Today’s #verselove prompt was “death in a poem” and I struggled. My mind searched for ways to weave the theme of death into something I could handle on this last weekday of spring break. You’ll not be surprised that I turned to nature. I was thinking about the difference in the way we describe landslides (or in our parlance, cliff failures) on the southern CA coastline as compared to the way that landslides were described in Zion National Park. There, the landslide was an expected way that nature sculpts the landscape. Of course, there were also not multimillion dollar homes perched along the rim that crumbled. So, I’m not so sure that this qualifies as death in a poem, maybe instead it is life in a poem. I chose to use an etheree–a 10-line form that begins with a single syllable and build, adding a syllable to each line until you reach the tenth line with ten syllables.
Into a pile below
Erosion meet gravity
Cliff death creates new habitat
Algae covers what was once a road
In nature, death offers new beginnings
The etheree is becoming one of my favorite forms. I really appreciate how this poem transforms death into a new beginning and new life.
Thanks Elisabeth, I appreciate that you saw that effort to move from death to life. There’s something about a confining format that seems to help pull ideas out and together.
We can learn so much from nature. I wrote but didn’t post my death in a poem. I’m not sure I want to share it. Death can be hard. You softened it with your etheree.
Thanks Margaret. I just couldn’t go to the personal for this–still too much to work through, especially to share. Thanks for saying that you didn’t post yours. There were so many heartfelt and beautiful death poems. I even had trouble commenting on them.