Loving Friends

Loving Friends
For Tan

She met us when we were new to the Caldera
and she a young thing, with a young child.
She and her man were planting a rainforest then,
where the original forest had been destroyed.

Now she’s a grandmother with a house in town
down by the river, with a lush garden (she hasn’t 
stopped planting) – jungly shrubs and trees
you can eat from. She feeds herself and friends.

She’s a sprite of her garden. Also
of the mountains and waterways she visits.
Sometimes, when she’s alone in these spaces,
others of that kind will show themselves.

She paints them: ethereal, part of the landscape.
My husband Andrew never saw such beings
but they spoke to him, helped him write a story
asking us all to preserve some of their wild places.

He’s been dead seven years (I still can’t believe
it can be so long). Whenever his name arises,
she exclaims with joy, ‘God, I loved him!’
and I cry and smile, remembering.

He was angel, not faery, but close enough.
Their soul origins, their human affection,
made such a bond that on Samhain night
in my home, she looked up and saw him.

He was crossing, as he did often in life,
from corridor to bedroom – probably 
just come from the study where he wrote.
He stopped to look at her, met her eyes.

A moment, a glimpse, then he disappeared.
Meanwhile I (who rarely see) felt the presence.
So quick, we couldn’t be sure. But we measured
the right height on the wall, also we pendulumed.

Yes, it was him. (Of course. Who else would it be?) 
The spirits are called by love, and drawn I think
by their own love too, to visit when the veil thins....
When we say goodbye, we hug hard, she and I.


  1. What an amazing and love-filled evening that was. I am certain he was called by the love you and she were expressing for him. How reassuring, that our loved ones visit. I have wished for a visit from Pup but am not sure he can find me, having moved twice since he died. He visited the morning after he died, but that was all. Sigh. I adore the story told in this poem.

  2. What a beautiful poem filled with love. I'm guessing you must be up in the Mt Warning caldera of NSW - one of my favourite parts of Australia tho I live far to the south now.

  3. Rosemary, you're so blessed to have a friend, by your Tan Summerell. We're lucky, if we do meet such a soul, in our lifetime. Often not, we can go several lifetimes, before it can happen.

  4. Oh, i loved this again today, Rosemary. On tv today someone was talking about how the spirits of our loved ones still connect to us after they pass. Sigh. I love this poem. One of my favourites.

  5. Beautiful poem. I treasure the idea that one's loved ones visit when the veil thins, and I am so glad that Andrew visits in this way, if only for a moment.

  6. Really heartfelt and moving. Thank you.

  7. Such a tender write..full of magic and loss - but mostly love

  8. How good it is to feel you are something bigger than this current life when experience times such as this. I commend you Rosemary on how beautifully you wrote this piece I was quite moved.

  9. An amazing poem about an amazing woman, Rosemary. I love the phrase ‘She’s a sprite of her garden’, and that she saw your husband’s spirit.

  10. A love shared with nature, the beloved and others ... somehow it makes me think of the Findhorn garden, an acre of co-creation and loving attunement which made roses grow in the snow. The devas are like dreams, they grow more present when we listen out for them. Great tale.

    1. You're very 'tuned in', Brendan. My late husband's book on fairies was partly inspired by Findhorn. Eileen Caddy loved it, and we visited her there in 1998.

  11. "and I cry and smile, remembering." This line lingers. It feels so true, so mine... even when I know it's yours.

  12. Loved the way this brought spirit forward, a lovely poem.

  13. What a great way to remember your husband... to have someone who knew him and understand.... great storytelling and character description.

  14. I love kicking my Sunday mornings off with real, loving magic like this.

  15. "The spirits are called by love, and drawn I think by their own love too, to visit when the veil thins," this is incredibly evocative, Rosemary!❤️

  16. when we love hard we hug hard,,,,that is so true...so hard to let go of those we love...so so hard...bkm

  17. A tender and lovely poem.

  18. This is very special … a beautiful intermingling of loss with a lovely mystical spirit … wonderfully constructed and tenderly rendered.

  19. Loss, love, strength and magic....all the ingredients were here, Rosemary.

  20. The touch of the mystical..the poignant loss and remembrance...and friendship... wonderful read.

  21. "The spirits are called by love, and drawn I think
    by their own love too, to visit when the veil thins..."
    : what lovely lines!
    how we missed them sometimes (and perhaps they missed us, the living, too)

  22. Loss love friendship and magic. Sad and moving.


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