The last

250px-Scared_Child_at_NighttimeNothing is always a hard and fast rule or outcome

we cannot predict as well as we might think

divining over two sticks to find the source

I know this as I know my own heartbeat

for myself and many others

not having children makes you hold onto yourself too much

you value the debris and memories and fixtures of your past

with emotional microscope, unable to grow beyond reflection

as if they were your child’s blanket, your child’s first tooth

you look at self portraits

feeling the emotion a little less of love approximating love

self-love isn’t always narcissism

it reduces however like a sauce

until there is less than more

while loving another expands

until it lifts us off our feet and sends us into the air

that kind of love frees us from preoccupation

obsessing and writing ourselves over and over

this is my life, this is my dog, this is how I am, look at me!

your gaze shifts to another, you learn how little you matter

how to open yourself up, love someone else without end

suddenly you are not important and unconditional is

 

it is funny to imagine my mother knowing this more than I

it is sad to think she was a mother and we do not have that in common

she has walked where I will never walk

and though it was hard for her to accept

she knows more from having been than I ever will

I who still hold onto, my own memories of me

the only child who wasn’t meant to thrive

living up to her proportion

not obsession or self-love but a lack of other

diminishment in legacy

there will be no follow-up

no future after I am dust

the line will simply close

like it was cauterised and sealed, never having existed

 

at times I feel I owe those in the past

something more than quiet death

or history forgotten and emptied

dressing corpses with semblance

but I have nothing more to offer

no search for fame or history

I am simply myself

who at the close of day will inherit the sum

all who came before, all who will not carry on

an envelope licked and sealed

sent away to the dead letter depot

 

I look at my hands they are empty and long

I think they look wistful as the feeling inside of me does

if I could stop considering myself

hording small memories in tight boxes

holding on because if I let go

there is just an empty glass

neither half full nor half emptied

gone is the liquid of the future

I am it … this is all

now

and it feels disquieting

wrong at times

to be the last of my kind

I think of how it will only grow stronger

as they die and I remain

watching memories like old films damaged by time

 

this may seem bleak but if you stand solitary

watching the entire world play out their multiplication

like a concert with different scenes and costumes

you feel yourself evaporating knowing there is nothing more

no heaven for the empty. no hell for the sinner

and purgatory

is here on earth surely

I suppose that’s why I do what I can

now

sometimes that is not possible because

my heart is wrapped in butchers paper and thick with sorrow

a doom perhaps, just a shadow of future

when I am strong enough I stir and reach

when I am weak I stay so still air is louder than me

at times I do not exist though I live

I am just a poor transfer

a smudge of a fingerprint left on glass in an empty house

vanquished of plan

 

what will I do when they depart?

how will I cope being the last?

it was my intention to gather other lives around me

a blanket of DNA my home-grown spun family

nature didn’t permit such outcome, possibly

with our inheritance this was less cruel

than leaving children to grow into

miniature versions of disease’s burden

the curse and the lightning of uncertainty

mental illness heating mercury

like fevered flag

 

some would say, abuse ends

when there are no more left to collect

it is a relief to think of sleeping undisturbed

unaware of beginning and end

but at night I admit

sometimes that terrible fear curls around my neck

and I remember being a child

alone in the dark

knowing one day

it will be

permanent

as I am

the last

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71 thoughts on “The last

    1. Daisy, I didn’t think I could write a poem with Charlie since we are so different as writers, the next one I challenged him to write like me (evil cackle) he’s really good to write with. Thank you for reading this. This is exactly how I feel it puts into real words my exact feelings, I know it’s a bit ‘me me’ but yeah, it needed to be. Thank you for reading it – I appreciate that and barren s exactly right. xo

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. It was VERY hard to write. I suppose I’m going through that ‘writing very hard things’ period because I feel I’m close to ending this blog in terms of writing regularly (I feel I have a finite number of things to say, especially in poem form, I have written so much) and I will go on to do something else – so these hardest things necessarily are coming out and I appreciate you appreciating them!

      Liked by 5 people

  1. My dearest, SwordSister. You are one of my favorite jewels in this dark and damaged world. This resonates with my soul. Sometimes I feel like I may have made the wrong choice in the path I walk in this life. Sometimes it feels like other lifetimes of mine were so much more interesting. so much more “worthy” of an existence. It feels like, a lot of times, that I am not leaving a mark here…and as you point out, I often wonder what I will leave for my family when I am gone and they continue on.

