When gathered few in silence came
honor one deceased of given name
friends and others quietly sat back pews
those outside still sharing their latest news.

Warm Fall day, opened windows uttered words without
bid their condolenses, soft tongues whispered devout
or telling tales one who died, years had gathered by
ventured kindness done or other stories - lips told why.

Nearly mid-day when funeral formally began
several clerics dressed in churchen robes, black soutan
as organ loft scattered memorial hymns loud and clear
sanctify one's death with harmonies - Heaven might hear.

Deceased four-score-ten, widow held by daughters old
although day warm, some wore coats - kept out inside cold
of such I observed as one unknown by many there
pay tribute to deceased - attend with my silent prayer.

Brief sermon wove Death and Life with words told long ago
recast for this occasion, assurance might bestow
weekly preached sundays taught down their years - to comfort so
seeding truth to gathered some - weak faith more deeply grow.

Mutely sat or kneeling, recalled other funerals life found
sad grief had gather by, again to ask why Death be crowned
ending life, as but one's entrance to an eternal hope
words of wisdom intensified by music's ancient trope.

In touch with those left, must bare their suffered loss
requestion life's meaning, challenged by that Cross
some worn so sadly, when close-held kin found at last to die
especially she who been my all, cut down by Reaper's scythe.

After end of service, I followed in silence yet behind
slowly walked to grave-site, those tolling bells consigned
beneath fresh dug soil body placed to rest in peace
rotting back to dust, til Time and Place should finally cease.

After ending obsequies, personal words to family there
then honor-guard fired guns salute, taps last echoed prayer
a solemn moment, those who fought now lastly pay
their haunting notes - two bugles far apart must play.

Midst Nature's balm of soft air and well landscaped lawn
recalling others have known, late years gathered gone
fond memories kept, Faith healing those who fell
those slowly leaving, face what day left would tell.

Old sounds of prior wars, he too had been under fire
knew that fear of hell, far fields of some distant shire
til now this day, Death buries his ageing frame
life risked in war, without pride of once known fame.

A day of reflection, recaptured poignant points of life
children bred then after, struggles shared - death of cherished wife
I but one midst those others who in silence came
honor he who died, yet saved by One - of holied name.
October 25, 2003

Should death dissolve a parent before one fully weaned
all after years finds a residue, Death's damage gleaned
psychic cripple, confusing their youthful years
tragic loss of a parent - that worst of fears.

Whisked away from a nourishment warm breasts firstly gave
too soon fed of solid foods, denied what inly crave
til onward years belabored with lack of outward trust
confusing relationships, those growing older - must.

Almost a Fate worse than Death, future years will often show
after-days stunting what late childhood ought to grow
green fruit found early dropped before could fully ripen true
a tragedy old age recalls - early days never grew.

Such suffering, misunderstanding Fate's heedless cause
love hid beneath those hopeless dreams of life's hidden flaws
untimely death oft disturbing normal flow of one's growth
unrevealed nor questioned of - before love's wedding troth.

Detrimental deprival effecting a curse Time may begin
such disaster destroys trust in oneself til one turns within
a silent secret others might well unsuspect - or ridicule
especially among those adolescent years - self-suffered at school.

A curse no one ought suffer, a challenge only they can outgrow
those who care others, early loss of  a parent - such should know.
December 17, 2003

To whence now drifts that disembodied soul
self-panic put to death
quenched an anguish, so gain some wishful goal
flung with their final breath.

Felt fears cast aside, risked to reap the best
some dream unthought as odd
til birthed a fantasy - their final quest
understood but by God.

May his mother soon be found close nearby
again to take his hand
a wayward son lost, there found asking why
once more to proudly stand.

With fatted calf slaughtered to celebrate
a starving son's return
with such deep remorse, as would vindicate
his youthful pride - re-learn.

 Whence now drifts that refurbished seeking soul
a mother's love re-saved
quenched an anguish - so gain one's wishful goal
sought with their final breath.
December 31, 2003

Gray clouds lowly lour across dark sky
feeble warmth of rain merely sprinkles dry
portending some omen - foul Fate brought by.

