May perpetual light shine

I stumble back into bed with a cup of coffee, its still dark outside. I pick up my iPad and check my email. Mostly junk mail from Stores, nothing of interest.

I scroll down till I find what I am looking for – my ‘poem-a-day’. My Dad bought me a subscription to The American Poetry Society and setting that up I came across this free service on their website – Now this is my treat every morning. I sit and read a poem with my coffee. The poems vary wildly. Some, say out loud familiar (the famous ones are only at the weekends) some short and refreshingly simple, some quirky and challenging, some obscure and irritating, but all stimulating. The one this morning, really resonated. When I read the poets commentary that made sense.

May Perpetual Light Shine

We have encountered storms
Perfect in their drench and wreck
Each of us bears an ornament of grief
A ring, a notebook, a ticket torn, scar
It is how humans know their kind—
What is known as love, what can become
the heart’s food stored away for some future
Love remains a jewel in the hand, guarded
Shared fragments of earth & air   drift & despair.
We ponder what patterns matter other than moons and tides:
musical beats—rumba or waltz or cha cha cha
cosmic waves like batons furiously twirling
colors proclaiming sparkle of darkness
as those we love begin to delight
in the stars embracing
PatriciaSpearsJones_NewBioImage2015-RachelElizaGriffithsThe poet explained the poem this way “This poem was started on my birthday as I was thinking about my mother who died in 2013—that she may really be happier in heaven. The title is from a Christian prayer for the dead. The afterlife is contemplated in a range of beliefs, and for me the idea of returning to the celestial is very powerful.”
—Patricia Spears Jones


I’m not religious but I do like to feel that the universe is all connected in someway. I have always loved the romantic notion of people being made of star dust. Which apparently is actually pretty much true.


The poem also reminded me of the passage on life and death in one of my kids favourite children’s picture books ‘No Matter What” illustrated by Debi Gliori. The book is about the relationship between parent (Large) and child (Small) with the recurring question from Small – will you always love me no matter what? – to which the parent, Large, always says ‘yes’.

Then at the end the child ‘Small’ asks the parent ‘Large’

“Does love wear out” said Small, “does it break or bend? Can you fix it, stick it, does it mend?”
Oh help,” said Large “I’m not that clever. I just know I’ll love you forever”.
Small said: “But what about when you’re dead and gone – would you love me then, does love go on?
Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright.

I’ve always thought that was a lovely way of thinking about the death of someone you love, that somehow they are still there. Just in a different time, like the stars.


Looking at a night sky I am often awestruck when I think just how far and how long  it took for the light from the stars to get there.

My mum loved looking at the stars. This April she and my Dad went to Iceland and saw the Northern Lights. That’s one of the items on my bucket list. She said it was amazing. The fabulous swirling colours, the patterned diamonds of stars crowding the sky. Its strange to think that, some of the stars she was looking at there died long before she did.


One thought on “May perpetual light shine

Add yours

  1. I love this idea, About love going on shining….Tamsyn was so much loved, because she CARED . I sent you the Daily Good email , which resonated with this idea. Her good does go on. I think you have the same gift, Kathy, especially with people. Jill

    Sent from my iPad



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