dead man’s lament

cemetery 3From darkness I came,
to darkness I went,
and wondered, inane,
how my days were spent.
As there in my grave,
in coffin so cool,
regret was a wave:
“Had I been a fool?”

My days had been good,
my days had been bad,
The life that I led,
was all that I had.
But what had I thought?
How far did I think?
Had I seen it not –
this critical kink?

See, money was mine,
and power and fame.
And all was a sign,
I’d much to acclaim!
And if I lacked love,
I wasn’t to blame.
That came from above,
was God’s little game!

But couldn’t I see?
Had I been so blind?
While I was still free,
I should have been kind!
For money is naught,
and power and fame –
in coffins they rot,
a meaningless aim!

And here it’s too late,
my dog days are done.
While I lie in state,
my riches are none.
For though life goes on,
away in the sun,
here I’m food for lawn,
my meaning undone!

From darkness I came,
to darkness I went,
and wondered the same,
what all of it’d meant.
For now all is still,
and I am forgot,
in death is no thrill,
just one waning spot.

For an audio recording of this poem, please click here:

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39 thoughts on “dead man’s lament

  1. How did I miss this? I have too much stuff popping up in my reader…

    Anywho, I like the darker feel of this one. “Food for lawn.” “Just one waning spot.” Nice imagery.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks, Vance. And you didn’t miss it. I think when I saved one draft I set it to say it was published on the 1st… That tells you how long I sometimes spend working on one poem… Came up with the first line for this one quite a while ago. Been playing around with it ever since. I *so* wanted to have it done several days ago!

      Glad you liked the imagery. This poem is far from perfect, but there are a few good lines. ;)

  2. Wow, Jess! You said it all. Nicely written, dark and grim, but thought provoking. Now is all we have. Tomorrow never comes.

  3. oldironhoss says:

    this is why I love you!

  4. brilliant poetry, really atmospheric. And true words.

  5. renxkyoko says:

    Excellent poem, Jessica, and I mean that. Wow, ” food for lawn ” ! !

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much! I can tell you mean what you say, and that means more than you know… And, yes, lol. Food for lawn… “Lawn” rhymed with “on” — I had to! :D

  6. “Food for lawn” was one well-thought expression. It gives one the creeps though! :)

  7. I thought of Edgar Allen Poe and a section of Samuel Clemens’ Stories from Earth, where he makes fun of men and women who crave going to heaven, where even those who didn’t sing on earth will be signing there… and they won’t just be singing until there is something better to do, but they will be singing perpetually. And I begin to feel for my heaven-bound friends. I think Maslow was smarter than God, who by the way Clemen’s describes is sitting there surrounded by his twelve. He’s got a smug look on his face moving his head from side-to-side, like the owner of a harem in a big fabric-flowing tent and the wine is being passed and the meat is being consumed.

    The poem is tight and evocative. I love the image. You are a great writer! And you always shift me.

    • Jessica says:

      Now I’m going to have to look up Clemens’ story… Thanks, Mario. I was raised believing that people essentially go to sleep after they die rather than going straight to heaven or hell — or whatever. And I guess, despite my huge questions about religion, I still hold to that idea… No matter where our souls go, we *do* know what happens to dead bodies…

      Your praise means more than you know. Thank you. I hope you’ve been well!

  8. Greg Urbano says:

    As a newcomer to your blog I enjoyed the fact that you have an audio version of the poem. That was a great way to experience your prose. Keep up the audio versions!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Greg! And thanks so much for stopping by! I started doing the audio versions a few months ago. I don’t only write poetry, but when I do, I think the audio version really helps. Glad you think so, too!

      Hope you’re having a great week! :) Jessica

  9. A wonderful poem/post Jess. Thank you! :-)

  10. MikeW says:

    Reality Acres Memorial Park. Yikes. Gives new meaning to the term “Memorial Park.” For some cannot rest for realizing their intended life’s work was left undone: Loving was left undone. What a soberly great message. And when one’s work yesterday is left undone with no bank financing it, how is tomorrow’s work to be done too? This requires a Bail Out…a Stimulus…a Resurrection, Receivership, and a settling of accounts in Love, not money. What a poem.

  11. dinkerson says:

    Outstanding poem! You are a fine poet.

  12. Dalo 2013 says:

    Wow, I like path you take in this poem ~ edgy and a bit introspective.
    The ending of “From darkness I came, to darkness I went, and wondered the same, what all of it’d meant.”

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, Randall. I thought of the first lines, “From darkenss I came, to darkness I went…” and from there I just knew I had to create a poem out of it… It seems to have worked out.

  13. gFlow says:

    Hey…have I told u that I never read poetry..? Like ever-ever! Yet this is the second one I find myself reading. The first one was also yours. …if i reach 3 i will be seriously concerned! :p

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you so much, George. I don’t read much poetry, either. But I do enjoy writing it! Hope you had a great Christmas and have a wonderful New Years. I look forward to continuing our friendship next year!

  14. A wonderful poem. :)

    Listening to your poems in your voice is so pleasing to the ear. :)

    Inspired by you I tried audio recording one of my poems. But, I sounded like Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. :(

  15. Angels, a? :)
    U see now – English might not be my native language, yet so far “half my life”, I’ve grown to use it. Still beauty I hear, knows no borders and speaks the same to those who will listen.
    Believe me – You Are Beautiful in o-some many ways!

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