04 June 2006

Caravaggio, The Holy Family


              Late at night I return home
              from work and find my wife and child
              fast asleep together.
              When I lift him from her breast
              she sighs in her sleep as if lost
              in distant dreams.
              But in the dark my son stirs
              and clings to me,
              fighting off the drowsiness
              that drapes him like a cloak.
              His small arms, recalling
              his father’s body, lock around my neck
              as if imagining a drowning.
              So here too is the language of loss
              the fear of loss,
              and this is how he learns to love,
              as we ourselves have learned.
              We forget, we crowd
              our lives with white noise,
              bright colours, a thousand
              irrelevant things,
              but in the end we return
              to all there really is –
              the sons, the fathers
              the women whom they love
              and in all the nights ahead
              this great black fear
              of absence.
posted by Gilbert at Sunday, June 04, 2006


Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Writing a poem like that is enough to give meaning to a life. That is wonderful. That is just everything, boiled down.
You never cease to amaze me.

August 06, 2005  
Blogger MercerMachine said...


August 17, 2005  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Reposted with some minor edits.

June 06, 2006  
Blogger dreamer idiot said...

Ah, icic. Loved it reading it then, and really nice to be reading it again now. This is indeed beautifully written.

June 07, 2006  
Blogger MB said...

I love this poem, Gilbert.

June 09, 2006  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Thanks all. :)

June 11, 2006  

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