Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CAMILLE

Your light snuffed out like this candle
I light in commemoration
Not permitted full potential
Never reaching maturation

Your flame put out prematurely,
Wounds my heart like a sword surely
Michael requests positive energy
To help her on her journey

Light a single white candle at sunset
Blue, yellow and red flames ascend
Many loved you, will not forget
I would redo, make amends

Stopped literally in your tracks
Flames soar; see you clutching red wine
Forced before time to pay death tax
Passion and spine created your shine

You were like my sister, my family
Joey recalled movie class, your arm
Resting on his shoulders, your words
Softly spoke, a blue rhapsody

Short winded, precise and clear
Owned the gift of repartee
Camille possessed much flair
With her, no boredom guarantee

Times gone, I snuff the candles light
My mind’s eye reminiscences
Memories live, my delight
Death abandons all; relentless



Monday, August 10, 2015

Loss and Bereavement - Tribute to Camille Vega-Willard

I recently heard my beloved friend, Camille Vega-Willard, passed away. Her husband Michael Willard wrote to let me know that Camille had passed away on August 4th and that he was "flying with her physical remains and sisters to let her join her mother and father in the family plot in Luquillo, Puerto Rico." Michael added, "Request good memories and positive energy to help her on her journey." As we age, it is inevitable that we will experience loss.

Here follow my good memories and thoughts about my dear beloved friend Camille.



I recall Camille fondly, nursing a bottle of fine and inexpensive red wine with her wit and intelligent banter, listening to her pontificate on a variety of subjects, listening to her short whispered insights and stories. Her lust for life and her love for Michael were evident in every word. She was fun to listen to too. She could discuss any subject with clarity and sensitivity. Camille knew how to use satire in her talk. She was very precise and short winded. Listening to her made me laugh and made me think. Camilla made me feel special, like my ramblings mattered.

I remember when we were at Columbia University together. I had a young child and Camille was very friendly. Camille convinced me to take a class on film with her. One day, my young son Joey, 7 years old at the time had no school and I had my movie class. The class was packed and Camille led me to in front of the front row of seats and we lay down to watch Fassbinder. Joey loved movies too. He ended with his head on Camille’s shoulder with her arm around him. After this, Joey loved Camille too. When I texted him that she’d passed, he came down and we commiserated several hours remembering Camille.  


I remember when Camille would do one-third the amount of work I did for a class and she’d pull an A and I’d pull a B or B+. She gave me her paper to study, telling me to say less and focus more. All of our professors loved her too. One came to weekly family dinners and it seemed like roles switched when his marriage was on the rocks and Camilla acted like his therapist.

I recall when she told me she’d met Michael. I asked how they got together. She told me that she’d been planning to go to Mexico to study a Gypsy community there and Michael protested that they’d just only met; he didn’t want her to go. Camille said she presented her solution: “Marry me and go with me to Mexico.” He did and they’d had a big adventure in Mexico.

Camilla was honest and forthright. You knew you could depend on her not to bullshit you. If you wanted the truth of what she thought, she’d give it to you straight. She wasn’t beyond offering coddling when needed either. Plus she was simply and deliciously beautiful, inside and out. Whoever knew Camille knew Camilla could make you feel special. Camille never tried hard to look sexy or pretty, she didn’t have to. She naturally had the most beautiful hair, the greatest skin, and she had va-va –voom!

Camille had many special talents. She made you feel like every utterance, every incantation, every word, was only meant for you and that your every utterance was just as meaningful. I remember how impressed I was when Camilla began exploring her more creative side with photography. Up till now I’d only seen her intellectual side. She even began producing her own photos in a dark room she designed and made with Michael’s help. Her photos were stories that began to develop into complex tales. She became very adept and I imagined her work in galleries. They were good, tasteful, and artsy.

I will achingly miss her. What I will hold dear in my memory is that Camille is a bright light who shined upon us in this world. I was blessed to have been included in part of her life.


Sunday, August 02, 2015

True Love Longings

I’m beginning to think
It doesn’t exist
It’s do or be done to
Eat or be eaten
Do to survive
Or die inside trying
Be conqueror or conquered

I don’t want to play these roles
I want to drive my own
I want to survive, live and thrive
Help and be helped
Love and be loved
Feel intimacy tingle
From toes to fingertips

Be alive with desire
Feel it flow to and fro
It can’t be perfect I know
Still want it nonetheless
I want someone to love
Someone to love me


Friday, July 24, 2015

Keeping up with RJ

Hard times have fallen
But the sun will shine again
It’s going to be all right baby
But I can’t say when
Well it’s hard times now
But the sun will shine again
Don’t know where I’m going,
But it’s better than where I been

Phone rang this morning,
Woke me out of bed
A hand came through the receiver
Shook me upside my head
Well there’s hard times people,
Getting worse every day
Bad luck’s got hold of me,
Every which way I turn
Should sell my soul to the devil
People say don’t talk that way

Hard times have fallen
But the sun will shine again
I'm a steady rolling woman
I roll both night and day
But I haven't got no sweet thing
To roll along with me
No one to roll along with me

Makes me feel so lonesome,
Can’t keep from crying, 
Can’t keep my eyes dry
Losing love’s tough that way,
Got to keep on struggling to get by
No time to worry if my life’s been in vain

Felix gone, left me behind
Been on my mind, left me quite blind
Life and death entwined
I’m a steady rolling woman
Staying on my grind
Hoping the stars stay aligned

Boarding that train
Not high on cocaine
Holding off the pain, feigning delight,
Got to slay these blues tonight

I'm a free rolling woman
Heading down life’s highway
A steady rolling woman
Standing at the crossroads
Lost track of time, 
brain out of whack
A turning tempo of time
Expecting the devil by & by
With his bag full of illusions
Want to find out why
Got my eyes on the prize,
Devil got his eyes on me

Lost love along the way
Don’t know night from day
Rolling along singing my song
Not too lonesome to
Write a poem in vain

Soul trains coming,
Looking for a ride
To follow my dream
Follow them along
My mind’s going for a ride tonight
The blues are on my soul tonight

Got to keep struggling, rolling along
A rolling stone gathers no moss,
Fight those blues
Trying to stay right

I’m a steady rolling woman
Rolling to the crossroads
Keeping time with my hand jive  
Making up my mind
Where I’m going this day in time




*  I wrote this song some time ago, way back in 2012, and somehow it never made its way here.  Of course it's for Robert Johnson. I own his complete collection and I love RJ. Everyone knows the story about how he went to the crossroads and the devil took his life. If not - look it up. Pretty fantastic stuff. 

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