    We are wordsmiths. and as such we will leave behind these things that we create with letters and syntax. So I try and take solace in the possibility that I have touched lives beyond my immediate responsibilities. Possibly in doing so, I might have sparked inspiration in the heart of someone who will remember where that flame came from. So in that, perhaps I leave a larger legacy behind.

    And perhaps one day that person will remark to one of my children, that their father inspired them to achieve something they really wanted. Maybe that is a grander “mark” to leave on the Universe.

    I can tell you, that you have left such a mark with me. And even though you might be the last of your line, your ideas and your spirit can find a future home in those who have read your words, as I have, and have found truth there.

    All my love, Dearest Lady. ❤

    Liked by 7 people

    1. For some it is about larger legacy, for you it’s about being a good person and living up to your word and that’s why I respect you so much and your opinion. For me it’s about knowing I will not (leave anything) and the fear of being alone at the end, (though we all are when we die in some form but you know what I mean) I also think your kids WILL DEFINITELY think and say that as your grandchildren will and that is GOOD because you are gifting them your own insights and strength. It carries on through the ages. I suppose that’s what I will miss out on, which is okay I think my fear is more that I will stand alone at the end, but I need to just deal. Thank you for your kindness and support. In a world of fakes you are real.

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Eric– That is so beautifully put on every level. You and Candice are shining stars in the heavens, reminding us always that we are more than momentary flashes in the night sky. Words are gifts that you both present with in beautiful, elegant, eternal ways.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I’m chocked. You, and this, following on from Candice…you guys are both too much and I’m seeing things from both your perspectives but mainly, I’m awed by your ability (both of you) to look in and express so beautifully such intense thoughts

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Bethany, that’s such a lovely thing to say, I never cry but I almost did reading that. Thank you. I wasn’t writing this for nice comments as you know, but getting one sort of makes it worth the struggle of writing it! Thank you. I can understand what you mean by this, it’s not something I ever thought of before and it does help and will help to consider things in that way. I wish you were nearer I would give you such a big smile and thank you so much for those words of yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have always felt that way. That you don’t have to carry a child to be a mother. I have known many who have carried their children and I would not even consider a mother. And yet there are those who mother in the way of their words that comfort others in a way one would hope a mother would provide. I am sure that was a struggle to write that poetry and I know you never write for comments. I don’t either. I just send it out there pretty much, the thoughts of my inner self that I sometimes don’t even share with those right next to me. But you do evoke strong feelings when you write. And sometimes those words connect and give understanding that my own mother did not.
        I rarely cry too. When I do it is because someone really touches my heart with true understanding or I allow myself to feel that inner wound that I rarely let myself feel because then I cry for days sometimes.
        I wish you were nearer too. I would totally accept that smile!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I agree about some mothers not being .. what I describe a mother could or should feel, definitely. I also agree some without children can be this too but typically I see most without children as not growing in the same way it’s so apparent it’s almost shocking. I admire your honesty in a world that really tries to shut honesty down you seem to always speak it and that is really, really needed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Candice, I believe there to be something noble and majestic about being the last. If you look back over history, there have been millions of lasts. The last mammoth. The last samurai. The last T-Rex. The last knight. You signify change, and sum up all that has come before. Be not ashamed or afraid; it is who you are. This is the destiny laid upon you. I think you wear it with honor and dignity.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is really good to hear from you. I like your perspective, it’s not one I had considered. I’m coming to the end of social media and writing, my heart is heavy with this but it feels like it has to happen. You are right though about ‘lasts’ there is sadness and something real at least, and that sums me up. Sadness and real. I am afraid, but I’m not ashamed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You didn’t tell me that you feel like the writing itself doesn’t feel right anymore! I cannot believe that the universe wants to silence your writing voice my love. You tell truth for too many who are voiceless, you give hope too many despair, your bring too much light to the darkness for the universe to be able to afford that loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t feel right because looking back on my gigantic sum of writing I feel i’ve written as much as any poet I admire and within that sum I have written everything I wanted to write and there is no more, I guess that’s what I mean, there just is no more. I know I’m shutting down, it frightens me in a way, but I also feel it’s right. I have spoken and said, I haven’t got more, sometimes we need to know when it’s time to stop.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Its funny– I only write about what I WANT to write about occasionally. The vast majority of what I write is what I NEED to write about. It comes from deep within and I often don’t know exactly where it is going. Somethings I don’t understand what I was really writing about until I go back and look at it later. Is there nothing left to say or is what’s left raw, chaotic, unknown?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I also want you to know that my heart goes out to you. I’m sorry you are hurting. You radiate so much love, not just in your writing, but also in your connections with others and for me, I know that you are always on my side, supporting and encouraging and it means the world to me ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My dear, dear friend…we are like bookends, identical in many ways, holding in place stories of what was, what is, and what could have been but for cruel twists of fate beyond our control. I know it’s not the same, but perhaps in a way your poems are your children, your emotional, intellectual, spiritual offspring… your legacy to the world. I know it’s a feeble substitute, and I respect & understand how you are feeling right now from the perspective that I will never have that transformational experience myself, having a life partner and children of my own, and I know the feelings that stem from that realization. I realize it’s different for a man in that we don’t carry and nurture that life in our bodies… but many of the emotions about family and raising children are the same, at least for me. Not sure where I’m going with this except to say I really understand and i will always be here for you my dear friend ღ

