They said you looked grey

They said you looked grey,
I saw blue and yellow.
not death,
grey only at your temples.

Your face stretched.
Eyes turned west
towards leaving
ready but balked at accepting.

Your language in riddles,
answers withheld.
Secrets dripping,
rippling waves
of mute response.

An oracle to change,
declined to speak or nod.
Refused, you should have
fixed their world

I heard you later,
a summon
leaving and returning.
Yearning
on a casual easterly breeze,
mine not yours.

On high moor
you’re calling.
Voice hails
from the shadow of Haytor.
In a valley
by a quick river.
meandering and nameless.

You born again
seeking,
a plea familiar to you
but not to me.

It sounded like Martin.
My brother or my father? Me?

I felt your touch at last,
soft on my cheeks
and in my hair
gentle and now finally grey.

Ethereal
you flew on unexpected wind.
We all laughed,
did you laugh too?
Sounds of wind
again sighing through grass.

~Dave Kavanagh

 

This poem requires a little explanation.

My natural mother lived on and loved Dartmoor. I went there with her before she died and later I returned there with my brothers and sisters to scatter Margot’s ashes. She was an unknowable woman who held onto so many secrets, even in those last days when she could have said so much and put so much right in the lives of others. When I was born she christened me Martin and we said goodbye (I of course could not speak) my older adoptive brother is also Martin so my name was changed. I was twenty five before I met Margot again.

I Hope this helps with understanding this write.

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