To cast its gloom across fumbled future days
though brief glints of wan sunshine still dimly splays
as if to hint beyond - hopes among that haze.

But a day or string of such, perhaps unending years
a time of darkish gloom awash with grief-saddened tears
til moistens sere soils - a season of cloudless clears.

Not a time of faithless fears nor hopes high-hung to die
merely a seasonal weather-change, dullish days brought by
for Life hath needs of both - so grows one strong and spry.

A brief interlude of weather's war, light and dark battles fight
as gray clouds dissembled into bluer skies til clear and bright
then a length of peace to grow again, that truth - Faith knows is right.
January 3, 2004

Seed love once gave sprout til brought birth
a son, who chose short life on Earth
orchestrated some self-sought theme
terminated by self-brought dream.

A sudden closure Time must longly lend
prayerful hopes between, future years may mend
sudden cease of life love begot - fathered friend
mystery's enigmatic answer - Faith must send.

For a father's love can be but forgiving
no matter what chosen deeds of misgiving
at eve-time of day found standing there
searching eyes held with farsighted stare.

Awaited fatted calf well-fed just in case
trusting powers of eternal love's hopeful grace
no matter what confusions choices chosen
forgiveness oft found - melting hearts held frozen.

Grateful for a Faith, trusting futures after death
daring hopes presume, forgiveness beyond last breath
such love firstly gave sprout, when birthed a wanted son
still hopeful will return, refound - Love lastly won.
January, 16, 2004

A place and time that brought an end of things
held almost too dear to be shared it seems
sudden cease, when life took itself too serious
Death preferred escape - perhaps merely curious.

What secrets might such reveal, Death left behind
ancient mysteries religious zealots long enshrined?

Whereof or however after, we know not the least
a distance so far from, well chosen to clearly think
fantasies witches brew, fermented with aged yeast
when secret potion taken - imbibed its fatal drink.

Yet a choice, for life could be freely accepted by
struggled years to gain or lose, earn and learn of world's why
curious what love might give and share, yet pushed aside
future hopes unresolved - Father's care may well decide.

A proud decision, its fatal flaw of some fancied hope
finally dared, life cast aside - bypass one's need to cope
slowly slid beyond reach of reason's rational foundation
place and time self-chosen, perceived as - ultimate salvation.
January 16, 2004

Lost beyond forgotten hours
years unreturned from far distant past
til even memory once thought ours
found fading fastly - yet slowly fast.

Such Time dost.

Of where or when, what then done
by whom or why such occurred
unravels what firstly spun
til confused - old age conferred.

Such age must.

Memory mildly muddled
truth twisted til found often lies
finally wildly fuddled
til truth reflects some different guise.

Such hopes play.

Slowly losing life, as if one dying
so unlike what last said - as if lying
can such change now be reversed
atone what untold at first.

Such Love may.
April 2, 2004

Morning's first stir of coffee
full flush of rich caffeine's perk
a morning's blur of traffic
final rush as left to work.

Madness of congested urban's sprawl
brief family encounters in between
sadness of sudden Death's final call
grief's lonely waste - one's daily routine.

That tiredness, traffic snarls at five
exhausted, fall asleep before going to bed
that direrness, Death's loss strains to shrive
accosted by words left unspoken - should have said.

To end their busy day with scattered dreams of sleep
sun's rising awakens with what must do again
closed up their frazzled day with fractured themes, til weep
apprising forsaken loss - their life might have been.
April 17, 2004

Should one outlive long enough
until no one left held well-known
scant remains of living's stuff
solitary as a sterile drone.

Would hopes be found sufficient of
until their faith more firmly grown
grateful what past years brought of love
sedentary days now lived alone.

