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When Death Stopped By At My House, Some Afterwords, And A Warning God Laid At The End Of My Drive.

Artist, actor, poet, teacher, songwriter & actor with 4,000 poems & almost 1,000 songs written, performed recorded & published on line.

A true story even though I wish the ending was better.

When death stopped by at my house.

"When quiet shatters...its pieces can scar you forever."
"Somebody help me

please call 911!!"

a lady cried, banging on my

screened entrance in

staccato of hammered

fear as I was yanked brusquely

from the normalcy of an

ordinary day.

I rushed to the front door

to view my whole

world gone awry

For just beyond her panicked

eyes pleading for a solution,

I saw a man face down

his whole life at its near finish

on the end of my driveway.

In an adrenaline rush

like a weak blood vessel

I burst, in a flash of flesh

and fear in stockinged feet

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and shoeless I dashed

to his side and then gasped

not only from my haste,

but also grasping at once

the horrible position fate

had brought upon me

with no time for indecision

though even famous

heroes were reluctant at first

hey...I was just a guy who

lived behind the place

where he had fallen,

but I knelt to save him

His face was crushed

against the asphalt,

wrenched to the side

upon its impact,

in puddles of his blood

and gore, his skin purple

and blue his glasses shattered

he'd hit with no hands out

to stop him.

I knew I had to turn him over

but he was stiff, and icy

cold, but with my muscles

all straining I rolled him

onto his back

I saw that he was my nice

neighbor, a man who always

had a smile...except for now

Then my instinct immediately

took over unwilling but still

I had to do, all that I could

to bring him back
His lips and nose awash

in blood, across his whole

face it was plastered,

his mouth was full too,

where I'd soonshare

my life's breath to fill

his lungs

I screamed, "Someone get

me a towel, a wet rag

just give me a shirt."

Judy ran to get several

dialing a cellphone as she went

a shirt was tossed to me

a young man offered his

aid from afar, among

bystanders standing by me

looking down on this task

so distasteful,

I wiped his face inadequately

and bent to wrench him

from death's grip,

pinching his nose

my lips enclosed him,

a sickly, sticky sense ensued

I blew a long blast deep inside him,

and watched his abdomen arise

on Saturday just before Easter,

with resurrection not yet here~

His answer was a bloody gurgle,

which he'd repeat so many times

I turned my face and spit it out,

then onto his chest I dashed for 5

compressions while yelling at

him to hang on,

"Don't die on me...John,.....

just keep fighting." back

to that bloody hole demanding

more air to fill his starving lungs.
5 thumps, two breaths

5 more... then one breath

a rhythmic pummeling of

death, the world enveloped

me in slow-mo, a whole eternity

dragged passed me, about

8 long minutes ago.

One neighbor took my job

compressing on John's chest

leaving me free to concentrate

on the copper smelling

gory red exhales that I blew.
Far in the distance I heard

sirens quite faint above

John's wife's sad cries as

she kept on begging us

to help him but I could not

look in her eyes, while John

gave only gurgling sighs

Soon enough expert hands

bid me give passage

I raised my mottled face

and moved just a few feet

away, and squatted

I focused on their hurried efforts,

to stop death as it excised John

not one dared put his mouth

directly on John's face,

they looked at me

like I was crazy,

but they'd come from

another place
He'd been out jogging

and death chased him down,

it was a pace he couldn't run,

they loaded him onto a stretcher

still working on him

rubber gloved but then the

ambulance stood silent

they put him in and closed

the doors

I wiped my mouth and

tasted sorrow,

more failure then ever before

later they left us there all

standing in huddled groups

upon my drive.

They took John but he'd left

already upon a far more

distant ride.

I filled some buckets with

hot water, an hour later

and then washed the puddle

of John's life congealing,

away from where it had

been squashed.

They said his heart attack

was massive and that even

under doctor's expert care

he would have perished

in an instant but it brought

me so little comfort and painted

life much more unfair

the end result betraying all hope,

and I still see him lying there

four days past when

he took his leave.

I made a small cross

and erected it,

quite close to the spot

where he fell to let my

neighbors know his passing,

meant something more

then just tears and grief.

we'd lost one of our own

too early he'd left us all

beyond belief

yet still this simple faith

filled marker

serves to remind and

bring relief.

"When the quiet shatters,

it's pieces can scar you forever."
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Godspeed...John N---lon
~~1947 to 2002
" Jog on through to

heavens glory,

rest forever in it's shade."

++ When death stopped by

....some afterthoughts...

*This is part two of the

work: When death stopped

by at my house dealing with

my vain attempts to save

a man who fell and died

at the end of my drive,

my neighbor John

gone twenty years now.

