When the night comes
What we do not see
We doubt whether it is
But the day
The day shows hardly more
That the night
The day is misleading
We believe to see
And we see little
And we believe little
And in the full day
That we do not know
The glorious the absolute in the daytime
Would be dazzled to us
Until the blindness
We who have never seen
Of quite our eyes
We who have never believed
With all our heart.
What’s yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand Deaths: yet Death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
"Love Is Strong As Death"
We are aware that such what is carved in stone may well acquire a character of absoluteness and it is only our perception and cognizant dexterity that allows us the freedom not to wholly reject concepts in which we do not readily understand. The decaying clock tower stands at the crest of the great eastern hill overlooking old Providence marking the northwestern boundary of Brown University. There is an aspect of melancholy and sorrow about the aging tower with the ivy imposing its unrelenting and unchallenged pressure upon the crumbling ancient limestone bricks. No one alive today can summon any recollection of hearing the great brass bell peal nor does anyone remember observing the four timepieces perform their assigned duty.
As a child, when an opportunity to do so and be sufficiently unnoticed, I would steal away from the family home hurry south along Prospect St. crossing Waterman St. and passing through the small easily overlooked northwest gate of the University grounds. Taking just three steps the boy would find himself before the great iron black door marking the entryway to the tenebrific tower interior which was, he believed, the repository of such unfathomable horrors that one might abruptly burst forth dragging him into one of the age old tunnels beneath the ancient hill through a portal he new existed, now sealed, in the dank sub-cellar of this very tower. Even with this youthful apprehension I would pause, eyes fixed upon the perplexing words carved in granite above the dark iron door "Love Is Strong As Death." There was a real esoteric strangeness about these words and although he could not acquire a sense of meaning the sphinx- like mystery connected with him.
I buried my best friend today. Tonight he stole away unnoticed from the family home walking slowly south along Prospect crossing Waterman passing through the overlooked gateway taking three steps. “Love Is Strong As Death”. The clock tower had suggested something to him many years past and the child now grown is aware of the unseen and undimensioned in- between spaces of reality and like the dying clock tower with its closely guarded sorrows kept imprisoned behind a heavy iron door so I find myself a repository of incomprehensible melancholy, closely guarded and secured, imprisoned beyond my very own heavy iron door.
Dennis James Laux
" In Memoriam"
"Well there was a young girl watching in the early afternoon
When she heard the name of someone who said he'd be home soon
And she wondered how they got him, but the papers did not tell
There would be no sweet reunion, there would be no wedding bells
So she took herself into her room and she turned the bed sheets down
And she cried into the silken folds of her new wedding gown
He tried to do his duty and it took him straight to hell
He might be in some prison, I hope he's treated well".
"The patriot's dream still lives on today
It makes mothers weep and it makes lovers pray
Let's drink to the men who got caught by the chill
Of the patriotic fever and the cold steel that kills".
G. Lightfoot, 1972
Memorial Day, 2014
“How many a year has passed and gone
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I've never seen again.”
“Some First Few Friends”
• One became a noted artist and musician.
• One became a Colorado music promoter.
• One saved my life – twice.
• One was best man for my first wedding.
• One became a noted artist and published cartoonist.
• One became my daughter’s godfather.
• I married one’s first wife.
• One became a graphic designer for “The Grateful Dead”.
• One married my second wife.
• One became a convicted hold up artist.
• Two I carried to their graves.
• One became a teamster and union activist.
• One was best man for my third marriage.
• One became a mobster.
• One is believed to be living in Tibet.
• One is dying.
• Four have died.
• Seven I have not seen in decades.
Dennis James Laux, 2013