Posted tagged ‘spoken word grief poem’

“Interment” (Quatern)

December 6, 2012



I cannot bear to lay you in the ground–
not even in your ash state, shaped by urn;
it seems so cold below that clay-clung mound,
too harshly gelid to comfort harshest burn.

It’s true pooled ash leaves little to discern–
it cannot bare; it lays you into ground-
up bóne and góne and chár, while I still yearn
for spark–the live shine caught upon the round

of tooth, cheek, pupil–that in rebound
caught me. I want to know, but fear to learn
just why I cannot lay you in the ground
without my throat hard-bartered for a quern

that re-mills pain with every swallow’s turn,
that grínds what’s already fíne around
and round, allowing neither fruit nor fern–
that cannot bear to lay you in the ground.


Here’s a reading of the poem.  (I sometimes hate to take people’s time with readings, but in this case, the poem works much better read. I have changed one word since posting the reading, but it’s pretty minor.)

The above is a quatern – a new poetic form for me, that involves a repeating line.  I wrote it for Gay Cannon’s challenge on dVerse Poets Pub (“Form For All”).  I am afraid I used a slightly longer (pentameter) line than recommended for the form.  I urge you to check out Gay’s explanation of the form and the wonderful  poets at dVerse.

And – if you have a moment – check out my books!  Perfect for CHEAP Christmas presents!   Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, orNose Dive. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

Yeatsian Interlock – “To My Father”

November 18, 2012


To my Father (Ill for Some Time Before Death)

I miss you more than I can say–
you, who sat in a chair all day
so far away–  What did we say
those days? Just know I called each day
and you would listen–I say, hear.
I miss you in the buzz of silence,
where listening is silenced; I can’t hear
your ear, your soft soft ear, in this silence.

A reading of the poem, which may be interesting due to the breaks. – (Note that it does not have the full title.)
This is a poem posted for Kerry O’Connor’s “mini” challenge on With Real Toads to write a poem in the form of Yeats’ “He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven” – (check it out on With Real Toads.)  The Yeats’ poem (a wonder) uses interlocking repeated words and rhymes. 
I found this very challenging.  My poem  uses a bit more rhyme and repetition (just to make sure I got it all), which probably makes it way too sing-songy.  But I enjoyed the challenge nonetheless.   Thanks, Kerry!   
I am also linking this post to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.   Pearl (my dog) and I are currently working on Nanowrimo so couldn’t get a new poem up today.