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Best Dirge Poems | Poetry

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Don't play a dirge, when I'm no longer by M , Wendy
Echoes in a Dirge by Naye, Joseph Jeremiah
SAD DIRGE by Enriquez, Leon
Mournful Dirge by Ezeokoli, Ifechukwu
A dirge to a friend in captivity by Ituma, Patrick
DIRGE by Enriquez, Leon
Urge To Discover A Dirge by Horn, James
No Dreary Dirge for Me by Buhagiar, Victor
DIRGE by Enriquez, Leon
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 A DIRGE by Enriquez, Leon

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The Best Dirge Poems

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Narcissus meets his Nemesis - A Collab with Victor Buhagiar

POTW 15 July 2018       

              Reverberations of the burbling stream ahead evokes
              anticipations of fantasies and distorted expectations
              Perfect porcelain skin ~ russet curls ~ ruby red lips
              Surely even the gods would weep 
              at this manifested apotheosis of angelic perfections?

Trudging the lonely winding path once more 
oblivious to the brambles tearing at his limbs
a small sacrifice ~ the blood he sheds matters not
Time’s swift flight may alleviate the aching heart 
that suffers the pangs of an unrequited love 

              Etched in his mind this image that has fragmented
              the filigree web of his repetitious dreams
              Where his nightmarish inflictions are wrought
              of an agonising sweat soaking torment 
              in the gloom of the nights that liberate him not

Proclamations of love feverishly spilling
On parchment in the wakening dawn
Bled out in words to where beckoning waters flow
Euphonious notes that the winds have borne
Streaming from the very core of his being

              Spinning senses abandoning their out of control defences
              Yet nothing … Nothing ... in his wretchedness can bridge
              the gap to the void in his desolate soul 	
              Deprived by a selfish god of this splendor
              for him to gaze on by day ~ yet in dismal nights Heaven denies 

Day after day to this enigma he brings
serenades that would whip fallen leaves into a frenzy  
and calm raging torrents into lapping stillness
Mindless he to the lone song bird that flutes soulfully
Or the reiterated sounds of the whispering Echo

              He weeps and grins like a madman at
              the sudden outburst of mirth on those ruby lips
              Fingers dip in to caress once again 
              Collapsing the perfection into 
              a thousand shimmering, mocking ripples. 

Must he drown in his very own tears?
Surrender to his darkest dreams?
A slave to an intoxication of his own making
On the morrow perchance the gods may be kinder 
A whisper carried on a teasing wind floats to his ears

Above throughout the high mountains, He can hear Echo whispering softly Her mellifluous dirge of death. Yet he cares not ~ His mind centres on the god that so oft appears in the stream. Lust eats at his heart as he feels the urge to plunge down into the depths of the viridian stream, To copulate in bliss with his newly found love. Yet something holds him back. Curse Nemesis for depriving him from his ambrosial love. Weak in dreamy languor, he falls faint, And dies ………Unable to kiss his shadow in the stream.
SYNOPSIS In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter from Thespiae in Boeotia, known for his beauty. The son of the river god Cephissus and nymph Liriope, he was so self-opinionated, disdaining those who loved him. Nemesis disliked his behaviour and lured Narcissus to a pool where he saw an image of beauty reflected in the water. He instantly fell in love with it not realising it was the reflection of himself. Unable to tangibly connect with this epitome of beauty, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection by day and was distraught at nightfall when he could not see it. Echo, the woodland nymph, with her ceaseless chattering, perhaps in an effort to conceal, angered the goddess queen Terra when she demanded to know the whereabouts of her husband Zeus who was cavorting with the woodland nymphs at the time. Terra punished her with a curse that only allowed her to speak the last words she heard. Perchance, while haplessly wandering in the woods, Echo saw and secretly fell desperately in love with Narcissus who sadly wasn’t aware of her, in spite of Echo cleverly repeating his last words in order to attract his attention. POTW 15 July 2018

Copyright © Maria Williams | Year Posted 2018

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Sing a dirge with crowns of marigolds.
But not for me for I am much alive, my dear.
Listen to the lovely lively rain,
Pitter-patter on the thriving flower beds,
Let them grow in all hues and shapes. 
I’ll pick the marigolds’ white petals.
See, I love you not, I love myself.
Next autumn I’ll fill my lovely cottage
With the most beautiful fragrant narcissus.

