Poetry Blogs (2016, bereavement)

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Writing Through Illness and Grief Group

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While mourning his daughter Tullia, Cicero took to writing a book of self-consolation. Thinking himself the inventor of this type of self-help, he said, “Why, I have done what no one has done before, tried to console myself by writing a book.” (This is quoted by Han Baltussen in the Nov. 2009 issue of Mortality in an essay titled, “A grief observed: Cicero on remembering Tullia.”)

I certainly d...

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Favourite Shoes

My dad's favourite shoes

He saved them for best

He wore them just once

As we laid him to rest





Dedicated to the loving memory of Jack Evans; love you dad x

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To Richard

No more confusion, no more pain,

Just a stillness of mind at the ending of time.

Another leaf’s fallen, unseen by the world.

But I watched the fall.

A silent descent,

But I heard the call.

He cried out, there was fear in his voice,

He tried to give comfort now removed of the choice,

Allowed one brief moment to make himself heard,

Just one direction, unable to turn.



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My heart told my head she must still be here

here in the house where her life had shaped me.


Yes she would never pass this way again

but my heart told my head that these

markers of a life, the reclining chair

radio, the familiar curtains,

piano I cut my future on

these transient things must be passed on

to the world outside.


My heart would burst though it must ...

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The Melting of the Ice

(This is a re-post of a series of five interconnecting poems, previously blogged as separate poems. The death of my mother last year was preceded by hearing the tone poem Finlandia, by Jean Sibelius, on the radio, and it so completely described how I was feeling that it took me over, and informs the whole series.

As a big nod to Sibelius, I decided to use a loosely-based symphonic structure, so...

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The loss of you

The loss of you

The day I lost her, all that she meant
The day I lost her, the day that she went
I cried the loss, of a true friend that day
I cried the loss, when she went away. 
Sadness and sorrow, has broken my heart
Now that you've left us, to sadly depart
Taken to early, just age 43, 
The prime of your life, taken from me,
The world is now grey, the colour has gone
Now you've been...

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Goodbye, Gaston





My uncle, Gaston,
mum's bro (1-yr apart),
died whilst I cradled him
in the crook of me arms.

He lay there bliss-filled
Faint lustre of his boyhood charms.

It was a waiting game
& he was hanging on.
He held back the Ripper's blade
Unmindful that he'd had it made.

I whis...

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chiller the sweet akita

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Chiller, the sweet akita

Far too soon did the bell toll for such a top dog,

before your time dear friend did you go to God.

With winged paws your now free in heaven forever,

but here your mum and I will forget you never.

Our time together so joyous yet short,

marvellous memories of the good times to me that you brought,

outshining by far the period of pain caused by ...

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akitasbereavementdodslosspaws for kids

Christmas Lament

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Put up the Christmas tree last night
that six foot hideous plastic thing
you said you liked, this time last year
would have got a new one, but out of respect
I saw it fit for pride of place in the left hand corner of the living room
next to the window by the fire, overlooking the snow outside
I thank God above you didn't have to drive in it
to work this year, o...

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Comes and Goes a Day

                                                             Comes and Goes a Day



            The rim of a hat tilts silently towards me

While a kai-bosh batters my thoughts,

And my head banging wall is dented so violently

And tickles of torture trickle streams of blood;

Fatigue holding tight like a noose from

A snakes ardent enquiry,

            And ther...

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Growing old apart

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Her restless heart won't slow

untamed and on edge

this is where he told her to meet him

after the curtain fell

she took it badly,

startled glances in the rear-view mirror  - 


Her mistake.

Nothing to see here.


Parchment skin,

lips tightly pursed

pale and wan

she lifts a trembling finger to the map

tracing every single batt...

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you have left me in a cardboard cut-out world

a rattling pebble chasing the tide

there's a void growing in the garden

a river sobbing down the stairs

snuffed candle incense taints the bedroom

summoning the double blackness again

swimming in shadows

it bleeds colour from the day

time wears away the details

as the photos fill with strangers

Your perfumes t...

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she sits

she knits

the needles click

as strand by strand

in cracked crabbed hands

each stitch

might haul them

back to land


her days, her nights are one, the same -

a gift of darkness borne by grief

to wounds already salted well.

lips taste each quarter

of the wind; she hears the tides

advance, retreat -

as if in echoes from

some  ancient stranded shell.

she feels t...

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