The wilderness and the solitary places shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the rose. Isaiah 35:1
In the bright and blazing days of autumn
There came a Mourner's Song:
It spoke of time, and love, and letting go;
The soul, to God, belongs...
DAY I 06 October 1996
In the grey and waning days of autumn,
A reticent, morning sun glows
And amidst the frost, on a fruitless vine
There emerges a single rose!
The palest of pink, even in its prime
Petals delicate, as a newborn's sigh,
Perfuming the earth, wherever they fall
In soft formation, to wither and die.
DAY II 07 October 1996
My heart is clutching at my breast!
I am wrenched, 'mid agony and bliss:
For even now, as you lie dying,
The rose, is like...your Goodbye kiss.
Yet, this awesome Rose of Autumn
Seems stronger than I recall...
I hold my breath, straining for hope
Until I see...a petal fall.
DAY III 08 October 1996
I remember...how you rejoiced, in the midst of the roses!
Quietly absorbing their beauty each day
And when inhaling, the sweetness of their summer fragrance,
You frowned, bemoaning, their short-lived stay.
Thus, gath'ring petals into a velvet box
We waited anxiously for them to dry;
"Potpourri petals, in gaily painted jars!"
The roses would live on, and never die...
So why, Naomi, must you?
DAY IV 09 October 1996
Every day I step outside
And stare in disbelief:
One May rose - in mid-October! -
To crucify my grief.
Have you forgiven me
That I, too, am not by your side?
I am three thousand miles away,
And yet, I cannot hide!
DAY V 10 October 1996
'I come to the garden alone...'
O' LORD GOD, cover me in sackcloth and ashes,
Hide me in the secret of Your Presence - now!
Until all this darkness passes.
I'm still gathering the petals, Naomi
Just three, or four, at a time,
And I'm placing them in my Bible - for you -
To innoculate MY mind...
DAY VI 11 October 1996
Like me, the rose is lonely, solitaire
In its empty and barren estate;
My tears quickly feed the hardened soil
While together, we just wait...and wait.
Remember the night we sat on the park bench?
We talked about the Coming of The LORD...
Remember how we both said, we were ready for Him?
Now, our own words, pierce like His Sword.
DAY VII 12 October 1996
Even my wailing prayers are sounding hollow now,
Echoing mercilessly in my head -
For I refuse to think, what I already know:
Joseph called...his precious mother...is dead.
One last time, I force my trembling limbs
To carry my entombed dread outside;
I crumble, falling to my knees...
The single rose has also died.
c. 1996 Rhonda S. Galizia All Rights Reserved
*Condensed Version published,
Best Poems & Poets of 2005, ILP
October 12, 1997
It has been a whole year now, Naomi,
And my grief rolls like heaving tides;
When they are swollen high, they swallow me,
When low, so too, my pain subsides.
I did gather all of the petals
And break off the frosted stem;
You see, I tried to reassemble...
the awesome Rose of Autumn.
But just today, Naomi, I broke off yet another...
And this rose, too, has stood its vigil a full seven days:
'Tis the Anniversary Edition of
the awesome Rose of Autumn;
It speaks clearly of God's astounding grace!
The LORD God Almighty sent it to me,
As a tender reminder, that it is HE
Who is still tending the garden, you see
AND HE is also keeping...your vigil, for me.
Until He Returns, love Ruth
c. 1997 Rhonda S. Galizia All Rights Reserved.
June 2006 *The Condensed Version was just released
Published, Best Poems & Poets of 2005, ILP
Recorded, Sound of Poetry, 3-CD Set, ILP
~ Marcie Livingston ~
August 05, 1936 - October 12, 1996
*This is a true depiction of what took place when my beloved Mother-In-Law - and FRIEND - Martha "Marcie" I. Livingston passed away after brain surgery for a cancerous tumor. She was the epitome of beauty, herself,...and my husband, Joseph, has her gorgeous brown, half-crown eyes. When I look deeply into them, I can see that same special beauty, and I am thankful.
Just an aside: Marcie passed on October 12th - Joe's sister Becky's birthday, is on the 10th, mine was the 13th, and they buried Joe's mom on his birthday, the 15th. Also, she had just spent a month's vacation with us in Pennsylvania [she lived in California], and The LORD placed it on my heart to just wait on her hand and foot...see how HE tends the garden? And lastly, I went shopping with her, and literally chose the dress she purchased...................I said, and I quote, "WOW, NAOMI! - YOU LOOK DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS IN THAT DRESS!"
I WILL NEVER USE THOSE WORDS TO DESCRIBE ANYTHING, EVER AGAIN.
THEY WERE HER BURIAL CLOTHES.
THE LORD USED IT FOR GOOD...SEE HOW HE KEEPS HER VIGIL?
I presented this work to the Church Body [AOG] on the One-Year -Anniversary, with the Anniversary Edition Rose! It was also my Pastor and Wife's Anniversary, so I presented them with a bouquet first...yes, roses. Then, I went on to tell the testimony of how Pastor Tim left his own Anniversary table to come out to where I was [sitting in a van with my friend in his driveway - I didn't even know the man!], to lay his hands on mine, and literally, "pray me from HELL-TO-HALLELUJAH!", as I like to put it, on that same day, that Naomi passed away, one year before. You can easily see, Father God had a Plan...
[The very Sabbath after Joe returned, we started going to Pastor Tim's church instead of our own, became members, and were re-baptized, as Adults this time - who know what they are doing and why...so here I was now, a year later...]
Next, I presented the poem itself, with the above diary page addendum:The LORD wrote the words on my heart that very morning!
[Actually, I have A Writing-Ministry for CHRIST in Poetry & Song, which I founded in 1992, called "HE Writes the Words on My Heart!" and Pastor Tim, bless him, always graced my life when employing my Gift in our Church Services.]
Anyways, the audio guys recorded it, and I humbly relate to you, there was not a dry eye in the place. Me? I wept openly as I watched my beautiful husband, sitting in the front pew...he had lost so much, it was the least I could do, to give back this tribute to his mother. Oh, how my heart travailed! Sigh...I relive it all over gain, each time, I write or present it...
The next week, Pastor Tim announced they were selling the"Autumn Rose" tapes, but because of the great demand for them, they couldn't keep up!!!
Now, I sang in the Praise team, and my husband played guitar [such finesse - glorious!], so this took us totally aback, when Pastor Tim, suddenly aware, turned to me, and asked if it was all right with me! [you know, using my copyrighted work without permission].
For some reason, it struck me as very funny, so I stood and with a soft bow, smiled and said, in my most dignified voice, "I am honored, Sir."
Pastor Tim flashed back one of his famous smiles, and the whole House of God exploded with applause!
I was...and I am....you know, honored...to be sharing it with YOU...now.