"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Valediction

if I was dead,
and my eyes,
blind at the roots of flowers,
wept into nothing,

I swear your love
would raise me
out of my grave,
in my flesh and blood
Carol Ann Duffy


Night Fires
Agnes Lawrence Pelton
Fair Use


XXIX

If I had known,
the day before you left,
that the cold fires of dawn
would never be as warm,

nor that birdsong
would not be written
for me alone, but that I
would hear it as a stranger;

if I had known
you were never to return
with the turning tide
to the harbour of my bed,

nor to reply when
the winds followed you,
calling in my lonely voice
with its plea to come home;

if I had known
the hour of my loss,
I might have died
slowly upon the last kiss,

or saved my tears
and stoked the night fires
with your name, until love
was burnt to ashes.


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Sailing away with Brendan's Penultimatums in the Imaginary Garden.

I am bringing together a few of the April prompts in this piece, with a quote from Carol Ann Duffy's poem If I Was Dead and the artwork of Agnes Lawrence Pelton.
And I echo Brendan's words on the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo:
It whispers in one ear, You're done now, while at the same time exclaiming in the other: But what a journey it was ... I have learnt so much and may still have a few tales to tell.

27 comments:

  1. This is exactly the penultimate whisper -- "If I had known, / the day before you left": the catechism of regret which comes only after the tomorrow we can't know. You have been writing some powerful poems this month, Kerry -- a string of pearls.

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    1. Thank you very much, Brendan. So many would never have been written were it not for the fine company and continuous inspirational material so willingly shared.

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  2. If you had 'known' the hour then this could not have been penned...herein lies the beauty and the truth in today's prompt for me and you have extracted the very essence of it here with your verse...each stanza breath-taking in it's own right and together...well, string of pearls works here too.

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  3. I really love the sense that that penultimate point you never know until afterwards... the last moment, the end is the worst (and rarely the best)... i love the how you used the repetition and that excellent quote by Dame Carol

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    1. She has been such an inspiration to me this month.

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  4. Ooh this is absolutely exquisitely penned, Kerry❤️ especially love; "if I had known the hour of my loss, I might have died slowly upon the last kiss." Beautifully executed❤️

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  5. Oh Kerry, this is a heart breaker, fit for a tear jerker CW song. I've been there, felt this way, done that. It lasted about three years then Mrs. Jim rescued me. But I still have a stifled sob sometimes when I inhale.
    ..

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  6. The things we would have done (and not) if we had only known... You've fed a world of longing and regret into every line, Kerry.

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  7. The key word is "If". Looking back at that instant from now brings a clarity to the clouds of a fire-storm.

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  8. While this is a romantic love, it relates to many kinds of love--beautiful cadences, and human and memorable images. Thanks, Kerry, and for your kindness and inspiration the last few months, as well as this one. k.

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  9. Oh my goodness, this is wonderful. Too many great lines to quote.

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  10. if is a 4 letter word. just sayin' ~

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  11. each stanza - exquisite! Heavy with longing. So beautiful

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  12. You've totally slain me with this irrevocable sorrow. I think it might be the best thing you've written.

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  13. The grief and regret is tangible in every "if"....

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  14. This so beautifully written and reading it I felt it really was wonderful piece of work in your portfolio as I was so impressed.

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  15. Love that concluding line about burning the name. There is a fairy tale or Shakespearean quality to the poem.

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  16. How easy it is for time and space and the people we love to disappear - farewell is hard to stomach

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  17. I can feel the longing to change a moment in time. We cannot live in "if, should have, or would have". A reminder to take in the moment of what we have now. This speaks to me on on so many levels. It is about loss to me and how I might turn the page back and rewrite the lines.

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  18. I certainly enjoyed reading your poem. I especially like the penultimate stanza.

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  19. and stoked the night fires
    with your name, until love
    was burnt to ashes.

    Disappointment, anger and disgust can be most lethal. You really said it as it is Kerry. Great!

    Hank

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  20. It is just as well we don't recognize the "last times" until in retrospect. Everything would change if we recognized them as they happened. Your poem is evocative.

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  21. Yes, this is what loss feels like ... all those raws emotions and regrets so beautifully expressed here. Evocative imagery.

    Thank you for visiting Magic of Words.

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  22. If I had known speaks to all of us. I have had many of them in my life. You speak of loss with such beauty. Thank you for all the wonderful poetry your wrote in this month of words.

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