[this needs a major overhaul edit but
I’m posting it here anyway, in progress]
At first, there could be something
illuminating about the exchange
as I tell you about the technology,
the toys, the phones, gadgets and cars
that have replaced the elements,
although we are still dependent on those.
But the other stuff — family, children,
evolving cultures and being; itʼs all still the same.
Perhaps botox would be something for
you to laugh at. The after thought
makes you recognize that it is only natural
humans want to look better; feel better,
live better, continue to breathe.
Even so, it is as ever, slow and boring, the
silence is always being evaded. Blood, guts,
sex and the privileged continue to corrupt.
Youʼd argue that this is not a severity, as long as
And when we discuss the monastic women;
those who get pneumonia, those that suffer from
their monthly dues; the bishops who starve you,
Iʼll give you my antibiotics and aspirins.
It isnʼt witchcraft; itʼs what we are made of;
how we create and how we destroy and
eventually, weʼd get to the difficult discourse.
Of course, weʼve found ways to prolong it,
make it richer, only at the expense of everything
else. Weʼve become more intelligent, perhaps
more conscious, gifted in our ability to journey
to the stars — landing on the moon, we are
more advanced and yet, perhaps, daringly so,
more stupid. Would that be a sufficient reply?
A definition for you and the women who sing each day?
I could tell you about cancer and the internet.
Eventually, youʼd understand that this is boring too.
I wouldnʼt be surprised if youʼd scoff at what
women do and donʼt do nowadays; and your
disdain over abortions. Youʼd cry at what women
are or is it just all one: our manhood? Essentially,
torture and war still persist. But, really has anything
changed? Itʼs more drawn out, we live close to one
hundred now. I suppose we have more choices
but that doesnʼt necessarily make it easier to live.
Less messy. Less openly contagious.
Thereʼs more artificial light by way of electricity.
But, what does it matter? I would ask you that
because I do not know. I cannot say.
What does it matter?
I tell you your songs are a fresh meditation to the senses
like organic chocolate or a good medieval wine.
Even now, a millennia later, we can share some things
that offer us pure bodily delight. You tell me that death
is no mystery — there is a larger plan. I remind you that
science has found our humanity in the blip of something
larger. We gloat over the geological charts I present you
with and when that moment of darkness descends over
your brow–the doubt will embark upon your spirit offering
a different inner torment and I wonʼt be an angel any longer
but, a shadow come to challenge your faith.
As you rise to cast me out of your vision, among all the
deliberation over what has matter, I will tell you plainly
that I continue to believe in the blessed Mother; she is
sanctioned over and above time. I will tell you I know
why you sing and why you write each morning; I show
you how millions, a thousand years later, sing your praises,
know your songs. We understand your labour of love;
What becomes of matter? A legacy. Your great exalted voice.
An edited version of this elegy will appear in the
forthcoming book Exaltation in Cadmium Red,
poetry by Sonia Di Placido, Guernica Editions, Ltd.