Once we tried to catch the wind.
We loved the California fault line and the Pacific.
She loved the black velvet whiskey and I loved her.
I always brought her live flowers and I watched her,
plant them in the Monterey soil in her garden.
She told me,
I don’t want dead flowers Johnnie.
I want things that cannot die,
my favorite flowers are my roses,
they rebirth every Spring for me.
I remembered how the sun kissed her skin,
the coyness of her smile.
She was my morning blessing and evening kindness.
I was leaving for war and we prayed, we laughed and we cried.
I was a careless man,
I didn’t know yet,
war teaches us nothing,
life is in the front of us.
I returned to Monterey in the early Spring,
I bought fresh planted roses and rosemary.
I went to her house, sat on her porch and I watched the sun begin to rise.
She came out with fresh coffee and she embraced me.
She caressed the budding roses and she whispered.
I read your letters from Africa everyday and I prayed you were okay.
We paint pretty pictures and when we learn.
The world can be so ugly, can kill the kindness we know and feel.
Please Johnnie, stay with me.
Let’s plant the roses, the rosemary together.
Dear Johnnie, we can’t save the world,
all we can do, is what we can.
I saw everything in her eyes, I saw radiant hazel eyes blessing me with love and kindness. I told her, sweet baby, you were right. We cannot fix a world that doesn’t want to be repair, maybe we are just like the dead flowers, slowly dying and to be forgotten?
She brought me closer and she sang to me.
“O my love, O my love,
the stormy sea must rest,
the seasons will change and we are endless,
we are a shred of grey, a shred of blue.
We will long for things gone,
we will know the nightingale song and we will learn.
When love is near, hold on tight,
when the sea is near.
Become her dear friend.
If you ain’t dead,
we are not done yet.
Today is now, yesterday is gone.
Stay with me and I show you the sea,
we will find Big Sur,
learn new joy and rewrite a soldier story,
with a happy ending.”
I followed her to her garden,
we planted the roses and the rosemary.
I knew, a blessed man is allowed into the garden of a sweet woman.