Grief is a leaf

I'm not sure that I can howl
though certainly there are dread events
disembowelling enough to summon Munch's scream

horror piles up in numbers
dates, head counts, ages
and then little by little the faces appear
life-like captures that froze time into a smile
en famille, festive fun, ignorant of what is to come

what terms then can we come to?
to make peace with the unfathomable?
a pact with the devil?

dare I say grief is akin to an October leaf?
a brisk detachment when the wind lets loose
that sudden and brutal impact with earth
the stalk forever reaching back

now multiply that in knee-deep leaf litter
are we any wiser in comprehension?
are we any closer to each other?

With yesterday’s mass murderous events in Las Vegas at the forefront of our minds, Magaly @ the Imaginary Garden asks us to ‘howl our poetry into my bones’ for the Tuesday Platform.  

24 thoughts on “Grief is a leaf

    1. thank you Tish – usually I say nothing as it can feel like a bit of an impertinence to speak of other people’s grief and horror – here I trod as carefully as I could

  1. Grief is, indeed, an autumn leaf–and there are so many kinds of leaves falling… It’s one of things that makes this world wonderful, I think. That we are so different from each other, and that so many of us can still write (live) together. Howling is not for everyone, neither is quiet. But… we can always meet in the middle, if we want.

    1. Some events make it a bl**dy awful world but even in such a midst people can come closer together – for a while

  2. Grief an autumn life… a perfect metaphor… Reminds me of Thomas Tranströmer who wrote in After a death wrote about grief

    They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
    Names swallowed by the cold.

    I think your poem gives the same feeling (especially when leaves pile up)

  3. There comes a time when one runs out of reactions; it’s all so overwhelming. I seem to have reached that – perhaps not permanently. You have found a beautiful way to express grIef and horror.

    1. thank you for your appreciation – usually I do not ‘engage’ in world events as they are either too awful or complex but prompt and timing came together

  4. What can we do in the face of nameless annihilation but wither? Natural devastations we can weather — storm survivors bury and build back — but purely human evil makes us recoil at our own existence. Keenly felt and written here.

    1. thank you for that Brendan – am somewhat relieved that the feelings came through as words can be meaningless or too detached – it’s not an easy line to tread

  5. I personally think no closer, no wiser, more detached and vacant. Perhaps that is what begets the carnage. What a nightmare. Thank you for your poem.

    1. I’m with you Marian – there seems to be a widening gap between our alienation and moments of communal altruism

    1. thank you Beth-speechless is just the response I hoped –

    1. I really appreciate this kind of appreciation Carrie – thank you

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