Could one's dreams of remaining years
foster strength from what past made loan
healing death, rebaptized by tears
as wept beside her silent stone.
April 17,  2004

My plate heaped high with sorrows
starving hunger, hope devours
to feed a famished soul
tis by such - makes one whole.

A barren feast unfed by
each meal left vapid taste
strong condiments could not try
rank remnants of dreadful waste.

Until each bone, cold fingers try
bleeding lips, swollen tongue will lick
weeping tears, saddened eyes hourly cry
daily growing ill - yet never sick.

Thus to suffer down one's years
without laughtered cries - only tears
slowly healing a death-damaged soul
for tis by such - grief remakes one whole.
April 20, 2004

Mirror of vanity hung north wall
while directly across front hall
hung two sabered swords, crossed
on south wall - facing north.

 Outside door at end of hall
sadly wreathed with purpled bow
bespoke a sadness of one's dying's pall
its ribbons - winds of Death gently blow.

Hall echoed a silence only Death shouts
to those alive with ears to hear
its haunting screams heard downstairs
til dingles crystals of chandelier.

Pallor of dim-lit parlor glimmers
awaits those bereaved, custom gathers
from kith and kin close and near
as bier's candles quietly flicker.

Vases arrayed with bold blossoms of May
perfuming that false smell of death
prie-dieu kneels, such might pray
in mute silence beneath one's breath.

Portraits of ancestorial pride
peering down from high-hung walls
eternally apprising one's fatal Fate
their ancient genes birthed with flaws.

Long staircase climbs into a darkness
above, where unknown rooms roam
upstairs halls felt that cold starkness
brought of Death's murky gloam.

Out of sight, far back at end of lower hall
occasioned clatters or soft-spoken chatter
maids quickly scurry, as if not there at all
left ignored - their presence doesn't matter.

Pet of manor limply lays by front door
eyes-lids sadly droop upon its paws
tail unwags, a day unlike all before
unknowing of one's death nor its cause.

Still they come, long later will leave
door opened and shut innumerable times
soft-spoken whispers assuring those who grieve
time measured out by quarters - hall-clock chimes.

Lights lit far past midnight of day
neighbors and friends, close-kindred kin
fumble condolences each tries to say
attempting to save - what once had been.

By three of next morning, house felt dark
except in that parlor, one candle gave spark
its wavering gleam out-shadows all night
to question what after - Life will or might.

For on the morrow, church fills out its pews
seating those first came with their last respects
listened of words each knows - old vicars use
organ's ponderous notes echoes from high transepts.

Thence in silence, walked between cold stones
garth-gathered years of those who died
deeply buried midst their familied bones
to find what truth Death holds - or lied.

While back at manor, dog feasts a full platter
kitchen busied with feverish haste and clatter
as hall's mirror reflects someone's absence
with that silent echo - of some vast Immense
til years anon, gathered grief - doesn't matter.
May 6, 2004

In such silence, flowers grown upon
rich soils, inner worth fed their roots
deeply delved below those now buried
when saddened grief - lastly laid to rest.

Marked and measured, each stone's etching spells
when who first birthed then died, lastly tells
their silent inscriptions mutely reads
blue flowers, each Spring humbly seeds.

Grounds set aside, where human death laments
church-garth a vineyard, passing years ferments
new vintage aged by grieving tears expeled
squeezed by weepful eyes - for those now unheld.

Place of peace to pacify death-loss toil
planted within deep-delved grave's earthen soil
faith-hopeful, salvation gained within
each Spring - former flowers bloom again.

A plot of Life and Death, those who die
named and dated of - remembered by
beneath blessed grounds in honor lie
for those below - when should visit neigh.

Tis in such silence that flowers grow
from fertile roots delved deep below
Death rebirths to Life, like perennial flowers
til Spring-rains renurture - grieving hopes of ours.
ancient practice laid to rest -midst Nature's bowers
May 6, 2004

My love now but merely dreams of what never came to be
within a grieving heart, those forgotten years thought so free
that left behind a haunting hunger for far deeper love
refashioned by Death - eternity thereafter brings of.

