It is with deep regret and sadness that I bring news, for those who have not already heard, that Christine (Talitha Ruatha) passed away this week.
I've always envied her writing talent and her exuberant personality. She will always shine on here at PC through her poetry and posts. She proved to be witty, compassionate and quite ornery. Proof of the latter, Rick and others can attest to as she was known to frequently carry her blow torch into Rick's Lounge and make known that she wasn't afraid to use it!!! I know many of you knew her longer or even better than I did and, while I feel a piece of my heart ripped out today as I post this, I am deeply sympathetic to the loss you are feeling. I hope, too, my selection of this particular poem which Christine posted at Poetic Constellation on May 31, 2006 is symbolic of the great writer that she was and an example of how much she enjoyed making us all laugh.
"Heaven's Gate" was carved in iron
upon gated spires of dark
and so to clean a cemetary as duty
in middle fall was considered a lark!
Well there my friends and I did go
and crossed old tombstones rare,
cleaned & rubbed the markers dry
swept up the leaves so bare.
Left huge piles of leaves debried
next to the entry park'd there
until one friend thought itd be great
to liven up this party so rare.
Climb the fence and dive into
huge pile of leaves six foot high
"C'mon you guys it'd be great fun!
Don't be scared, just give it a try!"
So one by one they climbed the fence
to free-fall fly into the pile
and laughing as they rolled and fell
while I stood by all the while.
See, I'm afraid of all great heights
and this iron gate firm & solid
but I was not about to be called weak
(even if my color was really green-pallid!)
So I climbed the iron gate
and stood between it's spires
balancing act was no great feat
the wind softly dried as I perspired.
"Jump!" They all cried as one voice,
Fly! Cried my soul that day!
But when I went to flee that spired gate
My jeans grabbed hold..and stayed!
There I was amongst all the dead,
my friends falling out and rolling,
I hung by Heaven's Gate it seemed
(thankfully no police that day were patrolling!)
Swinging hard, there I hung
swayed as my jeans all but ripping
hung for what seemed such loooong hours
as day's temperature started dropping.
"Can't get you free or rip you off!"
Said one of the guys while laughing,
"You'll have to find a way to free yourself!"
As hypothermia I soon started battling.
Shivering now and boogery crying,
my best friend there with me sat
while others went to find some scissors
as my thoughts to my rear end began at.
A rip that slowly started down
set my right leg swinging free
and it was then I felt winter's touch
upon flesh not usually seen.
"Oh Dammit and Shit!" then I swore!
"Get me loose before they see
that my rear end hangs now fully out
for all the world - that's me!"
My best friend stood and smiled
and with one sweet graceful bend
unzipped my jeans & pulled me out
just in time to turn around and then...
One by one they started,
those friends of mine so dear,
to sing the song that my shiver'd my soul
and one that I never gain want to hear.....
Posted poem by: Christine (Talitha Ruatha)