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bones Feb 2016
Hoards of leaves hurry to gather
at one worn headstone after another
like a funeral party uncertain whether
these are the dead who they grieve;

Time and wind tug at the memory
left in this absent minded cemetery
visited only by them and I
and those lying under the trees

with stories that no-one can read.
The thuds in my chest stopped being my heart a long time ago-
my feelings ceased,
and maybe me,
the initial person I was,
is knocking on my ribs
begging for freedom.
Throughout all the voices in my head,
his is the lowest,
getting tangled in with all the
killers that took him,
torturing him until he's nothing but a headstone.
You don't see it,
but I do,
how I open my mouth to speak,
and he's accepted I just won't accent my words the way he used to.
My disappointment tore up your eyes,
as you saw the person I was
formed by a web of lies I loved to string up,
and tried to pretend I wasn't struggling to
get out-
All feedback is welcome
I wanted to do something emotional, I hope this conveys that.
King Panda Feb 2016
threads of salt
drowned land
and sea
brisk on the shore
to the vine
of the tree
not fruit
not sweet
check beauty
check redolent
check dog named after
and sea urchin-robbed

the steps taken
through the pink
the sunken ships
the little women
with big hair
the jewelry that
weighed them down
to drown

the flower
floats like
a headstone
from the hand of
a daughter
to the mouth of
the sea
where God still
with a crooked shaft
and a helmet
long struck
by the sky


the ocean loses its way
through the flowers
thorns and
Tammy M Darby Jul 2013
It is said by smell
Impossible be detected
I am here to say they are quite mistaken
For it is as heavy as night blooming jasmine

The smell of white calla lilies
Heralds the coming of death
Announcing another soul from life taken
Despair  indeed has a scent

Lain on a headstone in reverence
The wreath of flowers
Posses a perfume of its own
Depression and loss infiltrate the heart
A cologne that permeates the air
There is I can assure you
A fragrance of despair

This poem is copyrighted and stored in author base.  All material subject to Copyright Infringement laws
Section 512(c)(3) of the U.S. Copyright
Act, 17 U.S.C. S512(c)(3),
Tammy M Darby
Barker Oct 2018
There you are. Name engraved on a headstone. Dates marked out. Dead roses sit at the bottom of your headstone. I sit to the side so I don't sit on your casket. I open two beers, one for you and one for me. I talk about what's going on; how ****** New York Rangers is going to be this year. I just sit there and talk to you for hours; Way past the hour I said I would. When it's time to leave I get up, fold my chair and say "I love you." Before turning around and leaving.
Sharon Talbot Sep 2018
At first the air seems too dry;
Then you see the mist --
A small town on the horizon;
You decide to ride on,
And give Father's headstone a last kiss.

You find yourself wondering why
Anyone would stay here.
Some of those who passed before
Left their mark on rotten doors
Memories strangely dear.

Love's a gamble in a ghostly town;
It could move you, swift or slow.
You unholster your heart,
Wonder when the shooting will start,
But you already know.

Dozens to go and only one down,
Riding through a town of slaughter,
You're both alive and dead,
Mute bullets whistle by your head:
Are you a killer or a daughter?

He was here once, before you knew
About the emptiness outside.
Still you followed him.
His face was harsh and grim.
And he told you to leave or hide.

Love that's cold, deadly and true
Is the easiest and hardest kind.
You can **** him or just love him;
You'll never know much else of him,
But he’ll never leave your mind.

Dawn bursts over the sharpest peak
And the town streets fill with gold;
It’s the only kind this place will ever see.
You know that soon, you and he
Will shoot each other or fold.

