Category Archives: death

If Only – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is Hosting Poetics with an iinvitation to write about Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief – this is my second poem in response and this one is about anger.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Small Change or Big Bucks

Photo: whoismargot at

“The fact is that when you admit that you can’t blame anyone or anything else, you begin to blame yourself.” Kate McGahan

If Only

why did you leave me in this living death 
with her, she all wrapped up in her needy 
ways and faux sorrow, her critical voices 
cutting my solace, taking my hours and 
swallowing my memories, throwing me
upon myself in a desolation of bones
and mocking my tears, I keep looking for 
you in my words and in the shadows of 
day, trying to pull you back, make everything
right again, especially her; if only I'd been 
there that day.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under awareness, death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote

Some Other Time? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting Poetics with an invitation to write a poem choosing one of the five stages of grief by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I have chosen denial.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Small Change or Big Bucks

Image: found at

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we are afraid.” Richard Bach

Some Other Time?

Let's not talk about it now,
perhaps I'll feel like it tomorrow,
but, wait, Adele wants to come for lunch,
perhaps we should invite James too, and
what about Liz and Barry, this is good, 
just like the old days, what do you think?

Did you get the call from Frank about
the painting, no, well I've been thinking about 
what we said about redecorating, maybe 
the soft blues and creams, or maybe not, 
how about you? You seem unsure, have
you changed your mind?

Fay wanted to know how I was, so thoughtful,
and I thanked her for the book, which I read,
of course, you know the one, so helpful, I think 
I'm doing well just keeping busy and not dwelling 
on the grief. I think I'll go back to work in a couple 
of days, I miss it. What? You're very quiet?

More wine, no, well just a little for me then, 
I do love this place, do you remember when, 
and the words freeze in my mouth, and suddenly 
the tears well up in my eyes, tears I have been 
holding back, beginning to flow like a winter 
creek across my memories.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under awareness, death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote

To Live – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Linda is hosting Poetics with an invitation to use a line (choice of eight lines) from a James Harrison poem as an epigraph.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Songs of Unreason

Image: Tumisu at

“I don’t know what happens after death but I’ll have to chance it.” from ‘Desert Snow” by Jim Harrison

To Live

So many the schemes of fall,
whose tentacles sliver and snare
the unwitting, hapless traveller 
looking for meaning, while 
insuring, forestalling, the one
dark door of mystery beyond 
all knowing, even of a simple 
kind, and whose edge dominates
even the philosopher's mind;
seeds fall and seasons process
down the hall of time, but I'll
not invest in any scheme,
the reveal can only be lived.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under awareness, death, Free Verse, life, Philosophy/Theology, poem, quote

Dancing – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: found on

“But still, like dust, I’ll rise.” Maya Angelou


The less used room full of stuff,
dry books and papers on a table,
curtains drawn even though it is
only afternoon and nowhere hot,
the sense that this room is always so
except for the chink where they meet.

There a shaft of piercing light
catches my eye, more for the
dancing dust on threads of sun
a nod to the surrender of life now
filling the scene before me, and I 
get to wondering, one day I too will
dance  on shafts of golden light.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under awareness, death, Free Verse, future, life, poem, quote

All The Souls Shall Stir – Haibun by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Frank is hosting Haibun with an invitation to write about something fear.

dVerse Poets – Haibun – Fear


“Samhain is a good time to celebrate the lives of all wise elders ….” Caitlin Matthews

All The Souls Shall Stir

The beady owl cries a deep hoo from the dry papered tree for the sake of the covered bones whispering below my feet, while mossy headstones pull me from my gait to their thrall. Iron spears line the way, rusted as bloody. Tentacles of ivy grab at my heels, as the witching hour creeps in when all the souls shall stir about me and merrily dance around my urgency. I pass by the gatekeeper's house and sense his gaze upon my back, not a candle to be seen. Along the shadowed road I see a hearse, its horses lathered in sweat, but as I turn and look again it has vanished along the icy breeze. If I run it will be too soon and give the game away. I close the door behind me. Tomorrow I shall walk the dead again, but not as tonight, tonight the past lives.

Autumn bares trees
cherry blossom memories
crane flies over me

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

Note: in Japanese culture it is said that the crane (Tsuru) is symbolic of longevity and good fortune.


Filed under death, Gothic, Haibun, Haiku, life

Just Following Orders – prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At Dverse Ingrid is hosting Prosery with an invitation to use a line from William Blake’s poem ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ – “If all do their duty, they need not fear harm.”

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Doing Our Duty

Public domain photo of Adolf Eichmann.

“Being evil is only something that only humans are capable of.” Jane Goodall

Just Following Orders

In 1960 an architect appeared in court in down town Jerusalem charged with crimes against humanity. He was the architect of the Holocaust, his defence was banal, he claimed immunity because he was only following orders.

Who never questions motive? Who believes they are perfect and above the law?And who never effects harm on others? But of those who excelled in following orders, no matter how perverted, Adolf Eichmann stands apart as intentionally evil, and more so because of his claim that he was just following orders. And, so, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm? really? Think slavery. Think Eichman, think Vietnam War, Think Derek Chauvin, think so many.

Our actions always affect others, and where there is evil the effect is always negative. Harm comes to those in the orbit of such people. Just listen to Holocaust survivors.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under awareness, death, history, injustice, justice, life, prose, quote, war

Ended – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash

“Suffering does not necessarily ennoble you.” Henry Louis Gates


When did we valorise the threshold of pain
creating heroes of suffering as if
bloodied carcasses were somehow a
thing of beauty and terminal bodies were
heavenly portraits of masochistic willpower,
a pulsating distorted erotica, but
when the cow lay beyond help out in the 
paddock, it was the vet who ended the 
worship with a liturgy of love.

Copyright 2021 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®


Filed under death, Free Verse, Ilness, injustice, life, poem, quote

Passing – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting poetics with an invitation to flip the meaning of a poem written by self or other, or to write a Diamanté form poem (seven lines) which flips the first word at the end. I have attempted a Diamante form.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Flipping Meanings

Photo: Geralt at

“Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better.” Ingrid Bergman


smooth, creamy
inviting, inciting, enfolding,
youthful, erotic, mature, parched
ageing, dwindling, passing
old, dry

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under challenge, death, Diamante, Free Verse, life, poem, quote

One Dog (Sasha) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: Sasha, our beloved and unforgettable Dalmatian (she died six years ago).

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” Orhan Pamuk

One Dog (Sasha)

We shared a language of love, none of it 
written, except deep in our being, and 
we knew our joys and disappointments, 
miscued expectations held in tension,
and those sad eyed looks accompanying 
disrupted routines, or the sense of betrayal
when visiting the vet; 
you hid from the thunder in out of way 
places and pined when we journeyed
without you, you pulled us on walks
and ran like a teen, even in your dotage,
you weathered the pain of ageing until
you lay down to rest;
but it's never just the stories or fun,
you are part of the family flesh a 
companion ever held in our circle of love.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under death, Elegy, Free Verse, grief, life, love, poem, quote

Thoughts On A Decomposition – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: found at – a dead kangaroo on the roadside.

“If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture – that is immortality enough for me.” Edward Abbey

Thoughts On A Decomposition

Still, as dead today,
hide glistening in the sun,
unmoved by summer's 
straight glare, no more to 
roam this land now laid on 
this roadside bier for all to 
mourn tomorrow, as the days 
are counted and flesh and 
blood decompose into the 
hungered soil where nothing 
is ever lost, even immortalised, 
in the great giving back.

©Paul Vincent Cannon


Filed under Country, death, Elegy, environment, Free Verse, life, nature, poem, quote