Carved on Air

“You understand, I shall not/ If I survive you care/ To raise a headstone for/ You I have carved on air.” ~Donald Davie

Twelve years today.

There is no stone marker for my husband, who is present in every lovely seen thing. Nor is there any such marker for my father, whose ashes touched down by the academic building where he truly lived, but whose energy inhabits the subatomic universe.

Growing green and light, as a perished child gently exhorted her deeply grieving mother in The Poisonwood Bible, is the only marker my husband needs.

(c) Jim Glennon, March 2008

For a college centenary celebration, Veronica Forrest-Thompson wrote “The Hypen,” an ode to a shorthand notation that reflects both the infinite and constricted space of human time. The poem itself has now been with us mortals longer than my husband was.

Forrest-Thompson observed that hyphens’ wee lightly floating dash is used both to link and “to divide/ for etymological or other purpose.”

My husband entered this world on a December day in Maryland, and left it on March 22, in New Hampshire, but you will find neither date bracketing a carved hyphen.

His physical memorial is something that would delight him: a high school bench dedicated “In Musical Memory of Dr. Jim Glennon.”  No dates need be applied. Music, after all, boundlessly reanimates and rejuvenates whatever surrounds it. Once released into our world, it never leaves us, and we are incapable of letting it go.

3-22-11

Three. Nearly half shorn from “8,”

but endless half-infinity left behind

Twos side-by-side: two daughters, two sons

Ones, freestanding and conjoined

Towering twins imprinted on air

and rendered in light

We look up still

Where Heaven Meets the Earth and Sea

At the spot in Dublin where a small seashell filled with Jim’s ashes wafted into the sea, a tiny spray of them lifted by a breeze into an arc that glittered in the rising sun, one would be hard-pressed to distinguish heaven from earth, or earth from the sea.
I looked at the blush sea and sky “as the sea’s own beat resumed and made him part of the cadence of its waves,
. . .turquoise with rolling white tops.”
Many of my own words will follow in future posts about our travels, but for now I’ll share some of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s:
Ireland 1524
See the mountains kiss high heaven
   And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
   If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
   And the moonbeams kiss the sea. . . 

 

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