Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘poems about loss’

I had the chills as soon as I started reading this devastating Tiana Clark poem from her collection, Equilibrium. 

Tiana clark.jpeg

“A Blue Note for Father’s Day”

Because I don’t know where you are–
   I send you a letter of tree leaves

I heard this morning harmonizing
   like emerald waves above a pond.

I send you John Coltrane,
   who locked himself in a room of amethyst

for days with no food or mercy to write
   A Love Supreme

We destroy ourselves for splendor–
   emerging from the buried deep

like cicada song to mate & disappear again.
   Today, I will not be bitter

about this holiday or the Facebook posts.
   No, today I send you a roofless church,

a grotto with fuzzy moss & trickling water
   that sounds like wet piano keys.

Please know–I’ve made good with my life.
   With or without you, I know how to kneel

before imperfect men. I know this pond can carry
   cold morning skin like blue blue notes

pressed from warm saxophone buttons for:
   Acknowledgment, Resolutions, Pursuance, & Psalm.

Dear father, I hope you know that I can love
   the absence of a thing even more than

the thing itself. That I can have one day a year
   that doesn’t beat like the rest.

& friends, don’t ever wish to be me.
   You don’t want this sunless song.

There is no number in my phone to call
   There is no home with his face I remember,

just a place called Nowhere & this is where
   I find & lose him like a savior.

Read Full Post »

Devastating want is lit aflame in the lyrical verse of  Roger Reeves (1980-).

joe-mazza-brave-lux-chicago-ne-3281787345-o

“Romanticism (the Blue Keats)”

I want a terrace of bamboo. A stuttering harp.
A garden fitted with a grotto and gimp hermit.
I want to lose my last name in the crickets
Coupling beneath my feet. I want the body’s burden,
Four more angels to drag through the streets
Of a city that finds the monkey sacred, the fool careful,
The monk dumb. I want a painting of persimmons
And a persimmon. I want the violence of my love
To leave my sleep and my lover alone. I am dedicated
To the same baffled heart I have always carried.
The diamonds and mud of my mouth. The midsummer
Lurching toward the late-summer heat that will kill
The sage and tomato plants tanning on the veranda.
I want the water and the leg my uncle lost coming from the well.
If one body will hide another and call this hiding love,
I want to always torture myself with another’s wet borders.
An ankle clicking against an ankle. The wrists fettered.
There was something I knew before this. Before my hands
Tore at the ropes, snapped cedar poles and ripped the silk
Of any tent I lay in. I want to know how the savage
Wind loves the house it destroys. I want to know before
I am both house and savage wind, before all of the tents
In the city become tattered rags snagged in the hair
Of our children and the redheaded trees. I am careful
To want nothing that I cannot lose and be sad in the losing.
A terrace made of rotting bamboo. A harp lost in its singing.
My last name and the tomatoes falling from the vine. Woman,
I want this plum heart. And the dying that makes us possible.

__

from King Me

Read Full Post »

On this last day of the month, a poem from ElegyMary Jo Bang‘s staggering reflection on loss following the death of her son.

maryjobang

“February Elegy”

This bald year, frozen now in February.
This cold day winging over the ugly
Imperfect horizon line,
So often a teeth line of ten buildings.
A red flag flapping
In the wind. An orange curtain is noon.
It all hurts her eyes. This curtain is so bright.
Here is what is noticeably true: sight.
The face that looks back from the side
Of the butter knife.
A torn-bread awkwardness.
The mind makes its daily pilgrimage
Through riff-raff moments. Then,
Back into the caprice case to dream
In a circle, a pony goes round.
The circle’s association: There’s a center
To almost everything but never
Any certainty. Nothing is
More malleable than a moment. We were
Only yesterday breathing in a sea.
Some summer sun
Asked us over and over we went. The sand was hot.
We were only yesterday tender hearted
Waiting. To be something.
A spring. And then someone says, Sit down,
We have a heart for you to forget. A mind to suffer
With. So, experience. So, the circus tent.
You, over there, you be the girl
In red sequins on the front of a card selling love.
You, over there, you, in black satin.
You be the Maiden’s Mister Death.

 

Read Full Post »

This month would not be complete if I did not post something from Naomi Shihab Nye (1952- ), who has always been one of my absolute favorite poets. Today’s piece comes from her newest collection, Transfer, a beautiful, book-length elegy for her father.

“Haunted”

We are looking for your laugh.
Trying to find the path back to it
between drooping trees.
Listening for your rustle
under bamboo,
brush of fig leaves,
feeling your step
on the porch,
natty lantana blossom
poked into your buttonhole.
We see your raised face
at both sides of a day.
How was it, you lived around
the edge of everything we did,
seasons of ailing & growing,
mountains of laundry & mail?
I am looking for you first & last
in the dark places,
when I turn my face away
from headlines at dawn,
dropping the rolled news to the floor.
Your rumble of calm
poured into me.
There was the saving grace
of care, from day one, the watching
and being watched
from every corner of the yard.

Read Full Post »