Run the Symphony Backwards

Run the Symphony Backwards

When I am ninety-two
they take me from my bed.
Dressed in my floral nightie,
I am more than ready to return.
Somewhere in the distance
I hear a blast of music,
as the song gathers itself.
It’s been on repeat this past week.

All silver and shining,
I wake to put pen to paper.
Still writing down dreams,
loving these croning years.
At 70 years of age
I give up work on my birthday,
to hold my partners hand
and dance around supermarkets.

At fifty I write a poem,
then another and another,
until a book lands on my lap.
Before I know it another!
Fourteen inches of blonde hair
fall to my hairdresser’s floor.
Eye prescription doubles,
my jeans rise another size.

Oh how my heart feasts
at forty on Planet Blue,
mind, body and soul.
Happiness is my melody
as I marry the Goddess,
taking the mountain path before me.
Singing of a love so true,
here under the honey-full moon.

In my twenties I embrace
each daughter in my arms.
O blessed Mother, O blessed Life,
I will love them forever.
Divorce is such a dirty word,
how will I find the courage
to be me,
to escape living this lie?

The light, the light!
Finally I am free,
free to be everyone but me.
My husband waits outside
where the dark night of the soul
blackens Plato’s cave.
I wake here every day,
I would leave tomorrow if I could.

I don’t want to go to school,
don’t leave me here mother,
on heartless ground.
I am a flower of Aphrodite.
I remember in dreams
all watching me.
On my fifth birthday I cry
“No don’t hurt me, I love you.”

I can see nothing,
nothing is all around me.
I listen to the music,
the symphony of the soul of love.
I wonder what will happen?
The sky falls and falls,
I must not forget,
I am the music.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2015

22 thoughts on “Run the Symphony Backwards

  1. This is an amazing poem that fills me with wonder, Deborah. So much meaning, so many images packed into so few words. I found it almost as amazing to read the last stanza first and work my way up. I imagine your energy rising through the chakras, and you gaining new insights, power and wisdom at each step. A poem of Kundalini awakening! I especially love how, whichever way you read it, you start with music, which weaves its way throughout like two snakes coiling around the Caduceus, Hermes’ healing staff, and then you end with a return to the music. A healing poem. Jeanie

    1. ‘A poem of Kundalini awakening!’ Wow, that is just awesome Jeanie! Thank you so much for your wonderful, and whole-hearted comment. I love, love, love how you refer to the chakras and the rising energy, and how along the journey, new insights and wisdom are attained. Hermes healing staff is so important to me, it comes in various guises, sometimes in dreams it appears as a simple Shepherd’s crook, other times, like Gandalf’s in Lord of the Rings. Oh my goddess! How you fire my heart and this poet’s imagination with your words. Blessings, Deborah.

  2. What an wonderful way to structure a poem – such an imaginative idea that is perfect for one about the times of your life and aging. I love the idea of the croning years – being free to dance around the supermarket with your partner and celebrate a life lived fully before finally being led back to the music, the symphony of the soul of love. I just love that term and how, as we grow older, our bodies and memory may change but we can regain a childlike freedom to celebrate our life and loves as freely as we like.

    Another beautifully creative work Deborah!

    1. Hi Sophia, Thank you so much for sharing your deeply thoughtful, and reflective reply to my poem. I feel most fortunate, and truly blessed, to have discovered a small group of wonderful, like-minded, spiritual folk here in the blogosphere. Many thanks dear friend for your continual, and inspiring support. Please know I am truly humbled by your reply.

      Ah! Returning to the music, yes, and rewinding back to the wonder of spirit, freedom and wild imagination once felt so freely in childhood. Ha-ha! Dancing around supermarkets … such treasure in one’s life! I’m really looking forward to those croning years myself, and remember the joy of discovering the goddess Hekate. Blessings, Deborah.

  3. Fascinating, Deborah 🙂 Really loved it 🙂 The cycle of life and the way you link the “leaving” and “arriving” through the channel of “music” and the quest to remembering/longing to return. Lovely also how there is movement from darkness (suffering/pain) to light (inner bliss, freedom), when seen “forwards” rather than “backwards”. Your words glide like a hand over silk, my dear. Joyful greetings, always, Sam 🙂
    Btw: thanks for testing my maths before I make my comment 😉 I always do it without a calculator, I swear 😉

    1. ‘Your words glide like a hand over silk.’ … Oh my goddess Sam! Thank you so very much for your wonderful poetic comment to my poem, truly appreciated and all your lovely smiles! That channel of music (for whatever reason) seems central to my life, who knows one day I might even figure it out … until then I hope all’s well with you, and that book four is looming! The maths bit drives me nuts, I think for poetry blogs there ought to be alternative questions … ha-ha! like a spelling test or something! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. The symbolic images that arise from this poem are extraordinary. It’s like several of your poems have come together to dance with each other. I really don’t know where to begin, there’s so much for my senses to take in. Everything about this one works, from your opening death scene and music on repeat, to the symphony of the soul of love, which “Dear Poet” is yours alone. Original, stunning work. All the best, Liz.

    1. You are always so kind Liz, thank you for your truly wonderful comment. By studying Jung I feel, one naturally deepens their love for all things mythological and symbolical. Hah-ha! Just thought, maybe I’ll call this one a ‘poetry album’ of sorts, as it brings a few poems together for weaving, and dancing! Cheers, Deborah.

