Requiem for the Unsung

arrhythmia arrives
transition is imminent
her gaze leaves me as
malignancy steals all
her body splays
upon sterile concrete

Donne’s prideful death
scores its hollow victory
clocks in measured tempo
stop in Auden’s verse
the refrain: do not go gently
I cannot look away

innumerable days of joy
made sacred by her breath
blessed with reverent kisses
her divinity ever present
while I worshiped fervently
in limestone temples of art

I build architectural wonders
that will never embody her grace
my language dissipates
fireflies drop from the sky
in the gravitational pull
of a singular evening star

unraveling supernal supplications
all my pleas for restoration
disintegrate – reality wins the day
nothing reaches this anguish
ethereal noctilucent clouds
limn now infinite skies

my hands cup her head
offering every lifeless thing
created in nuanced colors
I cannot set right with love these lines:
She is dead. Enunciated, echoed,
denied, and without recompense.


21 thoughts on “Requiem for the Unsung

  1. Agree with Brian; it is heartbreaking. I feel here like a witness to a suicide — I don’t know what it is but someone splayed on concrete, and the not being able to get them back. I found the poetic references powerful too but this inability to change the result of the end, most touching. k.

  2. As I said this morning about your poem tihs is full of tight imaagery and language., If I might take a chance and sound illiterate but your reference to Auden’s refrain shouldn’t that be Thomas ‘don not go gently into that good night’ (I think I have the quote right). If I’m wrong, I am an Auden fan and would to love to know which poem I could find that in. Thanks, good read.>KB

    1. It is in Thomas, the clock stops in Auden’s verse. I didn’t mention Thomas because the poem is so famous but I could add his name in the line so the allusion is clearer – the first two lines are references to Donne, the 3rd and 4th to Auden, and the 5th to Thomas. It is not an extension of the reference to Auden but the final allusion.

      1. Oh, I’m mistaken then. I thought the Auden reference applied to the phrase. I must learn to read my punctuation closer. My bad. Wonderful write really. Entertaining. My editor hates it when I write things along the same vein, flexing and all. Won’t stand fot it in the least, just writes, “I don’t Like It!” across it. I ignore him on those ocassions.>KB

  3. Whether suicide, which is not painless, or disease, or injuries from something else, these moments of bedside angst & death watch anchor us all in the morass of mortality, and the strength of your words holds our eyes, focuses our hearts, on what you witnessed, and the sadness can only be alleviated when we remember death is but a doorway, not the medieval tragedy too often depicted; thanks.

  4. This is beautiful Anna. It’s always sad to watch anyone’s final moments and I know there are so many that leave unsung.

    Anna I want to thank you for visiting my blog. You shared that your Mom is going to be living with you. This will change your life. I cared for my mother for six years and mother-in-law for four. It was challenging to say the least. I wish you the very best.

  5. Gosh Anna, there is so much feeling in each image of this poem that I am bowled over–hollow victory, the march of time, the struggle to live–all resolve here: ” I cannot set right with love these lines” here the tears flow, the lips seal up, I stand up.

  6. This is just to brilliant… and so sad… a lot of story between the lines.. I am illietrate enough in poetry so I only caught the Dylan Thmas reference, but that in itself was so good. Some brilliant alliterations as well… yes this is poetry.

  7. “transition is imminent
    her gaze leaves me…”

    Well, that, honestly is one of the hardest things in life to deal with … I had to pause right there and wipe away a tear. After reading the comments, I see there are references to people/writing I know nothing about – I googled the names and of course I recognize the most famous of lines. I have SO many poetry books, biographies, etc on my bookshelf already that will take me years to read… a never ending process I see 🙂

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