14 April 2016

Any Poem You Ever Penned Poetry Contest

Sponsored by Broken Wings

Placed 3

Copyright © Victor Buhagiar | Year Posted 2016

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To release me from hellish nights
let's talk now, Fear...
I leave, yet your shadow follows me;
a darkened grime blowing on my mind 
like an uninvited guest from a demonic realm.
The macabre of nights holds no clues
but reflects my image through you:
Realizing this now I oppose
those vicious whispers, 
and embed them in the dirge of sand:
When confronted with inner warfare
O Fear, you turn from rage to cowardice;
I walk away, never to come back...
that phantom of rain tumbles as mist shines.
Feeling empowered now, your  hunts lose
as my soul claims its final deliverance--

I’m no longer a pawn.

Fear Contest for Debbie Guzzi 
Re-submitted 8/30/2017

Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2014

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A Pregnant Lass

A pregnant lass with eyes of glass had never learned to cope;
once set adrift her fall was swift, she slid a slipp’ry slope.
She fled the curse of worlds perverse by shooting shots of dope,
and stalked discreet’ Asylum Street her daily horoscope.
The stray was struck by passing truck which was her only hope.

Well, Banjo Boy, with little joy, he strums her life entire:
“The wayward waif was never safe; her stars were dark and dire
(born midst the rues and avenues where lack and want aspire)
for no one heeds the childish needs that little ones require;
though faith survives in tempest lives, a swirl within the briar,
infinity grinds as time unwinds, until the winds expire.
Her last caprice? The final peace that no one could deny her - 
whipped by the flood, stray beads of blood are spattered on the spire;
though beads of sweat are cool and wet, cold clotted blood is dryer.”

Though broken there, she’s fled the snare with dying thoughts serene.
And now she’s dead, the rumours spread: her age? a sweet 16,
with child, unwed, her soul stained red, her body so unclean.
A place is sought where she can rot, avoiding churchyard scenes,
in limey pits, as well befits, behind forbidding screens;
and all the while a dirge is styled on tattered tambourines
which echo through the human zoo in valleys of the Queens.

Without rejoice, in hissing voice, near soil that’s seldom trod
“In pious role, God bless my soul”, was mouthed with mitred nod,
 (the twisted grin seemed dark and thin behind the robed façade).
“She’ll burn in hell with sulphur smell”, spat Priest and man of god.

Well, angels sweet with cloven feet, they sing in girl’s attire,
but Banjo Boy, he’s playing coy while chanting in the choir:
“The clueless search within the church to find what they desire,
but near the nave or gravelled grave, there is no Rectifier.”
And when he’s through, without ado, he stacks some stones nearby her.

Copyright © Terry O'Leary | Year Posted 2012

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The Long and Short Of It

I awakened about midnight in the middle of the day.
I was crawling swiftly toward you as I slowly raced away.
I hummed a merry melody that truly had no tune
As I ate my cup of coffee and then drank my bowl of prune.
The pot of beans boiled over upon the pristine ceiling
So I tossed out the banana and I ate the wormy peeling.
The cat was barking at me and the happy dog meowed
As I stood out there so lonely in the middle of a crowd.
The sun was shining brightly in a snowy blackened sky,
I was a girl so much in hate I wished I that I could die.

The wilted flowers were nice and fresh just as they ought to be,
The ugly ones you sent me from  so far across the sea.
The postman brought the email that I had mailed to you.
He said it had no stamp and so he couldn't let it through.
I long so much to see you and to look in your brown eye
And I cannot wait to hold you and to say a sad goodbye.
If you want to read my letter, please do call me yesterday. 
I cannot wait to see you so please take the long hard way.
My daddy said he’s happy to give you my eager hand,
The one that’s always begging for his money, understand.

The guests are now arriving in their wrinkled, tattered rags
And the ushers have been drinking rare champagne from paper bags.
The musicians have their bag pipes out to play a cheerful dirge.
And I'm waiting for my bridegroom from his boudoir to emerge.
The honored guests are seated in the front of the back row
And the flower girl is directing everybody where to go.
The preacher stands beside me as I search the smoke filled room
For a candidate who's better than is my intended groom.
You know I love you more than all the pimples on my face,
As I claim you as my husband in your denim dress of lace.

