Monday mourning

I lament the evils of the world
wishing peace instead of war
and seek to guide
us all to something better…

yet, I dress myself in a kind
of kindness only begging to be praised
the goodness gold of Vegas gilded walls.

I am the sullen sound
of a lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl
the humility of silk underclothes
covering my workman’s clothes,
the light inside your fridge
that’s only bright with open door.

I never even learned to know his name,
the man I sometimes met,
until afterwards —
when the flower of his blood on the floor
had been washed away
and I joined the mourning crowd…

That’s why you need to eavesdrop, spy,
expose me naked,
I need to see my flaws
exactly like I nitpick yours.
Be my mirror and I’ll be yours.

Flower of blood by Odilon Redon

Today Anmol challenges us at dVerse to write confessional poetry… a true challenge. I reflected on my own reaction to a man committing suicide at my workplace. He had jumped to death inside our building and was found on Monday morning. Also linking to Tuesday platform at toads.
—-
January 15, 2018

35 responses to “Monday mourning

  1. Are we all guilty of this? I love each line and imagery in this stanza, true confession:

    I am the sullen sound
    of a lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl
    the humility of silk underclothes
    covering my workman’s clothes,
    the light inside your fridge
    that’s only bright with open door.

    Hopefully we can all be mirrors of each other.

  2. This is incredibly poignant, Bjorn! Especially moved by this part:
    “I am the sullen sound
    of a lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl
    the humility of silk underclothes.”

  3. How sad that the man was driven to suicide and how terrible that he jumped from the building where you work, Björn, and that he was found on a Monday morning, when everyone returns to work after the weekend. I agree that Anmol’s prompt is a true challenge, which you have met so well. The language and imagery are very effective in the lines:
    ‘I am the sullen sound
    of a lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl
    the humility of silk underclothes
    covering my workman’s clothes’
    and the ‘flower of his blood on the floor’.

  4. There is a level of kindness that never really goes deeper than polite nods and observations on the weather. While it is sad that it often doesn’t go much deeper, I’m glad that level exists. I’d rather have banal niceness than banal cruelty. Still, when we can we should strive for deeper understanding.

  5. Oh my goodness, it was a Monday mourning for sure. Those who make that choice do not think of the pain they leave behind. In trying to escape theirs, it transfers to their loved ones. How sad for all concerned.

  6. Your honesty and introspection is scathing.When tragedy strikes close to us, it can rip the thin fabric of pretense to shreds. One of the best compliments for me is to be known as a “kind man”.

  7. There is so much truth in the saying that suggests that keeping an eye on each other keeps us honest (alive, too, it seems). May we always look and care… and avoid unnecessary blood blossoming.

  8. Events like this never leave you. It is a memory you have forever. In the end, if someone is going to commit this act, it is seldom any one thing but rather a series of unfortunate situations that leave them feeling they have no other alternative.

  9. I really like how this is put together, especially the lonely penny in the beggars bowl and the light inside your fridge that’s only bright with open door! It’s such a balancing act, to grieve without losing yourself, to be part of something but not associate with it.

  10. {{HUGS}} Bjorn, it almost sounds as if you think you could have done something to prevent it, maybe taken the initiative with him more since he was right next door. It also worries me if the company where you work can have a person making that drastic permanent decision for all to see. I feel that last stanza acutely. Trusting in the goodwill of others is difficult for those on the more introspective or fearful side and are not as likely to be mirrors…

  11. How terrible Bjorn. I can relate. On a summer job while in college I assisted in a 2-man gravel supply office on a deadhead line of the railroad in Ohio. I opened the office on Monday’s. Unlocked the door and walked in one day and the switchmaster had bloen his brains out all over the office. I will never forget that image.

  12. Wow, tragic…and to think we often fail to even know the names of those we work and live with. Yes, we can be each other’s mirrors, I think.

  13. “I dress myself in a kind/of kindness only begging to be praised”: This surmises the theme and the tone so well. I think we perform everything continuously on a daily basis — it’s the pretense that keeps the social fabric intact. This is a wonderful narrative for a confessional verse, made even more impactful by the vivid images and metaphors of “a lovely penny”, “silk underclothes”, et al.

  14. You just want us to see you naked…lol. this confessional poetry has been a real eye opener. And while there are no flaws in this piece, opening yourself up like that is always difficult lest it change every opinion you ever had about yourself. Great stuff Bjorn!!

  15. This is so sad to read and it makes us question so many things in life. i have lost two friends in the journey, unfortunately, they decided life was just too much for them to live. I often wonder what they thought when they pulled the trigger.

  16. This is another lovely work from you. It is hard to singe out my favorite element in this piece – the images, the tone, and the pacing work out well together. Well, I suppose, the sound of the lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl stayed with me.

  17. My finger hovered on the like button… I mean, the poem is tremendously crafted, but isn’t there something counter-intuitive about liking a story like this?

    I know that you know that I like and appreciate the poem, and yet I hesitated in pressing the like button out of respect for the loss of life. To me, that is a reflection of how your words gripped me and kept me within that moment with you.

    I think we all grapple with wishing to be better than we sometimes show in the most critical moments. I know I do… and now I’m reminded that I’m not alone in this. Your choice to be vulnerable here is deeply appreciated.

  18. Goodness, B. I’m so sorry that happened. This is a wonderful reflection. I once worked with someone who took his own life, and I remember this feeling well. I’m especially struck by this line:

    I am the sullen sound
    of a lonely penny in a beggar’s bowl

  19. “flower of his blood on the floor” and “I need to see my flaws
    exactly like I nitpick yours.” Yes, I’ve been on this side of suicide – and I knew the lady. Gut-wrenching and your poem tackles those feelings well…

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