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On Learning of Your Death

I cried
initially
I wept
for you
and for those of us
left
here
reeling

and now
I have an
overwhelming need
to write
this poem.

I choose
to celebrate
Life.
Your life.
The handle bar moustache
and the alsatian,
Slopey, who would
always give one paw,
then the other one
whenever you asked.

I choose to celebrate
the ashtrays
and the alcohol,
the grumpy facade
which hid
a warm heart.
The twinkle
in your eye,
which you had begun
to lose.

I choose to celebrate
morning papers and crosswords,
Bacon and eggs,
Countdown
Who wants to be a millionaire
Deal or no Deal
and that bizarre
sci-fi version of Alice
we watched last Christmas.

That same Christmas
you taught my eldest daughter
how to play poker
on the computer
then teased and
smiling, told fibs
to my youngest.
I knew you
loved them
as you do me.

I choose to celebrate
the part of you
that always knew
Love
is all there is,
perhaps,
that's why
you did it.

I take comfort
that your soul
was ready to go
to the embrace of the Beloved
and in the words of
my four year old,
You're not breathing
but you're still
loving.

I choose to celebrate
You,
UJ
and the love
you have
returned to.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
I wrote this poem a few hours after learning my Uncle John (UJ) had taken his own life, it was a wonderful way to begin processing and embracing my feelings and to remember him. MY poetry has always felt a liitle like therapy lol :) I have tweaked and added to this poem (it was printed on the order of service for the service of thanksgiving for his life) but I am interested to know how it is recieved by others who are not directly related to me or this situation.... is it a good poem... much love xxx
Editing stage: 

Comments

were deeply touched and impressed. It is a fine character portrait but remains too personal to escalate to the realm of a good poem, in my opinion.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

that's what I thought... thank you Jess xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

imho the form detracts from the emotion
i think it would have more impact if you made the lines longer...
just me beki

eg"
I cried
initially I wept for you
and for those of us
left here reeling

and now
I have an overwhelming need
to write this poem...'

brings me, at least, into more of an area of empathy
- i'm not sure why, but i think it has something to do with ordinary speech - and having the reader feel you are speaking to him/her rather than obviously trying to make it poetry....

other than that - i found this to be a lovely write that i could very much relate to

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

Thank you Judy, I can sort of see what you mean about the line length, I didn't make them short to 'make it poetry' it was more about presenting it the way I heard it in my head.. if that makes sense? love to you xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

The love shows, the feelings are there, the life is there.
Yet as you say that love is now held in memory.
The Spirit world has gained another Angel.
UJ is close to you and will be so always,
There was great sorrow, that he didn't show the world,
but great Joy when he was with you.
Spirit is but a thought away, Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

Thank you Ian, you are so right, but a thought away. Love to you xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

I am sure you will take the positives from the comments made before me.,,it will certainly give it more candence and make it more effective...i can make out that this poem could have just erupted out of you in the most tender emotional moments ..therefore even in its present form it does express your feelings and emotions very well...i could feel them...

raj (sublime_ocean)

Thank you raj, good to know the feeling comes across to those who might not have known him. and you're right this poem did erupt out of me, as so many of them do, love to you xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

When we try to box up emotion to rhyme to fit into the rubric poetry. We loose some of the emotive aspect we ought to share. But in my opinion it leaves me wondering why did he take his own life. Did he not know that was a move that would create sorrow? Even if he wills a lot to his loved ones,he lives sadness all the same. Am i sounding nosy? Dont mind me in Africa we rarely hear of suicide,or runaway fathers. Even when economy is bad. If i say they dont take their lives or do a disappearing act. It dont mean they hang around to care. Nah! They just stop been responsible. So i rambled. I like the description handle bar moustach!

You don't sound nosey :) my uncle suffered with COPD after years as a heavy smoker and I believe he could see no future apart from extreme dependence on others, he was a very independant person. He knew it would cause sorrow but it was his life to take I guess, we've come to some acceptance now. thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I like your rambling, much love xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

Big hugs, Beki. I seldom cry when reading poetry. This one did it. Love always makes me weep.

~A

Hugs gratefully recieved :) I'm moved that this moved you Anna, it's all love and it makes me weep too. HUgs back xxx

'God turns you from one feeling to another
and teaches by means of opposites,
so that you will have two wings to fly,
not one.' (...Rumi)

author comment

I might know a bit about poetry but I'm terribly fallible.

Clearly many people connected directly with this poem and were deeply affected. So it is good poetry.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

Maybe this is where free verse is at its best as the picture painted by the words convey the true feelings of a person that clearly loves another, it is a love of Souls that happens in families and I think that you are aware of this.
They cannot teach these emotions in forms of poetry, other than free verse as they in their being have to be free.
Thank you for coming back and saying those words, Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

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