Oxymoronica Contest by Kristen Bruni  13th p[lace

Copyright © Joyce Johnson | Year Posted 2011

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Melody Of Sadness

A saddening song swishes subtly in the bitter breeze, 

Mad mournful music meets me everywhere I move, 

Like a dolorous dirge drumming through the dark; 

Wistful winds wearily bring to mind stinging salt drops,  

All energy expended in trying to make sense of this forlorn fusion

As a painfully pensive psalm is penned down 
						in the ragged remnants of war...


Copyright © Jo Daniel | Year Posted 2017

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Play Not A Dirge When I Am Gone

Play Not A Dirge When I Am Gone

Play not a dirge when I am gone;
light no candles, not even one.
A treasured poem would be enough  
to mark my end when curtain’s drawn.

Hold no sad wakes to honor me
some happy poems, I’d rather be 
recited on a night for friends
then spread my ashes o'er the sea.

And wonder not nor be afraid
if less of love you have conveyed;
you’re part of me and that’s enough,
while life’s not fair, I’m not dismayed.

If comes a time that you remember
that one fine day in November,
then send a kiss toward the sea
and just forget this fly in amber.*

When I Am Dead My Dearest

by Cristina Georgina Rossetti

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

*fly in amber - noun, reminder of the past

No More Masks Contest
Sponsor: Catie Lindsey

Copyright © KP Nunez | Year Posted 2015

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Doom of Ancient Bloom

Oh, this impish ill!
this mystic flock of ever-roaming pain;
You now possess fully
my body and my life.
I am at your full attention and mercy;
Do you not rejoice?
Are you not overwhelmingly triumphant?
This very body that shamed kings into beggars,
that made cowards into martyrs,
songs to motivation,
and indisputable chaos to nation;
All of my great works till now
are devoured by this deplorable disease!
Indeed, now all are indifferent to my successes,
to my brilliance and my legendary valiance;
You see no more but a breakable man-
Another mortal undeniably, indefinably, irrevocably….dying
This misshapen swarm inside distorts my frame;
These bones weaken as I lay
isolated in the mist below the disparaging judges—
Away from the ordinary who spat on me in revulsion;
The known healthy and the blessed—
The cursed clean!
Even relieving the dogs and the fiends from this stinking burden I am
but a rogue omen, and a threat
to their meaningless power.
My skin is paling, flaking—I feel it!
Though dread long has fled to sorrier lands,
seeping in the heavenly regions of trembling angels,
crying out to me to submit, and repent
to a god who has enslaved us—
To—in the end—die,
and for the bravest, and the best,
perish harshly and horribly!
Agony places itself in all that cries out in me—
tired agony mixed with the sting of venomous words;
My family—additions to the cursed clean—
They visited me once in prison;
My father, rigid, alien to me,
Colder than the prison walls surrounding,
and—of course—unwilling to be written upon,
stood silent, as my mother wept,
as my brother, his son whom he loves,
stared through me hollowly, dumbly,
possessing traits too doleful to acknowledge,
yet always, he is
more than anything I die to achieve.
Dead flowers crumble in my palms;
Now their known beauty is long gone.
I had been ailing, though enduring,
spreading and killing off fellow prisoners one by one;
The jailer became furious with the disease,
his dying wish to have me alone with the ground and worm;
His death and his bitter will against me touched the queen,
Who deemed the clean oppressed.
The solemn king whom I had served once with reverence
so soon sentenced me prematurely to this tomb,
to enclose a black hell of chilling cold around me,
and—as was ordinary—granted me
no walls to write on.
Tears fall…
I have learned in the silence even fury sighs and dims
Pacing and pacing,
I was soon reduced to feverish quaking,
and in every sense aching,
till the floor met my lips,
as the weakness took a fragile but substantial grip on my hope;
That moment, I begged this tomb to take me.
As fate has seen fit,
this is my dirge of a conclusion:
We all—cursed man—
All—ordinary and brilliant alike,
meet the same filthy fate
involving unassuming worms and dirt-
senseless deafness, blindness and darkness.
If I ever bloomed,
in your eyes, my father,
like your sons before me, I bloomed for naught,
only to, like infants, cry-
to die
and rot. 

