Men let waves of grief engulf them,
hold their breaths until they pass,
surface, and swim on.
Wallowing or drowning is not an option,
men don’t float like spume,
we’re savages raging against whitewash,
but we’re utterly fragile beneath it all,
asking ourselves forever if we’re enough.
What you don’t get to hear is the breaths we hold,
the heartbeats we waste,
the anxiety we covet,
we provide enough,
we love enough,
we see enough,
we do enough,
and if we are enough,
then it’s all worth it,
if we die before our anticipated time.
An ode to dad, who constantly gave of himself until his last breath!
There it is again,
unworthiness and loneliness,
those ever loyal friends.
There’s always the guarantee of silence;
underneath my eyelids,
hearing your sweaty palms ache for a touch,
the ongoing march of my heart,
the lies my mind conjures,
and especially when they all meet,
and truth acts like the reconciliatory scimitar,
and quells all the hurt.
There’s a heavy feeling of being hovered over.
Like an appointment is waiting and I don’t feel I’m ready for it.
There’s sadness brewing,
an overwhelming sense of helplessness,
for the first time in my life,
I’m anxious about death.
Like I’m short-changing myself, my children, my potential.
How does a three year old reconcile with losing a father when he’s ten, sixteen or thirty five?
Will his thirteen year old brother hold his hand, mend his mother’s heart, reassure his angry brother, force himself into a fortress of solitude, but a solace of rectitude?
Why should he have to endure such hardship,
why should his sister have to be given away by him and not me?
Why should he hover over his nine year old brother like a hawk, anticipating his next self loathing moment?
Why should he be forced to name his newborn after me, in memory of me, honouring a cultural tradition that prides itself on who can grieve the hardest.
As if keeping a name alive long enough demonstrates the grandest love.
What I do know is that once you lose someone to death,
they immortalise in waves of grief,
oft returning grief that crashes and dissipates,
yet washes like it was never there.
That’s why I’m addicted to the sea,
I drown in grief daily,
its salt is always on my lips,
always in my eyes.
I’m not sad,
this paralysis is the most interesting thing,
I apologise to myself more times than I care to remember,
the aches won’t fade,
but that’s how I find God.
folding for you is as easy as decomposing,
dying in winter as opposed to dying in summer,
folding linens because the last thing you want to leave
behind is more mundane work for anyone,
but a scent of you that lingers on a collar, even after
fabric softener has fought is war with the sun,
folding your hand, because you never seem to have the
right cards to win this game,
folding the last poem, the last stretch of prose you have,
fighting in a language you can’t express yourself in,
folding your arms, chasing warmth, as the breeze reminds
you and frightens you of cold that’s yet to come,
folding the earth over you,
so that we fold over you,
and they fold over you,
and all folds over you.
image source: http://www.madisonartery.com/buy-madison-art/single-autumn-leaf/
It will pass,
I keep telling myself,
but it is an ocean in a goblet,
the wine is sorrow, without vignette.
fine steel having it’s way with the meat of you,
until you become one with it,
and take to your own ruin.
It has no end,
when you are ridden with guilt,
ever the wallowing,
crying over the milk you’ve spilt.
You’re an air of musk and liver halves ,
a stench of decompose,
mould stained etchings on epitaphs,
just thorns, with no rose.
Autumn crisp and winds snappy bite,
crows gawk and stare,
grass blades, stones and sunken sites,
they make you self aware.
Feet that echo from earth to ears,
I feel swollen with heat and regret,
flame of guilt and acid tears,
this grief just will not let.
Gnashed cheek sidewall,
chewed lip flesh sprawl,
bloodied nose freefall,
oh grief, I’m in your thrawl.