June 5, 2015

Three Poems By Dr. Mel Waldman: My Father, Tell Me about the Afterlife


Dr. Mel Waldman is a psychologist, poet, and writer. He is a past winner of the literary GRADIVA AWARD in Psychoanalysis and was nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE in literature. He is the author of 11 books.

 

MY FATHER,

TELL

ME

ABOUT

THE AFTERLIFE


My father,
the dust-covered years have melted away
&

almost 3 decades have dissolved,
since I buried you,
&

you disappeared within the womb
of the earth,
&

I
said Kaddish,
Mourner’s Kaddish,

&
the years melted away after I shrieked these
strange beautiful prayers for the dead,

the holy haunting holy sounds & sacred words
of
the Kaddish,

celebrating
Hashem,
the Nameless One


&
divine life
&

soaring to the Heavens,
&
caressing my melancholy soul,

a wounded butterfly,
&
healing me.

Now, after dark, inside the deep silence
&
in my enigmatic dreams,

I see you
&
whisper,

My Father, tell me about the afterlife.

Yet voiceless, you are the mask of silence & ghostly in the Void,
&
you wear a phantom face floating in my mournful mind,

an oval mirror,
&
still,

I know you, my ethereal Father, buried in the blurry landscape
of
my visions

&
softly,
I say,

My Father, tell me about the afterlife.

&
inside the deep silence, you reach out to me
&


bathe me in divine light
&
soon, a celestial sphere of light surrounds us & soothes me

&
I feel your love
&

it comes from a beautiful place beyond
&
this is the glorious love story you tell me after dark,

&
in my enigmatic dreams,
the voiceless revelations from the unfathomable Source of everlasting love




THE KISS





The kiss persists
&
floats in memory

the soft clock
melts

I return to the
room
where she is
(is not)

the clock
of
flesh & breath
shatters

I’m in the
room
(not really)

the young man
bends down
to kiss her

the persistence
of
memory
is
unreal
&
mournful




someone old and forceful
behind him-
the boy who once inhabited
that unfathomable place,
commands,
“Kiss her goodbye”

&
with vacant eyes,
he
stares at the abyss
where she is
(is not)

&
descends
into
the cold place

&
now,
in the dark room
of
the funeral home,
his dead eyes,
once gold
and
glittering
in the
sunlight,

gaze at her
frozen face,
a mask of eternity,

&
he
kisses
her
cold forehead
and
whispers
“Goodbye, Mother”



&
behind him,
Father watches

&
with this kiss
that persists
and
floats
in
memory,

he suspects that
his ghost (not he)
is there alone,
without Mother,
only
the
chilling
truth




THE LAST RITES

OF

THE PRINCE OF CENTRAL PARK





In the final hours of his final day,
the old man rediscovers
the history
of
his fall,

a fall from spirit,

         a flood of blue & gold & turquoise butterflies,
         bathed in celestial light,
         pour down
        the infinite staircase of his brain-mansion

a fall from love & family,

         an opalescent ocean overflows with Eros & Creation,
         flocks of doves & egrets, & gorgeous peacocks
        caressing & kissing & swirling
        through the abyss,
        &
        descending
        into the dank darkness of his dissolving mind

a fall from identity,

       a sphere of efflorescence & strange quintessence,
       lovelier than sidereal bodies,
       explodes,
       &
       the secret apocalypse obliterates the center of unity,
      &
      shatters 
      the collapsing self,
     &
     scatters
     shards of antediluvian archetypes,
     &
     the severed parts, curious constellations of chaos,
     sail
     into
     a private black hole & disappear

&
a fall from earthly power

    a Louis Cartier snake of luscious diamonds & sensuous illusion
    coils & spirals
    around
    the coveted emerald,
    &
    embraces
    a cornucopia of pink & white diamonds
    nestled
    in a majestic ring of purple-red stones of porphyry,
    &
    plummets
    through the wild void of a mutilated brain

In the final hours of his final day,
kaleidoscopic images,
of
a rich gentleman
strolling along 5th Avenue
with
a
Fabergé cane,
flash
through
the cauldron of consciousness,
awareness on fire
rushing
across the sprawling dream
of
his life,
a
freaky
phantasmagoria,
while the deep snow covers Central Park
Beyond the Lake,
he descends a stone staircase,
&
finds
the secret home after his fall,
the ancient Cave,
buried in the rocks, & sealed,
&
he lies in the snow,
looking up at the omnipotent
whiteness,
&
rests,
near the closed entrance,
&
the heavy snow
falls incessantly

&
when he rises, he kisses the
frozen rocks
&
trudges south through the
thick heavy snow,
seeking
the soothing quiet & calm
of
holy ground

&
trekking
through the eerie landscape,
bereft of time & space,
a blizzard of dead clocks
&
delirious nothingness,
swathed
in the
shrinking
visibility
within
the white Void,

&
after
wandering
through the wild vastness,
the Prince of Central Park
arrives
at
the
Bethesda Fountain,
clambers 
into its frozen ring,
&
beneath the Angel of the Waters,
&
the flood of furious snow,
he begins to dance,
first slowly,
as he flows into a trance,
&
then swiftly,
as he whirls & swirls & disappears
inside
a corybantic dance,
an orgiastic dance of ecstasy,
a frenzied dance of Eros

&
within the whirling sphere
of
this wild, transcendent dance,
the old man collapses,
&
vanishes
in
a womb of snow,
the preternatural snow of his past,

&
dies in one glorious eternal moment,
a joyous prince once more


 ~Dr. Mel Waldman

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