Tag Archives: death

In the Shadow

I never took a breath
With want that it be wasted
I never took a sip
Without a savor tasted
I never heard a sound
Not miraculous in ring
I never saw but beauty
Within each and every thing

For when this day is over
And eyes see naught but sleep
It may be only memory
Of this life left to keep
And if it’s only darkness
Into which we disappear
I’ll squander not a moment
Of the time we’re given here



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Early Birds

The sleepless morning light creeps through
The crowns of barren trees
Filled with birds whose singing sounds
A warbling mockery
A second look reveals the truth
As wings take to the sky
Circling high, a soaring climb
The carrion creatures fly
Stumbling feet attempt escape
And fail to move instead
A baseless statue held in place
Cemented there by dread
The night deprived the sky of stars
Accursed lack of light
When the morning sun appeared
It brought a darker sight
Wheeling high in search of prey
With hunger haunted eyes
On wings arrived the fateful day
I met with my demise

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The Bell

This is one of the oldest poems that I’ve written.  It was written in June 1990, when I was 14.  I remember asking my English teacher to read it one day at the end of class.  I waiting patiently beside her desk for her to read it.   Her feedback was carefully worded ambiguity, which even then struck me as comical.  She never said didn’t come out and say that she didn’t like it or that it wasn’t good for a middle school kid playing around with words.  She just acted like she didn’t really want to talk about it.  It’s gone through a few revisions since then, but I’ve tried to keep it as close to the original as my own self-criticism will allow.


The clock, I hear it ticking
The inner gears turning, clicking
But wait, Shhh—
There it is again,
Another one dead.

The hollow chiming
Rings above the city
Carried by the cold wind.
We cringe

And there is silence
Except for the grief-swollen peal
of sad echoes,
At the sound of—

There it is again,
Unwelcome sound and a name
Like the whisper of the wind
In the bone rattle of leaves.

Another ring,
The tone never falters
The wind has spoken the name of the one
Oh, I believe it was mine.


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The Cord

There is a cord that stretches between
All things though its meaning is often unseen
Woven with fibers of unending thread
It flows out beyond through both living and dead

Connecting all actions and bridging all words
It carries a message that seldom is heard
Above the mad din of a world that moves on
Forgetting the moment remembering it’s gone

In denying the ear the sound is dismissed
Refusal to listen to what’s in our midst
To silence our voices is not what we choose
We must be heard else afraid we will lose

So we grasp not the role that each of us play
Deafened by what we think we should say
Identify little with all that surrounds
And see not our tie to that which abounds

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Pictures of the Dead

Frozen like statues captured mid-smile
Between breaths and heartbeats
The moment passing
From slow to stopped

Silent reminder
The stilled pulse of memory
Aching wound that lingers
Between the past and the present

Eyes that never change expression
Refusing to admit the glimmer is gone
The world moves on, past cars on a street
Parked outside an empty house

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What Came To Be

This week marks the anniversary of my daughter’s death.  I wrote the first few lines of this poem while she was still alive, nearly seven years ago to the day.  I finished it over the next month, adding a few words as they came to me.  This week’s poem is in memory and honor of my daughter, Livia Flynn.

You smiled when we yelled
Unable to understand the words
But comforted by familiarity.
You fell asleep despite
The clash of conflict,
An oasis of tranquility
In the midst of chaos.

Wandering back with hands for eyes
Groping at the pale shroud of time
At landmarks, unrecognizable
Darkness grown from light
The illumination of a photo
A smile, a sleeping face

Still moments count the hours
And silence accompanies
Emptiness both searching
For companionship
In absence

Order replaces disarray
With a surplus of time
Distraction becomes

The sun rises, yet the sky is empty
The day begins, but the morning
Is filled with a quiet that is not peace

Memory lacks and does not care
That it will never sate

What came to be


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