Yet, love in a ghost town always dies,
Killed before it can start.
Spanish ladies even now wear mourning veils
And the lovesick couples' faces pale
When you shoot each other through the heart.
Partly inspired by The Lady or Ellen of “The Quick and the Dead” and the violence of passion--especially that which happens internally.
Kurt Philip Behm Oct 2018
He died that night
In a cheap motel
In Maryville Tennessee
$35.00 karma mixed with
The smell of curry
Coming from the front office
No one would ever understand
Why he chose to die there
Especially those few
Who claimed to know him well
The gravel parking lot
The towels you could see through
And the lawn chairs inside
For furniture
Made the connection and the
Endless search real
In a way it hadn’t been before
As he sat outside his room
Thinking about the end
The local construction workers
Remembered his name
As they called out to him
At the end of their day
Marking time by a weekly rate
In their rooms just down the hall
They remembered the little things
His own family had forgotten  
Or not so little…

           AND THEN HE DIED
       IN HIS $35.00 MOTEL ROOM


(Newport Tennessee: April, 2013)
A hard man, missing his left hand
A misfortune with a tractor
Some jail time, caught running moonshine
they say

All behind him now, time to rest

Ornamental iron entrance
Turn left along the drive
Three palm trees mark the row
A water faucet confirms it

Dried grass from the Texas heat
crackles under my feet
as I walk down the row
A flower here a plant there

Squinting from the bright sun
A penny on a headstone thanks a Veteran for service

Overgrown with weeds now
a granite headstone marks the spot
where memories lie
no longer to be shared

Rest in peace "Paw-Paw"
just a simple writing about my grandfather.  Stories left untold will be just that.
Maya Feb 2018
do you remember,
back in third or fourth grade,
when you first started feeling anxious?
when your breaths got ragged
and your eyes were twitching
after someone pretended to punch you
and they sent you home?

and do you remember when
you asked me if the world was all bad
and I couldn't answer?
I'm still sorry about that.

and do you remember those late nights
when dad didn't come home?
and how we stayed out of his way
when he did
but it was never far enough away?

do you remember getting out of there
at eighteen, wandering without me
because I was too selfish to leave? it's nobody's fault anymore, I guess.

do you remember me coming to your funeral? they say you died of an overdose
but you never did drugs.

can you see me or is dying just like dreaming? maybe if I find out I can be with you forever.
for now I'm just talking to your headstone again.

I hope you can see me from wherever you are.
this isn't real!!! my siblings didn't die, but I like using different perspectives
I begin my walk
on the circled asphalt path
behind the old Lutheran church
founded in 1790
the crickets chirp
a defiant roar
as I descend upon their quiet space
clouds are dark and a bit threatening
are they spirits taking form above me?
mistral winds on a windless day
seem to gather and fuse into words
held for a moment...clear
then lost to fuzzy and distorted whispers
'They are here...'
'Listen to me...I must ****'
'I have an angel'

before departing
I stop at a headstone
I'm not sure why
but I attempt
to pronounce the last name of this departed soul
3 times
on the 3rd try I am interrupted by a young boy
who corrects me with the proper pronunciation
I turn at the gate and advise the spirits
that I am leaving
a friendly 'okay' came back to me

my God
I have walked in the living room of the dead
upon review of my 20 minute evp session in this cemetery, I came upon more than 30 anomalies including several direct responses. I have been doing this since 2013 and have never approached the level of activity I received on this walk. The response I got when pronouncing the last name on the headstone and being corrected...may be the one most fascinating evp I have ever captured.
LP Sills Sep 2018
I didn’t expect to see you.
I never expected to see you again
if we’re being honest.
Despite the habit I have developed of glancing
at the door when I'm in all your old favorite bars...
Even though I still order all your old favorite drinks,
since it's all I have left that tastes like you.
I didn’t expect anything.
Didn’t look for you in every old Lexus,
or glance at the exit signs that I knew would lead me
to your old house.even though you moved away
years ago,
I took the long ways home.
Just to be sure.
I respected the way we left it.
Tried to retain that image of you walking away.
The one where you don’t look back...
Because everyone knows that if you look back
It isn’t over.
And you didn’t.
So it was.
I respected that.
I never prepared myself for seeing you again.
I didn't think I needed to.
After all, I had buried you in my graveyard of lost loves
with that blank headstone.
Marked simply as “the one that got away”.
I think maybe that through all the years,
over the course of all the moments of forgetting you,
I had convinced myself that maybe I wouldn’t even recognize you,
That felt safe.
So I lived on
And you loved on.

