Moonbeams

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The point of a moonbeam, dearest child,”   said my mother

“Is a sign to heaven the young alone may follow

And adults never find.”

                                     “Don’t grown-ups go there ever?”

I asked as I reclined at her side on a pillow

Voluptuously drowning, drowsy fingers clutching

At straws of her hair.  “I thought only old people died?”

“They do;” she replied.  “But the way is found by touching –

And the texture of light is lost to an older mind.”

 

Persisting, warm in the glow of her skin by lamplight

And eye-wide in the white-bright fronds of the slivered moon:

“Will I go somewhere full of old people?”  I asked her,

“And follow a shivery moonbeam – why?”        

                                                               “Some are called,”

She responded, a mystic gleam in her saddened eye.

“I wouldn’t answer!”  Said I.

                                             “Sleep now, child.”  The light was

Extinguished as I burrowed deep in the chasms of bed.

Flowing words in the warm like a dream to enclose me.

“Here.   This is Heaven for me.”  I said.

                                                             “Perhaps for you.”

From an outer world her cold voice clattered like pebbles.

“Why is my Heaven always tomorrow?”  She wondered.

I lay still in the hollow where my father once slept.

Tomorrow?   Would he come, then, tomorrow?  We pondered

The unasked question. 

                                     “No, nor ever.”   My mother said.

 

Send not to know for whom……

Alright, Monday is dismal day!  Why?  Because I can’t write a line.  Not for want of trying, not for lack of inspiration, but because I’m approaching what is for me the most difficult subject to write about:  dying. 

I have a character to kill off.

Honestly, I don’t know why this is.  The words will flow willingly enough, the scene trots out faithfully on the page, the lifeless soul is lying there, gone beyond the reach or touch of the one who loves her.  I even find a way for him to turn his back and walk away alone.  Then I read it back.

And I delete it.

The problem may be my investment in the character.  If she has not lived for me, how can I make her die?  If my soul is not inextricably linked to hers, how can I describe the emotion, the futility, the sheer terror of that moment?   Or it may be I am inhabiting his mind still, and I want toe feel his grief, his fear.  I mustn’t try to do both.

In a love scene these things are easy, because it is an interplay.  It’s easy to display the joys, the reservations, the comedic aspects of each character because – unless I’m writing something extremely kinky – they both have a continuation.  Nobody leaves the scene on a trolley.

In this scene though, somebody does.  And what makes it worse (this, by the way, forms part of the sequel to ‘Hasuga’s Garden’) is the lack of love between the characters.   One who loves, one who does not – unrequited, wasted passion.

So I’ve deleted three versions so far, and now I’m going to turn my own back on it for a while. 

You see, to be a good death scene it has to make me cry.   It’s a primary requirement.  If it doesn’t get me in tears, it won’t touch the hearts of my readers.  

Simply that.   Sorry?  Oh, no, don’t mention it!  Glad I’ve brightened up your morning!