Remy Sebastian

My son is overseas at the moment – nineteen and “living the life”. Two years ago I wrote a poem about his history, his path, if you will. At that time he was on a collision course with Truth, though he wasn’t aware of it; nor was I aware as I wrote it, that it would only be a short time – less than a year – before that collision. I am eternally grateful that it shunted him onto the path of light and life, as is he.

The poems go together because they tell a story, but to tell too much would remove some of the mystery and open the door for preconceptions……

In the Perspective: Two Photos

By the age of ten, you had made

An artform of nonchalant formality.

In the National Gallery in DC, you stood

Smiling, Mrs Monet beside you,

Blurring her joy from the top of a hill.

Thrilled, you caressed each daub

And stroke with your unique view

Before moving on to

The Seine at Giverny, its depth

And distance drawing you in quiet

Awe to that bank, beneath that tree.

 

Strange, the distance that time

Creates when ingredients are recast:

Musée de L’Orangerie seven years on,

Before a wall of Water Lilies

Nonchalant, yes, formal, yes but

Singularly without awe, the child

Assimilated into the leather, smirk

And testosterone, your unique view

Homogenised into a culture that you

Do not fit: Like a dish with a missing

Ingredient – nonchalant, formal, making

The uncertain do for displaced joy.

 

Ahead, does Claude fade under a graffiti-

Scrawled hoarding and you, unfocussed,

See past to the allusion of your pain?

Or do I glimpse the moment where,

Unfashionably, hope capers across your face

Surprising none more than you.

 

In the Perspective: Part 2

 

When you said that you had never felt anything,

Of course, your words were true,

Yet, less subtle shades had drawn you,

Painting scenes of Gratification Now,

And play-actor friends.

 

My ache was that you would feel,

Taste and touch the real, would

Know the dawn of truth upon your ravaged soul,

Its warming radiance, lighting, exposing, healing;

And the energising call of life, within its glory and sway.

 

Then you left, packed up nothing

But layers of self, thrown haphazardly

In shopping bags, unsure of if they were needed

Or even if they were yours. And it became

A show and tell, though what you showed and told

Blurred into a quiet pain, an invisible scene,

A silent conversation on board a ship adrift.

 

How often the momentous appears in an otherwise

Unremarkable day, without portent;

So you, suddenly challenged by the universe

You had shunned,

Yielded, stepped through and found yourself,

Chrysalis-like, beyond.

 

Cracking, twisting, stretching into the atmosphere

That once was oppression’s air, you felt

The buoyancy and effortless lift that liberty of spirit

Alone manifests; and though it surprised none

More than you, the feeling, intense and impassioned,

Was of coming home.

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