Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
— John Donne

remembering.

you are dead now, but i remember,

i remember the way her laugh bubbled up like a fountain.

i remember her flower tattoo and the food on her pants,

her embarrassment when i saw she was merely mortal,

yet more so, she was eternal. blessed.

i remember how that darn dog ate half a button off my left glove,

and how she’d grunt when i rubbed her ears just right.

you are dead now, but i remember,

and that memory makes you part of me until i die.

hydrangea.

it was sixty in October, and all the trees were bleeding.

a bush of blue hydrangeas weathered frost and stayed— we thought forever.

"i want to cut it," i said, "to save just one

before the winter withers it, and dry it,

vibrant colors fainter but still blue.”

"oh, leave it," said she, "let it be. let it bloom its heart out bright."

i left, and some time in the going, i heard its heartbeat still.

it was forty in November, and all the trees had bled.

i pulled my jacket tighter, broke its zipper in the wind.

the table in my heart is filled with empty places now,

and when i passed the blue hydrangea,

it was cold

and still

and dead.

all shall be well.

a new theme, a new beginning, friends. a new life, a new hope.

three people i know died this week, two seemingly before their time. cut off in the middle of the works they were doing, such wonderful works, such loves, such dreams. why? yet all are now alive, more alive than i can ever imagine this side of eternity.

there are stars behind the clouds even when we are shivering blind in the cold.

there are summers always coming even when the trees have bled their leaves onto the ground.

why? why do we believe this, yet doubt God’s word about eternity? we cannot see next summer or tonight’s stars just as surely as we cannot see the world beyond the veil, yet it is just as sure, more sure.

and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

priorities.

hollow hollow hollow.

so much death. a professor at my school just passed away suddenly, hardly in her 40s, unexpected. she was the associate chair of a department where many of my friends are majoring and i was so excited to have one of her classes next semester. she poured her life into her students and did so much above and beyond the necessary.

and all these colorful photos on my dashboard just seem so hollow.

life is not all there is. death is not the end. and in the mean time let’s get our priorities right, shall we? life is investing in others, not necessarily in clothes or houses or weddings.

she had wanted to be married, i think, but never was. yet she was content in singleness, content in serving God where He had placed her. i don’t think she had planned on going so soon… yet we are only one heartbeat from eternity. what we leave behind us is crucial.

the trees bleed, leaves flush red
drop one by one, dry brown and brittle, break.
the wind has scattered them, discarded toys,
and makes the warm air cruel, with frosty edges.
why is this death so beautiful? why wait
with eager eyes for fires, blood and frost?
ah, but— says wind— this is not all.
if death be this, what splendor then is life?
— Anne

so much life. tail wagging, jumping, full of youth, the way you tackled me and subtly stole my flip flops and rubbed your face against me, the way you grunted when I rubbed your ears just right. so much life.

waking up this morning, I can’t believe you’re gone.

Tags: dogs death grief

gold.

her hands are heavy husks of drying corn,
peach-pale and veined with rivers of her blood.
if it is true, in dying we are born,
i lived to see her withered blossom bud.
her eyes reflect a clouded blue, and gold
of realms beyond this mortal lump of earth;
her hair a snow-melt whitened with the cold
of shrouds like dusty swaddling clothes of birth.
her flesh from dust to dust returns, and life
springs up again in feeble sprouts of green.
she was a daughter, sister, mother, wife,
but now she dwells in cities bright unseen.
her progeny remain these feeble years
and at her headstone bury all our fears.

no words.

no words.

Reblogged from My Fotolog

Skeleton Town

This is the skeleton town.
No sound,
No life but death,
No breath.
Steel beams and bones
Alone,
Mortar flesh, brick dress,

And step, step, step, step.

Cold, clammy hand
This land,
Alive or dead?
Remains to be said.
Life presses down your dead
Existence: lead
Shattered down your bones,
The stones
Not wet with blood;
You had no blood

Just step, step, step, step

Footsteps on the Hill,
"Not ill—"
You cry, “Not ill!
I will
have no one to heal—”
Be real.
For death is just a temporary stain,
Cured by rain.

Wet, wet, wet, wet.

Blood from wounded hand
Heals the land
Cures the curse, and worse.
This was the skeleton town,
No sound.
Brick and mortar melt—
It felt,
For once, like flesh.

-Anne