I have been trying to write a poem about grief. (in connection with my Uni stuff) Specifically, the grief that comes after the death of a much loved person. I thought of several people who are grieving, sometimes after many years, as I wrote about this most difficult of subjects. I thought about loss/death and how it feels when it seems one CAN'T grieve, because there was not enough love in the relaitionship to summon up that feeling, or there has been an estrangement.
Now is winter, and the solstice is close, which resonate with death and darkness but also the return of the light. I've tried to use recent landscape images I've been inspired by to express how the 'journey' (that word!) of grief might unfold. but there is a fine line between portraying emotions and descending into doggerel.
The photograph of a solstice sunset (2014) is mine. I suspect it is a finer thing than this poem. Genuine critique welcomed.
It seems this is the price we pay for love.
Pain, distilled into a deep frost hollow
the sun never reaches, sits squat and silent.
Be glad there was love; loss without love
is the perma-frosted ground where a village
needs to dig its graves in summer; every summer.
With love, grief is the route back; the low sun
sitting just behind, not blinding the way ahead.
A late afternoon glow, hazing winter-torn leaves.
Embers, not fire. Bracken, dark orange umber,
opaque and lightfast, the colour of earthiness.
The landscape softened, and water-washed with time;
sighting the unexpected familiar on a country road.
Two pheasants peering from a field, their bright blue
and new-penny plumage enamelled by the last of the light,
then disappearing. The zig-zag road becomes shadowy;
dark, with frost in the hollows beneath ivy-twisted trees.
The sun is standing still, before days begin to lengthen.
Author - June Palmer