For Justin Bordner's "A Tomb of Ancient Bloom" contest

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2016

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     So many memories I have are summer-colored, like those walking-down-the-lane days recalled in various hues of green. Green for Grandpa’s cornfields spread all around us and green for the grass on which my sisters and I used to run and play.

     Besides that color green, which prettily surrounded me through all my childhood,
I think a favorite memory would be the colors of one lovely day spent with my family, the family created by my spouse and me and a day our kids were young.

    We lived near San Francisco. Few troubles plagued us then and I loved our short time in California! One summer day at last we went to see the beach of Santa Cruz.
I don’t remember details of everything we did. We walked along the boardwalk, naturally. I’m sure the kids, both pre-teens, enjoyed the rides. Even I was every bit as excited as the two of them. I’m sure my spouse and I took pictures, ate good-tasting food and watched our children doing things all children love to do.

    But what stood out for me was our time spent on the beach and how we all jumped up to greet each wave that tumbled toward us time and time again to knock us down. What pure pleasure in the splashes of blue that fun-filled day, the blue of the Pacific, which chilled me at the start until I warmed to it as the yellow sun in blue of sky above smiled down on us.

    Yes, the blue of sky and water and the constant shining yellow of the sun:
those would be the colors of my favorite summer memory -when times were good and we were young and simply having fun.

new colors emerge in the autumn of one's life soon is winter's dirge as blue asters wave in fields bye-bye to sweet summer time For the Haibun Free-Style Contest of scott thirtyseven

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2015

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How would you like your death announced?
 In joyous bells, sweet song through the town
 or a solemn dirge, sung in an otherwise quiet church?
 Don't mind me much, it's completely your choice
 but I must make a sale you see.
 Whether they throw flowers and toast to your glory
 Whether they dress in black and weep til morning
 it makes no difference to me
If the fanfare isn't your thing
 obscurity is always an option
 But an ego, such a fragile thing, can't bear it
 A forgotten grave where moss makes its home
 too melodramatic for me
 Alas, you humans are so strange
 There's a ticking
 Can you hear it?
 It seems your time is fast approaching
So what is your choice
 poor soul so close to the end?
 Is it joy?
 Is it sorrow?
 Or a darkness with no light?
 I don't mean to rush, but there's the sake of my sale
 What's left for you to mend?
 And the reaper will not be kept waiting

Copyright © Dia Tucker | Year Posted 2012

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Poet in a Pool of Love
...... For You Ajinle


When my yearning becomes a letter
Of love inside the dust of time
This lyric will deliver my affection to you
Ajinle the precious daughter of Adegboye
For love is always love
For two dreaming hearts
When their hearts never departs each other
When the cloud of love erupt their minds.

Love is not for coward hearts
Love is not for fragile minds
When I thought how I love you in silence
My heart beat faster
My spirit linger through your undiscovers planet
I found myself in a pool of love

When my song becomes a melody of joy
It is because of you!
My poems are not for ragged - minds
But I will read dirge if you departs my life
Or, is their anything to compare with the absence of love?

Our love and present-shadow is a destiny of tomorrow
Though we are way-farers

Ajeyemi Wasiu .A.
Note: Ajinle 'Yoruba linage for female'
          Adegboye: 'Royal name belong to monarch family'

Copyright © Ajeyemi Wasiu Ajewumi | Year Posted 2014

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One Bright leaf

Wind sings a dirge where rust leaves have fallen. In the autumn of her life one bright leaf has risen I stand on the hill we tumbled down as children brimming with spirit no longer with me is she whose remains I am holding released to the wind her ashes now are mingling with the fallen leaves

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2013

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My Love Lives In A Maiden's Fallen Tear

My Love Lives In A Maiden's Fallen Tear

I saw sweet love in maiden's fallen tear
a racing orb of light so very bright.
A love lost, great tragedy so many fear
as small children do darkness of night.

If only to live and not be too late
for the appointed day that I died.
Mend the widening cracks in my plate
careful to  eat my stolen eggs fried.