Now when old classics heard, crippled fingers yet play
wasted tears translate into hopes, prayers softly say
reaffirms far better than awkward words could ever tell
love left behind an eternal grief - like burnt pangs of Hell

A longing still yearned, forgotten hours of long ago
when time felt endlessly passing by, yet dearly so
melodies resorting that jumble of what once was
whispered episodes, what heart feels - desire does.

Pianoed music brought back from spheres of former years
echoings resonate proud soundings love still hears
recomposed into music, bleary eyes still cry with tears
my Faith's hope reassuring will hear again - when Death nears.
May 9, 2004

Dying down those dry days grief left
strung out nights of arid loneliness
hopes stolen by Death's burgled theft
dying leaves behind its dreadful stress.

Silent phantoms of pantomime
scary shadows dancing in the dark
weird reflections - a paradigm
austere, bleakly barren - coldly stark.

Awakens to another day of fear
gloomy clouds occluding sun's hopeful bright
denied of one held closely near
only tears to wet those sheets of night.

Passing hours future time must waste
curdled sour, rank with rancid taste
vanquished schemes former dreams once chased
vapid hours - til one's prayers left un-graced.

Such those after-years have thrown away
though Death's lurking hauntings still hover near
befouls fresh yearnings hopes might convey
for these silent phantoms portray - but fear.
May 14, 2004

His weathered face wore its waste
earned by long forgotten years
rheumanous eyes of yellowed paste
shed but thoughts - instead of tears.

Raspy voice spoke with phlegmish cough
when quivered lips should speak to tell
as palsied hand shook, pointing
beyond a past - once knew so well.

As arched back leaned into his cane
to steady youthful days long before
when young lads gave no heed of pain
hard labored tasks would not ignore.

Episodes only he left to tell
adventures dared across distant lands
within crucible of warring's hell
baptized by battles on coast-line sands.

Then of journeys later traveled
spun into memory's woven web
til old age slowly unraveled
by arteries receding ebb.

His lucid thoughts now return untrue
confusing when, where, how and why
tilting old veracities askew
til begins to believe their lie.

Buried beneath late Autumn's sod
few aged friends came, stood deafly by
bid last respects to him and God
as each left - not one seen to cry.

Left to molder below his mound
soon forgotten in after-years
well-weathered face returned to ground
as each one left - without their tears.
May 19, 2004

Stories handed down by lips instead of hands
nearly two centuries earned on farming lands
five generations worth of life and death
at last forgotten - watch-word's shibboleth.

Thereafter found lost upon their future years
episodes one's great-grandchildren seldom hears
only odd traits, those young unknowing why
few genes yet carry - despite reaper's scythe.

Merely guessed facts of what may still be told
without full strength of those times grown cold
til even family name holds no history
one's lineage lost - melted into mystery.

In years anon, as cemeteries disappear
until leaves behind not one single souvenir
even yellowed records found crumbled into dust
lineage lost behind - once birthed with love's wanton lust.
May 29, 2004

Dark gloom of dour despair
pervades dank dampish air
low clouds worn into gray
just another wasteful day
seems has but little to say.

Much the same as before
hazy mists deplore
with long nights in between
shrouded views left unseen
eternal Time's routine.

Silent stillness found muted
by vapors ill-suited
air thick with smokey fog
drenched into stifled smog
above a lowland bog.

Truthfully each awaiting
found misty fog mutating
into a bright warmth of day
as light's return comes to stay
ridding Life - its bane of gray.
June 11, 2004

Not of how it began but whereof it would end
small space of place measured out six-foot by four
simple plot of soil set aside for a friend
with no concern nor need of grave - for one more.

A rural garth far beyond urban's noised din
those gathered, hear a simple silence by
so might reflect on what was not or might have been
that final emptiness - of those who die.

Soft breeze of gentled air becalms the inward soul
fresh smell of green, vernal Nature's seasons gift
a barren hill where far vista gathers one whole
awakens solemn thoughts - love and grief may sift.

