Thursday, 30 October 2008

Last Post For Leo

Now I am no poet (and I know it) but here are some thoughts and feelings composed this morning while supposed to be doing the metta bavahna:

My garden is empty now

My garden is empty now
Like a deserted plain
No more shall I see you
Bound across the lawn with gay abandon
Legs in all directions as you charge
Into my heart.

My window ledge is empty now
Like a hole in my heart
No more shall I see your
Mischievous face looking in waiting
Patiently for me to come down the stairs
And let you in.

The seat by my side is empty now
Like a vacant parking space
No more shall I see you
Sleeping on your back with legs in the air
And slitted eyes watching my every move
As I try to pull at your tail.

My lap is empty now
Like a part of my body
Has been taken away
No more shall I stroke your willing head
And suffer your glare
When I stop for a moment.

My heart is empty now
Like a black hole
Heavy with sadness
No more shall we share our uncertain lives
Nor meet for the daily round
Of love and respect.

My garden is empty now.

And here is a small selection of the many photographs I took of Leo (most of them rubbish but kept just the same):

When First He Came To Stay:

The red collar was very short lived until I gave up and let him be the wildcat he was.

Chums on a Sunny Day in the Garden:

A bit out of focus but it shows right from the beginning that of all places he chose my lap to sit on.

Last Christmas:

He loved getting into boxes and bags. The mouse present was purely an aside. And anyway he gave me more gifts of mice than I can remember. Who will control them now?

How many days did we share in the studio? He would sit at the glazed door waiting patiently for me to let him in then dive up onto the table and into his own corner (top right) to sleep the afternoon away while I worked. This is the Master giving me some needy advice.
The Last Photograph I Took Just Last Week:

I've got a million photos of him sleeping like this. It never ceased to amaze me and I wouldn't have wanted him to be uncomfortable!
Goodbye my friend.


my croft said...

that sounds like you did do a metta bhavana after all.

He chose you and he chose well. When you are ready, another will choose as well and wisely. Not a replacement, but another with the good sense to recognize and reward abundant kindness.

all best,

Melinda said...

A lovely, heart felt, deeply moving poem, David. Thank you for being so open with your life and art. Thank you for sharing photos of Leo. He is now a citizen of the universe and will always be safe in your heart.

A different kind of metta bhavana that we have here in Tucson is the El Dia de Los Muertos. They are now gearing up for the All Souls Procession and thought you might like two links that you may find comforting and artistically inspiring. The first is an Az Illustrated video on the exhibit last year for the Dia. The second is how we in Tucson remember our loved ones who have gone on. It's the All Souls parade.

Wishing you peace--Melinda

daviddrawsandpaints said...

You probably can tell I am only a part-time Buddhist who needs to learn how to spell Pali words (although research tells me it is actually Bhavna, so there!:o).

Thank you both for persevering with me, but Melanie, altho' I know you are probably right I don't think there will be ever be another cat - I couldn't bear the depth of this pain again.

And Melinda: I wouldn't really call my efforts poetry but if there were some phrases that touched the mark then I am happy it came through.
Thank you for these links - they have introduced me to a culture I had no real understanding of. The All Souls parade perhaps spoke more directly to me with words of non-religious content than the Az video, tho I did like many of the artworks there.

In order to create some space for myself I am taking a weeks breather away. Specifically, at present I cannot bear to come downstairs in the morning and not see Leo's face at the window waiting for me.

Also at present I feel like a one-man walking disaster area with all my travails, and so I hope to break the cycle by going away. When I come back I will come visit each of you and return the support you have given me.

Thank's to all who have given me an arm of friendship to lean on.

my croft said...

It's only pain, it goes away. (Take my word on that one, I've had a lot of practice.)

I suspect that you would not be able to refuse a be-furred love if it comes again in need.

Be well, big heart, and take your rest.

I'm never really sure where the aitches go in these words. I always have to copy and paste. ;-)

Lor Lor said...

Hi David
I wish I had your way with words when my wee westie Paddy died last year. At least we were able to bury him in his favourite place in our Japanese garden, under the Cherry tree. We still have our wee scottie Hamish, but he misses him too.
It's not easy when a wee friend is no longer around.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

If I was so lucky, Melanie, to attract the attentions of another wee cat the first thing I would do would be to try to find it's real owner (or should that just be carer?)rather than take it in. I wouldn't wish to deprive someone of their favourite pet. But you are right - I couldn't turn an animal in need away. If I couldn't determine who it belonged to I would indeed make it welcome.

And Lorraine, it's good you had Paddy to bury him in the garden. That's what I would have liked to do too. I'm such a novice at this sort of thing I never knew it could be like this. As my Australian friend Deb said to me: "join the broken-hearts club!"
At least I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about a very small pal.