Posted tagged ‘real loss poem’


June 29, 2013
By Diana Barco (From "Going on Somewhere")

Drawing By Diana Barco (From “Going on Somewhere”)


You know, a brain is not nearly so large
as what it holds, the lodgings of joy and sorrow,
exhilaration and despair, jammed tenements, walls thin
as a hair’s breadth, everyone pounding
against the noise–

I don’t know much
about the addresses–whether ecstasy holes up at 413 South Cortex,
and grief, 414, to the front–
only that the brain passing through experience
sometimes derails, its trains of thought caught
in synaptic whiplash, its emotional impulses shorting
sparks, catapulting blow-outs and when the
tracks get swarmed, new routes
are formed, and that old byway
that climbed through spacious fields
where long-stemmed grass was starsprayed
with pale fleurettes and the deep red mouths of poppies laughed
as big as Jupiter, and the sun shone gold,
and you, as warm, held me,
our bared ribs twined
like clasped hands, swerves suddenly
into changed lands, fixes on a switchbacked
track, no going back and though we still hold on, up slides
down and gathered gold, outweighing
balances, seesaws the scale, and here cut flowers mound
to memorialize the missing, those who are no more are known never
to return, and ecstasy–
though I will have just passed through
her door—now pushes me
out her window, and despair alone extends
a sharp-spined net, offers me
a floor to sleep on, though I don’t sleep,
only wait till I can catch my breath
and the next train home.

Here’s a poem for With Real Toads, Fireblossom’s Friday, to write something about heartbreaking loss.    I am also posting it for dVerse Poets Pub open link night. 

I hesitate to post a poem of this kind for fear it will be deemed autobiographical by readers.  All I can say is that poets are poets — we write about all kinds of human experience, and poetry, by its use of distillation and metaphor, tends to make that experience seem hyper-dramatic and perhaps more personally intense than it may be.

The drawing above is by a dear friend, Diana Barco, who illustrated my book of poetry “Going on Somewhere.”  (This is a new poem, written today and not in the book, though I do urge you to check out the book! As well as my other books, Nose Dive –a humorous mystery, and 1 Mississippi, a counting book for those who like elephants.)