Should a poet compose for me a monody
I shall rise again just to hear.
For my sweet soul fled my tortured body
but my love lives in a maiden's tear.

Will I ever hear sweet song sung in tune.
Or peacefully sleep beneath crescent moon?

Robert J. Lindley, 10-25-2015

Note-Tried to go to sleep,but that wicked muse 
of mine, demanded just one more! And it had to
 be a sonnet!

(1) monody-

Monody | Define Monody at
a Greek ode sung by a single voice, as in a tragedy;
 lament. 2. a poem in which the poet or speaker laments
 another's death;  3. Music. a style 
of ...
Monody dictionary definition | monody defined
pl. -·dies. in ancient Greek literature, an ode sung by a 
single voice, as in a tragedy; lyric solo, generally a 
lament or dirge; a poem in which the poet mourns ..

Copyright © Robert Lindley | Year Posted 2015

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Rosaline's Revenge

Oh Juliet!  A memory of a love long lost in vain…
thy bridal song, a dirge of darkened madrigal becomes.
Yet thought of you, for me, brings more to mind of hate than pain
and all because you stole away the one who was my Love.	
Whilst all the rest swoon ‘Juliet’, their precious turtle dove,
I left my love to serve my Lord, but thou – a concubine!
for Romeo forsook his first and foremost, Rosaline.

Let none be fooled! So cold and cruel thy wicked heart disguised,
behind a face of snow white youth and eyes of clearest blue
resides a witch, a sorceress; I swear it, though surmised. 	
Thy tender lips with somber kiss bore poison drops of dew  
to steal my one and only love, my son of Montague!
Unfair the pair in Heaven will forever live in death,
whilst I, without my Romeo, yet he has Juliet!

*written from the point of view of Rosaline, Romeo's initial love interest before laying eyes on Juliet... 

Copyright © Sophia Valentina | Year Posted 2014

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Midnight In Evergreen Cemetery

'Round about eight o'clock each evening the massive iron gates are closed.
The moon's mellow glow shines upon spectral scenes that are now exposed!
Phantoms that by day lie peacefully in their graves now freely roam,
Reliving mortal dramas when the earthly stage was their home!

I've never witnessed such things but I've heard from reliable sources,
That nigh midnight a spectral hearse travels about drawn by ebon horses!
Six ghostly pallbearers march behind the hearse chanting a mournful dirge,
As they escort the macabre procession and at a gloomy crpyt converge!

A specter desperado is seen dodging 'mongst the moss-covered stones,
Chased by a sheriff, his moldy funereal shroud flapping about his bones!
"Crazy Bob" Womack who discovered gold up around Cripple Creek,
Sits on his stone guzzling booze and gazing wistfully t'ward Pikes Peak!

Pat Brady, Roy Rogers' old sidekick, races about in his jeep, "Nellybelle!"
Rebel soldiers scramble from their graves and loose a fearsome Rebel Yell!
A gorgeous young wraith clad in white wafts to and fro seeking her lover,
Adding to this eerie scene, perched in ancient oaks, owls hoot and hover!

Ghostly apparitions peer from windows of the haunted chapel on the grounds.
Grinning skeletons rise from musty tombs rattling about making their rounds!
Helen Hunt Jackson, author of "Romana" resides here in her special nook.
She leans against her stone observing all, perhaps researching another book!

Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw | Year Posted 2012

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Witch and Warlock

The warlock said to the witch,
Man, ain't it grand living large like Oz,
being bigly Emerald City rich
The witch crowed back,
I get paid good for giving speeches
that have no policy incantation glitch
The warlock laughed hard and long,
then chortled with maniacal glee:
I like the way you got a huge fee
for selling that "Deal Me In" dirge song
The witch returned the faint praise
with a piercing scowl and a sinister smile
You got those lemmings running thru a maze,
chasing your tale that it's all rigged anyhow
The warlock started getting miffed,
and his hair began to burn with an orange glow
He mockingly said, Endora, all the polls show
that you're a walking political gift
The witch angrily retorted: What spell did you use
to make yourself become 50 feet tall
Oh yeah, that's right. Should Humpty Dumpty lose,
it won't be much of a fall off that stupid wall
The warlock let out a sigh, and said:
You know we have to spit venom
at each other on the campaign stump
That's just how it is, and has to be
The witch let out a sigh too, and said:
Since our youthful days of wearing denim,
it's something we can't tell the voting chumps
That we're really friends, you and me
Then they both hugged each other,
and said goodbye to one another privately
The witch winked at the warlock, and cackled this:
No matter who wins,
I'm offering well wishes to you
So don't forget to send me a mean tweet
The warlock nodded back at the witch, and bellowed this:
Once the results are in,
I'll reply with well wishes too
But of course, don't you forget to delete

