Suicide of a friend

"To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.” Sylvia Plath

A faint whiff of truth pervades
my washed out mourning
on this, your death day.
Those words ‘death day’ terrify me,
make me realise it is the finality
that separates life from death.
You and I have known each other
for nigh on 60 years, two working
class boys walking into the posh
Grammar. Terrified of making a mistake.
You translated languages, I wrote poetry,
but no measly words could save you.
from your fall under a train, at Holyhead,
the end of the line.
My best friend dead by his own hand.
Your silence enrols my mind on dashes
into the future, more tellingly,
slinking back into the past:
times shared, friendship blossoming.
You knew the names of all the plants and birds
of the Cheshire plain, hedgerows, trees, fields,
You spoke Welsh and German and Swedish
But there was no remedy in any language. 
No pair of humans can attend each other’s funeral. 
Nothing lasts.
I arrive back in the present discomforted,
Dishevelled, palpitating; telling you
how furious I am at your final deed. 
Grief doesn’t relieve me 
of all the burdens of managing
the present emptiness:
dispersing perspiration,
spreading sweat,
whimpering and silences
pass me by
But why? Oh why? 
I seek answers in vain.
Nothing will ever be the same, again.

 

 

◄ Forget-me-not

Translating the rain ►

Comments

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keith jeffries

Mon 30th May 2022 23:32

John,
you excel your poetic skills when it comes to raw emotion, grief and loss. This poem was written by you but could be written for you. I was drawn to the line "No pair of humans can attend each other's funerals". A strange but true thought which had never occurred to me before I read this poem. Suicide has a devastation which other sudden deaths cannot compare with. It is often a loss which cannot be explained which adds to the sense of grief. Well crafted and straight from a broken heart.
Thank you for this
Keith

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 26th May 2022 17:29

So sorry about this, John. Some things can never be explained, or understood.But this doesn't stop you wondering and feeling all the things you describe so movingly here.

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Brenda Wells

Wed 25th May 2022 20:42

A moving piece, filled with sadness.
I hope you can salvage something enduring from your friendship, to sustain you over the dark times.

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Stephen Atkinson

Wed 25th May 2022 20:00

Both gut wrenching & heartfelt.
Written with care & a tragic beauty. Sorry for your loss, John. You'll never truly know why. But, your friend, he'll always be 🌈

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John Marks

Wed 25th May 2022 17:33

Thank you Frederick. You are very kind. And thank you Brenda and both Stephens for your kind words. And you too Holden and KL. Keith your wisdom walks before you. Yes, he will always be my friend. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” —Fyodor Dostoyevsky,

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