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 sign of swallow
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


29 Comments on “Lessons in loss

  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.

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    • 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

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  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

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  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.

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  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

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  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’.

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

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  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.

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