    Liked by 3 people

  5. SMiLes.. my FriEnd
    wRite something that
    makes you cry.. easier
    sAid than dOne of course i
    kNoW.. moRE FeeL and SeNse
    at a loss for tears myself for 5 years..
    A Beloved Cat dies
    then at five years
    surprisingly glad
    to be alive
    myself
    after
    he goes down
    and then the tear
    at a gym that finally
    brings strength back to
    my legs and renewed creativity
    more than ever before and groWinG..
    My First attempt at really writing long
    term was to escape pain and now it is
    for a Transcendent Ecstatic River Stream
    experience similar to that of Free Verse Dance..
    the rhythm of the eARTh are in the beats of the
    Keyboard and the Melody of the Golden Spiral
    oF aLL of eXistence are in the
    strokes my
    Friend as
    essence becomes
    form on page.. and this
    is both strange and magical
    with hints of the potential only
    two times before in my life in short
    short spurts of writing and a long form
    Piano Song i composed as my emotions
    were struggling to stay with an 11 Minutes
    and 22 Seconds Song i later titled “Nautilus”..
    and “Challenging Alexithymia” where emotions
    no longer synch with words.. in cognitive way
    of both mechanical and social empathic
    cognition.. so.. i just finished my own
    personal bible effort of 1.579
    million words in 11
    months and
    22 days
    as that
    synchs with
    the original Piano
    Version of my soUL
    in many other dimensions
    of art in words and visuals too..
    and yes,, music too.. although i borrow
    from those who specialize in that area
    as i cannot do it all and the trans
    humanist tools starting with
    the written word and
    now accelerating
    as Moore’s Law
    hehe.. if that can keep
    up with my current state
    oF A Fredenstein BRain.. is
    was are paths and avenues to liGht
    A Journey more.. anyWAy.. the point i am
    MaKinG is it would have never been possible
    if i had not learned to harness the power of a tear
    in all things sad and grief to jetiSoN NoW toward WilL
    and Strength more my friEnd.. nah.. i am not suggesting
    go out and buy a cat or dog and put them down when that
    reality comes to make a tear real.. but seriously i would have
    traded the close to 6 million words i wrote before that tear since
    Thanks Giving Day of 2010 as that tear came in April of 2013 for
    JUST ONE TEAR.. and i did my friEnd and the rest is MaGiC that
    Never ends.. an Olympic Event of Life but never the less magic in
    a never ending story.. each miNd.. each HeART.. each SpiRiT and
    ReAL Flesh and Blood soUL in Quantum Synergistic MaKInG HUmaN
    liGht iN ExpreSSinG that Force and Power of HuMaN EmoTioNs and Greater
    senSes IS A Miracle of liFe as Star Death Burst Resurrection coMes Crucible FiRe sTAr
    DuST SenTieNT PlUS uS NoW WaLKinG upRight STanDinG tALL InFiniTy Breathes now
    And Dances and Sings now.. iN what ONLY Moon Rocks Sleep at Night.. in OtHeR words..
    the greATest GiFT are dreAMs and the StuFF of FruiTioN that makes them real iN MoVinG..
