Ruthie Starling

Ruthie Starling’s death came at the worst possible time, just as she seemed to be recovering from horrendous illness, and was planning a return to a more active writing life, including the publication of a poetry collection.

 

The day after her memorial service on May 11, 2022, her friend Carol Caffrey posted this on Facebook:

 

Yesterday began in miserable, misty rain and the road to Westhope Green Burial Ground seemed to elude the satnav and myself. But, as was fitting, the sun came out in time as we said goodbye to Ruthie Starling in that serene and beautiful setting. Her generous family shared memories of her well-lived life and to the bleating of lambs and snuffling of horses, accompanied by poetry and rosemary for remembrance, she was gently lowered to her rest. May you 'come into the peace of wild things', Ruthie.

 

By the graveside, Ruthie’s daughter Miranda read a poem of her mother’s.

 

Things my father taught me

 

Things my father taught me

He showed me the Milky Way on a double-page spread

indigo spaces infinitely sparkled with stars

each a cell in the body of our Universe

He told me that one day

our life/death divide would measure

only half the depth

of the edge of a butterfly’s wing.

 

He showed me the night sky

breathing the velvet sound of air

of all Life sharing that breath

through never-beginning eternity

He showed me myself from a distance

seen to be infinite space

generating starseeds.

 

He showed me the Universe,

that all our heartbeats are sunsblood

pulled through our very bones

to resonate with all living things.

 

He told me to float on,

free as stardust

through all the days of all my lives

unharming and unharmed

that if the darkness of this world ever buries us,

we each will become a starseed.   

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