It's warm on the journey to South Arm. I pass many waterways
that we often kayaked together. I stop at the cliffs and view the
lookout towards Wedge Island.
fog lifts -
a sea eagle
circles the blue
I travel the last few kilometres to his seaside house. I want very
much to see him again but I know it will not be pleasant. I greet
his partner. We talk for a while then move towards his bedroom
where he is sleeping.
his wasted body
a face in the mirror
I do not know
As the shock of his gaunt appearance wears off slightly I listen to my
instructions on how to care for him to give his partner some respite.
to keep him comfortable
she leaves me alone
He drifts off to sleep. I watch over this man I have called my friend for
so long now. Outside dogs bark and the birds reply, the sounds of living
seep into the house.
I hear him call and my mind says a thousand things as I struggle just to
stay present and let the moment unfold, I want only to make his last
waking up dry
over morphine clouds
he tries to talk
to quench his thirst
it shatters across the bench
He settles at last. I read my book but the lines fade into dark thoughts.
So, I sit and try to contemplate our good times in silence.
while he sleeps
I watch the sun's path
across the carpet
The sound of a car. My time with him is coming to an end. Wanting to
say so many things, but knowing just to be there is enough.
she returns home
every moment now
She checks on him and I follow to help, hoping to catch a word from his
dry, cracked lips.
in love's care
I watch them together
Time to go. He wakes and with all his strength gives me a warm smile.
With a failing voice he wishes I did not see him like this and urges
me to go.
shaking his hand
in those blue eyes
our last time
I hug him
but he is almost gone
no body left
I say goodbye to her and we talk of practical things for the approaching
funeral. She breaks down, talking this way of the dying man as he sleeps,
and the first tears flow.
to be in the sun
and with the living
I go to his favourite place and park amongst flowering gum trees.
The cool sea breeze, or is it his dying? sends a shiver down my back.
I walk the beach
hoping to arrive somehow
on wet sand
the crab's skeleton
reaches out to sea
The next day, having mourned him many times, the phone call comes.
There is a great feeling of relief that he is suffering no more in
that half way place where he has been. He has moved on and so must I.
day of the funeral
in a moments silence
a seagull circles
It's a few days later and she calls me on the phone. She tells me his
ashes have been scattered over the sea, the place he loved the most.
I put down the phone. It comes to me that my best friends death has
bought me more fully into my life.
a lone paddler
heads out to open sea
no sound . . .
haibun and illustration
'Last Visit' won first prize for haibun in Yellow Moon's International
Seed Pearls Competition August 2002 judged by Janice M Bostok,
and was published in Yellow Moon magazine Issue 12, Summer 2002.'
See More of Ron's Works
in the November 2002
World Haiku Review
The Haiku Poets Hut
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