpler for me when I had word verification in place. Almost no spam ever gets through word verification. So. If I make you guys work a little, then I don't have to clean out my stuff several times a day. Or I can be kinder to you a little and be forced to show up several times a day to do housecleaning. Most spam collects in the spam folder. About 10% gets past that. One or two a day actually reach posts. This is ridiculous. I see why some people just omit comments entirely.


  1. Have you tried my method of marking spam comments, and removing dodgy followers from your list? It works for me... But I think my BT Yahoo has a good filter, as well as my own computer - thanks to my IT brainy son!

  2. Oh yes. I have nothing but anonymous spammers and the occasional formula spam that does come in by name. The named people are rare, two or three a day. The anonymous ones are total robots. Probably the named ones are too. At least they do the same form each time, a strong compliment that almost makes sense but would no matter what you post and then the point, which is a link back to a commercial site of some kind that makes no sense in context of either the post or the comment itself.

  3. Here's a typical total robot comment:

    aW1V1e iC7D1z [url=]ugg pas cher[/url] nD1I9u ugg pas cher pI6W0e vF0V7x lA6K7m [url=]uggs kopen[/url] wF1W9f uggs outlet gO4A3z pF1K7k zU6L5j [url=]ugg ブーツ[/url] jG7R5b ugg 店舗 cK6F4i lF5G3s hW8M5l [url=]ugg boots sale[/url] hM1U5v uggs günstig gZ2M3f xI9F0i dB1B2q [url=]uggs canada[/url] lG2V0c ugg canada iW9G3r bD5C4s lQ8L2u [url=]stivali ugg[/url] cQ6X3y scarpe ugg qL3N8v on

  4. seven of those came in between 6:30 and 9:30 AM today, all slightly different.

  5. what?! canada has boots?! i need boots! (heh. it's all a pain in the ass that i mostly ignore but can because i don't get much spam. i wonder if i have word verification ? )

    but more seriously, christopher, lately i can not see one moment without seeing the loss tied to it. mostly this grants poignancy to the moment but there are those moments when it is almost too much to bear. then i stare real hard at it until i can manage to bear it and i am flooded again with the poignancy.

    i just finished milan kundera's Identity and this one of his characters puts out there for us. i have taken it from another blog and so i hope it serves the book rightly:

    Milan Kundera, Identity, Page 128-130

    ‘…of which man is, however, a mere instrument.’ Leroy interrupted : ‘The invention of the locomotive contains the seed of the aeroplane’s design, which lead ineluctably to the space rocket. That logic is contained in the things themselves, in other words, it is part of the divine project. You can turn in the whole human race for a different one, and still the evolution that leads from the bicycle to the rocket will be just the same. Man is only an operator, not the author of the evolution. And a partly operator at that, since he doesn’t know the meaning of what he is operating. That meaning doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to God alone, and we’re here only to obey Him so that He can do what He wants.’

    elsewhere on the page…

    Chantal: ‘ But in that case, why are we here below? Why are we living?’

    a paragraph apart

    ‘Why are we living? To provide God with human flesh. Because the Bible, my dear lady, does not ask us to seek the meaning of life. It asks us to procreate. Love one another and procreate. Understand the meaning of that “love one another” is determined by that “procreate:. That “love one another” carries absolutely no implication on charitable love, of compassionate, spiritual or passionate love, it only means very simply “make love!” “copulate” (he drops his voice and leans towards her) “fuck!” (Like a devout disciple, docilely, the lady fazes into his eyes). ‘That, and that alone, constitutes the mean of human life. All the rest if bullshit.’

    On page 132

    ‘We’re going deeper and deeper.’ said the lady anxiously.

    ‘To where truth resides’, said Chantal.

