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[aloha-donblanding] Re: Hearts Radar

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  • 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 1 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.

      HEART’S RADAR
      by
      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,
      “Believe.”

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