Copyright © Freddie Robinson Jr. | Year Posted 2016

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The Seasons of My Writing

I can’t speak for every writer
of prose and poetry,
but from my own experience
this is what pertains to me.
As there are seasons in the natural,
some lovely, some not so inviting;
the same thing occurs when it comes to my pen.
There are seasons of my writing.

I’ve been through some winter like seasons
longing for inspiring urge,
but my pen felt cold and lifeless
almost like a funeral dirge.
These times of seeming deadness
when it appeared there was no inspiration,
although some of them lasted for years,
were really stages of hibernation.

Then at last there came a thawing,
a melting of my frosted pen;
sap that lay so still and dormant,
miraculously flowing again.
Suddenly, my quill, alive with bloom
and flowing like a fountain.
Free verse, limerick and haiku
come skipping over the mountain.
Poetry it starts to bloom
of various hue and shade,
stirring refrains and ballads 
that sweetly serenade.
The forms that now are breaking forth
to me, they might be new,
a villanelle, a tyburn or perhaps a clerihew.

Then spring gives way to summer
with weather oh so warm;
palm trees and sweltering breeze
an easy feeling in my form.
Those hot August nights can quickly pass
with refreshing iced tea in my poet’s glass.

Then on into the next season
for fall, it now is time.
The colors are slowly fading.
Still there’s reason in my rhyme.
Hot apple cider, the pumpkin patches
And gloriously fun hay rides,
the air is stiff and cooler
yet inspiration continues to abide.

Finally, it’s ‘round to winter again,
and in spite of the holiday hustle;
it seems my pen has fallen asleep
and will not move a muscle.
I may feel unproductive
and like I’m really sluffing,
but it’s at this time God reminds me
that without Him I am nothing.
So, I’ll read and wait and pray
until God sees fit, and then,
when the timing is just right
He will send me spring again!

Copyright © Carol Connell | Year Posted 2017

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as time stood still

My pen finds pause
my body is broken,
a weighted horror
cleaves my breast

The strings of hope sliced
as I put dreams to the sword,
but hands now whisper to stars
across a fabric brushed heaven

Tomorrow is a lie of mysteries
today is in the now of knowing,
Like burning comets the pain
thrashes into my hearts core

A journeys end now nears
the roads all find dead ends,
revived from a morass of mourning
eyes are filled with oceans

A dirge plays and dances
in a procession free of flesh,
as shadows carry me home
infinitesimal tears find silence

I am weary of time
I've smashed the clocks
crushed every watch
tick tocks, now stopped

With the enemy defeated
I forge ahead untimed,
wild and finally free
uncaged from fear and doubt

In truth tomorrow has been
gone in thousands of minutes,
the sandman flies in golden dust
that's now sparkling my eyes
In sleep I shall find eternities gate
holding it open yet never entering,
until your hand slips into mine
time my love will stand in my mind

Until we meet again ...

Copyright © Jayne Eggins | Year Posted 2015

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(The Corpse Plant)

in the shadows
     in the shadows
          teardrop eyes

Like bagpipes they play, somber tunes of fear,
as doves do weep, as flamingoes bow down.
A ghost plant dirge, doth tremble dusty clouds.
The bells, they ring, intensely sing, slow-deep.

in the shadows
     in the shadows
          teardrop eyes

Like wax, their silhouettes a frozen mask.
A countenance, thus drained of chlorophyll.
The vampiric cold parasite craves night -
A leech, among the beech, with lovers scars.

in the shadows
     in the shadows
          teardrop eyes

A cold and clammy touch, doth turn a corpse
an inky black. A translucent pale ghost -
don’t touch, nor handle plant, nor creep too near
its eerie soil, nor step, upon its grave.

