Friday, January 31, 2014

Death in life

There can be death in life, with no body cold and still;
the person gone but form remains, recognizable,
in the material at least, but not in the emotional, or in
mind, or thought, or action, or belief, and yet dis-
connected in a way never imagined; as if the warm,
loving flesh had been chilled and made hard by inner
changes; as if the one we love had been possessed. 

No bell to toll in this world, but perhaps in realms beyond,
no words of eulogy to be uttered, no coffin, grave or final
letting go, of something which no longer exists, and yet,
this phantom, corporeal but ephemeral, living in physical
form and yet not, in all the ways that made him who he was,
from baby, through child, to youth and man; all gone, as if
he had never been, so changed and unknown; transformed.

Can someone return from a living grave; throw back the soil
of dark consciousness, struggle from the depths toward
the light; grasp again at who they were, and what they were,
and in the doing, be restored to themselves and to those who
love them and who grieve for the loss of something which
cannot be quantified in any material sense, but which aches
and longs for the return of that which the heart knows? 

The bell does toll but it has a silent, empty voice. As if,
such questions challenge fate and the fine, crimped writing
of the angels; as if, acceptance, trust and surrender are
the only way to survive this life in death, where that which
was can no longer be found; he who was cannot be seen,
and only grief can be thrown, like dry sods onto the casket,
echoing sombre, dull, waiting for heaven  to weep again.

Perhaps the dew will moisten withered, hard earth of memory,
and call for life to break the bounds which hold so tight,
that Soul may see itself and find within the shadowed mind,
a thread of love which leads through caverns deep and halls
so wide, tunnels connected, threading ever upwards; the
siren song of hope, which holds eternal, a mother to her
child; a force beyond the realms of Pluto's world.


  1. I can't begin to guess the story behind this wonderful write of sadness and loss.

  2. I understand this loss...the constant unresolved grief for a son who is gone, not in the physical sense, but "disconnected in a way never imagined"...heartfelt piece, for those whom the bell does not toll, unless in another realm....sadness

    1. Ah yes, and all sorts of ways it can happen and one has no way of knowing if they will return to themselves and to you. It is the greatest challenge to embrace their journey for their sake when they are in a metaphoric sense, 'travelling to distant lands' where you may not go. I wonder if this is more common with sons than daughters? I do know when sons marry they are more likely to be drawn into their wife's world and family - ironically men seem quite 'weak' on that count. Perhaps there is some drive or pull which more readily 'takes' our sons from us than it does our daughters. There is a saying which I think has some truth:

      A son is a son til he takes him a wife; a daughter's a daughter for all of her life.

      Sexist I know but looking around, even in this modern age, there is some truth to it. Perhaps because women are the ones who manage relationship and socialising and men let them....

  3. wow ros, powerful to form, the internal rhym is tight and creates a fluid motion in this....the part of diggin back out the grave and finding who you were really speaks to me emotionally...having been a son that was very much a prodigal and finding my own way in the darkness years ago....

    as to your question, i think of // as a quick breath in a poem, kinda like a comma but still implying movement.

    1. Thanks Brian. And thanks for the explanation of //. Is this common in the US? I had not seen it. I prefer a - or .... or semi or full colons for stops and breaths - I find the // distracting but if it is in common use in the States no doubt people are used to it.

  4. That second stanza, particularly, is a heartfelt lament, but then there is some hope (or just questions) in the final stanza. It's like the hardening of arteries, isn't it, so painful to see that happen.

  5. Such a deep and thoughtful piece; you have taken prose poetry to a new level,.

  6. "The bell does toll but it has a silent, empty voice", powerful moment in a sea of powerful moments. Very nice.

  7. Well i can truly say it i lost all my emotions..a smiles .. a laugh.. a tear.. no longer even remembered as a lost memory to even be found..A disease of the worst pain known to in and day out..will do that to the strongest loves of all...

    Five long years..i died a death of everyday..

    And asked everyone can emotion come back to life..

    After all my belief was gone..

    Amazingly it sparked back to life..and most of all i guess..

    as time and patience..can take..most anyone back to life..

    if they do not give miracles can happen too..and yes..
    proof of that...

    So there is always hope..if your loved one is in this place..
    Trust me on that2..been to both places..too..per that2

    1. Thankyou so much. Yes, I believe that which you say. My mother suffered from mental illness from when I was a young child; my mother-in-law for the last ten years of her life, although always problematic and I too know the dark places although have not been called there for many years. I think it is harder dealing with these things where the person is functional - with my mother and MIL it was all too clear, they were hospitalised, that something was not right. But thanks again.

  8. The living death wether in dementia is in other ways.. The slowness, the gradual movement make the final end seems almost a relief. As always I'm amazed on the musical rhythm of your writing.