Kenneth Madden

Tilth

I sat with him daily. He shared with me memories of
working land with horse and plough
His hands trembled but it wasn’t hard
to imagine them guiding horse and coulter
in a furrow he’d get lost in.

I left a copy of Heaney’s poem on his bedside locker,
another memory of turning ground. Later he thanked
me and told me he liked it, told me he had started falling
over, then falling over again until he had landed here
confused, on crisp white linen
while they scurried round him doing.

Things like take his temperature.
He couldn’t see them dance around
his diagnosis, always waiting for some results.
One morning, I was told he’d cried
all night after the doctor told him.
But he’d have no hand in harrowing,
so back again to leave him with with a gentle lie:
‘There’s always hope.’

I sat with him for the last few days
and the feeling sat with me,
that hopes a thief that keeps us tightly bound
in he that hears the sweet soft dying sound.

Note. There is no you that feelings sit with ,clearly. There are only feelings. There is not, and never was a separate you to have feelings although it certainly feel as though there is. An aspect of feelings like a contracted separate self is there is hope that this can be better, this isn’t quite it, it’ll be better tomorrow, next week, when…. The individual moves in that energy which is linear and in time, moving forward in hopeful anticipation. The stunning realization is that there is no start or end, no birth or death, only apparently and This, what appears to be happening, is all everything, it is complete boundless wholeness and that is what you are and always have been. It is so simple that it remains hidden, so ordinary that it’s missed and yet so stunning that it is totally and utterly beyond any effort to describe it. This message is not heard by ‘you’, it has nothing what so ever to do with what you perceive as being ‘you’, or how you are. For you are already whole and complete, already what you seek.

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