A remembrance: Matthew Girvin
I’ve lit them before,
six candles on six
folds of stone, rocks
standing like a mongolian
marker, visited by pilgrims
each casting his stony,
amuletic lot. Say a prayer
and circle the cairns,
the ovoo, the menhir,
the standing stone dolmen.
They do it, I’ve done it.
Perhaps you, too?
And the six candles are us — in spirit
we, in knowing, that yes, there
will be continued diminution.
But never mind.
Get used to that, get comfortable
with this, to keep your wits about you, use your time, wisely — breathe in, NOW — and hold your peace.
Still, for me, there is always
making, and gathering, symbols
ringing them round, for meaning.
Even if they might be superstitia,
threads left over, a standing stare,
It’s about making some ritual for something, in each movement, a momentum of meaning.
I’m always making amuletic marks,
talismans of holding, given away
and made anew…
I climbed down to the alcove below
the house, yesterday, in seeking out
just such a ritual, something about
the day, the fierce and
brilliant beauty of it,
the loss therein, the luminous,
And, in a series of tentative
but sure assemblings, six large cairns, slowly came into place, resting in the sea, now twice as tall in reflection, 10 feet,
in quivering ripples of stone black, standing in a circle.
5 cairns, look out to a sixth standing
stone, encircled and viewed, but in
all — looking to the sea.
Looking to the sea. All ways —
Looking to the sea…
But these too, shall pass;
the tide within, tide: without.
Love, all —