July 16, 2017

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You may have read my last journal, about the two poems of mine that Steve found in an old Philadelphia newspaper. He had a pdf file of the entire paper on his computer desktop, and seeing that he had already culled what he needed from it, he was thinking of deleting it. I very gently, but very firmly, gave him the thought, "Before you dispose of it, would you like to check through it one more time?" He did, using the search feature, for my initials, "A.P." for (Abby Poyen). Why that didn't bring up the two additional poems that were there, the first time he did that, he doesn't know. I know. Here is the thing--I can't give him all the information at once. I have to dole it out to him, so he can slowly piece together our history. So, first I helped him discover the two I shared last entry; and then, these two. In the previous ones, he could see that, at age 14, I was in love with him, but he didn't know it. I was tutoring him, we were friends, he was 18, and our ages made too big of a difference. He had his eye on the village "queen" at that time, who, being two years older and a flirt, was spurning him. I knew the situation, but kept mum, as he refused to listen. But he didn't understand that the one who loved him truly, was right by his side! Ah...

So when I "sat up" with him I was in heaven; and when he went back to New York to continue working there--which perchance he had to do , anyway--I was crushed, and furious, to boot! But I got over it, as we corresponded some, and he sent me copies of his hilarious writing, and I forgave him. So whereas last time, when I waxed metaphysical, it was in pain, reaching out to the stars for solace; this time, I did so in jubilation--because at least I knew his heart was true, he genuinely loved me as a friend, and he had to go. And there was a love poem, too. Now, Steve is feeling that I never wished for these to be published. Can you imagine? Of course I wouldn't! But there is still some question, as far as Steve's research is concerned. My former teacher was sneaking peeks at my workbook, and copying my poems--including not only my class assignments, but my private poems. But that is another story.

So I want to share these two poems, but I want to comment on them by way of introduction--and as usual, we want for Steve to try to keep his own thoughts in abeyance, and to "catch" mine as they come "zipping past." So we will pause, here, and regroup quietly...

We may be getting a little bit of an audience, here, as Steve is participating in a new online group having to do with afterlife research. But for some time, now, I have been giving Steve the feeling that someone psychic is reading this journal, too. Is this real channeling; is Steve acting as a medium? This is based on soul-mate rapport. Steve is not capable, nor has he opened himself up with permission for, other people in the astral realm to contact him. That is not his destiny, his work. I can't explain what makes some people psychic, and some less so. I mean, I could, but I shall not, here. What we have is due to our being so closely in-tune, from so many lifetimes together. Even soul-mates on earth, can know each other's thoughts and feelings. So, this is only intensified when one is in the astral world; but it is the same thing happening.

Be aware that I do not use the term "soul-mates" lightly. But we shall not elaborate on that, today.

So, regarding this first poem, which Steve will bring up on the screen of his other computer, where he had keyed it in for our book, to refresh his memory. You see, as I have often said, I dearly loved Matt's wonderful sense of humor. He was the village clown, telling tall-tales, imitating people's speech, giving mock stump speeches and even sermons! (to the consternation of some, and the delight of others). But when I had him all to myself, and he regaled me, I fell helplessly in love. I wanted him all to myself! Oh, to be married to him, to live a life with such fun in it, with such a partner who truly, I felt, understood me as no other did! (He would someday feel exactly the same about my musical ability, with which I often entertained him.) At 14, I was all set to marry him--but it was impossible. Still, I wanted his humor all to myself, and it was bad enough when he would tell stories for others (especially the older, more "ample" village girls)--but when he went to New York City, that giant den of mankind's iniquity, I felt I had lost him altogether. Surely the women there would ensnare him; and he would be sharing his humor with everyone, with the entire city! This is how I felt--but how I expressed it is what you saw last entry, by charging him with being a "false friend"! Well, dears, I was very bright, but I was 14...

But then he wrote me from New York, and he assured me of his loving friendship--and perhaps more, which Steve doesn't know for sure, that he thought I would be a very desirable bride for someone, someday, but that I was too young to be seriously thinking of such things--then, maybe he only surmised my feelings, not taking them seriously, yet. And this is an irony, a tremendous irony, Steve feels, as he types this, because of what I meant to him in only a few years, and because of how he would pine for me as and write poetry to me as "The Absent One" many years after I had passed. But at this time, I was a "kid" to him.

Anyway, I decided I was content to be his loving friend--for now, at least. And I wrote a poem about his smile, but of course I meant his jolly disposition, and his humor. So that explains the first poem adequately. No great mystery, there.

