12 July 2017

Having Died Once

File:Rippl-Rónai - Carousel.jpg
Carousel by József Rippl-Rónai (1987)



I died once. At age 12
I entered a coma and saw life
swirling from a set point beyond all. 

Looking down, I saw Mom crying at my bedside,
and I fought my way back to the pulse of heartbeats,
days turning at the pace of home-made carousels.

Family’s embrace pushed me higher and further
out from home and on to claim rewards from success,
images of backyard games and swings in my head.

Perhaps you were also caught up in hummingbird energy
constantly beating wings, achieving flight, height and love
in service, in money, in steady rewarding commitment.

Then how now does slowing down at life's end feel to you?
Does it seem (like to me) a death-like distancing from real life,
or do you welcome time at turtle’s pace, staying out of traffic?

Do you clutch your ticket to travel in fear that you’ll lose it?
I grip my memories in both hands, harness them to my mind’s
horse power and urge them to move me as fast as my neighbors.

I fear re-entering coma-view, feeling that remoteness
separates me from joining the bustle, forgetting I am not
in exile but reaping the rewards of a well-traveled life.

Let's speed up, take corners with courage, abandon, bravado
and forget to take pills prescribed to regulate blood pressure--
Let's not wait to slow down, not witness our bodies going on without us.

#

(This is half here, my coma vs forward movement story.  
I'm thinking of cutting the second to last stanza. 
Or maybe the one before it.  Any thoughts?
BTW, I'm using dactyls and anapests, not iambs,
reaching for more life.) 


For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Movement





My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast



16 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh please dont delete either, especially not the clutching the ticket one...........I am mindblown by your coma experience, having read so much about near death experiences.......love the "pace of home-made carousels"..........For me, life hasn't slowed down, so much as I have withdrawn from the service to others that has consumed my life until very recently, and am luxuriating in the richness of my time being my own. I feel much more The Observer than I was in younger years, but that is rather enjoyable, I have escaped the chaos and drama of younger emotions. I understand much, now, but it isnt of much help to anyone else - for they have to learn this at their own pace, as I did. Smiles.

movement said...

I like your poem, even though I am personally enjoying the slowing down of aging. I find I think through things far more clearly,

Elizabeth

Mary said...

I am so glad you fought your way back, Susan!! Even at a young age you were determined. What a loss to the world if you had not.

indybev said...


Having had a killer high-pressure job, I welcomed the slowing down, and I'm very much enjoying these years. I feel not in the least distanced from life. I do clutch my ticket, but I take my blood pressure pills religiously! You've a wonderful talent, Susan. Celebrate it, and this quieter chapter of your life!

Old Egg said...

I don't see any reason to delete either. I too am annoyed at slowing down still craving some elixir that will sort things out. However I am a realist and know that there is greater satisfaction in racing on and trying to achieve even more that I ever thought possible.

Martin Kloess said...

I am constantly reflecting down the lines of this poem. Where is that me of years ago? Yet even though he died, the great memories inspires me on.

Thotpurge said...

Perhaps you were also caught up in hummingbird energy.. a great question that is valuable to consider in the light of what we really want to do with our lives..

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Like someone else in this thread, I too am enjoying slowing down. But I do understand where you're coming from.

Truedessa said...

I feel the poem should stand as is, you have put your soul into it and the reader can feel the words.

I had a NDE a few years ago, and I remember it vividly. So, your poem really spoke to me about that journey to the other side.

Sumana Roy said...

Please don't delete anything. OMG, seems the poem speaks to me only, specially with the hummingbird and slow pace and blood pressure! I have read about NDE but bot have heard from anyone's own experience. I believe that such life is deeply spiritual and has special purpose on this earth. You are one blessed soul Susan.

Marja said...

What a powerful poem. I feel the line "Do you clutch your ticket to travel in fear that you’ll lose it?" I often have to slow down because I easily go into overload but at the same time. I am also afraid of not wanting "to witness my body going on without me" as the desire to really live is there. Love that one
The poem is great as it is. No deleting anything :)

Jae Rose said...

I love the thought of hummingbird energy - long may it stay

sreeja harikrishnan said...

The whole poem is beautiful...every line matters...such deep and beautiful thoughts....it imparts wisdom!

rallentanda said...

This is a very interesting and important poem. For women who have been busy with work and family , life is always time poor to devote to yourself.. To have time to reflect ponder read write and just sit in the sun, go for a swim, and fill life with simple joys in my opinion is the greatest luxury ...something you cannot buy...
My younger life was frenetic. I lived as if there were no tomorrows.The remainder is going to be tranquil. I should not have said that....the Greek Gods are listening:)Loved your poem.

paulscribbles said...

Interesting thoughts on the slow down as being a death like distancing from life...and the fear of coma view surprises me...having been there and come back I'd have thought all fear would evaporate.Fascinating write. For what it's worth i'd alter nowt ;)

Panchali said...

Oh, what really happens after death remains one of life's great mysteries!! Eerie, to say the least! I want to live the uncertainties, live the risks and yearnings. Live it till the final day! Smiles..
Very interesting take on the prompt, Susan.