So when you walked through the door
That I wasn’t glancing at for the first time in a while,
I don’t think I thought you were real.
Lost myself somewhere between being mistaken
And seeing a ghost...
But, there you were,
staring at me,
staring at you,
attempting to figure out where we would go from there.
There we were.
Almost like a dream,
the music faded,
the crowd thinned,
and I watched you,
trying to decide what to say.
And my heart was pounding in my chest,
and my hands were shaking,
while you got closer.
As you did,
the scent of that same cologne you used to wear suddenly flooded over me.
Drowning me in the images of lying ***** next to you,
your hands tracing the words written into my ribs,
the only one I’d only ever explained to you...
All I could see was us.
The war that we had loved through flashing before me,
as you stepped closer through the crowd...
still unsure of what to say.

Time stood still.
Until I watched you change your mind.
With the saddest eyes, I had ever seen you have,
You just turned away.

The crowd filled in.
The music returned.
And I stood there hollow.
Unable to breathe,
as the room suddenly became stifling.
The air too thick to breathe,
my drink too strong,
I ran.
Ran like some depressing cinematic vision into the now pouring rain,
down the street to the closest corner awning,
to light my last cigarette,
I just stood there...
Crouched on the ground in six-inch heels,
with my head in my hands.
Fighting the tears and the *****,
and the suffocating panic.
I waited for it to be over.
And after what seemed like a lifetime,
when the shaking had slowed,
I slowly stood...

And there you were.

Standing there.
Looking at me, looking at you.
Still unsure of what the right words should be,
after all the years of trying to forget each other,
we just,
stood there.
My eyes met yours.
You didn’t say anything.
Just stepped closer
soaking wet,
putting your hand to my face,
wiping your thumb across the tears on my cheek,
like you had in that hotel room,
that one time,
until finally,
Emily Stanton Jan 31
I would tell you how empty it was,
how five people were scattered around the hole in the ground,
but only two really cared,
but I can't.

I would tell you how long it took me to get there,
how tears stung my darkened eyes
as my black heels sunk into the softened dirt.
And I would tell you about the sadness I saw in everyone's eyes that day,
but I can't.

I would tell you how I missed him,
how he was so kind,
how he was always there for me,
how he didn't deserve what came to him,
but I cant.

I would tell you how much it rained,
or what day it was,
or how small the gravestone had been,
but I can't.

Because he was not kind,
he was never there,
there was no sadness,
and I don't know if he deserved it.
Maybe he did,
maybe all the pain he caused finally caught up to him.

Because I didn't count how many people were there,
I didn't wear black heels,
and I don't know what day it was.
I didn't go.
I didn't see the headstone,
or how they cried.
How they shed tears for their tormentor because now,
they had missed him.

I would tell you I didn't want to go,
but I can't.
I would tell you that I had a choice,
but I didn't.

I just stayed home,
staring at the ceiling
while they held an empty funeral.
Joseph S Pete Oct 2018
The tour group meandered
through silent monuments
of marble, limestone, and granite,
both grandiloquent and pedestrian,
both a signal of worldly prominence
and all those left behind could
scrape together on short notice.

They stopped by the grave of
a once-famed ragtime composer,
the still resting place of a musician
who had been all
banging syncopation and boisterous clamor.

The lyrics of his most famous song
were etched onto the memorial
lovingly in reverent tribute
with the presumption of indelible finality.

But the words were so blurred,
so bled with the rot and rust of weather and neglect
you could no longer make them out.
Perhaps it was a simple failure to scrub
the accursed headstone clean.
Perhaps it was the inexorable stain of time
that could never truly be lifted.

In the end, it was all the same,
all the same,
the same freighted symbolism
all the same.
Michael Kusi Aug 2018
The divine gave the birth certificate of an angel to my veins
When the redness of Lamb's blood wrote on the walls of my heart.
It was on the finger of the Most High.
The doctors murmured I had to be cut out.
They pointed to me in the ultrasound and said to the surgeon: Cut it out.
Because otherwise the suspense of the **** would unborn me dead.
They say what the Lord gives He takes away
The doctors determined the only thing a normal birth could give
Would be to take me from myself
So that only a headstone would remain.
That stone would not cry out
But be silent, forever
The only place my name would appear
Would be in tearful sighs
And marked stones.