in the shadows
     in the shadows
          teardrop eyes

Blank Verse

Copyright © Kim Rodrigues | Year Posted 2017

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STORM OF TREES trees sidewind smashing glass ripping up roofs like a doll house, bedroom contents exposed miles of splintered lumber, stacked against odds squirrels naked scattered nuts oak leaves torn dolls stare, lids unblinking ceramic chips like tears, raining upon the sodden ground cleanup with a purple dinosaur song shoulder shaking mournful dirge swollen eyes miles away a note’s read smells like perfume an old man embraces his broken wife the smell of Christmas pine, foreign to this season of death yet one palm comforts him 8/27/2017

Copyright © Kim Rodrigues | Year Posted 2017

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Heaven, The Shortest Journey

My heart stopped, you see
Three times, thanks to foolishness ...
But within the horror of it all I learned something ... extraordinary
And the following is, for ME, Heaven ...


There is a passing ...
Not passing from this life to oblivion
But from one reality to another
As if passing through a veil of matter, electric

This reality is of knowing, familiarity and pain
And the next, of delicacy and release ... and light
Some say a tunnel ...
But it is more a bridge with a striking brilliance at its end

There is no sense of isolation or uniqueness
None of the loneliness that we feel in our earthly human shells
Not an iota of the horrible separation of being trapped in a body
But rather an overwhelming sense of energy and purity

A connection to all other energies and spirits
No, MORE than a connection - the feeling is a unification ...
A melding with the Universe and all it contains
Oh, there is certainly a sense of being "self"

The ability to move and do and feel and imagine as we do here
But also the exquisite and sublime joy
Of being a vital part of "the whole"
Of being free of the pains and concerns of the worldly

And knowing the transcendent optimism of eternity and peace
The extraordinary and indescribable exuberance
Of touching the face of The Creator.
ALL is there ...

And in saying "all" I mean everyone and everything
That you have loved or has ever loved you
Not just those who have gone ahead
But those you thought you'd left behind

For it is timeless - past, present, future - all one
Whatever and whoever you loved that was behind the veil
Is with you now, and always has been
Those that left before you, are all there, with you

And they always have been
The joys of your life, even the smallest things, are with you
The moon, ocean, foods, kisses, sunrises, scents, tastes, colors, music
Every small and not-so-small experience

Laid out before you, like a carpet of whimsical flowers
All the faces you have missed, and the ones you thought you'd left
Are about you, though their spirits are, like yours, of light
You can see and smell and touch and talk to ALL

At once or individually, it matters not
And over and about and throughout, permeating everything
Is The Creator ... He has everyone's face and NO face
He is grace and forgiveness and kindness and contentment and, yes ... LOVE

But there is one thing that, even being connected to The All ...
You don't and couldn't expect
There is a horizon, and a distant one
It is very clear to every being, no matter where you go

No matter who or what you're with
And it is very dark, very foreboding, and inescapable
It is the veil, you see ...
The veil of death and hate and sorrow

It dances, darkly, like a thread of evil
And you know, despite the overwhelming joy and peace
That it is IMPORTANT and necessary
For it is the balance ... the yin to the yang

The reminder and proof of the price we pay, when mortal
The price we pay for everything that is good and loving and beautiful
The black to our white, the dirge to our aria, the down to our up
You can never approach it, no matter how hard you try

But it is always there ...
To make the light what it IS ... to make love what it IS
For without that dark horizon, the rest would have no meaning
No weight or measure or import

But it creates no fear or bad emotions
It is just ... there.
Most of all, there is peace, abiding
You swim it like warm water

It saturates everything, letting souls expand
And you are, like everything else, always expanding, moving, feeling
Completely aware of how eternal it all is
How eternal YOU are.


Of everything felt, I was certain, then, that I wanted to stay
That my previous existence was not the REAL one, not the TRUE one
That nothing could ever be as wonderful
But something ... someONE, some ... intent ...

Sent me back
Perhaps to share ...
Perhaps to learn, perhaps to just ... write this verse
To let others know ...

They need not be afraid
For God's cheek is soft
And His face ...

