Of Dying

Photo Credit: dcpages.com

Photo Credit: dcpages.com

the wind you touch that rages through the pass,
molesting water’s edge and raping valleys.

the minor notes that dance upon the stage.
You see the grief they howl in tones of bitter gray.

the whisper of a cloud that weaves its song of hope.
She speaks to you of shadows and of light.

the taste of petals swirling in the morn
that settle in their final rest beneath the cherry tree.

the scent of endings—sweet fragrance letting go of earth
and all it knows—wafting toward new beginnings.

This is my submission to dVerse Meeting the Bar in response to the prompt I offered: to write a poem using synesthesia–that is, mixing up or mingling sensory experience. I hope you will stop by with a poem of your own. The pub will open for Meeting the Bar Thursday, 3 PM EDT. There you will find a more complete explanation of this poetic technique. It’s fun to play with!

42 thoughts on “Of Dying

  1. hiroshimem says:

    Oh, I loved this last image: “the scent of endings—sweet fragrance letting go of earth”
    Letting go. Go back to what’s solid and peaceful – the earth. What endings smell.


  2. LaTonya says:

    Victoria, this is comforting and resonates with me in ways you wouldn’t have known about me. I work in healthcare industry. Hospice requires a special person. I’m sure so many are grateful for the work you did. Thank you for coming by. Well done.


  3. punnypalaver says:

    This form is perfect –hope wafts softening the grief, preventing despair


  4. lolamouse says:

    I love the way you’ve personified Death and made it blend into the rest of Nature. Lovely.


  5. vb holmes says:

    Lovely words incorporating the five senses in a beautiful description of death. Interesting, and challenging, prompt, by the way.


  6. ManicDdaily says:

    PS – Victoria – I commented first just focusing on the I AM as the great I Am – and not on the title. Of course, an especially strong depiction of dying. k.


  7. ManicDdaily says:

    A wonderful final positive turn here – and the use of I AM very effective, confirming the spiritual aspect of the poem. Thanks. k.


  8. So lyrical and wistful – love the final lines, Victoria. Thanks again for the prompt and all that you do to encourage us all to write! K


  9. The ending and beginning of death well portrayed.


  10. David King says:

    Superb. To say more, I think, might take away from it.


  11. Akila says:

    You have painted the ups and downs here so well.!!


  12. vidyatiru says:

    this is my favorite poem read today 🙂 it is so beautiful..


  13. Rowan Taw says:

    Ooh..the “taste of petals” – a wonderful sensory experience.


  14. Kelvin S.M. says:

    …Victoria, you make the word ‘dying’ and anything of death sounds engaging and one not to fear about… and you are right…. death is not about ‘the end’ but rather the start of something much special and bigger to live with… life, for me, has no end… it just changes in forms and shapes…. an never ending continuity of living today and die tomorrow; dying today to live tomorrow… i loved this Victoria… excellent insights… thanks for the poem & for the brilliant topic over at dverse… smiles…


  15. Just beautiful and so moving. Wonderful poetry!


  16. bostonpoetry says:

    Love this! The scent of endings was my favorite line. Great write! -Mike


  17. henna ink says:

    “molesting water’s edge and raping valleys” … Ha, nice. 🙂

    I love this: “the taste of petals swirling in the morn
    that settle in their final rest beneath the cherry tree”

    But this is the best, to me: “the scent of endings”


  18. markwindham says:

    Excellent, seems we were on the same page in several areas. I really like the range of images and emotions, from the savage to the tender


  19. zongrik says:

    very emotional


  20. aprille says:

    Nice and uplifting with just a touch of Mary Elizabeth Frye about it.


  21. Susan says:

    All of it if you must, dear narrator, be all of it, but stay, oh, stay, stay! When I began the poem, I thought the narrator was either God or humanity. But that huge idea lost hold with the leaving.


  22. Miriam E. says:

    Victoria, these are so powerful! raw emotion, beautifully captured.


  23. Just poetic enough, but not so much that I want to gag. Love, Mosk


  24. yelena says:

    this is exceptional, Victoria. very powerful lines, and truly poetic~


  25. Pamela says:

    Oh, this is gorgeous, Victoria. A wonderful response to the prompt you gave us. It is a cycle as you have put forth so eloquently.