    ConNecTinG CreATinG way of HeArT and SpiRit and MiNd and BoDy BaLanCinG soUL More..
    things is.. my FriEnd.. without a Tear all is empty shells as far as i know of what i did not feel and
    sense before.. does that apply to all others in the terms and fine print of human conditions.. not
    likely and perhaps not for you but from what i experience i can only suggest a potential way that
    you decide
    to cry a Stream..
    a River and beCoMe
    A wAVe as Ocean wHOle
    LoVe as GiVing and ShARinG
    but you see my FriEnd.. the best
    pArT oF aLL is YouR HuManiTy
    iN your struggle of dARk that
    most humans are engaged
    in now as DarKEr
    Breathe and
    Dance
    And SonG is liGht
    enough to iNspire all oF
    this and that’s how the story
    goes.. sometimes the feathered
    sleep Breathes and Dances and Sings
    beyond what she knows and feels and senses now..
    so rest sweetly my dear and if nothing else cry a tear for me..
    And please don’t delete your blog until i at least get an opportunity to catch up..
    and sure
    you’ll
    kNow
    by the
    foot prints of like.. swirling around heAR..
    And.. i’LL go NoW by the SonG oF mY soUL..
    There is an actual.. Psychiatric Disorder that
    reflects 12 Million words written in 78 months
    now.. hehe.. that you missed so far in your Mental
    Health Month wonderful analysis my fRiend and that
    is one of Hypergraphia.. the stuff of Lewis Carol and others
    too.. my Psychiatrist offered the pleasure of Epilepsy Drugs
    to curtail these words.. and somehow he missed the paRt now of
    Transcendent Ecstatic Bliss IN the Heaven of Now.. and that’s how
    it goes with Mechanical Cognition my friEnd as a potential Eclipse
    of the heARt i turn aRound BriGht eYes and Dance And SinG Longer than ever now..
    Lesson of Hell.. Reward oF A Tear iN Heaven.. And Thanks my friENd for the gift of YOU..
    i’ve been told
    i have the gift
    of bringing tears
    to people.. i did and
    do my best mY friEnd..
    for i’ve seen the DArk SoUL
    Year multiplied by 5 and more..
    i never had any idea my greatest desire
    was IS A tear until it cAMe and brought LiFe..
    and now i do my beST to BrinG SMiLes as
    SmiLes
    Do Flow
    from tEars..
    aS WeLL as words
    TSuNaMi Style too..;)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Candice, I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. I’m the last too. No children, no nieces and nephews, only distant cousins I have never met. I’m leaving nothing behind when I go and it’s a very disconcerting feeling – one whose weight is getting heavier the older I get. I hope your next endeavor whatever that may be, will bring you joy. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As one journey ends, another begins. In the cupse of the ‘tweens lies the grief of losses endured and the hopes of the joys to come.
    Baring the Soul is cathartic, scary, healing – like jumping off a cliff into the unknown abyss. You will soar wherever you go once you find your wings for you are a *feathered friend* xx

