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Time was I could express myself here, on this livejournal page that no one reads now. I did it because it was the outlet I needed, because I thought I had something to share. Because I had nothing else to do.

But, mostly, I did it because Shannon O'Dubhuir was here. I miss him and his command of the English language I only fleetingly glimpse in my dreams. I may have clocked in more hours on time’s invisible clock but next to him I feel like a child. My vocabulary is pedestrian to his all-eyes-open-and-all-too-human command of it.

I miss him.

I want to know he is well. That Caroline is well. That babby brother is well. I want to know my friend is happy. I need to know so I can stop assuming every shadow I see in my apartment is him visiting me. I am comforted by them where most people would be frightened. But I am not here to write ghost stories; I am more concerned with the living. And he lives – even if no new evidence exists – in every word he has ever written.

I miss him.

I have written poems that I thought he might appreciate. Songs that no one else will ever lay eyes on. And then I have written other verse that I wish I’d shared with him - mostly because I am selfish and need validation. His eye sees what others are purposely blind to, too afraid of the darkness within and without. They have never lived or died. Not where they stand. Definitely never where they lay. But Shannon and I have. We have seen darkness and its inhabitants, pink-skinned and human. Never scaly and monstrous because we only see what we believe in.

And what we believe is time, with all its intricate parts once removed. We are the circular minutes we deny, the hands that windmill against oppression. Him with actions. Me with an ever constant hope.

That is all anyone can ever ask for, time. We deny it once, twice, three times and it will always ignore us. But with it on our sides, we can share moments with the few people in our lives we treasure - family is sometimes included on that list but mostly by default. We are creatures who bond with the familiar, creatures who suffer loneliness in crowds, always begging for solitude and then admonishing it when we are humored and haunted by it. Time is ever against us.

So what is it about time we find so interesting? Why invest in it if it is an intangible? We run our fingers through the air, thinking we are touching something that only ever touches us. Its evidence is in every white hair and in every frown line on our faces. Why bother with time if it needs nothing from us? Why not live beyond its reach, with our treasured friends beside us?

Author's Note:
Spontaneous write, posted directly to my livejournal page. Haven't heard from him in months and I worry. Some of you know why. Wasn't sure what to submit it under - or if I should share at all.

I will never write like you and I hope you never write like me.

"...the only war that matters is the war against the imagination--all other wars are subsumed in it..." -Diane di Prima


The following comments are for "missing a friend"
by toscano

estranged friends
An oxymoron if ever there was one. As usual, I'm interested in your thoughts. Perhaps mostly because I know them to be sincere even though I don't feel 'close' to you due to a multitude of reasons. However, your words have touched me from time to time for their insight, intelligence, passion but mostly because, to me, you feel real.
When people come and go from Lit, I miss them but it has given me 'permission' to be absent myself from time to time and quite often lately while I was doing my rock pile detail during my summer romance with my yard and boulevard.
However, I've never pined for anyone or wished them to be where they're not. In this ethereal environment nothing is stable so I celebrate the ones who are present, the ones who return and the ones who have touched my mind from time to time. I often wonder about gomarsoap - enforced bliss - viper9 - etc. etc. [add yourself to that list too] because if I carry on naming names .. I know I'll miss someone which isn't my point.
I have friends who I don't touch base with for eons but they continue to have a solid foundation in my thoughts and hold true to our tenets about what friendship is all about. To my way of thinking a friend doesn't need validation, they simply exist, missed or not.

( Posted by: Pen [Member] On: September 21, 2011 )

Me too, Francisco!
Of course you should submit it Francisco...that's what a writer does! We write about what we know...and feel...and think...that's what makes us writers and...if done well...draws people to us to learn more about us.

I too am worried about him...but I know him well enough to know he will get in touch when HE...not ready! His last note to me was soo relaxed (for him) and full of satisfaction about returning to shcool and gathering all his work for eventual publication.

I was so encouraged by this...usually he derided his work as not being good enough for that! friend...knowing his tendency for privacy...unless I learn otherwise, I will continue to write to him and only expect to hear from him when HE'S ready to share with us. I know he loves us as we love him...he's told me so...and he does read us here from time to time, so try not to worry and concentrate on writing your best work to show him when he does come back!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: September 21, 2011 )

Thank you ladies. I was feeling a bit blue when I wrote this a few days ago. Actually coming out of a blue period. In the years I've been friends with Shannon I've always gotten fairly quick replies from him. Guess I'm needy and/or overly spoiled/humored.

I was just missing hearing from him. Still am. I'm sure he's fine and keeping busy with everything he'd been up to last I heard.

Thanks for the comments.

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: September 21, 2011 )

Toscano and Shannon from robnjop
I want to try to communicate something I just never have been able to do, about Shannon. And the same goes in part for you also Des, although Shannon always seemed to be on a higher plane all his own in whatever he did.
I know Shannon has all the things you say, but to be honest I never understood a lot of his poetry, and his shoulders were always much too high for me to attempt to stand on. And also his poetry I didn't want to read, a lot of it anyway. And still I know I couldn't carry his paper to write on.
Shannons' heart. Shannons kindness. Shannons ability to tell me more about what I was saying in my own poetry than I ever knew.
Shannons' love. Shannons' acceptance.
This was his poetry to me. Oh my gosh...what poetry.
Love you Shannon, and don't ever come back if that is where you are happy.
Love you Des. Love you Pen. robnjop

( Posted by: nativeokie [Member] On: October 1, 2011 )

Francisco and Shannon
One of the first comments I ever got was from AuldMiseryGuts. He had a way of telling you things about your work that you didn't really know yourself until he pointed it out. He was on a whole other level when it came to writing. I wouldn’t dream of even trying to put ink in his pen.

I've never met a more insightful person whether he was writing poetry, prose, or a simple critique. He managed to make you feel good about your work, even when he was telling you it was crap, because he always had pointers and tips to make it better. I attribute most of what I've learned about writing since I started here at Lit to three people; Ken (jonpenny), John (Beckett Grey), and Shannon (AuldMiseryGuts).

In an email, I asked him why he was leaving. He told me and I understood, but the selfish part of me wished he would stay, despite his reasons. I too, was looking for validation from him. I can't claim the level of friendship you seem to have, but I did and still do count him a friend. He left me an open invitation to send him any writing I wanted him to take a look at, but I never got answer back from the last one and it was quite a while ago.

I've thought of him often lately and have used him as an example of good writing and good critiquing in several of my columns for Majestic. He’s a one of a kind talent and I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. Although I do wish he would come back, I think he was more of an inspiration here than he ever realized.

(BTW, I always read what you write, even if I am a little late getting to it.)


( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: October 3, 2011 )

cos you friends don't dance and if they don't dance they're no friends of mine
Listening to The Safety Dance and thought I'd use the lyric in the subject line.

Robert, good to hear from you my friend. I understand what you mean - even though people have told they also don't understand my posts. Still, they're nowhere hear as complex and beautiful as Shannon's. Read my signature quote and you will see where I stand on the matter. Missed ya.

Dave, yes, Shannon is one-of-a-kind. He was the second person to comment when I joined lit in '07. Lucie Adams was the first but Shannon was the one who made the biggest impact on me. It can't be found in lit's vaults now but I still remember some of what he wrote. He's always been there with his generous nature on full display.

Regarding the reads, thanks. Can't say the same cos I go away for a bit and when I return, everything has changed. But I do read when I'm here for any length of time.

( Posted by: toscano [Member] On: October 3, 2011 )

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