Strange Ways of Old Grief



Strange Ways of Old Grief

When you touch me like
full summer,
I should, like grass, glow heedless
of what’s mown,
you as full of rest
as those rusting dusks
that hillsides carry
in their arms, and I am in
your arms,

but some just part of me
rears inside
like an accuser at the back
of a wedding pew,
remembering those who lost such bliss
too soon–
what do I even know of their bliss?–those friends
I loved–

and in that would-be sweetness, I weep,
brain a jungled heap
of their mounded flowers, the waxed
moon blooms–how could you leave me, I think to them,
though I was the least
death left behind–

while you, like those dusks whose only rustling
is warmth, just hold me closer
than passing day, as closely as the hillsides hold
their indigoed grass,
we two also
turns of earth.



Here’s a draft poem of sorts for Kerry O’ Connor’s reprising “Play it Again, Sam” prompt on With Real Toads -this one influenced by the remarkable poetry of James Wright (original prompt by Grace.)  I’m calling it a draft as still revising it even as posting–the pic is mine.  All rights to both poem and pic reserved. 


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10 Comments on “Strange Ways of Old Grief”

  1. kim881 Says:

    Oh, that first stanza is so gorgeous, I had to read it aloud – it’s full of rustling sounds!

  2. I think you have melted all the elements of grief here… the anger, guilt. the almost envy of being left behind, and painted them with the hushed colors of dusk… yes this is how emotions are. Complicated.

  3. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    When you touch me like
    full summer,
    I should, like grass, glow heedless
    of what’s mown…

    Gosh, Karin.. there’s a verse as indelible as a tattoo.. Brilliant. I love every last heartsore line. Love is such a gamble, it is surprising that we take the risk, not once but twice or more. This is the kind of poem I want to print and stick up some place where I can read it every day.

  4. Lovely poem… and terrific title.

  5. Jim Says:

    It’s wonderful, K. I’m not sure what I would have done had I written of Wright’s influence on my, but you certainly let him come through in a brilliant way. It shines through.
    Now, I see the longest sentence I’ve seen you write, here. But it all follows from the first to the end.
    When you touch me
    I should, … glow heedless
    of what’s mown,
    but some just part of me
    rears inside …, I weep,
    I think …
    … while you just hold me closer
    we two also
    turns of earth.


    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Jim–thank you so much for boiling it all down like that–that is the sentence I was trying to get to, with all the twists and turns, I’m always stuck with because of my stuttering brain! What a kind and sagacious comment–thanks much. k.

  6. Brendan Says:

    Great play of entrendes here, grief the old friend, oldest lover, companion through every loss which increases its yield–what remains after all the departures. Until even the last two are “turns of earth.” Elegiac and wan, like autumn sunlight. Fine stuff.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Brendan. I had not actually thought of grief as the companion, but that works very well and brings kind of another layer to the poem! Much appreciated. k.

  7. M Says:

    this is beautiful, K. ~

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