You’re in our blood and marrow
guiding us each beat,
through oral histories
smoothed by years and the telling
around later dinner tables
with warm wine smiles
sharp edges and harsh, too-sharp clarity
burnished and buffed away,
as our minds turn over each recollection
we feel the warm glow of worn gold
to hold us, linger-hugged,
or ride the swelling tide from a fabled talisman
as we channel your strength
to stand up to them
or we might laugh recalling pompous brass buttons
‘til stitch given tears pour
at the tenderness of your
where wisdom dressed up daft
and sang stupid songs to love us
The power of grief is crazy,
The price we pay for love.
You were here with me once,
And now you’re somewhere above.
How can this have happened,
It’s like a ******* hole.
Like someone has come and taken,
All the happiness from my soul.
I suppose at the time you were taken,
I didn’t actually realise.
The impact this would have on me,
More than just tears in my eyes.
So many things you’ve missed,
Where I wish you were by my side.
Everything feels so lonely now,
All because you’ve died.
I hope that you are watching,
And I hope that you are proud.
But now I am left carrying round,
This huge heavy black cloud.
The cloud is called grief,
The price I’ve paid for love.
Now I will try my best for you,
Until I join you up above.
So wait for me in heaven,
Or wherever you are.
But now I will have to continue,
Loving you from afar.
The rain surrounds me
With whispers of empathy
My brother came up to collect our mother’s ashes.
At the same time, he dropped off her old vacuum cleaner.
I don’t know why exactly.
I hadn’t asked for it and didn’t need it;
I guess it would have been a waste to just get rid of it.
The thing is,
it hadn’t been emptied,
and for some reason that
all over again.
That grimy little time capsule.
That cyclone technology urn.
Dust of a home you can never go back to;
Fur of a cat now settled with a new owner;
Dead cells of a dead woman.
Lately, it feels like there are
a lot of ghosts that travel with me,
everywhere I go.
Some of them walk on two legs, and
some on four;
some walk leant on sticks or frames,
and some don’t walk at all, but
roll slowly and inexplicably along in wheelchairs
with no one pushing.
Sometimes they follow behind me;
sometimes they’re all around,
thronged so thick and close that the
pale, sad smoke of them
starts to sort of obscure the living;
sometimes, it seems, it’s me
trailing along after them.
And I don’t know what it is
that we want from each other,
and I don’t know if this arrangement
is healthy or proper for
any of us.
But I love them,
so we keep on haunting one another.
I love them
to ask them to leave me be.
as if a
we didn't know
become a sudden
traveler of the universe.
The abundant flow of grief
like a tidal wave
body at a time
With its strength
it pulls, pushes
spits out, thrashes, spins
the body of the bereaved
For moments tossing
the body so high
it sees all the stars
in a way stars, Earth,
water, sky have never been seen
A small gift from grief
A token of light
to ease our suffering
Sometimes I wake trembling with love
And in the rambling moments of my waking mind
Where the unconscious flirts with the conscious
And the mental seduction finds
thoughts not yet shaped to the daily plan
in this lockdown land
In those moments
early very early
I know he’s there
Lays beside me
trembling with love
That’s on a good day.