A Lightness of Being

to witness your pain
and to take it in
where it stirs my heart
and compassion reigns
connects our humanity
eloquent and deep
we meet in the middle
and clasp our hands

tears fall freely
without feeling vulnerable
knowing we’re loved
with no hesitation
reaching around
our embrace enfolds
and healing begins
from the warmth
of our emotions

there is no weakness sensed
I will hear what you grieve
held in a space of safety
where love always lives
I will be there for you
as you are for me
our pain will diminish
as the two of us reveal
let me shore you up
through life’s sufferings
bring you ease, a smile
and a lightness of being

I wrote this poem minutes after watching the movie “Evelyn” about a family who loses a member to suicide. They don’t speak of it for 14 years until this documentary which begins their healing. https://www.evelynmovie.com/

Joining dVerse Poets tonight with Lill as our host for Open Link Night: https://dversepoets.com/2019/09/19/ever-been-close-to-a-whale/

Paisley Park

It rained last night at Paisley Park,
tears fell too when the lightning struck.
Your time cut short, too quickly plucked,
a Princely man whose life went dark.
You colored us purple in stark
relief of the grief we’re feeling–
colorless, bleak, muted keening.
You reigned supreme, a gentle soul
of brilliant talent, eyes of coal.
It rained last night at Paisley Park.

Join me at dVerse Poets as we learn the decima, a Latin American form.

Midnight Tolls

Midnight tolls and those awake are grieving
Loss, lament, the dark, make all seem sharper
Shadow-outlined sorrow feels believing
Thought-inflicted loops become a carper
Diminished hope has shriveled with the gloom
Alone, denied another’s caring soul
Deep gray blots out the shining of the moon
Out to the depths, wading beyond the shoals
Wee hours slowly pace an endless sentence
Of cheer removed from hearts congealed with pain
And allocate themselves to life’s repentance
Belittled by illusion’s veiling bane

At last deep sleep gives nodding rest a chance
And dreams prevail that lift that veil to dance


I entered this poem in The River Muse’s Winter Writing Challenge 2013 that was inspired by a sonnet written by Luke Prater.  Kelly Letky was chosen the winner.  Your entry did not have to be in a sonnet form but I did use it as a base for mine.

I’m publishing it for the first time for dVerse Poets Open Link Night # 81:  http://dversepoets.com/2013/01/29/openlinknight-week-81/  Claudia hosts tonight.

Small Stone # 10

Leaden heart
Tightness in throat
Grief still with me
We need to talk

Day ten of Small Stones for Mindful Writing Challenge:  http://www.writingourwayhome.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00Z&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00Z&max-results=5

Be Comforted, Please

The morning dawned just like the rest
Sun so bright, gentle wind above the crest
But on this day, I am no more
My body gone but my soul does soar
I have a freedom I never knew
Be joyful and glad that I’m anew
I know I am missed, my voice is gone
But your memory of me is never done
Think of my smile and the light in my heart
Eternally enduring, never to part
Our smiles will merge each time you do
Twice as sweet and ever true
The joy I shared with those I loved
Is alive and well—a treasure trove
Be comforted, please, and know this truth
I do not suffer, it’s only you
So cry a bit and mourn my passing
But it’s just a while before we’re meeting
Not so long, you will see
United again, souls flying free

A long-time friend asked me to write some words of comfort for her grieving family.  Her brother and sister-in-law lost their youngest daughter in a car crash early New Year’s Day.  She sent it to the family and they wanted to read it at her memorial service.  I am so honored that my words could bring a little comfort.  I do not know my friend’s family.

Actually I’m not sure if this is a true elegy or not.  I had referred to it as such yesterday in a posting.


mangled • fencing

Mangled Fencing; Flickr License Creative Commons Non-commercial

asked by a friend to write an elegy
for her niece killed in a
New Year’s Day car crash,
my eyes fill with tears

thinking of my elderly mother

My small stone for Writing Our Way Home’s Mindful Writing Challenge:http://www.writingourwayhome.com/2013_01_01_archive.html


Several hours spent with the baby girl,
three of those hours she spent sleeping.
A growth spurt has her needing more
rest and ravenous when she wakes up.

