Wendy Stern

Loss's fool
It is a simplifier,It brings focus, clarity,Sunlight.Sharp,Streaming throughOpen windowsAfter murky dullness,Highlighting,Accentuating,That which is there. It is a separator,A dividerOf the greysInto clear, hardened,Black and white stripes,Strong, strident. It is a map,A signpost,A cold illustratorOf that which has beenAnd that which is now,A destroyer it seemsThat will paint every aspect,Every shade, every detailOf that which is gone and wave itIn your faceSo that it hurts, hurts, hurts. This is what I loved about her,This is who she was.This is what I loved about her,This is what she gave.This is what I loved about him,This is what is so so missed, And yet again This is who I was then,This is where I stood,This is who I was then.This is what I dreamed of,This is who I was then,This is what I so so longed for. It is a thief,It seems,And yet not so,For it can only stealThat to which we are attached,Can only hurtWhen we are clinging.A tough teacher,PerhapsA cruel one?Well, I don't know,I don't know,Who am I to say? It strips away pieces of your life,Bringing havoc,Disarray,Then turns and asks of you,“Who are you nowAnd is there anythingLeft of you?Anything?”And I have no answers.I have none still. I take the crown,It seizes it back.I take the crown,It seizes it back.I take the crownAnd it sits on its throneMocking me.Well, almost... Once I used to danceUnder full moon tree,Used to dangle my feetIn Loch Lomond breeze.Once I'd make my daisy chainsUnder too-hot sun,Seemingly impervious,UntouchedBy it all.And now, nowI must admitI am nothing more,Nothing less,It seems,Than loss's fool. November November.It isSix months laterAnd our raindrop returns,On aDifferentBranch this time,On a willow leaf,Resting, balancedIn the deep veeOf the leaf’s centre,Poised at a daring,If not dangerous, angle,As ifAbout toRoll and fall,Roll and fall.And yetIt does not do so,But rather remains, steadfast,Resolute,Seemingly immovable. Once againIt is magnificent,Once again a glow,As it capturesThe sharp, more penetrating lightOf winterAnd holds it to itselfIn a single and acutePoint of light.And sending it outFrom itself to the worldAnd, unless I am mistaken,It is aimed accuratelyAnd most decidedly at me,A fierce thread of connection,Impossible to miss,Transfixing to the eye,Breathtakingly dramatic. No gentle breeze surrounds, this time,No shimmering blossom;Everything heldBy a frozen stillness. The overlooking room,The close proximityOf the sun,ImposeVast shadowsOn the wallsAnd the ceiling,Great replicasOf natureOn white and creamCaricatures of plant and leafOn the floorboards,On the window pane. Looking outwards,Our raindrop remains,Still adamant,EnduringIts fierce line of light. Its unflinching glare,So uniquely and perfectly aimed at me,Holds a question,A challenge,An accusation even:“Where do we go from here?” I turn away to relieve my eyesAnd when I look back...It is gone. Take TakeThis broken formAnd let it slip awayUnseenBetween the sun and the moon TakeThis shattered mindAnd let the dust and fragmentsBlow outTo the furthest of seas TakeThis hurting heartAnd let itBleed foreverIn the arms of those who know TakeThis caged-in childAnd let herRun in forests in nakednessAnd wild fields of play TakeThis burdened pastAnd purify itWith flames of reddened shameTo white light TakeThis stolen chanceAnd let meHand it back in emptinessTo futures unknown TakeThis woman’s painAnd let herThrow herself towards your feetIn fear or despair TakeThis woman’s lifeAnd give all the piecesUp to youIn your sweet name Wendy is a Buddhist and poet living in Bristol, in the west of England. For many years she has been completely bedridden, and her poetry therefore comes from an unusual perspective. Writing poetry is Wendy’s passion and her only form of creativity and self-expression. Her work is produced without the capacity to look at text, to write or to use a laptop. Dictating the poems and then editing them aurally takes an immense amount of energy and concentration. Many of Wendy's poems have appeared in Buddhist Poetry Review.