Pages

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

We Cast Pale Shadows


Photo: Copyright James Rainsford 2009 

We cast pale shadows after death.
Not as before,
A black and changing silhouette
Etched on a solid surface
By the sun.
Or, diffused by friendly light
Within familiar rooms.

We become as sudden air across
A candle flame,
Ephemeral as a single breath,
Rare as rainbows on a
Cloudless day.
Disturbing none, but those who
Loved us, for so brief a time.


©James Rainsford 2011


Note to readers: This was written in memorium to a very gallant Texan gentleman, who helped preserve all our freedoms by his war time heroism. On 'D Day' he landed on the beaches of Normandy and helped liberate the world from the tyranny of Nazism. He died quite recently in Fort Worth and will live in my memory until I also die. It is the poem which gives the title to my new collection, and is one, which I feel especially privileged to have written. 


36 comments:

  1. hopefully those shadows linger a bit to remind us of them...nice dedication as well..and best wishes on the new collection...this is a great piece to accompany it...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i remember this one james...did as i was reading it...and it still hols as a nice tribute and a reminder to us of those that gave all...

      Delete
    2. thanks james for all you contribute in adding your voice each week at dverse...i hope the new year brings opportunity all the more for all of us...

      Delete
  2. Beautiful poem, James, and the photograph is amazing! I see that it is one of your own. There is something about the way the little girl is standing and...well, just the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fine poem, and the ending is perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  4. lovely dedication~ thanks also for the photo ~

    ReplyDelete
  5. The photograph really says a lot, it has a kind of light yet eerie feeling to it. And your dedication was wonderfully done as well!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a beautiful write, that second stanza especially. Poignant & evocative.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gorgeous poem, James. A privilege to read such a beautifully crafted work. xxxj

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sincere and very clear and moving in its simplicity. The way of all flesh we all would like to ignore is always with us. This is an eloquent piece, James. and an exceptional photograph to accompany it.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AKA Tom Eliot:

    This piece reaches out to the reader.

    Very moving and touching - an honarable dedication.

    We stand on the shoulders of giants.

    ReplyDelete
  10. a moment of silence then, for this Texas gent, for if you think so highly of him, then he must have been a gentleman indeed. I am sure he would be as equally honored to have a man such as yourself write and dedicate this beautiful piece to him and his memory. James, you are amazing, of that there is no doubt.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bittersweet. I love "rare as rainbows on a cloudy day" as a description fore being dead.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ephemeral as a single breath,
    Rare as rainbows on a
    Cloudless day.
    Disturbing none, but those who
    Loved us, for so brief a time.

    A moving tribute full of tender grief.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, I certainly remember this one, excellent work.

      Delete
  13. Beautiful work, sir. Life is always short no matter how long we live, and when the soul flies, the emptiness that is left feels like a black hole. The imagery you use is apropos of the emptiness that one feels. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ephemeral as a single breath,
    Rare as rainbows on a
    Cloudless day.

    This is such a beautiful heartfelt tribute James...

    ReplyDelete
  15. We become as sudden air across
    A candle flame...

    That is poetry!

    ReplyDelete
  16. A beautiful elegy. I like the comparison of shadows cast here and from beyond.

    David

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks to everyone for your very positive comments. They are truly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very nice...and the "rare as rainbows"...love how that rolls off the tongue...bkm

    ReplyDelete
  19. ..Sir, your reference give me chills as your strong words are folded with sincerity... thank you for a heartfelt read tonight.(:

    Good day.

    ~Kelvin

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's beautiful, James. Both the poem and the picture you matched to it - very moving, very sensitive. Not to take away from it, but it's certainly something I could see read at a funeral, by a poetic loved one. Such a touching elegy.

    ReplyDelete
  21. quietly beautiful and strong.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Still a wonderful piece, James. One of my favorites of yours--and the profound connection you felt, as well as the sure grasp of our mutual mortality, is part of what makes it work so well, as it comes through in every solemn and sonorous phrasing.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awesome title; beautiful poem; wonderful tribute!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/hes-aggravatin-2/

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is pure poetry - wonderful! A beautiful elegy indeed!

    Anna :o]

    ReplyDelete
  25. I agree with Hedgewitch and find myself quietly reflecting on what you've said.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am glad this is the first poem by you I have read, James. It ensures I will come back. It's lovely and even more so when read aloud. Thank you for this and for the reason behind the words.

    ReplyDelete
  27. oh i like this much james...the honor for the man shines through and don't we all want to throw shadows after we're gone, leaving our footprints that hopefully made this world a bit a better place

    ReplyDelete
  28. A beautiful share, James . A tribute to all those lost.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love this thought:

    "We cast pale shadows after death"

    ReplyDelete
  30. Well, well, well, this moved me, the sure writing, the straight forward message, the last two lines, like an arrow through the fog.

    It sat well, it's really good, and the photo is fabulous. Good, good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  31. love it especially those closing lines "disturbing none but those who loved us for so brief a time" powerful way to end this magical piece, james

    Monty

    ReplyDelete

If you wish your views and opinions to be published here, please be polite and respectful. I welcome feedback on my work and will try to respond if you take the trouble to post a comment. Thanks for visiting 'The Sanctum of Sanity.' Hope you enjoyed the experience, James.