Bad Poetry

But hey – the only people who read my blog are nice wannabes! Again it scores 0% on the scale of technical perfection. I pinned this on the tree at the Crematorium where we scattered mum’s and dad’s ashes.


My mother died a year ago today
We scattered her ashes just here.
Where five years earlier almost to the exact day
We scattered Dad’s earthly remains.

2002 – the first December we sat on the seat
Just over there – my mother and I.
“He’s not here,” she said. “I don’t feel him here.”
But we heard my dad, that year, as we sat in silent memory, one year on.
We heard him in the gentle rustle of the trees.
In the wind that sent autumn’s leaves scurrying across the path,
And the birdsong that filled the late autumn air with melody.

2003 – the second December we sat on the seat
Just over there – my mother and I.
“He’s not here,” she said. “I don’t feel him here.”
But we could smell him in the fragrance of the freesias
We set gently under the tree
And the earth we turned as we planted snowdrops, in his memory,
And the sweet smell of grass mingled with the faint aroma of pine trees.

2004 – the third December we sat on the seat
Just over there – my mother and I.
“He’s not here,” she said. “I don’t feel him here.”
But we could touch him so easily with our minds
If we closed our eyes, reached out and stroked his cheek,
Hugged him tightly and felt the warmth and sensation of his skin
On our skin. The comforting gentle caress of his hands on ours.

2005 – the fourth December we sat on the seat
Just over there – my mother and I.
“He’s not here, she said. “I don’t feel him here.”
But we could taste him in a sweet cup of tea (which he loved).
Digestive biscuits; chicken soup; fresh warm bread and best butter;
And roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – his favourite;
And apricots; and bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning
Cooked with mum’s apron tied around his waist.

2006 – the fifth December I sat on the seat
Just over there – alone.
“They’re not here, I thought. “I don’t feel them here.”
Scattered ashes, barely visible after a few days.
Earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. Empty. Lonely. Lost.
Senses frozen in silent, cold, grief.

2007 – the sixth December I sit on the seat
Just here – alone.
“They’re not here, I think. “I don’t feel them here.”
But I close my eyes and imagine. I can SEE them!
They come with me this year, my mum and my dad, to this place of peace. Reunited, holding hands as they sit with me on the bench
I can hear them, smell them, touch them, taste them, see them
whenever I like for they are with me always
In all my senses.


8 thoughts on “Bad Poetry

  1. That is very beautiful and I can totally understand all your feelings. Funny the day of my mums funeral at night D and could swear we heard footsteps walking up and down our corrider. It was spooky but it was almost like she was checking up on us all. Also I took this chunky silver ring off my finger and gave it the nurse at the hospice to put on my mums finger. So that way she took 2 things of me with her. The poem I wrote, I rolled it up into a scroll and slipped it into her hand. It made me feel a lot better.

  2. Thanks Mother X.I wish I had thought to do that – give her the poem I wrote. Does it get any better? I know you said it was three years since your mum died. Do you ever really get over it? Does the horrible lonely feeling ever go away?

  3. Well yes I think it does get better. Not so much that it gets better more you find the horrible memory of death fades a little and you start to think of happy funny times more than the last few days. I was actually quite shocked to find how quickly there were days that I hadnt actually thought of her at all. But I suspect that is more because I always have a lot of stress going on. Im happy I gave her those things when she died. It was very special memory.

  4. I think the feeling changes, Annie.My father died when I was twenty one and not a day passes when I don’t think about him – but it’s not an aching, time consuming grief any more. It’s something gentler and can be folded up and put away in my draw of memories almost at will now.

  5. I thought ‘I’m not going to cry this time’. Then I got to verse 2006.Beautifully poignant Annie.xx

  6. Fiona – I’m sorry you lost your dad at such a young age. I felt quite heartened by your comment. I think now I have got over the “first” of everything I might start to move on a bit.Lane – you’re so sweet. I bet you cry at old films too! Thanks.

  7. A beautiful poem, Annie. It bypassed my ears and headed straight for my tear ducts. Glistening eyes still reading. And Yes, I do ‘hear’ poetry rather than read it .. poetry is meant to be spoken.

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