Tag Archives: Death

Friday Poem: The Lie

Go, soul, the body’s guest,
Upon a thankless errand;
Fear not to touch the best;
The truth shall be thy warrant.
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie.

Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood;
Say to the church, it shows
What’s good, and doth no good.
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie.

Tell potentates, they live
Acting by others’ action;
Not loved unless they give,
Not strong but by a faction.
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie.

Tell men of high condition,
That manage the estate,
Their purpose is ambition,
Their practice only hate.
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
Who, in their greatest cost,
Seek nothing but commending.
And if they make reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell zeal it wants devotion;
Tell love it is but lust;
Tell time it is but motion;
Tell flesh it is but dust.
And wish them not reply,
For thou must give the lie.

Tell age it daily wasteth;
Tell honor how it alters;
Tell beauty how she blasteth;
Tell favor how it falters.
And as they shall reply,
Give every one the lie.

Tell wit how much it wrangles
In tickle points of niceness;
Tell wisdom she entangles
Herself in overwiseness.
And when they do reply,
Straight give them both the lie.

Tell physic of her boldness;
Tell skill it is pretension;
Tell charity of coldness;
Tell law it is contention.
And as they do reply,
So give them still the lie.

Tell fortune of her blindness;
Tell nature of decay;
Tell friendship of unkindness;
Tell justice of delay.
And if they will reply,
Then give them all the lie.

Tell arts they have no soundness,
But vary by esteeming;
Tell schools they want profoundness,
And stand too much on seeming.
If arts and schools reply,
Give arts and schools the lie.

Tell faith it’s fled the city;
Tell how the country erreth;
Tell manhood shakes off pity;
Tell virtue least preferreth.
And if they do reply,
Spare not to give the lie.

So when thou hast, as I
Commanded thee, done blabbing—
Although to give the lie
Deserves no less than stabbing—
Stab at thee he that will,
No stab the soul can kill.

by Sir Walter Ralegh

Another poem written in the Tower of London, while waiting for Execution. Lizzie the First was rather unforgiving!

Friday Poem: Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

by Christina Rossetti

Friday Poem: Elegy

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares;
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain:
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard, and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen, and yet my leaves are green,
My youth is spent, and yet I am not old,
I saw the world, and yet I was not seen:
My thread is cut, and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death, and found it in my womb,
I looked for life, and saw it was a shade,
I trod the earth, and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made;
The glass is full, and now the glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

by Chidiock Tichbourne

This poem was written in the Tower of London, where the young Chidiock was awaiting execution for his involvment in a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth the First.

Wardrobes

Wardrobes of tailored jackets
packed tight with empty pockets
still scented with her perfume

Silver spoons and Indian brassware
tablecloths, hand embroidered
saved for a time that never came

Teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl
enwrapped with gaudy Chinese dragons
given to her by a friend

All her rings, except for
Dad’s engagement ring
which we buried her with

a huge box of jumbled photos
full of memories, undiscovered history
and her, lithe and young

Those eyebrows I see in the mirror
the laugh that is also mine
her legacy pulses within me

Copyright © 2021 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Curtain Call

A wonderful poem from Ron Lafayette for you to enjoy:

Scrambled, Not Fried

Curtain Call

Buckets of lobster shells
empty into a half-dozen
50-gallon drums
distributed among tables
scattered across the familial lawn.

A momentary dragonfly 
hovered over the mourners’ heads,
lingering only long enough
so that half of those who witnessed it
mistook it for a hummingbird
while everyone else, awestruck,
mistook it for a monarch butterfly,
the recently departed’s favorite.

—————[|||]—————
dVerse Poets
Open Link Night
~ OLN #297 ~
———[||]———

dverse-nightime-final

View original post

Friday Poem: Death, be not proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

by John Donne

The Funeral

There is a ghost at your funeral today
a face so familiar, still loved
my friend, your wife
gone these twenty years
now you too have left us
we all stand stunned
grieving
missing your expansive
presence in our lives

Looking over the crowd
I see eyes, cheek bones, jawline
the image of her mother
your much loved step daughter
wiping away fond tears

Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond

This summer we lost Martin Hoare. A great presence and a good friend. We were standing-room only at the funeral, his coffin was a TARDIS and the committal music was the Dr Who theme tune — which turned out to be quite moving. At the end, we all sang ‘Always look on the bright side’ and we all had tears running down our cheeks.

….and then as we left, I saw the ghost…..

And what a bargain it is…

This is so good!

Live & Learn

Suppose you found a bargain so incredible
you stood there stunned for a moment
unable to believe that this thing could be
for sale at such a low price: that is what happens
when you are born, and as the years go by
the price goes up and up until, near the end
of your life, it is so high that you lie there
stunned forever.

~ Ron Padgett, “Bargain Hunt” (jacketmagazine.com, April 2005)


Notes:

View original post