Lessons in loss

My grief is a wordless thing
after the first flood, a solitary summer 
that dried the river beds - and almost filled

the field of vision, colourless
opaque as cataracts drawn like blinds
over windowless eyes - but still I saw

the home become a distant speck
flying weightless, unearthly for a while
a cloud-hopper seeding rain - and there I saw

the path we trod now formless, tracked
it back though all September's signs 
swallows had slipped South - and there I knew

that grief is an ageless thing
it heeds no earthly cares and leaves me 
breathless - yet still I know

how senseless this sense of absence
since spirit is a boundless thing

In memory of Martin and wordsmithed from a list of ‘less’ suffixed words for my Poetics Prompt: Less is More, More or Less

31 thoughts on “Lessons in loss

      1. “Hopeful & hopeless lying side by side when the eyes can see beyond tears”

        I think this sums it up, perfectly.

  1. All that bleak imagery is very effective – it’s a poem that made a powerful emotional connection for me. On a technical note, that use of a dash in the last line of each stanza is very fine, it adds a sense of urgency, and a slight change in tone each time. And it’s pleasing to the eye.

    1. Thank you Sarah for the technical feedback – I am partial to the dash – it operates in more ways than one and I really liked your interpretation of its various effects

  2. Beautifully written, poignant and genuine and very clever use of the less suffixed words. I really liked the structure too with the last of each line -hyphenated, seemed to add to the less/loss and poignancy

  3. “grief is an ageless thing
    it heeds no earthly cares”
    sings with a beautiful terrible power
    If only the rest believed with the mind that spirit is boundless.

    A very impactful poem, Laura.

  4. I really like this poem… You have described grief and its overwhelmingness so well!

    the field of vision, colourless
    opaque as cataracts drawn like blinds

  5. Your poem has left an imprint on my soul, Laura, and it’s a beautiful tribute to Martin. Your imagery is so honest and powerful, especially the ‘solitary summer that dried the river beds’ and ‘cataracts drawn like blinds over windowless eyes’.

  6. The repetition of the -less words compounds the feeling of loss. and the images of the natural world give it context. (K)

  7. “Less is more” is a paradox of mind and heart, for sure–as you say, grief is wordless weightless formless windowless ageless and breathless, yet for every absence is harrows there is a “boundless” spirit to encourage and welcome it in dreaming ahead. Very well done poem and a great response to the challenge.

Comments are closed.