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[aloha-donblanding] Hearts Radar

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  • TikiRoom18@aol.com
    In a message dated 00-03-06 12:18:01 EST, you write: Gerald.. what book is this in? Aloha Larry
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 6, 2000
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      In a message dated 00-03-06 12:18:01 EST, you write:

      << My favorite Blanding poem is "Heart's Radar." >>

      Gerald.. what book is this in?

    • Gerald Argetsinger
      I m always in trouble here because my Blanding materials are at home, but I do my email at the office! I knew I should have found the book title that included
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 7, 2000
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        I'm always in trouble here because my Blanding materials are at home,
        but I do my email at the office! I knew I should have found the book
        title that included "Heart's Radar" when I sent my posting, but of
        course I didn't. Tried to slip one past you and you didn't let me!
        ::smile:: It is in "Today is Here". I happen to have it in this
        computer, so will include it here.

        Don Blanding

        I may have dreamed . . . I do not think I dreamed. . . .
        But in the twilight’s mystic hour it seemed
        That one I loved who had gone before
        Returned on silent feet through the Gray Door.
        This one whom I had mourned returned
        From that far place (which is not far, I learned).

        It was not strange at first . . . I was aware
        Of friendly presence near . . . and he was there,
        My friend . . . not as a spirit set apart,
        But smiling a smile of lips and eyes and heart,
        Sprawled lazily in his own easy chair
        In his own place beside the fire where
        He loved to sit and dream the time away
        Through dusk, the most loved hour of the day,
        As though he had not been away at all.

        Yet now, in looking back, I can recall
        A silver shimmer like a moonstone’s glow
        That shone about him like white fire. I know
        There was a silence, hesitant, which broke
        With laughter . . . and with laughing hearts we spoke.
        I quite forgot that I had ever known
        Hours of aching emptiness, alone,
        Waiting, a futile waiting without end
        For the return of this beloved friend.
        I can not quite remember that I heard
        His voice, yet I recall each loving word
        That seemed to flow from his mind into mine,
        A soundless speech in swift exchanging line
        Like music heard in memory, a refrain
        Pulsing and lilting in the heart again.
        Time had no meaning, hour, day or date
        In that communion, dear and intimate.

        We talked . . . or thought . . . as we had talked before
        Of this and that, of friends and love and war.
        With “war” I gasped a sudden indrawn breath.
        The spell was broken with the thought of death.
        I felt a chill of interstellar space.
        My frantic eyes sought out his smiling face,
        “This is a dream. A cruel dream,” I cried,
        “You can’t be you. You can’t be real. You died.”

        The silver shimmer faded, dulled and blurred,
        “Don’t speak that thought,” he said, “Don’t think that word.
        You kill us in your thoughts. You seal the tomb.
        And you who love us most pronounce our doom.
        You close the door by which we might return.
        You exile us until you truly learn
        That we are not wan ghosts . . . not gone . . . but here.
        The silver fire blazed strong, white and clear,
        “We are not phantoms wailing in the night.
        We are ourselves. We see with finer light.
        And we are even more alive than you
        Who are encased in heavy flesh. We, too,
        have lessons we must learn, steep paths to climb,
        Long roads to walk . . . and weary ones . . . through time.
        We need your help . . . we need your strong belief.
        Don’t shackle us with bleak despairing grief.
        In life we sought to give you happiness.
        The knowledge that we cause you black distress
        Is like a wound that will not cease to bleed.
        You turn us into lonely ghosts indeed.”

        He came quite close, so close that I could feel
        His presence like warm breath, more truly real
        Than wood or stone, as real as living flesh
        Yet flesh of quicker, lighter, brighter mesh
        Than ours, like mist or light or rhythmic sound
        Which is not here nor there but all around.
        His voice . . . or thought . . . was urgent in command,
        “Don’t question now. In time you’ll understand.
        Tell all who mourn to cast aside their doubt
        And break the barricades that keep us out.
        The veil between our worlds is frail and thin.
        Give us your help when we would enter in.
        If you should sense our presence, be alert
        And discipline all thoughts of loss and hurt.
        Recall instead the joyousness we shared.
        Remember how we laughed and loved and dared
        To dream and hope. Then dream again and know
        That death is not an ending. We but go
        Ahead a little on the endless way
        That all must go . . . should want to go . . . some day
        To goals half-glimpsed by searching human eyes,
        So splendid that we call them ‘Paradise.’”

        A silence fell. The dusk turned into night.
        I was alone with memory and fire-light.
        Yet, not alone. My heart flashed vibrant thought,
        A radar beam that crossed the void and sought
        Another heart, returning swift and true
        With word of faith that I pass on to you
        To pass along in turn to those who grieve,

        Today is Here. Dodd Mead and Company, 1946: pp. 73-76
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