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Dave R

Dave R

English but living since 1986 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. HIV+ since 2004 and a neuropathy patient since 2007. I've seen quite a bit, done quite a bit and bought quite a few t-shirts if you know what I mean; but all that baggage makes me what I am today: a better person I believe, despite it all.

You can find much more information about neuropathy and HIV on and here on The Body, along with articles about other subjects.


Beyond the shadows and back

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 Written by // Dave R Categories // Arts and Entertainment, Living with HIV, Dave R

A poem from Dave R reflecting on times past, when AIDS was so final and so many were confronted with questions about life and death, especially when the deaths of loved ones forced people to face the prospect of a life alone.

Beyond the shadows and back

In ’92 the unthinkable happened

And fate took away half of his soul.

His only reason for living,

Slipped away and left him alone.

The tears tumbled, as the evening mist came down

And were still falling the next morning,

As the sun burnt off that last of the dew

And the feeling of falling and falling

And never landing, or breaking his bones,

Left him nevertheless broken,

Inconsolable, bereft and apart from the world.


Ten years later, he lived a new life,

Glued together from the ashes of the old.

He lived and he loved but the hole in his heart,

Grew larger and festered and he only forgot

When he took solace in contacts both empty and cold.

Fate then took pity and offered him the chalice,

Filled with the poison that had worked before

And he felt whole again but only by knowing,

That through the white door, was the love he’d lost,

Who’d waited, watched and bided his time,

Because of need for each other, no matter the cost.



Fate’s final card was to rescue the living

And prevent him from dying and reuniting,

With what he thought was the key to his life.

The drugs gave him strength and started him fighting

To drive out his demons and rebuild his soul.

He learned to live for the exact same reasons that

Before he’d wanted to die.

He pasted his love, his grief and his memories

On pages of living and growing and encouraging men,

To understand that life can have purpose,

When all seems so dark and hope looks out of reach.



Now Fate gave him a talent to inspire and delight

And his lost love could see from beyond the mist,

That he was loved even more and this was right.

Helping the living regain their lives,

Reversed the desire to reunite in death.

Where for so long the survivor wanted nothing more

Than to hold his lover in lifeless arms,

The roles were reversed and the ghost returned,

To uplift his partner and give him strength,

As he battled to help men as troubled as he.

Both saw that death is too final; life holds so much more.