  5. How creative and magical this is, Deborah. I love the going backwards in time from what isn’t yet to what was a long time ago. The sense of resistance and pain at each step–the exhausted body, the giving up of something for the partner, the rounding body, the poems, the earth, the goddess. And then those hard ones of the husband, the darkness, and the hurting. So much grief all accompanied by the celestial music of the spheres and of your words. Thank you for your poem and the photograph, too.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your beautiful, poetic reply to my poem. You read me well my dear friend! ‘The celestial music of the spheres and of your words.’ Oh my goddess how you describe it all so well, between this and that, then and there. I remember the day I wrote this one, something deep within needed to speak yet my words were constantly failing me and what I was trying to convey … how I longed for the soul to speak! Nothing, absolutely nothing happened until the memory of those heavenly peals broke though. Blessings always, Deborah.

  6. Every post of yours is such a delight Deborah thank you so much. Depth, feeling, imagery, pathos in many lines and a joyful return to being soulful music and this from the beginning of the poem to its new beginnings. Even in Plato’s cave there is light for those who wish to see … I am in awe, thank you.

    1. It’s always lovely to see you here Susan, thank you so much for your supportive and most encouraging comment. Ah! Yes, the light inside the Cave, full of the pregnant darkness … a truly magical place. Beautiful autumnal wishes, (Ha-ha! See I remembered this time!) love Deborah.

  7. your book arrived today deborah I have not opened it yet. too excited. this poem is absolutely stunning. suzie x

    1. Thank you so much Suzie for your wonderful comment and ordering my poetry book, truly appreciated. If you haven’t done so already … ‘Open it!’ Really hope you enjoy. 🙂

      1. finally opened last night. the book has been in my hands ever since. speechless. on second reading now. suzie x

  8. I love this poem and the accompanying photograph! It’s such an intriguing format to start at the end of life then progress to the beginning. And call me crazy, but reading this poem backwards actually makes sense, as well. “No, don’t hurt me” line is heart wrenching to read. I’m so very glad you are free now. Why is it so hard for people to love properly in this world?

    I’m sorry I haven’t visited your page in awhile. I have quite a bit of catching up to do. Time just keeps getting away from me. I hope you have been well. Best of wishes–Lindsey V.

    1. Why is it so hard for people to love properly in this world? That’s such a beautiful, and heart-breaking question. I read somewhere once that we can ‘only love another, to the extent to which, we love ourselves’ and in some way that makes sense to me … as self-love is one of the most important teachings we learn in life, for its value, and concerns are wide, and far-reaching. How else do we learn kindness and compassion for others.

      Self-love wasn’t a concept I knew in my childhood, let alone heard of until I reached my early thirties, and then only slowly, in the last twenty years of life have I begun to catch up from my own arrested development … now I call it, delicious, delightful, soulful, self-love! I know what you mean regarding time Lindsey, and I’m deeply appreciative of you stopping by and leaving me such a wonderful comment, thank you so much! Ah! I’ve just read my poem/verses backwards, an inspiring read! Bright spring wishes, Deborah.

  9. That was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Deborah!!!
    I remember the first time I read this poem in your book….completely blew my poetry mind!!
    As I’m only in my 30’s a “floral” night gown seems a long way off for me..tee hee! 😉
    then again lol! I can see myself getting to wear one eventually!!
    Does that make sense? ? I guess what I’m saying is..we all get there don’t we.
    I love the whole idea of running your life backwards in poetry, which is what I guess we all do as we age. Great structuring and shape there for the poem.
    I’ll send this to my mom, get her to read it to nanna..I think she’ll love it.
    This opening line stopped me in my tracks…”I am more than ready to return.”
    I hope I feel the same when I’ve had enough of living this life.
    You set the record straight as your hair falls, eye prescription and jeans rise.
    Oh and the music, the music is there.. from the beginning and returns to us in the end.
    This is deeply poetic, and beautifully written dear poet!!!
    I can imagine you both, dancing round the supermarkets together.
    This is like many of your other poems have been brought together in one single poem.
    Can I ask who the grand lady in the picture above is?
    What a stunning picture and poem!! 🙂

    1. The lady in the photo above was a wonderful woman I met on the street. She looked so striking in her stylish hat, and was more than happy to have her portrait taken. This shot was taken (not by me) a few days before her 93rd birthday. We even popped round a few days later with a copy of this picture … Oh my goddess! You should’ve seen her face, all beaming smiles! Her 71 year old son loved it too. It took pride of place ‘on top of her telly!’

      Ha-ha! Yes, I believe all us ladies eventually get there with the floral nighties! Thank you so much Claire for your great comment, and constant support of my work, much appreciated. Do let me know what your family think, be good to know! Are you any closer to self-publishing your own poetry book? Re: The feeling of being, ‘more than happy to return’ this is something I very much hope to experience for myself, at whatever age I am finally taken.

      Life changes, and when we look at a whole life, so many things have happened haven’t they?! … It’s all quite incredible really! Hmm, yes looking forward to dancing around those supermarkets. I guess I have bought a few poems together here, I didn’t really think of that consciously, ah! See how the entire psyche works in its deep, and mysterious ways! Having a busy day at work so trying to post on breaks. Bright spring wishes, Deborah.

      1. No, no further on with my book at all….
        I will complete it but life at moment is so busy.
        Back to school today, back to rushing again.
        Like most mums I’m forever catching up!!!

        1. Ah! The 3pm afternoon school dash, I remember those days well … Claire, do shout out if you ever want help with your poetry book. I’m always around. Hmm, catching up, I know that one well!

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