Welcome, Sister Death–dVerse Poetics


Image: St. Francis of Assisi Wikipedia--labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Image: St. Francis of Assisi
Wikipedia–labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Today, Bjorn is hosting dVerse Poetics and asks us to reflect on Peace. My mind went to death, perhaps because I’m currently reading Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.” From there, I thought of death’s I’ve witnessed over the years, many peaceful, some only after a struggle…then I remembered St. Francis of Assisi, who used to address death in the manner as I indicate in the title of this post. Francis is known for his love of animals, and for his Peace Prayer–a prayer almost universally recognized and open to persons of whatever spiritual bend. So, from there my peace poem was born. 

Welcome, Sister Death

I welcome Sister Death in autumn rains
or should She choose to call as snowflakes fall,
in spring, as early rains caress the earth
or summer’s heat, ‘neath fertile field’s smile.

She gently knocks upon my windowpane,
with branches painted crimson, orange and gold.
Such peacefulness I sense as leaves let go
surrendering to earth, unquestioning.

In dark times, deepest quiet covers earth,
reflecting light bestowed by its full moon.
My Sister whispers softly, “Come with Me,
behold the marvels that await you now.

The beckoning call of birdsong is Her voice,
as colors burst through earth in silent joy,
and flowering trees look to the morning sun
knowing that hope will follow their demise.

Beneath the wild excitement—summer’s gift,
small streams flow calmly to a river bed.
However incongruent Death may seem
I welcome all the promise She holds forth.

We hope to see you today at dVerse, with your own reflections on peace–so needed in our world today.

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31 thoughts on “Welcome, Sister Death–dVerse Poetics

  1. Kate Mia says:

    iN eYes of Saint
    Francis.. animals
    are souls too..
    and plants
    in essence
    have
    souls
    as well.. in balance
    with the rest of Nature..
    us at war so long with
    Planet
    Peace
    only comes
    iN freedom of Balance..
    Peace Planet Balancing
    Freedom
    Life..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder how many people equate death with peace? I do, but I think I am in the minority. In our culture of violence, death is so often equated with anguish and brutality. Your poem rings true to me and I am grateful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 5h2o says:

    This is just beautiful. You’ve braided these two ideas together so well, and they add a lot to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Candy says:

    oh what beauty and peacefulness this imparts. I will be rereading this many times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bodhirose says:

    I love how you describe Death as a gentle purveyor of peace, Victoria. St. Francis has always been a favorite saint of mine for his gentle love of animals and nature. I was inspired by your beautiful and sensitive poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    Sweet and moving — removing the darkness from death.
    BTW, I replied to your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. seingraham says:

    Beautifully penned, as always Victoria. Death should be a welcome thought – not the dread that many hold. Thank you or this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is lovely and definitely peaceful. It saddens me when people fear death when it is only the beginning of an eternal life of great peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So beautiful. I’m sure my mom gladly welcomed ‘Sister Death’, which makes her loss much easier to bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Was able to view this last evening. So much talent and powerful. Thanks again, Bjorn.

    Like

  11. MarinaSofia says:

    Oh, Victoria, yours is the opinion I trust most when it comes to death and your gentle, soothing presence (poetic or physical) is the one I would choose to have around while dying. Such a quiet, somehow joyous acceptance and welcoming of death as something which is intimately related to us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your title being too close for comfort, I nearly didn’t read this. I’m so glad I did. Calming and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. lynn__ says:

    We all hope to pass peacefully as your poem, Victoria.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mary says:

    Yes, I too believe that death is the ultimate peace… I like the way you have welcomed her in this poem. I am sure she will fulfill her promises, but I am in no hurry to have her visit. (Smiles.)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Grace says:

    A different slant on the theme of peace Victoria ~ The welcoming and arrival of death are gifts for those wishing the ultimate end, that of peace ~ But then again death is also a beginning ~ Love this part best:

    My Sister whispers softly, “Come with Me,
    behold the marvels that await you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Maggie says:

    Your rhythm and rhyme are so lulling. Beautiful work.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is the way I see death. Great response!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    I agree with the others… the thought of death as a calm river bed.. is soothing to the nerves. Excellent write 🙂

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Glenn Buttkus says:

    You have defanged death, pulled back its shroud to reveal what I believe we will all find, a doorway, a welcome way station. You speak so warmly, even lovingly about our greatest transition. I feel good just reading it over & over. My sadness comes from the headlines, from the new Crusades, from the fascist distortions promulgated by politicians, & by the bust of Cheney smirking like a war-mongering asshole.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. kanzensakura says:

    This is so incredibly beautiful. All the way you described death is also a way of describing life and joy – so maybe death is just another life on a different plane…I too have witnessed deaths. I hope mine is as gentle and joyful as this poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. scillagrace says:

    I read Didion’s book a year or two ago. My experience with my husband’s death was much different, more gentle. I always liked how Walt Whitman says death is different from what any of us supposes…and luckier.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love this Victoria.. The thought of going gladly with death is a very soothing thought

    for some reason I came to think about Harry Potter and the tale of the three brothers…

    Where at last the youngest brother died “And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.”

    Liked by 2 people

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