In calm quietude, such peaceful beauty felt
we may touch that spirit, those older treasure of
life-time game's final play, shuffled cards have dealt
know in the end, all that matters - is that of love.
June 24, 2004

Sad sorrows seem to longly stay
although laughter but briefly may
dappled pattern found mostly gray
life still designs - most every day.
June 25, 2004

Whereof will I now seek afar
not yet out-searched before
light-years beyond some distant star
or below deep depths offshore.

Others knowledge known of, such have read
ancients discovered with thought and eye
embalmed in what old histories said
now re-crafted with new reasons why.

For when all is said and done, Life made known
nearing Death awakens thoughts unthought before
challenged by what old age earned newly grown
urged on by some inner hope - must now explore.

Unlike those thousands born to die too soon
barely aware of whom they are or might be
hundreds grown to what toiled years have hewn
til wonder - what lies across old Neptune's Sea.

Much pondered on until Faith came of age
denied or presumed, prophets taught as true
ancient writings attest on ciphered page
of such readings, those seeking - ought to do.
June 27, 2004

When eyes finally closed upon themselves
allowing Death blindful of its fate
as cast that world without - away
allow what heard within might convey

Needlessly abandoned, now but wait
of what none have ever shared before
with words - could never understand.

Thus it was, Death died to itself
unrevealing its enigmatic mystery
when light turns dark with closed-up eyes
occluding all - Life unrecords of History.

All had seen, felt, held, heard or touched before
now beyond recall, merely what memories kept
those left behind, unknowing truth beyond the grave
Faith trusting Death more real - than one's living gave.
July 7, 2004

Tranquility just upped and left some time ago
apparently my life too jumbled for such peace
stability destabilized - Death will bestow.

Fractured future may take years to fully mend
re-heal a broken heart when shattered so
lonely days and sterile nights - Death must send.

Coupled each to each gave meaning, Life defined
one's presence brought peace, each day some purpose found
a vacuous vacancy - Death left behind.

A cross must daily shoulder, back bruised til black and blue
curse cast upon one's fevered brow to daily bear
fond memories of those days before - Death cannot renew.

As blue skies churn into clouds of rain or mist
summer nights when stagnant air suffocates
without my loved one kissed - Death is such as this.
August 14, 2004

A place of remembrance assurance gave
deep delved beneath within her grave
stone remarks upon - future years may save.

Gave finality to a life she led
motherhood enraptured by family bred
enshrined thereafter - reminds all she said.

Such quietude befits those buried here
apart from rushing spin of world's sphere
Nature sets aside - visits keep them near.

Name once known by, now coldly etched in stone
a plot of free ground only she may own
years anon - leaves behind but barren bone.

Yet she still abides should be asked of her
mutual love yet keeps alive each may share
should need or mood give cause - sad lips give stir.

Til that unknown day when I too will die
deep delved beneath same ground, close held near by
both reclaimed again as one - you and I.
September 1, 2004

Cold Death came so early by
to tell of what it may
thrust two lives beyond the sky
its silence had to say.

Some excess Fate thought wise
population kept in balance
bed-pleasure often tries
desire's thrust of night's romance.

Life often cheats wry Death
events Chance gambles of
bets on slim edge of breadth
one's luck may risk by love.

Timing seems of every thing
when and where, just how and why
a gamble each day may bring
of all who must down and die.
September 10, 2004

Shriveled into nakedness without shame
bare-bold convictions held down deep within
shivered with a coldness, warmth could not tame
haunting an olden memory - once had been.

Blind visions out-bid by life's living cost
harried into haste and hurry - time spent
til friendship's love suffered with kindness lost
flowers first planted - bloomed without their scent.

Long years after, love quickly dried to shriveled dust
cold Winters froze my love beneath snow's brittle crust
heat of new year's Spring, tendered fond hopes could not re-grow
as shivered by cold grave, my love's warmth - buried below.
November 6, 2004