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A Poem

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

Funeral Poems
poetry verse #3

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other
That we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
We enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
Let my name be ever the household word that
It always was.

Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am
Out of sight? I am but waiting for you
For an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner .
All is well.

Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

dasspears
Posts: 233
Joined: Feb 2009

I really like this poem.

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

you liked the poem. I've been reading it often since my dad passed away in January. I try to talk about him in the same way I used to, as if he were here...

I will share more poetry soon. I find words and music reach my soul.

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Saw this poem a long time ago and liked it, but hadn't seen the reply poem by the nurse:

Today, it was at link:
http://mrmom.amaonline.com/stories/CrabbitOldWoman.htm

"Crabbit Old Woman"

What do you see, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me-
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
I do wish you'd try.
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is loosing a stocking or shoe.
Who, unresisting or not; lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day is fill.
Is that what you're thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,
nurse, you're looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still!
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who loved one another-
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet,
A bride soon at 20- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home;
A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;
At 50 once more babies play around my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years and the love that I've known;
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel-
Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart,
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells,
I remember the joy, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few- gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last-
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer-
See Me.

By: Phyilis McCormack

................

A Nurse's reply

"To the 'Crabbit Old Woman"

What do we see, you ask,
what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there's many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
But time is against us, there's too much to do
-Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we're together you'll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives and the joy that you've had,
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss
-There are many of you, And so few of us.

....................................

AussieMaddie

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Awkward at times, but this is not a place for poetic criticism. The intent is splendid in both and in both the mission is completed.

Thanks.

Take care,

Joe

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

A very good poem.

I also particularly liked one read by the actor Martin Shaw, who starred in the British series Judge John Deed. He reads the following poem in a funeral service at the very end of a particulary moving episode.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush.
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

- written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye

I'd like to see more such poetry and verses of this kind here.

AussieMaddie

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. I'd love to see more poetry such as these, as well. I hope members continue to share, and I will share more of my own, as well.

"I am a thousand winds that blow... I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight...I am the soft starts that shine at night."

Beautiful.

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

Should You Go First

Should you go first and I remain
to walk the road alone
I’ll live in memory’s garden, dear
with happy days we’ve known
in Spring I’ll wait for roses red,
when fades the lilacs blue,
in early fall, when brown leaves call
I’ll catch a glimpse of you
Should you go first, and I remain
for battles to be fought,
each thing you’ve touched along the way
will be a hallowed spot
I’ll hear your voice;
I’ll see your smile,
though blindly I may grope
the memory of your helping hand
will buoy me on with hope
Should you go first and I remain
to finish with the scroll,
no length’ning shadows ahall creep in
to make this life seem droll
We’ve known so much of happiness
we’ve had our cup of joy,
and memory is one gift of God
that death cannot destroy
Should you go first and I remain,
one thing I’d have you do;
walk slowly down that long, lone path,
for soon I’ll follow you
I’ll want to know each step you take
that I may walk the same,
for some day down that lonely road
you’ll hear me call your name.

by A.K. Rowswell

Conchal's picture
Conchal
Posts: 42
Joined: Apr 2011

William Stafford is one of my favorite poets. His poems are sometimes melancholy, but I find that I am often drawn to them since I sometimes feel that way, too (especially this year.) As one who grew up on the Plains, I have a deep appreciation of how he can create a sense of place, a sense of times gone by. I hope you like this one.

One Evening

On a frozen pond a mile north of Liberal
almost sixty years ago I skated wild circles
while a strange pale sun went down.

A scattering of dry brown reeds cluttered
the ice at one end of the pond, and a fitful
breeze ghosted little surface eddies of snow.

No house was in sight, no tree, only
the arched wide surface of the earth
holding the pond and me under the sky.

I would go home, confront all my years, the tangled
events to come, and never know more than I did
that evening waving my arms in the lemon-colored light .

William Stafford

Hopeful720's picture
Hopeful720
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2010

Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. Please continue to share...

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Thank you to you both :)

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

No one said we could submit our own here, but no one said we couldn't :). I love the notion, and thought I would start with one I wrote that is actually a song, but who is going to quibble about the difference between songs and poetry? (Okay, me, for one, but I felt like bringing some humor to this particular thing.)

Well they put me in a casket with a hole at either end
And a bunch of swirling lights that came comin' 'round the bend
Then a robot with a soft voice kept telling me to breathe
What'd he think that I was doing, I thought that I should leave

Then they filled me with some orange dye and said to hold my breath
Wish they'd make up their minds, they're scaring me to death
When they finally let me out I went running for the door
I think I know what I like and I don't like them any more

This cancer makes you crazy, this cancer makes you mad
Then you realize you're livin', and it sorta makes you glad
So you start to walkin' happy, and you start to sing a tune
Then you realize you're crazy, as crazy as a loon

Well, they said I had a cancer, a bug inside my lung
The fellow was so little that they figured it was young
I guess it couldn't grow a moustache, hell, it probably couldn't vote
If it skipped a day of growing, I would have to write a note

And they said that they could take it, take it far away
And I'd likely be all better, here to sing another day
So I told them they could do it, cut a lobe out of my lung
As long as they assured me that my hopes weren't too far-flung

This cancer makes you crazy, this cancer makes you mad
Then you realize you're livin', and it sorta makes you glad
So you start to walkin' happy, and you start to sing a tune
Then you realize you're crazy, as crazy as a loon

Now I'm thinkin' 'bout my good friends, and all that they been through
And how I had it all so easy, largely thanks to you
How the cancer said it's goodbyes aching with regret
Not a friend, I can assure you, but one I never will forget

I hope I never see this cancer, I hope I never meet his friends
I hope I never write a song on which that all depends
And I hope that you are laughing, I hope that you are fine
I hope your day is halfway as wonderful as mine

This cancer makes you crazy, this cancer makes you sad
Then you realize you're livin', and it sorta makes you glad
So you start to walkin' happy, and you start to sing a tune
Then you realize you're crazy, as crazy as a loon

Take care,

Joe

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

One of my favorite poems and one entirely appropriate for someone with a handle like soccerfreaks:

To An Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.

A. E. Housman

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Good stuff Joe, yours and his.
AussieMaddie

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Don't encourage me :)).

Take care,

JOe

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

It was something said under simple pleasures, in which (mm.. who said it again? .. sorry, chemo brain kickingin) - about painting her toenails lime green. I remembered something about the colour purple and looked it up to copy it here (and also under Seniors board):

................................

Warning - When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

........................................

As it happens, I do had a purple hat knitted for me when I was bald. Much too big, but I love it!

AussieMaddie

Conchal's picture
Conchal
Posts: 42
Joined: Apr 2011

August 1 comes tomorrow, and the sunflowers will soon be blooming in earnest! Summer days will soon fade away...

Ah! Sunflower
by William Blake

Ah! sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller’s journey is done;

Where the youth pined away with desire,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves and aspire;
Where my sunflower wishes to go.

AussieMaddie's picture
AussieMaddie
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

Mmmm... :)

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