Leaving in November

You left when leaves were dirty rags,
when foliage shrunk to tattered shrouds
dangling on the barren boughs.

You left when days were dusk
and foggy fingers slipped around my throat.
You left when shadows grew
to darker shades of black.

I lit a candle but it reeked of ash —
a pyre bright that cannot burn this night,
rage rage against the dying of the light.

You left me silent in the claw of mourners,
to the taste of tepid beer in empty rooms.
I can’t go gently since you left.

Sculpture from an asylum

Susie wants us to write a poem for for dia de Muerte at toads including inspiration from a dead poet. I have picked some wording from Dylan Thomas poem Do not go gentle into that good night. At the moment I have no personal loss, but this is what I imagine the feeling to be.


November 2, 2018

13 responses to “Leaving in November

  1. The rage and verbal courage of a Dylan Thomas will render savage the words; the living through is the hard part (which the personal Dylan failed at utterly.) But that is not our work here, and you calibrate in imaginary space sufficient muster of the real. It does reek of “tepid beer in empty rooms.”

  2. I love the comparison of leaves to dirty rags. That is so original. It connects the piece to the home, to cleaning. Or in times past, clothes or cotton menstrual cloths. 🙂

    I adore this sentence:
    “You left when days were dusk
    and foggy fingers slipped around my throat.”

    I like the reference to dusk as a season of life — as a couple that should have died together, in peace and love, but now, who knows?

  3. This is strikingly beautiful and poignant, Bjorn! Especially like; “I lit a candle but it reeked of ash — a pyre bright that cannot burn this night,
    rage rage against the dying of the light.”

  4. One cannot imagine the loss of a loved one. One can read about the experiences of others but until you do experience the personal loss, it is just that – imaginings. Everyone reacts differently.

  5. Yes, I do think anger rages when you lose a loved one, as though you have been cheated, fearing inside that you will never see them again.

  6. I love where Dylan Thomas’s words take us – and you in this poem, Bjorn. I love the rags / shroud metaphor in the first stanza and the lines:
    ‘You left when days were dusk
    and foggy fingers slipped around my throat’
    a distillation of autumn months.

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