But now we come to the second one. And I must tell you that I had picked out two stars in the heavens--one to be myself, and one to be Mathew--to represent our souls in heaven. And I had the feeling, being psychic, that all of nature was somehow alive--and then I had read the same in my studies. So I poured forth the knowledge that my mother had taught me about metaphysics. Where it comes to the occult, however, I had to equivocate. You will see that the poem says I wish I could believe in astrology, and in reading tea leaves. But I did, I did! I just couldn't say it publicly. (Already I had gotten in serious trouble, giving a reading to a local village girl, when she pressed me for it. Never again would I admit any such thing, publicly.)

Steve noticed several confirming "bits" in this poem. But the most important I want to mention, is that there is a clear reference to my having studied Eastern teachings. This was rare, in my day and age. It was not as though you could easily procure these books, the way people can, now. Where did I obtain them? From my mother? She taught me the old ways from her Scottish heritage. From my cousin, Charles, the future Mesmerist? Perhaps. From another cousin? Steve can't get a clear answer on this. But obtain them, I did, and study them, I did. I had studied essentially the same teachings that Steve began studying in his late teens, in this lifetime. You can see the hints of it in this poem.

I also derided materialistic science and philosophy, which was gaining a foothold in 1830. I didn't actively crusade against it, as Mathew did, and as Steve and I have continued to do, today. But when it came time to expres my opinion, I made it quite clear.

As you read this poem, the question arises--did I really believe that the stars were alive? and if so, in what sense? Steve isn't sure. I believed that everything physical had a higher, spiritual counterpart--"As above, so below." I had studied these teachings of Alchemy, the Western mysticism as well as the Eastern. So I believed, simply, that there were spiritual stars behind the physical stars, and that this spiritual universe was conscious, or rather, was all consciousness. I am, of course, living in that universe, today.

Well, it is not good to explain a poem in too much depth--if you have to do that, the poem isn't doing a very good job of expressing itself, is it? Here are my two poems--my love poem to Mathew, when I had to accept, for the time being, that he loved me sincerely as a friend, because of my age; and my poem to the stars, written, now, not in anguish, but in full-throated joy.

Oh, for the record, the love poem was published on March 12, 1831, and the mystical poem on April 2, 1831. You see by the title that the second one is incomplete. Steve thinks the missing portion may have dealt more with things psychic and occult, and that I opted to withhold this part from publication, rather than to modify it so extensively. He may be right ;-)

Steve notices one thing, as he signs off, here--look at the way the poem closes. I understood that when the ancients, as for example the Egyptians, worshipped the sun, they were not worshipping the physical sun, but rather the spiritual sun which lay behind it. How many people understand that about the ancient peoples, today, he says? Oh, was I out of place, in rural New England, with this knowledge! But then Mathew came along like a thirsty sponge, understanding me and grasping what I taught him. And after all, being psychic, I recognized him from long ago. How could I not love him???

Steve also says, of the first poem, "But would a 14-year-old be talking about feeling young again?" Yes, yes. I knew I was an old soul--at 14 I felt exhausted with no-one understanding me, and with being so much out-of-sync with my Society. But Matt did "get" me--and with him, I didn't feel tired or used up anymore. We both thought of ourselves as "old souls," and that sometimes translated to feeling "old." But Steve is reminded of something that yogi Baba Hari Dass once wrote out on his chalkboard at a yoga retreat, many years ago, in response to someone else's question. Suddenly he turned, and looked pointedly at Steve, while his answer was being read out--"Never think you are old. To God, all are children, and children always play."

Love to each and all,
Abby

 

TO —— ——

That smile of thine! That smile of thine!
 When first the blessed beam
Of love shone from thy soul on mine,
 Was like a happy dream;
That steals upon the wretched brain,
And brings it back to youth again,
 With momentary gleam.

That smile of thine! That smile of thine!
 Has shone upon my way,
Like a perennial fire divine,
 A vivifying ray—
A part of natureís mighty God,
That lighted up the inert clod,
 To live its passing day.

That smile of thine! That smile of thine!
 Though fame hath fled away,
Has never ceased on me to shine,
 With its confiding ray:
In misery and wretchedness,
That smile has never ceased to bless
 My lone heart on its way.

That smile of thine! That smile of thine!
 Oh, leave that unto me!—
And like the mist of noontide wine,
 The world beside may flee;
Yeah, leave me but that smile divine,
And let me touch my lip to thine!
 And welcome misery.

That smile of thine! That smile of thine!
 Let death at coming wear;
And when he smiles, Iíll not repine,
 But fade into the air;
And free from this insensate sod,
Rejoin the universal God,
 And love, in memory, there.

A.P.