Category Archives: Grief

Truth in Four Sentences

To someone that I used to know.

I don’t think of you every day.
You aren’t in my life; that’s not new.
Years have passed since I last loved you.
I’ll still cry when you pass away.


Poem: Little Matters That Matters Little

Little matters that matters little.
Memories of messy massive pains
do dim with age, but still they
the sharpest shards of bright and shining things
once (and still?) held dear, too close,
and to the highest impossible standards.

Why, though, are the glimmers of
the past and precious so much more
than the light and life of the present?
If to the shattered tatter-rags you cling,
you will be cut,
be rent,
torn asunder…

Insurmountable madness.

You say, “Look! How I bleed! How I cry! How I suffer!”
You chain yourself fifteen times
in gossamer-fine thread and,
with the key in one hand and the lock in the other,
make passionate love to finely honed steel,
pouring out flood red tidings,
giving away your most personal power
to someone who
doesn’t, nor
will ever
want it.

They to whom you grant that dubious boon
are not evil for the unwilling receiving of it,
no matter how much you wish it so…

…and you are not evil for leaving those streaks on the world…

…but in the end, someone has to clean up after you.
And that?
Is never fair.

Poem: Dragonlady (A Tribute To Anne McCaffrey)

Once upon a time, a teacher taught her students well.
She taught their mathematics, and how to read and write and spell.
She taught them to like science, to play music, and to speak,
and taught a love of books and words, and then she said to them one week:

“Write a good long letter to an author you want to meet,
and who knows, maybe he or she will write back, as a treat!
Here’s the book of postal codes and addresses you’ll need,
and write what’s in your hearts, my dears, I know you will succeed!”

Once upon a time, a girl daydreamed the day away
in a classroom with no friends of hers to play with every day.
She devoured books on dragons, their riders and their care,
and when she got the chance she wrote to the author there:

“To the Dragonlady who writes the books that I devour,
how can I become like you, a writer? Will I need more than an hour?
I love the worlds and people that live inside your books,
so I ask you, Dragonlady, is it as easy as you make it look?”

Once upon a time, not so very long ago,
a Dragonlady wrote back to a child she didn’t know.
She’d asked the Lady why she wrote, she’d asked her why she dreamed,
and the Dragonlady smiled, and to the girl came clean:

“I was once a girl like you, and I wrote all the time,
most of what I penned at first was fluff and dust and grime.
And I knew I had to practice, and practice then did I,
for it’s not the point to publish stuff, what matters is you try!”

Once upon a later time, the world was bereft
of a Dragonlady Masterharper who for the next adventure left.
She left to us her words and worlds, of dragons, time and space,
and not a day goes by that girl without a smile on her face:

“Thank you, Dragonlady, for the tales that you shared.
It’s how I know you loved your work, it’s how I know you cared.
Your planets were the settings of the dreams that kept me sane,
and I wish you sweetly on, and your memory remains.”

Go softly, Ms. McCaffrey.

Poem: Truth, Plain and Unadorned

This could be a poem about how I don’t understand.

I could say,
“I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people”


“I don’t understand how good people can still do terrible things”,
but it would be a lie.

This could be a poem about how I don’t care.

I could say,
“I don’t care that you are suffering. We all suffer”


“I am suffering. Why should I care when you suffer?”,
but it would be false.

This could be a poem about how faraway problems do not affect me.

I could say,
“That problem’s distance is great, and does not relate to my life”


“I haven’t known those people very long, their day-to-day means nothing to me”,
but it would be patently untrue

I understand.
I care.
You matter.

These things are my honesty,
waving a red flag in code
from my aching heart
to yours.

I love you.

Poem: Prayer for the Lost and Wandering

Your path and feet have parted ways,
and though none but you may find it,
your chosen methods leave a daze
over those you love who’d mind it.

I have watched you of many days,
your worldview with confusion rife,
unknowing, watched you slip away,
seen what you have done to your life.

I wait in silent simmering
for word from the lady of trees.
Rock bottom dropped from under me
lifting my prayers up to the breeze

that they may be carried to She
Who resides now in summer bright,
that She may grant Her blessings three
to reach you in your deepest night.

Heed them, at your peril ignore
the signs and portents you have made.
You have been placed at Justice’ door
It’s only She can give you aid.

Those who love you do fear for you,
and sadly of you they fear same.
Metaphors cannot help you, true;
it is left to you to take blame.

I plead You, Psychopomp, hear this:
he lies at losing’s very door.
It’s not his time, he’s gone amiss,
must mend those precious things he tore.

I love you like a dear brother,
Gentle, clever, witty, and true.
Your place, ne’er filled by another,
Is now taken by something else.

Poem: Goodbye

My house, mi casa.
Never a stranger, but now empty of most things familiar.
She has known me since I was a baby,
pale verdance enfolding me,
warm golden floor which sang me creaking lullabies
holding me still into solid sleep.

My kin are gone from her,
nest long since empty,
lonely, hollow, and hallowed
halls remain, ineffable.
She echos with harmonies,
heartaches, and happinesses,
first steps, first words,
tears, joy, mischief,
now gone into solitude.
She remembers rage, respect, reticence,
refuses to relinquish these which are hers to keep
and ours to leave to the corners.
These things are old, faded, and precious,
and she hoards them against mold and silence.

Here lies my home, on a hill.
I will always love her,
she who was also a mother to me,
being the foundations of my raising
and the shelter of my youth.
She is barren of summers and bereft of small footsteps.
My girlish dreams fade into ghosts,
shades that linger,
brushing fingers through hair and
against faces of all who live there next.

She still hums to herself,
wondering if her voice will sooth another child someday,
and hopes that she will be heard when she says
“I could like you.
If you stay,
I could even love you.”

Poem: Grandpa Tom

Thank you for my grandmothers.
Thank you for my father,
aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Thank you for pretending to lose at Crazy 8s,
and being kind to a little girl who adored you.
I wish I’d known you better as an adult.

When you fell, too many, too many times,
I spoke with you. You said,
“I’m afraid I’m not very lucid right now”
which was a very lucid thing to say, indeed.

I am sorry you saw only shame in our ancestors.
I wish our name was what it should have been.
Did you know they still use “Spaniard” on the census?

Your life was long.
You saw money, war, women, children, and divorce.
I am told you were cruel, but you never were stern with me.

I hope Betty found you,
and that you found her.
Please tell her hello,
and that I love her, too.

If you see my grandmother, you should apologize.

You shouldn’t have gotten upset,
they were just little girls, too;
small red-headed boys do resemble orangutans, a bit.

Your words and whales
clubs and pitchers
tables and cards
sunshine and boats
and sweetest black plums
will always line my heart with love from you.

The dry brown land speaks not your name to me,
but your place, which is peace,