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Friday, December 23, 2011

372
another friend of a friend
diagnosed with cancer
is the sky big enough
to hold all these souls
in flight

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

368
sucking a lollipop
you still don't get it
we're all going to die

Sunday, November 20, 2011

366
octopus
I already know
the way home
365
guess what
I'm gearing up to go
gentle into the night

~ not after Dylan Thomas
364
were I not bald
I too would shake my white locks
at the runaway sun

~ after Walt Whitman

Thursday, November 17, 2011

361
Haiku poet Andrea Grillo sent two death awareness haiku, which I would like to share with readers. The first may have originally appeared in Hummingbird, though publication credit is not currently available. The second poem is unpublished.

please
scatter my ashes
in a summer garden
as daylight ebbs
and colors ripen


********


when
does summer really end?
my garden
deepens with each dusk
gold and russet highlights

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

360
Haiku poet Donna Fleischer sent the following death awareness poem that first appeared in South by Southeast, 18:1, 2010:

a stone
between my dead
& fading footsteps

Thank you, Donna, for sharing your poem. I find myself glancing back at my own footsteps, wondering which have died and which are fading. I want to know something more about this stone. . . where did it come from and what is its texture, composition? Has it been set into place between these footsteps?

Friday, November 11, 2011

352
rainy day bookshop--
someday somebody will be
browsing through my books

Sunday, October 16, 2011

344
back of the house
that's where death
rooms for now
343
the cookie crumbles
& so does
everything else
342
living will
it too depends on
my breath
341
death
I've got you
under my skin
340
piece of cake
that's what mom tells me
about dying
339
black is black
what else is there
to know about death
338
one breath poem
that's all I got
left in me
337
death. . .
please don't leave me
hanging
336
this death--
another leaf from
nature's thriller
335
falling leaves
I want to know
who teaches them

**********

falling leaves
take me to
your mentor
334
thinking of death
I turn on
the white noise machine

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

331
indigo night
I follow the cricket's song
down down down
330
September night
a cricket's song
of no birth, no death
329
a single raindrop
in a single puddle
evaporating
329
you
have
ques
tions?

death
has

an
swers
328
my lips to
the fading rose
another petal falls
327
climb in the box
close the lid and
dream away
326
fluttering away
my past and
the rest of me
325
Indian summer day
not protesting
the dying of the light
324
more grass clippings
but but I'm not ready
to be mulched

Sunday, July 10, 2011

322
time was then wasn't
321
death--
one thing only
surrender

death
if you've learned to surrender
you're good
320
it brooks no resistance death
319
it's in the undertow death
318
so many stars
that treasure you were looking for
was you
317
only one way to go
disappearing into thin air
316
my Original Face
before my parents were born?
the same as yours
315
my death
the one and only
original act
314
lightning fast
that's how quick
the chipmunk meets fate
313
see that fog?
it's the color of
death
312
to die. . .
it feels so. . . .
glacial
311
how do I die
let me count
the ways
310
I waited. . .
and waited. . .
til I expired
309
today's reader
tomorrow's subject
obituary page

Sunday, July 3, 2011

308
those small puddles
you saw disappear
that was us
307
breath by breath
being with what is
and isn't

breath by breath
being with what is
and beyond

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

306
rare June rain
I was all ready to complain, then
realized I'm alive

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

290
I have been reading The Inevitable, a collection of essays by writers who confront death; it is edited by David Shields and Bradford Morrow. I wish to share a few quotes from the book, which grabbed my attention.

In death, I want to be air moving through air--nothing through nothing--forever changing and unchanged.

Everything we say about death is actually about life.

-- Kyoki Mori, "Between the Forest and the Well: Notes on Death," p. 45

Of death, mortals are absolutely ignorant. The dead, fortunately, are beyond caring.

-- Lynne Tillman, "The Final Plot," p. 280

How each morning, as you rise from your bed, the belief hums through your head that you are going to die, going to die,
going to die, yes, surely, no doubt about it, but not today--an observation that will remain correct every morning of your life, except one, because--
Because--
To hope, E. M. Cioran once wrote, is to contradict the future.

-- Lance Olsen, "Lessness," p. 294

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

279
just now
i
disappeared
278
envy
what was all
that for
277
envy
can't even take
that when i go
276
weight of the world
what happens to it
when I die
275
I'll fight you
for it
death
274
not your usual death/ mine
273
not
my
death

a
re
de
sign
272
57 now
& wondering what's down
the garbage disposal
271
the new austerity death
270
little by little
the garbage man
hauling me away
269
my birthday another small death
268
after
the
spin
cycle
you're

gone
267
not between
the pages of these books
my death

Thursday, March 10, 2011

253
The poet Rilke has some extraordinary insights into the relationship between life and death. Here is what he observes in a letter to Nanny von Escher, translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows in A Year with Rilke:

Two inner experiences were necessary for the creation of these books (The Sonnets to Orpheus and The Duino Elegies). One is the increasingly conscious decision to hold life open to death. The other is the spiritual imperative to present, in this wider context, the transformations of love that are not possible in a narrower circle where Death is simply excluded as The Other.

Again, in Uncollected Poems, Rilke turns his poetic sights on death:

Somewhere the flower of farewell is blooming.
Endlessly it yields its pollen, which we breathe.
Even in the breeze of this beginning hour we breathe farewell.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

239
cold rain
the way a casket wobbles
in the hands of pallbearers