All Hallows

“On almost the incendiary eve
Of deaths and entrances,
When near and strange wounded on London’s waves
Have sought your single grave”*

I do not need to seek you out
this soul searching Hallowed night
all too ready-eyed are rememberings
fiery flashbacks come thundering like Valkyrie
over belongings left in plain sight, left behind
within cold coverlets, duck down has settled flat
sheets hang drying without a ghostly stare
and in the top most corner of your room
spiders are threading shut the door
but not for you the Underworld of earth
dust and air and water for an elemental grave
undertow of Thames waves down its Londoners
makes exit at the entrance, past All Hallows, Kent
the church we always meant to visit and never went

For Martin’s requiem and laying of the ashes, I’ve chosen Dylan Thomas’ ‘Deaths and Entrances’* and in the Imaginary Garden, Susie invites us to seek inspiration for our own poetry from a beloved dead poet: “Diá de los Muertos – Bits of Inspiration
[Read and hear Richard Burton reading  “Deaths and Entrances”]

 

18 comments

  1. This is poignant and sad – we surely sense the distance our beloved dead have to travel in the things they left behind, in all we meant to do. Will it take every saint in the reliquary to sing them back?

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    1. the lack of touch is surely the hardest part of all
      – thank you for this prompt Susie – Dylan Thomas has been a poet I have turned to this last month and was good to be able to invoke his words as preface

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  2. Isn’t it curious that often it is the things we don’t do rather that those we have that trouble us later in life. When someone we love dies a part of us dies as well and we can’t stop remembering life as it was.How touching the last two lines were.

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  3. Richard Burton’s reading is just wonderful – he always did justice to Dylan Thomas’s words. Your poem is a beautiful tribute, Laura, to Martin and to one of my favourite poets. I admit it made me tearful, especially the references to ‘belongings left in plain sight’and ‘duck down has settled flat’. It doesn’t take much, does it? As a born Londoner, with a sister living in Kent, I followed the wistful undertow of Thames to ‘the church we always meant to visit and never went’.

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    1. Burton’s rendition is so beautiful and grand. The church at All Hallows on the Hoo Peninsula is now high priority and am happy that almost the last memories of Martin are of a wonderful weeks holiday on the Kent coast at the end of September – As Londoner you will know how much the east born are drawn further east!

      Liked by 1 person

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