Death

All posts tagged Death

The Crane

Published November 12, 2014 by rlmcdermott

Did you
know that
I am dying

that I am
like a blue
crane flying

riding thermals
without wings
life is such
a fickle thing

it’s so hard
to let you go
yet so easy
to live alone
how could
I have loved
a moon that
never shines for me

am I grieving you
or grieving me
so long this dying
has to be–
a day a night
spent in the sky
who loves me
loves to flyThe Last Cranes Flying

The Bone Singer

Published August 29, 2014 by rlmcdermott

and in her
turning is
a turning

back to
the blue
lichen
and fleshy
moss dripping
from bare
trees where
wild gods sit
and play
songs on
white bone

she has
grown old
underneath
a silent moon
waiting for
something
that never
comes–
to be loved again

and as
her small
feet strike
stone a
note is
struck
on bone
white bone
that sings
of home–
a place she’s
never known The Bone Singer

The Lament Singers

Published August 19, 2014 by rlmcdermott

In a desert
of mecury
nations of
unkept women
rest like squat
beetles on
all fours–
listening with
ears buttoned
to the ground.

They can
hear voices
echoing in
their heads,
whispering
of immolation,
hearts buring
in the afternoon,
birds soaring
in the sky.

There is no
comfort in
the keening
breeze, what
was blue
has turned
to red, falling
bombs have
gleaned their
husband’s bones
and left their
children dead.The Lament Singer

Headlines

Published May 13, 2014 by rlmcdermott

How did
this happen;
dead beneath
the headlines–
blue metal,
blue bird,
blue child?

Imagine
the moment,
the sharp
slap of air,
the ferocious
snap of wing,
and then
the still
and certain fall.

And you,
the child,
all breakable
bone; your
arm twisted
until it spiraled
out of its socket,
and like the
bird fell
down.

On a cold Sunday,
inside a newspaper,
beside a metal dumpster
two things dead–
a bird and a child.Child

The Ibis

Published December 23, 2013 by rlmcdermott

I take you
back a
thousand
times a day

and let you
go because
it is my way

all your red
is just an
artifact of blue

what I really love is death

you weren’t
real because
you weren’t him

small gods are not the ones to love

and so I cast
my lyre into the
sea and tuck
my head beneath
my wing–a bird
standing on one leg
I wait beneath a paper tree
for death to comfort meThe Ibis

The Opera Singer

Published June 11, 2013 by rlmcdermott

She sang
in the bathroom–
high notes,
clear,
chaste,
contralateral.

A songbird puffing
cigarettes between breaths,

all was illegal about those years–
the teased hair,
the shaved eyebrows,
the rolled-up skirt.

Violetta everywhere,
father dying
on a red-velvet couch.

Where were the old dreams,
the dreams her parents had for her;
there was a truth to them
that she ignored–

the bottle-shaped dreams
of an alcoholic father,

the woman in the kitchen
silent for forty years
now heard for the first time,

a half-forgotten song,
snatches of melody,
lingering in her memory.

They gave her a watch
so she could know time was running out.
She listened to the ticking; rhythmic
like a song, like a poem,
an alliteration of small explosions
striking the final destination.

The days of summer and sadness,
the little girl heart beating badly,
the pills stolen from a dying father,
the butcher knife hidden in a rotting mattress,
the poems packed in a yellow suitcase–
songs saved for another day.The Opera Singer

The Ghost of Gangrene

Published May 23, 2013 by rlmcdermott

it moves from left to right
and calls your name

it preys and prays
and calls you to its side
to dress you dead

the sweet deliverance
of pills that know your name

the sound of your own voice
the hidden mystery of it all
to watch death is to die

codeine has the properties of gangrene

your nerves dance like hobbled ballerinas
on toes that look like blackened twigs

your spring has been a bitter season
grown sweet before its final blossoming
roots dipped in the alkali of too much love
andante-sweet dementia-praecox
is simply another word for prayer

this is the epic of your life
to die without birth
a requiem of pain
unannounced and unashamedFlower