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Memories never exist for anyone beyond the last one that they shared them with. My father died when I was 19 and now his wife is gone and his three children are aging and will be gone someday and once they are NO ONE will remember a single thing about our family life or what we shared. We may have told tales about them and shared stories but that’s only our perception of them. All lives are temporal and one day all is gone of the dust of their lives. But Candice in our interactions with others, like a pebble in a pond that keeps moving in ever widening circles, our lives make an impact regardless if we have offspring. After my father died, my mom’s widowed and childless sister sold her house and built on to moms, and lived with her until she died att 89. And everybody in my whole family and those of my sisters as well as all our friends knows about our Aunt Johnnie who was one of the most memorable people who has ever live and the impact she had on all our lives is still measurable today. Also we never really got to spend much time with our grandparents as we were growing up in California, but my mom’s dad’s brother and his childess wife live two door down from us and became our surrogate grandparents as it were. And I and my sisters have never and could never have loved two people any more they. It has been 60 years since we left there and there’s seldom a day that goes by that I don’t think of them and wish they were still here! Like Aunt Johnnie, I’ve never known people who made such a difference in my life, and truth be known, I preferred their company to my mother’s most of the time. So NO ONE is wasted, NO LIFE is wasted, NO STORY is wasted, NO SHARED EXPERIENCES are wasted. EVER!!!!! Je t’aime, Natalie
    PS. I still weep when talking of these people. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh Candice, I just read your facebook post and then ‘The Last’ and felt shocked. Your amazing writing would be sorely missed. I just wrote a long piece then deleted it because all I really want to say is don’t give up on writing completely. As I’m sure you know, it can be so cathartic and I’m sure there will be things in the future that will hit a nerve and you will just have put it all into words. From all the lovely comments you have had, it just shows how highly thought of you are. Hope you’re okay xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Beautiful and poignant ! Some time last year there was a book written by a young neuro surgeon, ” When Breath Becomes Air”. His wife finished the book for him. You are blessed with the awemazing talent of being a keen observer and being able to craft a writing which is younique to only you. I can’t imagine the number of lives touched by your writing. Your personal writings affect people deeply. Very few poets and authors have your level of courage and compassion and talent. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Gifts which produce literary gems….each one so valuable because it is one of a kind and should be treasured.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You will always have my deep respect, C. I don’t want you to go, but I understand that you must follow wherever your path leads you. It’s yours alone, and no one else can know the right way.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. My heart feels the barren and the deepest of sadness that I feel.
    Sis, If I lived there or close by…I’d take care of you.

    You felt so strongly in this poem, I myself felt what your feeling and that connection brings us together.

    Much respects to you sis. Love this very much.

    Like

    1. P.S So excited for our collaboration tomorrow morning. 🙂

      Your challenge will make my emotions feel challenged. 🙂

      Don’t forget to write me an email tomorrow, or text me. or I’ll text you and write you an email. You start first.

      Like

  13. I knew there was a slim chance of ever having a child when I was 16 years old. You don’t give it much thought when you’re a teenager, but when I married, it felt devastating. It feels as if a loss has taken place somehow.

    Your poem was dear to my heart with brilliant writing. I will miss your motivational and empathetic comments on my articles, as well as, reading your incredible poetry. I will sorely miss YOU, Please keep in touch and hoping whatever comes next for you is a joyful adventure. Hugs xo

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Candice, this is so heartfelt and deeply moving. You are waking to an existential crisis, and like any good crisis, it hurts like hell (or maybe you’re uncomfortably numb) but it will pass. Nobody can tell you what meaning to make of your life, and in the end we all go into that good night alone, but your voice is so important. There’s just no way you’ve said everything you could ever meaningfully say. I don’t believe that for one second. Take time off, for sure. I don’t know how you maintain the volume you do to begin with! But you are too sensitive, too smart and thoughtful, and just too much an artist to simply walk away. I wish I could come over there and (metaphorically) slap you and give you a (literal) big hug. Get some help for your mental health, that’s the most important thing right now. Ugh. I’m giving advice. Sorry. I’m just worried because you sound like you’re staring into the abyss, and I’ve been there. I’ll miss you when you take a break, but please know that you are important in this big old world.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hello my friend
    We’ve just met, I felt like we were sisters reunited able to finish the others sentences. I haven’t had time to know you better and your personal, one on one writing style. I was surprised to see how much you have written. You’re about to embark on a new journey, I wish you the best, have no question you’ll float to the top. Glad I have the memories of our few conversations.
    Be well.
    M

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This utterly took my breath away. I have recently found out I may not be able to carry and you expressed things here I wouldn’t know how to. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dear Candice, I can only echo sentiments expressed above and say how beautifully vulnerable and real this is… And from your responses above, I see you are stepping away. Pardon my lateness visiting here. I have also felt more quiet these last couple weeks and needed space from words and people, so I definitely understand the pull for time away, whether that’s permanent for you or not. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words! ❤ Em

    Liked by 2 people

  18. this a hearty body of work/ Hearty as in strong, hearty as in filling, hearty as in emphatic, full of heart, and honest reflection. I understand most of it, nod & relate to most. like they say at the end of the poker game, “Thanx for sharing” g

    Liked by 2 people

  19. What Can I say Candice. You already know I love everything You do. I guess WordPress decided to not work cause it says I am following you but did not show any updates to your web side. Stay amazing, I will read all your posts tonight, I need my Candice fix. Stay amazing

    Like

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