I'd like to share here some of the poems,songs,and photographs that I've collected since Florence's birth. Most of them, I've kept in a little folder on my pc, not quite knowing what to do with them. When I've seen something that captured my heart I've tucked it away for a later date, and that means often I've not remembered where I've seen it first, so apologies in advance for that.
The following poem is one that was running through my head the days following Florence's death. We had lines from this carved on her grave stone, and I'm considering a tattoo with the same words.
by: Oscar Wilde
Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.
All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.
Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.
Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.
Peace, peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life's buried here,
Heap earth upon it.
Here a pretty baby lies
Sung asleep with lullabies:
Pray be silent and not stir
Th' easy earth that covers her.
I think I found this poem on the blog "Dead Baby Jokes"
There is something so beautiful and so comforting about the nursery rhyme style of this.
I think the next two poems probably came from Angie, over at Still Life With Circles
It is time for me to go, mother; I am going.
When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn
you stretch out your arms for your baby in the bed,
I shall say, “Baby is not there!”–mother, I am going.
I shall become a delicate draught of air and caress you;
and I shall be ripples in the water when you bathe,
and kiss you and kiss you again.
In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves
you will hear my whisper in your bed,
and my laughter will flash with the lightning
through the open window into your room.
If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night,
I shall sing to you from the stars, “Sleep mother, sleep.”
On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed,
and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.
I shall become a dream,
and through the little opening of your eyelids
I shall slip into the depths of your sleep;
and when you wake up and look round startled,
like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.
When, on the great festival of puja,
the neighbours’ children come and play about the house,
I shall melt into the music of the flute and throb in your heart all day.
Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask,
“Where is our baby, sister?”
Mother, you will tell her softly,
“He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my body and in my soul.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore
"Lullaby for my Dead Child"
by Denise Jallais, translated by Maxine Kumin and Judith Kumin
You shouldn't be afraid of the dark
Or of worms
Now you can play with the rain
And see the grass come up
You shouldn't put dirt in your mouth
And sit still waiting for me
We've given you some flowers
To console you for being little
This is a passage from "The Water Babies" by Charles Kingsley. This was printed on a card from a friend, and struck a chord with both Woody and I.
And... one moonlight night, the fairies came flying in at the window and brought her such a pretty pair of wings that she could not help putting them on; and she flew with them out of the window, and over the land, and over the sea, and up through the clouds..
This poem was written by Eden.She wrote it in the months following Florence's birth, but only now have I felt able to share it.(with her permission)
This transcript from a radio programme is something that speaks to me.
You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.
And at one point you'd hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.
And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.
And you'll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they'll be comforted to know your energy's still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you're just less orderly. Amen.