Category Archives: poems about death

The Wall: NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 29

The prompt today is to write a poem inspired by a Sylvia Plath poem.  Below the photo is the poem I wrote. The Plath poem I chose that inspired it is given below my poem.

The Wall

I put my hand against the raw stone of the wall
and I can feel it siphoning molecules.
There is a tingling sensation
as they flow out of me.

I try to send some extrasensory
particles along with them
to communicate to me
where they go
and what they encounter there,
but I know that it is futile.

I cannot follow
where these lost parts of me go––
these thoughts, wishes,
aspirations
that I surrender to the wall.

It is not by choice, you know,
that I sit here facing what 
has  been leached out of my life.

I go on living what life I can,
knowing that in time
all of me will finally
flow into the wall.

 I’ve lost so much ambition to it—
and hope and curiosity.

So much of what has kept me engaged in life
has already  gone into that gray world
where I cannot yet follow.

Now I sit here, facing it,
acknowledging my failure
as well as the wall’s exclusivity.
Only my shadow
cast against it
reminds me that
somewhere behind me
there is a sun.

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For NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 29.

 

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                              Apprehensions

                                              — by Sylvia Plath

There is this white wall, above which the sky creates itself —
Infinite, green, utterly untouchable.
Angels swim in it, and the stars, in indifference also.
They are my medium.
The sun dissolves on this wall, bleeding its lights.

A grey wall now, clawed and bloody.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Steps at my back spiral into a well.
There are no trees or birds in this world,
There is only sourness.

This red wall winces continually:
A red fist, opening and closing,
Two grey, papery bags —
This is what i am made of, this, and a terror
Of being wheeled off under crosses and rain of pieties.

On a black wall, unidentifiable birds
Swivel their heads and cry.
There is no talk of immorality among these!
Cold blanks approach us:
They move in a hurry.

Parts of Him

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Parts of Him

You look so like him on our passing—
that strongly muscled arm,
his hair brushing your shoulder,
but you do not have his charm.

Your hands curl in a gesture
so familiar in its kind,
but they do not form the magic
his hands mold within my mind.

Your smile is so like his—
that chortle when you laugh—
but I see you cannot be him
as we pass upon the path.

Your stance is his, your bearing
when I see you from afar.
It’s just as we draw nearer
I see who you really are.

These long years since his passing,
I still look for him in places
where in the crowds I search him out
in unsuccessful faces.

Each similar demeanor
reaches out a tentacle
to draw me to a likeness
that, alas, is not identical.

The prompt today is identical.

Above

jdb photos, 2018.  To enlarge all photos, click on any one.


Above

By putting so much beauty so far beyond our reach,
what truths of the universe might nature try to teach?
One story told by earth and sea, here within our clutch,
another told by what’s above, that only eyes can touch.

 

The prompt today is above.

Released


Released

All night long I follow scripts written by some hand
perhaps belonging to a self that consciousness has banned.
Fresh from dreams, I feel released from tasks committed to
as I remember other jobs that I’m obliged to do.
Who knows if dreams are showing us those things we could have done—
those things we have forgotten with the dawning of the sun.
If only I remembered that world that fades away,
perhaps I’d face a very different sort of day.
Instead, I slip into the role my life has led me to,
like forcing naked feet into a more confining shoe.

 I wonder if these dreams were brought to light if they’d show more
of potential lives where I live closer to my core.
Perhaps these stories I concoct, labelling them as lore,
are simply other lives I live on a lower floor.
When I descend into my dreams, maybe I go to ponder
all those other me’s whose gifts I have chosen to squander.
Could it be in death that I’m released to find a goal
in the bargain basement of the building of my soul—
to find another path where I may once more start a quest
towards a self just one step closer to my very best?

 


The prompt today is release. Once again, I’ve edited and reblogged a poem written three and a half years ago. A fine way to find time to edit and since I never remember these poems, perhaps if you’ve followed my blog for this long, you’ve forgotten them, too.

Our Mother, Cloaked in Silence (Daily Post and dVerse Poets Rhyme Royal)

Our Mother, Cloaked in Silence

Although she was our portal to the world,
with little pageantry we laid her down.
No trumpets blared, the flags full mast unfurled,
for it was small, the realm of her renown.

And yet the limbs were bare, the whole world brown
as though the trees she planted all were lief
to shed their full green finery in their grief.

The prompt today was cloaked.  Also for the dVerse poets prompt, Rhyme Royal.The rhyme royal stanza consists of seven lines, (usually) in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is  a-b-a-b, b-c-c. It was the standard narrative meter in the late Middle Ages.

Foreshadowing

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Foreshadowing

Why does the loveliest flower have the sharpest thorn
so you had to pay the tariff of young flesh pierced and torn
by the most splendid ornament that you had ever worn
as he clasped you to the music of the saxophone and horn?
It’s been true each day you’ve lived, was true when you were born,
and your father brought fresh roses—your bedside to adorn.
And it will go on being true on that future morn
when roses will be carried by those saddened and forlorn
as they place your ashes where you’ve asked that they be borne:
back to that same rose bush that so long ago was shorn
of the roses that you carried when your wedding vows were sworn.

 

 

The prompt today is thorny.

The Finite. What We Can’t Fight.

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jdbphoto

Universal Biography

In the end, all the same.
Although remembering your name,
eventually no one knows
the you that lived beneath your clothes.

They may see your charming smile,
your tender looks or cunning guile,
but they won’t have the faintest clue
of the authentic, inner you.

Perhaps we start out all the same;
so who’s the one that we should blame
when some turn into Phyllis Dillers
and others into serial killers?

Ghandi, Hitler, Bundy, and
the rest of us, by nature’s hand
instilled with sin or piety
in infinite variety.

But still, at end of life, we fall,
not so different after all.
At the very end of day,
returned to dust, we blow away.

 

The prompt word today is “finite.” This is a reblog of a poem I wrote two years ago.—