Sunrise on Sunset Beach

TSS - Memorial Service, Graveside

On Poetry Offered at Marie Patten's Memorial Service, Sunday, July 30, 2017
    1. Graveside: “Seasons – unfolding and enfolding”

It was a hot mid-summer afternoon. We gathered graveside to celebrate a portrait of pure love.

Mass culture celebrates young love that attracts and binds two strangers. For some, this love matures and builds family. For the well-matched and lucky, this love lasts a lifetime.

And then there is love that bonds beyond death.

Bernie cared for Marie through her decline, reading to her faithfully, comforting her with voice and music. This bittersweet period ended with her death in July, 2016. She was buried on a scenic hillside deep in Oconee Hill Cemetery.

But death did not end his devotion. Day by day he visited Marie, to read and share presence together. Through four seasons, Bernie and Marie continued to commune on this gentle hillside. I can hardly imagine the play of moods as the seasons slowly unfolded. The days shrank through autumn to winter, then grew again into spring. And finally, another summer, a year passed here on this hillside.

I chose three poems to share for this one-year memorial service. Links to the poems and exerpts are given below. These poems are meant to capture moods that Bernie could have felt here, from painfully perfect autumn afternoons, through cold, damp winter days, to vibrant, fertile early summer mornings. Perhaps they may reflect a fleeting presence of grace and usher moments of peace.

The Ache at the Edge of Autumn

… The whole of life has brought you here —
time, fulfilled in a moment of joy.
Consummation always comes

and afternoon forever fades.
There is an ache at the edge of an autumn day
when time trends toward waning

and earth spins ever away…

Cold Rain Comes

… when what was vital cracks and dries
and old achievements ossify,
from broken days embrace the night,
engage the frigid winter mind —
(After cold rain comes the spring).

A Prayer of June in Green and Brown

To be present at creation
and wander deep time
weightless as the moment itself …

…    Just give me Now
in my out-breath and God
in the garden, trailing
dew beads to a new solstice.

No comments:

Post a Comment