So many years hence, I recall
My first shy ventures
Up these endless stairs
And the echoes of our footsteps
As we climbed.
“Does he live in the sky?” I wondered,
Breathing hard, unable to speak,
While he ascended so easily.
In time, it became familiar:
A safe haven above the noise of the city
And the clatter of my life.
Grandfather clocks solemnly ticking,
Candlelight, and fine brew
Served by a generous hand,
And once, on a magical winter’s night,
The Lark Ascending:
Sweet perfection of Vaughan Williams
On the stereo at midnight.
Such were the finest of times with my friend.
As I sit in this space by day,
Bare walls before me,
Empty rooms and book shelves,
And the stamp of his presence being carried away,
Piece by piece, and box by box,
I remember those nights,
And deep in my heart, I long for just one more.
He may be going from this place,
But he, himself, still lives and breathes
And looks to the future.
All will be well with my friend in time:
“the ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away.”
But nothing can strip the memories
Of those sacred nights from me:
Not the candles, nor the music,
Nor the drink, nor the talk,
Nor the image of my beloved friend,
A precious diamond glittering
In his setting of finest gold.
11 September 2014