Tag Archives: poem about death

After Seventy: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 29

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After Seventy

Is it gain or loss to feel contentment—
no wild surges of emotion,
no bodily electricity,
no need for thrill or wild abandon?
Is this not the time for settling, for thrusting all
those wild venturings back to a safe place
on a back self of memory?

The universe is built on repetition 
and change. This last stage, a sinking back into.
Communion with birds and dogs. 
A return to the careful watching of childhood.

Of  discussions with self as though you were
two people—one listening
as that inner person does all the talking.
Wisdom melding into sleep in the afternoon
in hammocks or on sofas.

Trying to distill wisdom from the flight of birds
or the observed quizzical reasoning of a small dog.
Old age, with one stiff arm I hold you at a distance.
I am studying up for you by reading books and by observation.
By reading myself for long otherwise empty afternoons.

Pinned in a backyard hammock by a small dog and by lethargy,
one foot on the ground, I steer us side to side—
A pendulum sweeping my life away, into corners,
fueled by the hovering of hummingbirds,
the quick flutter of butterflies
from throat to throat of the tabachine.

That seesaw of mind between the inner and the outer
as though practicing for that time when the one will claim me
and I will spiral forward or backward
with that wise knowing, perhaps, at last,
that they are precisely the same thing.

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that was a meditation.

Ashes and Dust

“After all our years have settled like dust . . .”
                                           ––okc forgottenman

Ashes and Dust

When that cruel wind
blows against memories
that have settled like dust
on our lives,

what  will remain
sealed in our crevasses
––fine furniture that we are
of a bygone age?

What remaining minutes
of a long life of years
will define us then?
A kiss? A child held in arms?
Regrets? Terrors?

In those storerooms
where people  sit
stacked in silent cubicles,
what zephyrs whisper through
to stir the embers
of their minds?

Is there music in those currents
or are they the sad
whining winds
that curl over headstones
and lament the dust that settles there?

Life builds us and wears us away.
Like the mountain,
like sand on the beach,
we are not above it all.

No matter how much power
we think we gain,
Nature is a wind that breathes
into us at birth,
then dashes us away.

I wrote this poem three years ago, drawing inspiration from a poem by okc forgottenman . Find his poem Here.

Today’s prompt from Matthew’s Daily Inkling:

It is often said that the most important thing on a gravestone is the dash between the two dates. Who in your family has the most renowned dash — the one who made the most pronounced mark on history?

Her Highness Contemplates a Seemly End

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Her Highness Contemplates A Seemly End

Nobility in dying is something I shan’t botch,
for I know it shall be one that the whole wide world will watch.
I cannot go by fire, for I’m sure I would be screaming
as the water quenched the fire and set my flesh to steaming.

So unseemly and so crass. I’d find it unappealing.

So, too, a rope around my neck, hanging from the ceiling.
Jumping from a roof won’t do. Nor will a gun nor pills.
Every sort of suicide just sports too many ills.

It’s clear that death by avalanche is the only one

that will really suit me when the day is done.
A certain swift clean fall of snow seems such a pristine death.
A queenly mode of dying. Such a regal final breath!

photo by Greg Daines, Unsplash  Today’s prompt words are avalanche, watch, nobility and fire. Here are links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/rdp-friday-avalanche/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/08/fowc-with-fandango-watch/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/your-daily-word-prompt-nobility-march-8-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/fire/

Birthday Wishes

 

Birthday Wishes

If there were a chemical to freeze your age forever,
where you would stay the way you are, as mobile, fit and clever.

Birthday after birthday with no end in front of you.
Always a new chance to take, always something new.

If you were not already feeble, halt and ill,
would you drink the potion? Would you take the pill?

No altering minds afterwards. No climbing from the pit.
Once you made the decision, there would be no changing it.

Would you want to live forever to survive ’til mankind’s end?
Do you really want to see what is waiting ’round the bend?

I think given the choice that I would choose what nature dishes.
I’ve  given up on following along with mankind’s wishes.

 

 

The word prompts today are birthday, chemical, freeze and quit. Here are their links:
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/rdp-wednesday-birthday/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/14/fowc-with-fandango-chemical/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/freeze/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/your-daily-word-prompt-quit-November-14-2018/quit

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

 

jdb photos. Click on any image to enlarge all.

Swimming to Sandy Bottom

Working my way to sandy bottom,
through murky waters growing clear.
Through all the things I daily think of,
I hone in on what I hold dear.

Swimming down to sandy bottom,
down to past truths and future fears.
The daily details float behind as
I face old matters in arrears.

If my whole life should tell a story,
how do the details all add up?
I’ve always thought time was a sieve, but
perhaps I’ll find it was a cup.

Working my way to sandy bottom,
the flotsam of my years floats near.
All the past terrors and past glories,
and future truths I’ve come to fear.

Trying to reach that sandy bottom,
no oxygen to draw my breath.
Working our ways to sandy bottom,
we spend our lives to buy our death.

All the glories and the triumphs.
All the failures and the fears.
All the trophies we’ve collected,
and all the tattered, used-up years.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
will there be gold grains in the sands?
Too late to spend discovered riches,
they slip like lives right through our hands.

Working our ways to sandy bottom,
our lives lift up as we swim down,
As we leave the past behind us,
we find our future all around.

 

This was actually written as a song.  I had a melody in my mind as I wrote it, but it awaits a more talented composer of music than I am. The daily addiction prompt word was “hone.”

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.

.

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.