The woman, dead, listens,
hears the sounds of falling
snow on marble or is it
alabaster? She cannot
recall the stone she chose,
cold, pure, unforgiving to
assaults of elements, to
words accusatory or de-
riding. Impervious is she
to all of these as she lies
wondering why they bother
to pretend to care. She thinks
it true, has heard that it
was fact, that once she settles in
this state of inconvenient
silence she might return a
time or two, conclude unfinished
business in a random dream.
More About the Dead Woman Who Listens
The dead woman listens to
the sounds of sighing wind,
stirs within her tomb (or
soul?) aware of changing forces
without knowing sources of
relentless stirrings, questions
left unanswered in the wandering
of her lifetime’s progress through
uncertainty. She washes in the
river she once knew, loosens the
detritus of the wasted years and
wonders if the others understand
futility. Her journey takes her
onward to another lifetime.
Left behind—the useless
messages. New regrets and fears
will challenge her return.
This poem is written after the style of Marvin Bell, creator of Dead Man poetry. I’m submitting it for dVerse Open Link Night. Over at the pub, we’re in the midst of a joyous celebration of our first year anniversary as a poetic community. If you are not familiar with dVerse Poetry, please stop by, sample, enjoy. Add a poem of your own! Thanks Brian and Claudia for bringing this group of talented poets together, and thanks for allowing me be be a part of the staff.
Here’s some info on the poetic form:
From Marvin Bell:
The Dead Man poem is a form I created a few years ago and then couldn’t shake. Dead man poems come out of an old Zen admonition that says, “Live as if you were already dead.” But you needn’t feel remorse. The dead man is alive and dead at the same time. He lives it up, he has opinions, he makes bad jokes, he has sex. Is he me? No, but he knows a lot about me. Dead Man poems come in two parts. Each line of poetry in a dead man poem is a compete sentence, long or short.
The form is comprised of two sections. One is titled “The Dead Man and …” and the second “More About the Dead Man and … .” All lines are written as sentence lines and enjambment matters quite a bit. The first two lines generally turn back on each other. The two versions seem to discover or expose different things about the Dead Man, one more internal in nature, the other external.
Photo: Google Images, cachescrazy.com