Category Archives: grief

She Walked Lightly – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse De is hosting poetics with an invitation to write laundry poems.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Put Your Words On Spin Cycle

Photo: http://www.thespruce.com

“Abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.” Victor Frankl

She Walked Lightly

Slowly she emptied the white enamel 
reliquary of all that was his and, like a 
crow, she picked over the bones of his
cottoned life, stored memories lodged
deep in her body, the dissonance of
happiness and sadness washing over
her in one slow wave as the sun 
warmed and opened her to feelings
held tightly in her chest, now aired,
set free, at last she walked lightly 
back to the verandah for the first 
time since that day when everything 
closed in and nothing seemed normal.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, relationship

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

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

For What? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Sarah is hosting Poetics with an invitation to share a poem that has called to us, affected us in some way, positively or otherwise, and to write a poem in response. dVerse Poets – Poetics – A Conversation

Photo: Ben Kerckx, pixabay.com

I have chosen Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ and riffed on that a little. I despise war and I see it as a failure of humanity to sit down together. Wilfred Owen fought in the British army in WW1 and died at the age of 25 in 1918 one week before war’s end. For a detailed biography see The Wilfred Owen Association

Anthem For Doomed Youth     by Wilfred Owen

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- only monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

“Men make war to get attention. All killing is an expression of self-hate.” Alice Walker

For What?

Passion flowered blue in the fields of sheets
set for their love of each other and,
soon enough, their fruit was ripe for picking,
the suckling ripped from breast to trench,
unprotected by the hollow words of those
faceless ones who send anyone but themselves,
valorised by suited cowards and coercive saints,
left alone in mud, and cold, diseased;
grief flowered red in the fields of France,
as life bled out for the shame of piety
voiced in cathedrals of death.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

37 Comments

Filed under death, Free Verse, grief, history, life, poem, quote, war

Even In This Fierce Place – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: Old Southbourne Farm, Bakers Hill

“When the wind blows the grass bends.” Confucius

Even In this Fierce Place 

I love the way the wind brushes the dry grass,
and when I tread its tired winter youth
it crackles like a fire, sending shards into the air,
and not to wanting to be forgotten, it gifts me
with burs and seeds to adorn my socks at once
firmly attached for immortality, that cycle of
life where it dies, yet it lives again, even in 
this fierce place of parched soil, and I take
heart that shall rise again like a phoenix
from the ash of this desiccated season.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

18 Comments

Filed under bush walking, Country, Farm, Free Verse, grief, life, nature, poem, quote

2020 – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: izismile.com

“It’s been the worst day since yesterday.” Flogging Molly (Song: ‘It’s been the Worst Day’)

As I write and reflect I feel the weight of 2020 differently to other years – Paul

2020

This hard year offered her slender mean hand,
in a moment of my dystopic moodiness
I took her brittle bones and together we
wandered to the very edge of my sanity.

In a moment of my dystopic moodiness
the vast ancient well-spring of grief opened wide,
wandered to the very edge of my sanity,
only bitter herbs assuaged her dark love.

The vast ancient well-spring of grief opened wide,
her obsequies ever solemnised with rites of sorrow,
only bitter herbs assuaged her dark love
gleaned by the threshing floor.

Her obsequies ever solemnised with rites of sorrow,
I took her brittle bones and together we
gleaned by the threshing floor,
this hard year offered her slender mean hand.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

41 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, grief, life, Pantoum, poem, quote

Held – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

At dVerse Mish is hosting Poetics and has invited us to write about eyes.

dVerse Poets – Poetics – Look Into My Eyes

Photo: pexels.com

“Tears are the silent language of grief.” Voltaire

Held

I offered a word of unction as
soothe in the hard litany of life's
steal of breath that you held in
that moment of discordant caverns
and clawed violins as the world 
slipped over its own edge,
and your eyes declared a pulsing
reach of heart that awakened
in a welling of bearing held
between us in a knowing,
sharing, through solitary to a
lifting connect, diminishing the
awful theft of happiness, 
a restorative without need of 
voice, just deep eye-felt
conversation.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

22 Comments

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

Her Scarf – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Smell

Photo: shutterstock.com

“The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” Pierre August Renoir

Her Scarf

He heard nothing,
not the car doors or
murmurs of the gathered,
or the city swirling past,
how could he when this
day had come in spite
of his standing hard fast
against it as folly in a 
paper boat in a wild 
and raging sea,
his sail her scarf, an
amulet of what had been,
it was enough,
just the smell of her
would help him through
this darkened hour
that spoke of endings,
he felt her smile and 
sailed forth as 
the priest intoned not
knowing that the horizon
was not an edge.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

32 Comments

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

To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: George Floyd – New York Times

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night where we post a poem of our own choice. My choice has been influenced by the poems Grace posted as a reflection on the protests and Floyd’s death. So, I’m reblogging an earlier OLN poem about George Floyd that I wrote in the moment of grief having watched the video of his murder. Still can’t get it out of my mind, can’t erase the anger I feel of the injustice to him, and sadly, for so many.

"I can't breathe." George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
he was guilty without sin, 
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie, and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

42 Comments

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

Final Caw – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Corvid – 2020 Weekly Challenge #12

Photo: pixabay.com

“In many traditions, crows are messengers and close attention is paid to their actions.” Robert Moss

Final Caw

Alienated
in this swampland feel
of grey desolation days
with splintered signposts,
where the undertaker 
rests atop with beady eyes
as the emptiness of the
hearse of life rolls on by,
waiting for your final caw
signalling the final door.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

37 Comments

Filed under Country, death, Economics, Free Verse, grief, life, nature, poem, quote

To Breathe (George Floyd) – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

https://dversepoets.com/2020/05/28/openlinknight267/

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night, the night we choose a poem of our own to post.

Photo: New York Times


“I Can’t Breathe” George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
we was guilty, without sin,
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

I struggle with this, I wept for this man, for us, for life!

Paul, pvcann.com

98 Comments

Filed under death, Elegy, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Restorative Justice, Uncategorized