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Farewell

 

after Sidney Keyes

In the rainless afternoon

I am standing in the line

to see you off

I want to hold your hands

to say goodbye

I cannot reach out

 

I want to be in your eyes

see the sparks of your mind

I want to be in your ears

hear my confused English syllable

 

However, I cannot see you

However, I cannot drink with you

face to face

The chair you have taken is empty

I see a tender green leaf

standing on a tiny branch silently

 

An old notebook is written in Chinese

A can of freshly-made Guinness

Let your life sleep tight

in the grass of this world.

same as a stone

will not end

 

Death is a friend who cannot lie

It is the only friend

who does not change for our mood

I want to be like you

not knowing the fate

though work for it day and night

There are always unrestrained colours

in the vision

 

Spring is entirely on the tree

I look up at tomorrow’s news.

 

29 May 2020

This is the poem for my good friend Mr Dennis Murphy. He was my Chinese evening class student and my life mentor. He passed away three weeks ago, I could not attend the funeral because of covid19. I was standing outside of GMIT(the college which he worked for over 30 years) to farewell him. I was very sad for the first few days. In Chinese tradition, we should be very sad about death. But I read a lot of books and poetry about death, then I got to know the Mexican tradition about celebrating death. I think death is the beginning of eternity, as Emily Dickinson wrote, “And may there be no sadness of farewell”.

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