It's quiet here now
all that was untidy is
boxed up, and buried
soon poppies will bloom
where his blood washed
into my soil, and grass
they come up every year
with bright red heads
near where John's fell
I shake my own head
at this symbolism
but life creeps onward
I can spring back on Sunday
kind words were rendered
tears shed, hugs squeezed
a funeral without the fun-
that graces it's first 3 letters
I can taste things again
without a cooper taint
or a smell of mortality
the street is back
to its normal flow
cars slow a bit at the cross
that marks the passing
of one man that will
not pass by anymore
one less smile as I
grab the morning paper
a Mister Rogers neighborhood
transformed in an instant
to a scenario of death
excuse me while I
don a sweater
the chill still lingers
the daffodils have opened
their sleepy heads
their trumpets blow taps
I am numb
but feelings
are not vacant
and soon
this too will pass
life restores the rips
that tear the fabric
of our souls
it knits them quickly
in bright colors
to distract us
I like the quiet here
my dog snores
and birds chirp
and I will not think anymore
of the silent flesh
pressed in satin
in a place with no sound
when the quiet shatters
its pieces can scar you forever.
when the quiet resumes
the scars attempt a fade
into the hazy past.

A Warning God Laid

At The End Of My Drive.

12:30 p.m.
the phone jangles
jerking me up from a piece
of clay I was
attempting to adapt
from just mud into pure art
breathing life into
a useless lump of Terra fir-ma
I reached over to
grab the creative
license suspender
and said, "Hello?"
it was my Doctor's office
"We have the results
of your blood work
your stress tests
your x-rays
and the doctor would
like to see you
could you come in

at 3:15 today??"
"ah...sure." I stammered
and hung up with a faint goodbye
not the phone this time
but alarms going off
in my head
my heart pounding
louder then that day
my screen door was

by a lady announcing
a dying man's needs
at the end of my drive
in a stupor
I cancelled a studio session
and paced the kitchen
turning the linoleum
into lean-noleum
"My, God...what's the urgency??
I thought as the hands
on the clock
spun in a slow dance
to a song best forgotten.
after thinking of all the
worst possible scenarios
Aids, hepatitis, cancer..
I had smoked many years of
various weeds and herbs
till I quit and hey they
took a chest x-ray
or could it be some
flesh eating bacteria
some new terrorist poison
all because I gave CPR
to a dead man
thinking it would help
could that mark me as the next
house call for the reaper
then suddenly the clock

was whipping around
like a rabid dog
chasing his well chewed tail
in mad circles
and it was 2:30
I grabbed my keys and
walked slowly to the car
thinking maybe this sunny day
would be the last
I would have chosen
to remain innocent
of the facts of
my own mortality
I didn't want to know
if it was anything bad
but my options were thin
I had to go in
not knowing would be as worse
and might hurt other people
if I was now sick.
They took me right in
and put me in exam room eight
my doctor who slightly
resembles Ichabod Crane
strode in like the
headless horseman
was hot on his tail
but then he just said
"It was a busy day."
he opened my charts
there were notes in
there that looked like
Einstein's chalkboard
and my heart did a
small back flip
a point ten on the
O-lymphic scale
but then this tall
wise man, said...
"Your aids test is negative."
as well as your hepatitis test
in any of it's forms
as well as any chance of
infections or contagions".....
Phh inner
soul whispered
.......But!!" he said,
I saw the flash back of John's
purple and blue face
superimposed onto mine
for a split second
then he continued....
"Your cholesterol level is a whopping
263...with LDL which is the good cholesterol
at well as your bottom number
which is too high it's at 216."
your blood pressure during
the stress tests was abnormal
for a man your age
when you were at the
hardest part of the test
the ultrasound of your heart
shows a weakening as well
at this point
therefore I think we should
start you on Lipitor
to correct your cholesterol levels
do some Dye testing on
your heart artery's
if after a month on meds
you still have a high level
there may be arterial blockage
and if that shows up as a problems
we'll run a heart cath
to find out where
the trouble lies
by the way your X-rays were normal."
Phewwwwww....I think????
treatable problems????
not impending death???
obviously my high cholesterol
was conspiring behind my
back to shorten my vacation plans
one of these years
not too far off
and then I began to understand
why I was given the shot
at saving John
even though I lost him
from a massive heart attack
nothing heroic
just Humanity compounded
Did God lay a warning
at the end of my driveway????
was John's life meant to end
and in the process
expire in my presence
so that I would
ultimately see my own doctor?
and avoid the same fate???
or was it all just
the doctor made me a few appointments
patted me on the back
handed me some lipitor for 30 days
and went off to see the next worry wart
I felt one small tear of gratitude
slide down the healthy flesh
of my cheek
for God...for John
a nice guy who even in death
unbeknownst to him
helped another person out
I have an obligation
either way to take up
the task of being nicer
now that the world has
one less nice person in it
and to take care of myself
to avoid winding up
on the end of my driveway
on a trip to get the mail
where I finish up becoming
just another message
to some poor soul
who is on the borderline
of a major health dilemma.
I drove home
with the windows down
and a whimsical grin on my face
today was going to be
a spectacular day
Thanks John
I wish you could have been here
to see it.

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