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Friday, February 26, 2010

More Death Poetry

          We've been on the subject of graveyards and death over the past couple of Fridays so I thought we'd continue along that thematic line.  After all, death is easily linked to mystery, dream-life, and the unknown.  Fiction and poetry often deal with themes of death.  The thought of death more than likely passes through our thoughts on a daily basis.

           I recall staying at a  motel back in the summer of 1976 in Sturgis, Michigan.  At the time I was on tour with the Ken Griffin Magic Show.  We were one of the myriad magic presentations appearing at the Abbott's Magic Get Together, a giant world reknown four day gathering of magicians sponsored each year in Colon, Michigan by Abbott's Magic Company.  If my memory serves me correctly, next to the motel where we were staying was a large cemetery.  My attention was almost immediately drawn by some very realistic life size concrete trees that apparently served as grave markers.  I had never seen concrete tree grave markers like these before and have not seen any since.  Have any of you readers seen markers like these?

         After thinking about cemeteries last week that tree marker memory come back to me and I was further drawn to a forgotten poem I had composed sometime in 1968.  Curious about my old writings, I had been  going through old boxes of notebooks and papers and began digging out many old songs, poems, short stories, and other writings from high school and college.  I may continue to share some of these findings in the future, but today I present to a poem about death.

                                          UNTITLED (1968)                                         

                                   Look at the leaves
                                    Blowing helplessly in the wind.
                                  Somebody help them;
                                    They cannot help themselves.

                                  Look at me;
                                   I blow helplessly through time.
                                  Give me your hand
                                   For I cannot stand
                                   The elements of life alone.
                                    I need to love
                                      And be loved alike
                                     For man cannot live on life alone.

                                     And when I die
                                     Don't let life stop.
                                    Be like the trees
                                     When in the fall
                                   They lose their leaves,
                                   Only to grow anew.

                                      The dead leaves still blow
                                     Away, away.
                                      Watch them go,
                                       They cannot stay.

      I must have been in an interesting state of mind back then-- kind of somber don't you think?  Are you happier as an adult than you were as a teenager?   As you grow older, do you tend to feel happier, more content, less worried about things?   Do you believe in death as part of a process of renewal?


  1. I loved the poem very expressive and your message coming over .
    However as I've got older I have suddenly realised death comes to us all sooner or later, in my case I have a fear of the word death, I can't help it, I suppose it's seeing realtions and dear friends pass away in recent years and in some ways it's frightening.

    Have a lovely week-end

  2. Wonderful poem, Lee! And no, I've never seen stone tree grave markers.

    I am definitely happier now than as a teen or child. By far! I think when we are young, most people tend to dwell on darker stuff. As we grow older, we lose some of that - kinda like how an angsty metal band loses their angry edge as they age.

    And since I believe in 'born twice - die once,' I do view death as a renewal!

  3. What a beautiful Poem!
    I think as an adult, I'm just more aware of my feelings and more rational about them. As a kid/teenager, I thought my feelings were so intense and if something bad happened, it seemed like the end of the world. If I was "in love", I thought this was the person I was destined to marry (we usually would be broken up by lunch time).

    I love where I'm at now. Makes me wonder how great it will be 10 or 20 years from now!

    Thanks for doing Flashback Friday!

  4. Yvonne -- I guess the thing about death that frightens me most is not finishing or accomplishing all of the things I've wanted to in my life. Also, the manner of death is a concern-- I would not want to suffer or go thru any uncomfortable end.

    L. Diane -- Thank you. I like your comparison to the metal band losing their edge-- so true. I think about The Who performing at the SuperBowl halftime show. They were once so radical, wild, and singing about "My Generation". They were kind of ironic to watch now.

    Texan Mama -- Thanks. Aging is hopefully accompanied by a process of learning and acceptance. Time marches on and we might as well keep in step and enjoy the parade.

  5. `
    Hey, I genuinely liked the poem, rLEE-b.

    This line was particularly great:
    "For man cannot live on life alone."

    >>[Are you happier as an adult than you were as a teenager?]<<


    >>[As you grow older, do you tend to feel happier...]<<

    Hell NO!

    >>[more content...]<<

    Actually, probably yes. Less happy but more content.

    >>[less worried about things?]<<

    I worry about our country and about future generations, but honestly, I rarely worry about myself. I'm in The Good Shepherd's Good Hands.

    >>[Do you believe in death as part of a process of renewal?]<<

    Some nights, I come home from work so tired that I even momentarily consider crawling under the covers without even brushing my teeth (I never follow through on that idea though).

    Oh, and then that wonderful feeling of slipping under the blankets, feeling that warmth surround me, laying my head down on that soft pillow and noticing my mind start to slip off into LaLaLand.

    The next thing I know, it's morning and I feel alert and refreshed.

    I think death is the same thing only on a much grander scale.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  6. I had a blogger write me dark haiku once ...

    The gray snakes inside
    I vomit loss on white tile
    It all turns to worms

    That was a first. Have a great weekend.

    Stephen Tremp

  7. Stephen McC -- Thanks for words of appreciation. Now is what you feel contentment or resignation? I might be tempted to call you the cynic, but maybe you're just being the realist. In any case I like the imagery of sleeping for a while and then waking refreshed.

    Stephen T. -- I don't know --- more than dark, that haiku is kind of gross and disgusting. Not something to recite around the dinner table. You have a great weekend as well and thanks for sharing -- I think.

  8. Excellent your blog, congratulations!

    Thank you for being together. You are worth gold, and this special moment, has a gift for you on our blog. I hope you enjoy.



  9. I enjoyed the poem Lee, thank you for sharing!

    I'm so thankful that I've matured in the last five years, God has done marvelous works in my life.

    Looking at this life as temporary, Death loses it's sting. My eternal home awaits, and there is no fear in that.

  10. Hm, questions...I was NOT a happy teenager, even though I had much to be happy about. My happiest days were my mid-twenties. Having kids makes me happy. Most days ;) As one who lost brother entirely too young, I believe death brings your loved one to a better place. Where that is, I'm not sure - but if I didn't believe it I'd be very bitter.

  11. Raquel -- Thank you and congratulations to you.

    Tamika --Appreciate you sharing your insight. Tomorrow I will have something for you on my site so please check back.

    MommaKiss -- Thanks for stopping by. Losing someone who is young is a tough one to understand. I guess we'll know the answers some day.

  12. >>[Now is what you feel contentment or resignation? I might be tempted to call you the cynic, but maybe you're just being the realist.]<<

    Hmmm... Now that's a fine question, Brother Lee.

    Yes, I am a realist. I'm also a cynic. And I think maybe I'm just content to be resigned.

    But my sense of humor washes over all of it and makes me tolerable to myself. ...Barely.

    ~ "Lonesome Dogg" McMe

  13. It's interesting to think of death as renewal--definitely an intriguing approach to it, when it's something so very final. But I like this idea. What is winter if not a time just before spring? or me, death is a type of birth--that of eternal life, so I think in that sense, it is renewal.

    I'm definitely happier now than when I was a teenager. I wonder if this holds true for all, though?

    Lovely poem. Certainly somber, but it strikes a chord.

    BTW, now a follower ;)

  14. Wow, your poem was wonderful. It painted a different sight of death for me, a less fearful sight. I have a fear of death and have always been this way.

  15. I like!

    And I don't want to talk about growing older. OK??? :)

  16. Carolina -- thank you for visiting and becoming a follower. I am following your blog as well.

    Cheryl -- Thank you

    Teresa ---Thanks and who's getting older? Not you certainly.


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