Tag Archives: poems about dying

The Girl Who Dreamed The Drowning

Alone in wanton daydreams sits
A maid so fair and clever,
Alone she walks, alone she dreams,
Her visions fading never.
Too young to live, too old to die,
There’s no discrimination,
For all’s foretold, in heartless truth,
Borne with determination.
This poisoned gift, this precious curse,
Is not a gentle guest,
But eats away her fractured heart
And tears her tender breast.

Beneath a canopy of leaves
Her lover sits a-writing,
The day grows warm, impending storm,
The water so inviting.
She sees the lake, she feels the heat,
The water so inviting,
She sees her lover’s letters home
But cannot read the writing.

A sudden breeze disturbs a nest,
The sky all darkened flutter,
The writer pauses, pen in hand,
To hear the cries they utter.
The young man lays his papers down,
To cool his burning skin,
The writer is a swimmer now,
The vision growing thin.
A wayward bird, blown from the West,
Hops boldly to the water,
And hoarsely cries his warning wise
‘Beware the gypsy’s daughter!’
And at the water’s edge, the swimmer
Gazes skyward, frowning.
‘Beware’ the darkling Raven calls,
‘The girl who dreamed the drowning.’

Dead Woman’s Knitting

The neighbour said

In a brief moment of empathy:

‘The shoes are the worst.

They lit a bonfire when my mother died

They threw her slippers on the pyre

And I cried.’

Two weeks later

Stir-crazy amid non-stop rain

I stand, unravelling a dead woman’s knitting

Waste not, want not

Salvaging every scrap to make it my own

My mother’s toil

Rescued from the fire

Re-wound, recreated, renewed,

Added to my palette of colours

A woollen nest of memories

For the needles’ rebirthing.

A Change in the Weather

A trio of swans

Criss-cross the canal,

Their beating wings

Dopplering their way across the moor

Heralding a change in the weather.

I need to be in the open air

To bend like the withies

With this season’s passing.

Nothing stays the same,

And this long while is at an end.

I turn, and fix my gaze on the bend in the road

And I know it is time to go.

Ninety-two Christmas Trees

I want to live long enough to forget your name.

To smile, simply, to say ‘I know you, don’t I?’

To hold your hand without quite knowing why,

To take a gentle walk down a distant memory lane,

And be home by lunchtime.

How I want the short straw of growing old;

Ninety-two Christmas trees and cards on Mothers Day.

I want you, all grey and wrinkles, crows-feet and arthritis

In the chair next to mine.

I want to fade, gently, you alongside,

With lilies, iris and lanterns

To light my way.