Copyright © Gregory R Barden | Year Posted 2018

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Pamphlets of Prophets

Pamphlets of Prophets

And in the barren face of sanity
I scavenged 
For hope

Hope between the bleeding

Full forces littered the bodies
Pamphlets of prophets
In useless streets

Streets paved with dead

Burning crosses
Burning flags
The caricatures of hate

Hate in the Holy walls and domes of

And in the coloured face of madness
I found the ever smile
Of borrowed light

Light in the Holy walls and domes of

Death in weeping children sung its dirge
In the sacrificial arms of 

Love ?

What love is there between the ruins of bone and shattered blood
Siren screaming its danger to flesh
This Auschwitz strip
This apocalypse
Is a lament unheeded
Of starved and parchment skeletons
Turning in their graves
Piteous demise of theirs
Full forces littered the bodies
Pamphlets of prophets
In useless streets


Copyright © colin mitchell williams | Year Posted 2009

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from afar, leaves like uncounted catatonic fires  
huddled close
pinned to the chill air

a pointillist’s love affair with a hundred shades of red

the ground is a fresh wound, edgeless 

a breeze worries the boughs 
stokes the hanging flames into quivering  
renegade ambers

a slow burn resumes

accompanied by a susurrus of sighs 
a dirge for a season

and the summer sky, now turned slate,
is cremated

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2018

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The Fisherman

Never once have I been enclosed in exhaustion
Until now - like a black woolen blanket, drenched.
I've looked and crawled and even found unceasingly 
Before screaming from the riverbank: "This Is What It's For."
But now I can hardly whisper,
Sensing, maybe, a changing tide that sends the fish away
Or remembering past moons that moved them to more fertile feasts.

Yes - both it must be.
For now the water's meandering isn't hopeful wanderlust;
It only serves to annoy me.
And is it me or has its flow slowed?
Although now more than ever I note its swiftness
In comparison with the glassy new-born lake
Or the black curmudgeonly seas.

The gulls still call but no longer in triumph.
It seems it's morphed into a dirge
Though their wings still hang a crisp angel white in the sky.
Gliding, though again more slowly,
Before snatching a fish with ease;
Now it's mockery in their squawking. 

Continuing along,
Trudging through muddy waters,
I feel more akin to washed up wood
And the log floating on
Than to the swift fishermen
Across the river.
I sit and listen to their songs
Carried by the soft wind,
Encompassing the gull and my own fragile breath 
(A song of a son lost at sea and I can't find where to put my hands).
I taste their hope in the sand and the sun
And it oozes from my eyes.

Copyright © Matt Fergoda | Year Posted 2014

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Ashokan Farewell

The haunting strains of "Ashokan Farewell" keep racing thro' my brain.
'Tis a fitting requiem for those who bore the agonizing pain,
Of bidding a sad farewell at many a humble cabin door,
As young men were called to serve in the American Civil War.

Its poignant theme wafts as a gentle zephyr o'er the countless graves,
Of gallant men who faced Death's Scythe in unfaltering waves.
Men who wore either blue or gray and unselfishly gave their all,
Lie sleeping 'neath hallowed soil awaiting Gabriel's triumphant call.

Each time I hear those mournful chords played on the violin,
Tho' 'tis decades later, I feel melancholy for grieving next-of-kin,
And for their heroes left upon the field of strife, lonely, bereft, forlorn;
"Ashokan Farewell" is a sad lament for those who were left behind to mourn.

Every time I hear that tune, I'm reminded and left to wonder,
Why brothers tore this nation, this beacon of hope, asunder.
Thanks to one man's vision and unshakeable resolve,
A united and stronger nation would once again evolve.

Antietam, Bull Run, Manassas, Spotsylvania, Gettysburg,
Fort Sumpter, Shiloh and the formidable bluffs of Vicksburg;
O'er these now peaceful battlegrounds, once ravaged by shot and shell,
At eventide can be faintly heard, the solemn dirge of "Ashokan Farewell."

Robert L. Hinshaw, CMSgt, USAF, Retired
© All Rights Reserved

Honorable Mention in the November 2010 Poetry Soup International Poetry Contest

Copyright © Robert L. Hinshaw | Year Posted 2010