  26. Beautiful example Victoria, specially the last two verses ~ Death is both an ending and a beginning ~

    This prompt has been very helpful, so thank you for sharing this with us ~



  27. This is amazing descripton and what better way to describe the unknown than the mixing of senses. I think it make perfect sense (!) It’s probably one of the best poems of death I ever read.


  28. janehewey says:

    wonderful! your first stanza is especially exquisite and the whole piece elicits a multi-sensory experience.


  29. Glenn Buttkus says:

    You remind us of our own omniscient poetic eye on the sweet corners of the globe, unafraid of darkness, that we are God, and gods, that we co-created the universe, that we live & relive while in lesson, that matter itself only exists as extensions of our will; and that as poets we steer the ship of synesthesia, exploring every sea, probing every tributary .


  30. Laurie Kolp says:

    Oh, Victoria… this is so beautiful! Thanks for such a thought-provoking prompt.


  31. vivinfrance says:

    Dear Victoria, This poem would be perfect for a new anthology OF LOVE AND LOSS that is being put together by June Hall and Rosie Bailey (my favourite mentor, she who made me shrink my poetry):


    LOVE AND LOSS Poetry for All who Grieve

    edited by June Hall and R.V. Bailey

    This is an invitation to contribute to an anthology of good contemporary poetry.

    Though the editors are based in the South West, we’re especially keen the anthology should be fully representative in terms of geographical region, age, gender. It will explore all aspects of death, grieving and other losses: subjects may, for example, include anticipatory grief; loss of health; trying to make sense of unbearable loss; expected and untimely partings; the pain of those left behind; the support of shared experience; the questions and ironies raised and the wide variety of emotional responses evoked, from celebration to despair, anger and fear, to hope and humour.

    We hope that as well as being interesting for any poetry reader, the anthology will also be a source book, both inspirational and down-to-earth, for use at funerals, anniversaries, memorials and times of private mourning.

    Authors may volunteer up to 6 short pieces of poetry (50 lines or less). Poems will either be your own work or from that of a writer you admire (and whose permission you have sought). We haven’t a budget to pay for contributions, though contributors of original work will each receive a copy of the book, and we hope to be able to make a donation from any profits to a relevant charity.

    Two typed copies of each poem should be sent to June Hall at 7 Belgrave Rd, Bath, BA1 6LU on A4 paper, marked with your name if you are the author, or (if you are proposing someone else’s work) the name of the proposer and the writer. Please give your own contact details, including your phone number and e mail address (plus sae if no e mail). In the case of passages that you supply by other writers, we need the details of where you found the passage or poem you send, and details of its previous publication if applicable, and of the permission you have obtained and any acknowledgements that are required.

    Our main criteria will be the quality and appropriateness of the writing. We will inevitably be limited by space.

    We very much hope you will wish to participate in this project and look forward to hearing from you. The closing date for submissions is: 30th June 2013.


    I’ve sent four, but they can’t hold a candle to this one. Love, ViV


  32. claudia says:

    these are just wonderful visuals for such a difficult to write about thing… love how you grab us with the first line already and loved all the images esp the minor notes that dance upon the stage… really looking forward to what people will come up with…a great prompt to stretch our senses victoria


  33. brian miller says:

    wicked good….love the contrast in the second and third lines of each of there…the first one with molesting and raping…oh you start with a punch to really get us going…also the use of I AM….wonderful verse v….


  34. Rallentanda says:

    I interpret this as God being omnipresent in all things…beautiful serene and spiritual!


  35. Jamie Dedes says:

    The effect here is dramatic without being overly so. I like it. I think this is my favorite of yours, among the many I’ve enjoyed and loved.

    This particular reality seems to be on our minds these day.


  36. Laxmi says:

    Loved it – the inevitability of death personified.


  37. ayala says:

    Beautiful, Victoria 🙂


  38. Mary says:

    Beautiful, Victoria. I will have to contemplate synesthesia.


  39. Oh, this is lovely. Synesthesia is one of my favorite things to do in writing.


  40. johncoyote says:

    A amazing description of death. Death is the last real mystery. Thank you for sharing the excellent poetry.


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