Dying

hollow eyes lay lifeless in the dust

twisted, open mouthed,

he breathes in the rocky air

pleas unheard, as the oxygen

rusts away the lines that

came with living

alone

we

all

die

as

one

and walk away without turning back

survival decrees it

or insanity would follow

in the refrain of grief

***

This poem was written for the photo prompt provided over at Magpie Tales #81

For other interpretations of this prompt head on over and check out the other entries.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

52 thoughts on “Dying”

  1. something about the cycle of life and how ruthless it is, and i really like the afterthought — and it’s not really an afterthought — that is might be the most humane. derrick jensen wrote about something similar in a ‘language older than words.’

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    1. Depressing – wow – that’s not what I was going for. Sorry you thought it was that. It was more about acceptance of the inevitable, meeting it, moving on from it. Thanks for the visit – maybe next time I might make you feel cheerier. 🙂

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    1. Awwwwww Cap’n – thank you so much for that comment. It takes the chill off this trainee pirate’s heart to see those words from you. Almost as much as a tot of the dark liquid does. 🙂

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        1. Awwwwwwwww – a blessing dat is to me, yon Pirate leader. To celebrate – a video of another fascinating Pirate Captain.

          I know – I know – I put it up on your blog already.
          But I like it so much I wanted to pilfer it for meself…
          Can’t stop singing ‘why is the rum gone’

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  2. I like the line, survival decrees it, or insanity would follow. It honest and forthright. I also like the lines, “you burned all the food?..and the rum?!”

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  3. Jo, that is so true, it would drive us absolutely insane if we couldn’t walk away from the thing you just put so elegantly…… Your friend Pat made the remark that this is a difficult issue to write about. I agree. I’ve been pondering the last couple of days of writing about the death of a small girl that affected me many years ago, and sleeping on it doesn’t seem to be working. When does a poet feel certain that his words can do justice to the death of a lovely young girl? Anyway, you and I have a certain kinship of sorts as my mother was born and raised in Melbourne until 1945, when she met and married my American father….. I’m wondering if you might take a moment to read “Mrs. Russell” at the following location. It has nothing to do with you and I, but it was inspired in part by my mum, who is the single Australian in this world that I have loved more dearly than anyone else…… I would be honored to know what you think of it….. http://johnallenrichter.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/mrs-russell/

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    1. Hi John, lovely to meet you. I would be honoured to read your piece. Can anything ever be written to do justice to someone who has not had the chance to experience all that life can, yet sometimes withholds from us, offer. i doubt it. All we can do is try to express how we feel about such events and hope that some of those words strike a chord with others, and perhaps allows us to vent the sadnes, the frustration, we feel at life and our losses. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  4. Love the last line “in the refrain of grief” ~ it concludes the poem well yet also open-ended enough to cause me to ponder. Very touching! Also, how some lines contained only one word emphasizes them beautifully having a very powerful effect. It’s not an easy poem to read without images of my own personal grief entering in my mind but that is what makes it amazing. Nicely done!
    Thanks for reading my poem & stopping by my blog. It means a lot to have your comments grace my page. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Julie. For both stopping by and for voicing your thoughts on this poem. It is amazing to read that it touched someone, and what you liked about it. Thank you so much . 🙂 Your comment didn’t show up the first time as comments by new people to the blog have to first be approved by me. That sounds so officious, but really it is just to keep a check on spammers. I have deleted the repeat comment. Again – thank you. 🙂

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    1. It does doesn’t it? The visual I mean. I don’t know why, but when I saw the photo the words flew out. Like they were waiting for such an image. So happy you liked it Hook. 😉

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  5. I think you’ve captured the fear of entering that state beyond what anyone can possibly know or even imagine. The ending is one that points to acceptance of this natural way of things. Enjoyed the read, the poem provokes thought, thanks.

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