I saw thee once — once only — years ago:
I must not say how many — but not many.
It was a July midnight; and from out
A full-orbed moon, that, like thine own soul, soaring,
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven,
There fell a silvery-silken veil of light,
With quietude, and sultriness, and slumber,
Upon the upturned faces of a thousand
Roses that grew in an enchanted garden,
Where no wind dared to stir, unless on tiptoe —
Fell on the upturn'd faces of those roses
That gave out, in return for the love-light,
Their odorous souls in an ecstatic death —
Fell on the upturned faces of these roses
That smiled and died in this parterre, enchanted
By thee, and by the poetry of thy presence.
Clad all in white, upon a violet bank
I saw thee half-reclining; while the moon
Fell on the upturned faces of the roses,
And on thine own, upturn'd — alas, in sorrow!
"The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?"
We are all vainly aware, perhaps vaguely but undeniably so, that Death is looking for us, searching with an unrelenting dutiful purpose and just how close He is to finding us, no man can know. Such was my belief on that bleak moonless evening with its chilly intermittent rain, although hardly remarkable and seasonably typical for any New England early spring evening. It was April 27.
After years of struggle freelancing my photography, I was offered and readily accepted, a position as assistant art director with a small but growing Providence based advertising agency. As I have stated, it was April 27. At precisely 9:21pm my editor called down to the studio informing me, I had received a telephone call on the outside line. “This is Dennis Laux”, I said picking up the phone. “Hello Mr. Laux, this is Dr. Howard Waterman from Rhode Island Hospital, I wanted to let you know that we did everything we possibly could to….. “ Doctor”, I interrupted, “I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about”. (moment)…. (moment)….(moment)….”You don’t know what happened”, he said. This was a statement not a question. (moment)….(moment)….(moment)…. “No”, I said. (moment)….(moment)…. “Mr. Laux, I am sorry to tell you this but there was an accident earlier this evening, your daughter sustained severe head and chest injuries. She died fifteen minutes ago.
“SHE DIED FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO.”
It is hard to explain how a simple English sentence composed of simple English words could so shake and change a man and I can only state that in that very moment the changes were immediate, profound and permanent. Death found her on an unremarkable early spring New England evening. It was April 27. My daughter was twelve. Today is her birthday.
Dennis James Laux, 2013
"Of all the distant objects on Federal Hill, a certain huge, dark church most fascinated Blake. It stood out with especial distinctness at certain hours of the day, and at sunset the great tower and tapering steeple loomed blackly against the flaming sky. It seemed to rest on especially high ground; for the grimy façade, and the obliquely seen north side with sloping roof and the tops of great pointed windows, rose boldly above the tangle of surrounding ridgepoles and chimney-pots. Peculiarly grim and austere, it appeared to be built of stone, stained and weathered with the smoke and storms of a century and more. The style, so far as the glass could show, was that earliest experimental form of Gothic revival which preceded the stately Upjohn period and held over some of the outlines and proportions of the Georgian age. Perhaps it was reared around 1810 or 1815.
As months passed, Blake watched the far-off, forbidding structure with an oddly mounting interest. Since the vast windows were never lighted, he knew that it must be vacant. The longer he watched, the more his imagination worked, till at length he began to fancy curious things. He believed that a vague, singular aura of desolation hovered over the place, so that even the pigeons and swallows shunned its smoky eaves. Around other towers and belfries his glass would reveal great flocks of birds, but here they never rested. At least, that is what he thought and set down in his diary. He pointed the place out to several friends, but none of them had even been on Federal Hill or possessed the faintest notion of what the church was or had been."
"The Haunter of the Dark"