Monday, 19 October 2009

All Aboard the Poetry Bus.

A letter to Death:

Dear Death,

Come for me at evening, when
the sun has filled the sky
with glimmering gold.....
and there is stillness
and the birds
are silent
and the creatures of the night are
not abroad.
Come in that brief moment,
on the cusp, between
day and night
when there is room for me
to slip away.

Or come for me when Winter gales
are cracking branches,
swirling leaves,
howling round the chimney pot,
loosing tiles, rattling doors and
shaking windows,
beating hail on the tin roofs
and hurtling waves against the shore.
Come at ninety miles an hour
in a rage and
so that I can fly and
soar away.

Don't come for me when,
ordered or prescribed
with linen sheets and
men in white coats
standing round;
when stethescopes, and drips, and
devilish machines
bleep and burp
and waver 'til
the thin green line,
the sharp, unwavering sound,
signals the end and
everything is switched off.

I wish to go with
a bang or a whimper,
not wheeled through the ranks
of the nearly dead,
to be tagged
and labelled
and stored in a
frozen metal drawer. PT ## I have removed "unnoticed" from the end of each of the first two stanzas. Dominic felt they were superfluous - and on reading it I agreed with him. Less is usually more as far as poetry is concerned, wouldn't you agree?


Acornmoon said...

You are so talented!

I love the sentiment in this poem. It made me think of an old friend of mine, a retired farmer and former WW2 bomber pilot. He said to me, "I don't mind dying but I want to die with my boots on". Fortunately he got his wish.

Arija said...

Beautifully put and my sentiments entirely.

Batteson.Ind said...

Makes me cold reading this! There are such beautifully conveyed moments in here.. sterling! :-D

Tess Kincaid said...

Oh, Weaver, this is beautiful. I want to go out with a bang, as well, not with all the tubes and drips.

Maggi said...

So beautifully expressed.

Heather said...

Wonderful! I wish I had thought of it.

Golden West said...

Well done!

Sylvia Ballerini Jewellery said...

Thinking of my brother today and then reading your poem tonight, I thought about things I didn't want to confront. Unsure how I feel about your poem Weaver. Those metal drawers have been part of the goodbyes in more than one instance in my immediate family.

Karen said...

I love this! A bang or a whimper is much preferable to that sad, measured end.

Great pleasure here in this recognition of self.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Beautiful. A powerful statement that even when you die, you want to do so with life.

It must feel wonderful to put such thoughts to paper.

Kat Mortensen said...

Brilliant! I want to go exactly as you have described. Really. I thought it was fantastic.

Jane Moxey said...

What a powerful poem. So strong, direct and heartfelt. I love the images you conjured up in each verse. Well done!

Dr. Jeanne Iris said...

Weaver, It would be wonderful to decide our final hours...or would it? Lovely poem!

NanU said...

Just lovely, Weaver. I love the sentiment and the images in the first two stanzas, and the subtle leaving there. How very diffent from the hard clinical surfaces and the inhuman fuss.

Hildred said...

A poignant look at reality, Weaver.

Nice to be whisked away - my father went that way after a day at the races. But death is not always so accommodating and sometimes there is a lot of baggage associated with our departure.

Luck of the game, I guess.

Beautiful poem. I'd like to leave on the evening train too.

Jenn Jilks said...

Wow. That is wonderful. I am going to a Hospice Volunteer meeting today. That's the way I feel, too.

Padhraig Nolan said...

Very moving piece - and the poem moves wonderfully too - resonances of 'do not go gentle' and others.

As the watercats say, it makes me cold (bu doesn't leave me cold) and Studio Sylvia's comment touches the nub of the thing - that which it confronts. Chilling.

Totalfeckineejit said...

When making sausages the Butcher is involved but the pig is commited.Ther's commitment in this poem and a communion of sorts too.I hear my old Pal, Dylan (Thomas, not that faux poet Bob)whispering between the lines.You've put some great poetry into the bus ,but I think this may be your best....So far...

Thangsxzs ye!

Leilani Schuck Weatherington said...

Wonderful poem Weaver. My mother died last week and she was able to choose how she wanted to die (at home, kept comfortable with meds but not hooked up to drips and tubes and machines). For her it was simply a "sigh." She was glad to go. What a gift you have. Thanks

Dominic Rivron said...

Good one. Death is a strange thing (crashing understatement): e.g., whatever we want to happen, none of us will ever "know" how we died.

Robin Mac said...

What a powerful poem, and what a beautiful one. You have expressed my sentiments so well, I am going to save it so I can reread at any time. Thanks Robin

Kim Palmer said...

Here, here! Great prose Pat!

Titus said...

I think I'm with TFE, this is my favourite of yours so far, and I've liked some others a lot. I love the way you pull virtually entirely natural imagery into the first two stanzas to conjure the deaths you'd want; then the "devilish machines" etc work so well as contrast in the third.
Very felt poem, reads as utterly real, and that is a very good thing. And I love the last four lines.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I hope Death honors your plea.

Dinesh chandra said...

Hi you are great in writing poetry , Only you can write such beutiful poem on death , the use of word, the spirit , no body can think about death , but some how I think you inspired the poetry of Jhon Keats , the OD to Knightingale.

Good to read you, god bless you.


Dinesh Chandra

gleaner said...

This is beautiful Weaver.

I love word verification - todays word - duckee

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you to everyone for the comments. I hope I am getting better - certainly TFE does give us such encouragement doesn't he.
I wonder whar he has in store for next week. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Oh, we of a certain age! With you all the way here.

Unknown said...

Wonderful poem, Weaver! I particularly liked the "bang" stanza. You will have noted that I wasn't on the bus. Not enough time I'm afraid but I enjoy accompanying you on the ride.

Gwil W said...

Wonderful work Weaver and a very good way to put one's deathly thoughts in order. Somebody once said (was it Bernhard?): "I don't want to die in a silly way."
And there's a lot in that too. Yesterday there was a story in the news about a 50-year old woman who got her coat caught in a closing tram door as she was getting off. The rest is too gruesome to relate here. But I know what Bernhard (if it was him) means. On the other hand I wouldn't want to die connected up to a lot of tubes etc. I sometimes think I'm basically a coward and so would like to die in my sleep at 4am of so-called natural causes. Failing that I'd like to go out in a rocket plunging into the sun, or perhaps standing on a high mountain watching asteroid MN4 coming straight at me on Friday 13th April 2029 (they say it will miss Earth by 18,000kms by the way). So many ways to meet one's maker and we can only have one.