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All color is transmuted matte and gray,
the sun obscured by this ripping pain.
It’s unfathomable that you are gone,
the earth minus your comforting form.
My mind is fogged; I can’t conceive that
your breath has stilled to be no more.
Tears stain my face and well again
as I remember you and how we loved.
Your countenance pure and sweetly bright,
you brought good cheer and lifted my heart.
Accepting and kind, compassionate eyes
perused this world with a spiritual light.
For children and animals a special smile
was conveyed unlimited to share your charm.
Your hand outstretched to those along your path
was a gift bestowed like heaven on earth.
So though I miss you and still must mourn,
I realize that your precious time here was done.
You’re at peace now and I soon will be too
as I feel deep within that we’ll meet up again.

Join me at dVerse Poets Pub as I present writing an elegy for Meeting the Bar Thursday at 3PM.

Leave a comment


  1. Oh you have set the bar high for an elegy.. the sadness in it is so direct and yet you have that sadness going into something hopeful in the future.


  2. I like this form as it provide the idea of hope at its conclusion. Can feel the sadness shift here.


    • I like that too, Lillian. Like grief, the elegy goes through stages and ends with some light at the end of the tunnel.


  3. So beautiful, Gayle. ‘the earth minus’ – oh yes, I remember that so well. How can the earth be minus one such as you? The lighter note is so uplifting.


  4. Glenn Buttkus

     /  June 2, 2016

    Having trouble getting comment in.


  5. Glenn Buttkus

     /  June 2, 2016

    Mine does not quite follow the pattern you laid out, but the components all seem to be there. An interesting challenge, this one. Most of us have written poems about our dearly departed one–hell, that’s why poetry exists, but probably those poetics were not true to elegy-form.


    • Yes, poets often do write of our departed ones…some are “dearly”, some not so much. The elegy is specific in that it follows the three formats within it but pretty much that’s all it requires. I loved what you wrote in remembrance of your mother, Glenn…thank you.


  6. If only… would be so. A touching piece.


  7. I admire the grace of acceptance towards the end specially:

    I realize that your precious time here was done.
    You’re at peace now and I soon will be too

    Thanks for hosting Gayle ~


  8. Anonymous

     /  June 2, 2016

    So well expressed. I can feel the loss and the expectation at the end.


  9. therisa

     /  June 2, 2016

    As I read this, I feel like, you’re talking about my dad, and the special connection, I had with him. Thank you, for reminding me, this.


    • I like that, Therisa, and I’m happy that it felt like I was speaking of your connection with your dad.


  10. How beautiful, Gayle. You have embraced the traditional elegy so beautifully.


  11. I am touched deeply by this Gayle. You’ve tapped a well spring of emotions with your prompt and this piece!


  12. such heartfelt words so beautifully written Gayle for this challenging prompt…i also wrote almost in the same vein but as my net is very slow i couldn’t post it yet and now i hope this comment posts…


    • Sumana, thank you so very much. I’m especially grateful to you for sharing your most impassioned and personal elegy with us all. My heart felt very tender after reading your poem.


  13. This has the simplicity of a well-metered rose; the avoidance of rhyme deepens the bittersweetness at it center–both torn and tender. And it’s naked, as raw grief must be.


  14. It flows perfectly for the prompt. The sadness, the admiration, the acceptance…
    I echo the feedback here, the ending it on a graceful note is as peaceful as can be.


  15. Thanks so much, NJ. That peace at the ending is where we would all wish to reside after the grief and mourning eases.


  16. “My mind is fogged; I can’t conceive that
    your breath has stilled to be no more.”
    This is the epitome of grief, especially the initial shock. Even years later, it can be hard to accept the loss.There is light… but we have to be the one to find it and kindle it.


  17. Your grief is taken through the classic stages in the cathartic writing of this elegy.


  18. This is beautiful. Certainly sounds like someone wonderful


  19. Such ab eautiful elegy (and a great prompt, too, Gayle!) One feels the ache of sadness in missing a special person – and also gets a sense of that person, in his or her smile, especially to children and animals (me, too!). Love the positive note at the end – people like that are long and lovingly remembered.


    • Thanks very much, Sherry, I’m glad you liked the prompt. I actually started to read your wildlife elegy on FB and then got distracted and had to get off but will go back and read it. I like that there’s an upturn in the form too and our memories can turn to smiles again.


  20. SMiLes.. the BleSsinGs oF
    FeeLinG as wE have kNoWn
    someone now and forever now..
    wHere past and futUre biRth anD
    deaTh mElts aWay iN LiFeNOw
    forever hELd aS
    eYes of Love
    thAT WiLL to
    never forget.. to
    sense.. to FeeL..
    whaT liVing aLL TogeTher..
    iS foR NoW iN WeLL oF liFE..:)


  21. Hi Gayle. I came back from Tuscany to this prompt, just over a week after my beloved cat died. There’s some kind of ESP going on here. I love your elegy and the ideas it presents so lyrically and poignantly. Thank you for the prompt and for your superb example. By the way, Mr Linky was closed by the time I got home from Cardiff yesterday, so I’ve added the link to a poem I wrote for my cat Tosca in the comments.



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