    ‘To where’, added Leroy, ‘ resides the answer to your question: why are living? What is essential in life?’. He looked hard at the lady: ‘ The essential, in life, is to perpetuate life: it is childbirth, and what precedes it, coitus, and what precedes coitus, seduction, that is to say kisses, hair floating in the wind, silk underwear, well-cut brassieres, and everything else that makes people ready for coitus, for instance good food not fine cuisine, a superfluous thing no one appreciates any more, but the food everyone buys – and along with food, defecation, because you know, my dear lady, my beautiful adored lady, you know what a huge position the praise of toilet paper occupies in our profession. Toilet paper, supplies, detergents, food. That is man’s sacred circle, and our mission is not only to discover it, seize it, and map it, but to make it beautiful, to transform it into song. Thanks to our influence, toilet paper is almost exclusively pink, and that is a high edifying fact, which, my dear and anxious lady, I would recommend that you contemplate seriously’.


    ‘But then where is the grandeur of life? If we’re condemned to food and coitus and toiler paper, who are we? And if that’s all we are capable of, why pride can we take in the fact that we are, as they tell us, free beings?’

    On the next page…

    Leroy interrupted Chantal’s fantasies: ‘Freedom? As you live out your desolation, you can either be unhappy or happy. Having that choice is what comprises your freedom. Your free to melt your own individuality into the cauldron of the multitude either with a feeling of defeat or with euphoria. Our choice, my dear lady is, euphoria.


    defeat or euphoria...


    much love

    1. I love you for sure. Thank you for sharing with me. I shall not hold back but also as I write, I hold you in my heart...

      This all feels existential to me - and existentialism is in part the ennobling of depression with philosophy. That is the defeat side of things. To take things to their essential on the planet is actually only part of the answer so far as I can see. Yet to do this thing justice, one must immerse in it. Western philosophy basically immmersed in French existential thought in the forties and fifties. Youthful philosophers tend to immerse in it as individuals and seminars. Others add or deepen it. One really popular philosopher married it to the study of phenomena and came up with existential phenomenology. He had a colorful career and was quite popular in my day. I think he died a few years back.

      I do not accept that we are so completely free as existentialists assert, nor that things boil down to just a few choices. I find I want to make room for really different experiences even beyond the ones I could ever have, and I also want a kind of magic to be present in my world. Both magic and God must be, or I must invent them anyway, and I am okay with it just that way.

      Even certain existentialists get spiritual and become in that way humanist, exalting the spirit and flesh as spirit. We all must be careful though to avoid the illusions of central position. About that the existentialists are dead right.

    2. i think you're right, christopher, to hesitate with this kind of thinking, as i think you are also right to point out that these kinds of truths are only half of the equation. what kundera writes might be what he thinks or perhaps he wants to incite us to reject it. i don't know but a part of me wants to reject what he writes and a part of me recognizes it for truth. let it be that i am able to keep both halves of the equation close enough.

      i love (and laugh) that you say that you will invent god and magic if they don't exist:) this pleases me to no end)))))

      love to you too. i don't think i am going anywhere just yet but perhaps further off toward the horizon. but one never knows. sometimes moments arrive with astonishing fever.


    3. Intention

      Perfect. I sat right
      down by your newly made blaze
      and began weaving
      the signs of power
      as if I could do magic
      with the best of them.

      And for my next trick
      look how I have raised the henge.
      I call forth the One,
      the living mad God
      straight out my granite forehead,
      make Him muster up.

  6. This loss of mine
    makes it hard to find
    to keep some piece of mind
    where would I be though
    without this loss
    in a life of ease
    they say a rolling stone
    gathers no moss
    all I can say
    just one day
    one week, one month
    a year
    can I be a brick
    or block
    a tile or stone paved way
    They all may get walked on
    for all of that
    they don't easily break

    Chris McQueeney

    1. There you are! Hello, my friend. I would recommend not getting hard. Sometimes you harden for the moment. Sometimes you stand rooted like a tree. Sometimes you bend like grass or water plants in the flow. Sometimes you disperse as dandelion seeds do.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!