Category Archives: grief

I Am A Thousand Winds That Blow – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

“True courage is like a kite; a contrary wind raises it higher.” John Petit-Senn

For this poem I took a line from Mary Frye’s ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.’ to riff with, mainly because it is a poem that I wrestle with, I experience Frye’s poem as wistful and I wanted to write a poem that expresses the reality of death but also honours the sense of spirit, of afterlife.

The line I have taken is “I am a thousand winds that blow.”

I Am A Thousand Winds That Blow

I am here and I am there,
in life, in death, 
I am everywhere,
I'm in the ground,
I'm in the urn,
in my bed I twist and turn.

I cannot deny that I am alive,
always buzzing I love to thrive
I cannot deny that I did die,
so mourn away and light the fire.

As the ash floats on the air,
don't embellish with too much flair,
let me go where I must go,
I am a thousand winds that blow.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 

The original poem is below

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep     by Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there.
I did not die.

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When Water Dies – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Sarah is hosting Poetics with an invitation to write about one of the four elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Wind. I chose water.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – The Four Elements

Photo: Taken the day after a winter storm at Cape Leeuwin.

“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was no just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual becoming.” Hermann Hesse

When Water Dies

The swash and slap of the limpid roll
for languid lolling in a temperate zone,
as flounder flap and take the bait
now unaccustomed to the oaken creak,
a gift from the depths suppered for two,
I recall the taste of salted lips that
burned even as I licked them so,
the smells are joy though my nostrils flare,
and I catch your weeds of no compare,
and my line is tangled, but without you 
I cannot bear the grief of dryness
that your death will bring,
and so I cup my hands that I may
drink one more draught of your 
wet love.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 

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Accepting The Tears – Prosery by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Sarah is hosting Prosery (144 words of prose) with an invitation to use a line from a poem by Michael Donaghy called ‘Liverpool.’

The line offered is: “she’d had it sliced away leaving a scar.”

dVerse Poets – Prosery – Slices and Scars

Photo: gharpedia.com A tree wound healing.

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Rumi

Accepting The Tears

Unnerving she thought, when we realise how parallels weave their way through our lives. Here among her trees she was confronted with last autumn's pruning. The liquid amber had suffered in the winds and one of its beautifully shaped branches had split and she'd had it sliced away leaving a scar where the limb had once protruded. She hadn't connected it before, but at the same time her father had died. Only now she sensed that she had a scar of grief about her, the tears welled as she remembered the pain she'd excised. She touched the healed callus fibres and felt the ridge where the cut had been, noticing the feelings in herself. The tree was making good progress. Not that she wasn't, but she felt the rawness of the premature cut, maybe now was the time to feel, to finally accept the tears.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 

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Gathered At The Tum – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: foodandwine.com

“Embrace your grief. For there, your soul will grow.” Carl Jung

Gathered At The Tum

The Tum Tum Tree sat squat in the mall,
was a fat little thing
exuding a vite to be in,
some people you love,
some people you don't,
we gathered to graze it together,
three couples with mum and dad,
his fists weren't friendly but his heart was love
though eventually that gave out too,
he knew his time and lived it through,
we cleared a path for his whole fish platter,
the smell of it hit the table wide,
eagerly he wiped it out with such deft strokes,
oblivious to the passing of time
or the colour of the moving street,
a beat that made me yearn for Dylan's
wit and Jones, but no need,
sun radiated in that room,
our joy written in spice and fish,
an indelible fragment for fading minds.

Soon my father and two marriages will go,
and, in a mark of respect,
the Tum Tum Tree too,
there's no going back,
joy need not grieve though
mixed feelings wrangle me hard.

I thought it, I never said it loud,
dad I love your appetite for life.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®️ 

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The Pain – Prose by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Lisa is hosting Prosery (144 words) with an invitation to respond to a line from a poem ‘Notes On Uvalde’ from Girl Du Jour. To read that full poem follow the link below. The line offered is “These are the things they don’t tell us”

dVerse Poets – Prosery – How Many More Will It Take?

Photo: http://www.gettyimages.com (found on Bing) High school students in the US protesting gun violence.

“This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the world. It doesn’t solve any problems.” Martin Luther King Jr

The Pain

I grew up torn by love, when the world was bruised by war and violence I was in pain, and I still am. When people are marginalised, hated and discriminated against I hurt too. Sometimes my anger boils in frustration. Why? Why can’t women determine their bodies? Who decides someones sexuality? Why Poverty? Why war? Why guns? Grief can be overwhelming even when it is vicarious. But we’re all in it together, it affects all.

The real pain of it all is the pain that comes from love, compassion and empathy. The alternative is to stoop into that gutter I am calling out. There is a cost to positive, non-violent action, to standing with the underdog, to protest, to speak out. Sometimes the cost is loneliness, sometimes it is wrangling with the impotence to effect change. These are the things they don’t tell us.

Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon

All Rights Reserved ®️

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Filed under awareness, grief, injustice, life, politics, poverty, prose, protest, quote, Racism, war

The Theocrats Are Here – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: C-Span Local, state and federal elected (republican) officials of Texas. Beto O’Rourke confronts this lot over their failure to prevent the shooting.

“There’s something rotten in the state of America” could be a line from a modern Shakespeare.

“Theocracy is the worst of all governments.” C.S. Lewis

The Theocrats Are Here

There's a sickness in the land,
the gods of vengeance masquerade
as righteous lovers of goodness,
but their wolfish snouts peek out
from beneath their sheepish skins
for all to see, though sadly, too late
for reversals, now judgements scour
the land as to who owns women's 
bodies, the divinity of children, 
the evil of colour that is not white,
where you park a penis (even never), 
whether to murder in the name of 
justice - electric, gas or juice, 
there's a sickness in the land,
there's no rash or temperature,
it's a handgun and an AR-15.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

Note: C.S. Lewis’ quote goes on to say (profoundly) that “If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.”

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Unpacking – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: congerdesign at pixabay.com

“Memories are contrary things; if you quit chasing them and turn your back, they often return on their own.” Stephen King

Unpacking

Unpacking an old box of memories,
sifting yellowed papers, dusty cards,
a folder of old letters and clippings
rediscovered, once kept as keepsakes,
reminders of people and events to be
remembered, the newspaper clipping 
of my father as a young athlete
piercing my balance, bringing an 
unexpected unpacking of emotion.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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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 pixabay.com

“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,
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 ®

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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 lifehacker.com

“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 ®

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Time Box – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins.” T.S. Eliot

Time Box

I don't know why I chose that box,
perhaps it quietly called me to an
opening as a siren calls to ships,
I slit the tape and pulled the flaps 
apart, so beginning an archeology,
unearthing and sifting the dry bones 
of meaning, curating the feelings of 
connection, wondering why parts
of a life were so important, might their
preservation be a holding of immortality,
a hope of transcendence; as I leafed 
yellowed pages and held incongruent 
objects I was flooded with a sense 
that all experiences come to an end,
and boxes of memoria are simply 
eulogies of grief for the passage
remembered.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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