Thursday, 20 November 2014


He has screamed
at my touch for days now,
tis as if this Rose, his Rose
has become his crown of thorns
my love his exquisite agony.

I remember once
he threw me o’er his back
(I greenstick then)
and missed his aim,
and I ungrasped
in his huge navvy hands
tumbled headlong to the earth. 
(He cried then, the same tears
I am crying now.)

He is calcified,
as old on the hills
on once which he trod. 
He is broken, does not,
cannot bend with whispering
or even the wildest wind. 
(His cheeks puff out with every breath;
breath fights egress
through his flaccid whitened lips. 
(Sometimes he just stops
and I just wish he would not start again.))

Lips lips lips. 
With painted eyes and lips
redder than the reddest Rose,
I made my debut into womanhood,
and he, he exploded     mechanical
and called me whore,
but he was evil then,
boozed up with beer,
his cheeks redder than my painted lips. 
(I cried then the tears I am crying now.)

His back is not broken but his legs will not work. 
(God’s retribution, mother says. 
(Her eyes oft painted black by drunken fists.)) 
He is timorous now like the smallest mouse,
laying there waiting for his god to whisk him up
to a heaven he hopes (to God) exists.

Despite his flaying fists, I hope it does,
for him I hope it does.
He was the morning of my life,
the afternoon, and now I, his night. 
I love him, have always loved him,
yet I touch him, afraid and happy
as he winces…screams in pain…

And I cry now –
but do I cry for him or cry for me?

Roses die don’t they? 
I am the Rose between his teeth.

Anna :o]

Heavens, how in the past few weeks I have attempted to respond to prompts – but there has been nothing there, my mind completely empty.

This afternoon I read Björn’s post, to learn he to be the host on tonight’s dVerse – and the theme that of defamiliarisation.  So I researched it and came up with the above offering.  I am not certain it fits the bill – but will offer it anyway.

Thanks Björn’ for igniting the grey matter.

I must state that the inspiration came from the thoughts of a friend – whose father is in the process of dying.  My friend is of the catholic faith – as is my handsome one.  My friend is finding it very hard to come to terms that ‘his God’ is allowing his father to die in agony.

I must also add that my friend’s father is not an alcoholic and that the offered words are a compilation of stories told to me, told to me by folks dealing with death or imminent death of those they love.  And there is a bit in there about the death of my father too.

Image:  courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Kate Mia said...

i liked this very much and it reminded me of many stories and realities of death in my life as well..

And most of all it reminds me of the old saying be careful of how we treat ones on the way up..

as often they WILL be the one's who treat us on the way down...

if we are that be treated at all....:)

Gabriella said...

Very powerful poem, Anna. I like how you expressed the pain, the hurt and the questions throughout your piece. "And I cry now – but do I cry for him or cry for me? " - Maybe for both.

Mary said...

Anna, this is a strong write. You have given us the face of dying, something we will all face one way or another in our life. And your poem, I am sure, brings tears to the surface for many of us.

Claudia said...

a lot of emotions in this one.. .my father was drinking so... i like how you work the metaphor with the wind here... and good to see you Anna!!

Björn Rudberg said...

I this works most excellent. The way you describes you describe him without saying what had happened made me see him all the more clearly. The black around the eyes etc. Excellent example in my view.. And you have proven the point.

vivinfrance said...

Your poem sent me off to chilling memories and fears. But the writing of it is another matter: a great achievement, especially after your inspiration famine.

Sabio Lantz said...

Well done.
I read your explanation first - which really helped.
A compilation of fathers, of losses, of loves.
I really enjoyed it.

Marina Sofia said...

Set off a lot of thoughts and emotions, before I read your explanation...

kaykuala said...

This holds true of life when it deserves the care at its end of the road.It may invoke a morbid feel, sympathy, loss or even regret. But it is still good to be involved. Great lines Anna!


Anonymous said...

Strong and poignant write Anna.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Damn, lady, this one has been in the oven, in the girders of the brain pan, baking, stewing, percolating, and WHAM it tears through our apathy like a fire heated knife tip; wow, what a piece of work. It is emotionally powerful, & even more so once we realize this was not your story, but another's.

rosaria williams said...

A lot of images, building up scenes of how the relationship grew and died, while the person's body is still there and the memory of it all is ambivalent. Not easy to pull off. Brava.

Beachanny said...

Heart achingly beautiful. Truth wrapped in roses and thorns - the sweet, the tortuous wind through each line full of life coming to bloom and going to seed. It is the nature of living and you capture its essence complete here. Wonderful.

vbholmes said...

"I love him, have always loved him, yet I touch him, afraid and happy as he winces…screams in pain…"
This sums up the dichotomy of the narrator's feelings for her father as he lies dying(love,fear, sympathy and a touch of retribution). Very powerful.

Susan said...

OWooOOOO! I read the death of a force, of a god. of the Father, of a father and the most moving lines for me: " He was the morning of my life, the afternoon, and now I, his night. I love him, have always loved him, yet I touch him, afraid and happy as he winces…screams in pain…
And I cry now – but do I cry for him or cry for me?"

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Anna this is incredible. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a beautiful Monday. I hope you have a beautiful Monday!

Manzanita said...

I thought I was beyond tears but yesterday and today proved me wrong.
I saw the movie Saint Vincents yesterday and both my daughter and I were wiping our eyes, perhaps not wanting the other to see.
Just now, when I read your powerful poem, I had tears. Thank you

Jenny Woolf said...

Anna, this is so painful. But you are a wonderful poet.