But imagine if that name was a question
That only worship could answer
The finger of the Lord scribbled Michael
Because He heard that cry.
Imagine that my other name was a statement that hoped I would live.
That prayed I would count as belonging to the land of the living.
Have strength like a rock
And not just a name on a stone.
The finger of the Lord etched Binka.
On the wall of a heart
That was made of living, precious stones.

God said I will redeem your hope.
So that when I was held
It was the first time since the beginning
I did not face the option of being disembodied
Now I had to be strength embodied
I would not ever have to claw myself back into the ****
Because I always climbed out into life
And now there is no turning back.
Al Oct 2018
June flowers again as a caterpillar crawls upon the cards of condolence.  This transformation is a kickflip hidden within a butterfly wing.

Earth is gathered and offered again.  Grandfathers' home the empty shell.  His clutter decluttered, her signature removed.  

The final supper, a cell phone speaks in secret codes, bourbons are broken in two, with the jigsaw complete their sky is blue.

Glasses full of laughter, we drink them all.  A thousand dollars will secure the deal.  A headstone holds their story.  Together they are reunited.
Sobriquet Oct 2018
I laid a galaxy to rest today,
A journey of discovery,

Through stars and feeling and ultimately to tragedy,
It burned out from building planets into nothingness,
comet fire dying quietly in the atmosphere above.

And I buried it in the ground to feed the roots of a new universe,
Leaving flowers on headstone for the Galileo in my heart.
little poems through time and space.
Anyone know what this is about? I'd like to know too!
Derrek Faraday Oct 2018
The eyes of day drinking the night
The moon as a sun
Waning joy in the warmest July
The cries of no one

The hand of day draining the night
The moon acting red
Waning clouds, crows that can’t fly
The man in the bed

How long must we stare at the clocks to lengthen our time?
How livid must we try to be to soften our crimes?

The veins of day defended the night
The maddening streets
Galavant boys gather to buy
The pains from bed sheets

The bones of day deepened the night
The mad and their speech
Given to garner an eye’s early buy
The throne of the leech

How well must we mark our path to forget the day?
How lonely must we try to be to believe what we say?

The ears of day demanded the night
The stagnant drifter
Venting smoke and violent sighs
The doubtful thinker

The heart of day deluded the night
The stagnant as one
Must it take such a colour to save the sky
From the forever sun?

How well must you fight to survive alone?
How many tries do you have for the perfect headstone?
lauren Jan 10
ghouls roam the cemetery at midnight,
and the witch does her spells at three,
dead souls and hollowed bones merge
out of the soil, all this alacrity in a place
seemingly empty;
old man with his graying headstone,
and murdered woman under an angel
caught mid flight,
along with the others they awaken
and yawn as day slips into the night;
there are spirits at peace
alongside ones filled with rage,
then others who have forgotten
their hate, wandering calmly
in this place;
sipping upon the tea of sorrow,
they do a spring dance with grace,
crypts and graves closing as
the sun rises golden in the morn',
praying to slip past the final gate.
i adore visiting cemeteries and got inspired to write this after going to one nearby. the first two lines were taken from my 'poetry of the dead' creative writing assignment from last semester.
Kurt Philip Behm Oct 2018
What’s that you’ve settled for?
What’s that you say?
From the library of excuses
You reason away
It seems almost this
But never quite that
As the present escapes
And you look further back
No comfort to take
In that notch on your gun
As you fire in vain
And continue to run
But you say it’s enough
It will then have to do
You repeat what’s been spoken
Never anything new
And you look for a club
Others thinking the same
To plead their excuses
Blaspheme and profane
But alone in the vestibule
A soul fires away
And speaks about life
And its maxims today
His message reoffered
But again you look back
The last sinners you follow
Leaving motherless tracks
Your death now committed
To the lies that you’ve told
And your headstone engraved
With letters that scold
Once eternity beckoned
With your eyes looking up
And drawing strength from it
You drank from its cup
But that story’s been told
You’re alone in the ground
Scant little reminder
You were ever around
As your bones become dust
To be reclaimed by the wind
Those excuses you trusted
  —your original sin

(Villanova Pennsylvania: March, 2014)

— The End —