This poem came with a dedication!
To D.D.L. (Hamlet - National Theatre, London 1989)
When I had gone to London to visit Akila, she gave me one of the finest times of my life. Those experiences and stories will surface in future "Once Upons". One of the shows she took me to was Shakespeare's Hamlet, with Daniel Day Lewis in the title role. He was brilliant. He BURNED.
And then two days later, it appears, he burnt out: collapsing on stage and having to retire to recover.
When I heard about this, emotionally unhealthy person that I am, I felt his pain, huge waves of it, and wrote this poem.
Take a walk when the rain is gone,
when the clouds hang uncertainly in the sky,
and the trees stand with bowed heads.
Soon the sun will return and
with a gentle hand lift their faces
up to him.
The earth breathes easily, damp,
and the evening sky speaks to me of heaven.
All around me is beauty born
again and again.
When I am faced with my own frailty,
knowing this brings me some peace.
I shall have to die one day,
but the sky and the earth
will thrill, will soothe other hearts.
I wish you shelter from the storm.
A warm mug of coffee, clasped in your palm.
Someone to love you, nestled
in the crook of your arm.
These are the things I wish for
you and everyman.
As for me, I am content to bear
the brunt of a storm
or the dull dry weight of a windless day.
I will take the bad for the good
that may follow,
the hard that will with time be easy,
the cruel that might teach me
to be kind.
I will take from life what I can.
Laughter and sunshine.
Thunderstorms and tears.
(written on Dec 13th, 1989)
I love the line about the earth - challenged, refreshed - it says so much, it's so wise. I also like, at the end, the way I have used 'may' and 'might' to underline that in life there are no guarantees, no entitlements.