She didn’t want to go for a walk in
the stroller so I parked it by the
pond–the one where the fish
immediately show up in the
shallows, hoping for a tossed snack
and I held her on my lap.

She quieted as I pointed out
the turtles’ heads poking up out of
the water, watching us, they too
hoping for a tasty handout.

Look how the lily pads lay so flat
on the surface of the water.  Look,
there’s the hawk being chased by
an angry blue jay.  Hear the bamboo
clanking quietly (the wind is low today).
Smell the delicate fragrance wafting
from the colorful bed of petunias.
Feel my arms around you, my heart
matching beats with yours.
Home, I fix leftovers from the night
before for my late lunch, Taco Soup
and homemade corn bread and a small
side of cranberry, orange relish–my
mother’s recipe made during holidays.

Turning on the television, I see a “Special
Report”, they’re talking about a shooting
and I think briefly that it’s an update on
the recent mall shootings.  But no, I learn
of a more current lethal and senseless act of
yet another taking of multiple, innocent lives
that happened while I was babysitting
my own precious, innocent life.

I sob as I listen to our President offer
his condolences to more grieving citizens.
I cry for the parents who don’t have
another day with their children.

What will it take to bring a halt to these acts?
What the hell are we waiting for?
My tears change to outrage.

Brian Miller hosts today at dVerse Poets asking us to try our hands at “the small stuff”…paying attention to details: http://dversepoets.com/2012/12/15/poetics-sweat-the-small-stuff/


I tried my hand at writing senryu last night.  Don’t even know how to pronounce it.  Unlike haiku, but using the same number of lines and syllables, senryu subject matter deals more with human qualities…or foibles.


finger traces frown
simple touch forming a grin
wordless gaze speaks plain


head bowing in grief
surrounding activity
distracting tear’s fall


coffee break was stale
anger leaving it bitter
aroma left flat

  Photo:  Google Images


filmy floating gown
luring midnight seduction
dawn alone forlorn

Photo:  Google Images


glazing the raku
fired pot combusts a pattern
sawdust leaves its mark

Photo:  Google Images; Natureofclay.com


aged lonely woman
sweeping fallen autumn leaves
her eighty-fifth year

Natasha Head starts us off today with Open Link Night at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/08/21/openlinknightweek-58/


On dVerse Poets we’re invited by Sam to write a form poem that does not appear to be a form.  I tried my hand at an elegy.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/elegy-poetic-form


Shocking grief you’ve made me lost
Alive yet dead, my heart is crushed
My eyes are lifeless..no longer see
Your visage departed, breaking parts of me
Distress down deep claws at my bones
Spring vining green turned withered stone
Interests declined as so did you
I languish forlorn in a world askew
You were my life, a radiant light
Held high aloft so my path wound bright
Wickedly clever, intelligent and quick
A candle burning with an endless wick
But your brilliant glow has been obscured
Consuming dissolution has me floored
Suffering madly, I feel only separation
Gone my lover, passion, adoration
May I forever remember your gentle excellence
That guided my nature, character and strength
Leaving me gifts that nourish my soul
Your undying goodness does offer console

Stone Flowers

Stone Flowers (Photo credit: elycefeliz)


Photo by Gayle Rose

Sunflower in my garden; photo by Gayle Rose

emerging calm
took a stand
reigned and
I felt good

within and
feeling sure
life was
me along

though one
thing dark
was lurking
still and
causing grief
and a cracking
yet I knew
I could not
change, I
let it go
to take
its time

writing latent
no interest
yet, but a
book picked
up, laid
a spark

went on
like never
and places
up north

time of
and becoming
solid, vipassana
was my
morning daily,
content with
life, work
was good,
I took care
of me and
I loved you

dVerse Poetics offers 1999:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/03/10/poetics-1999/

Sleep’s Peace

The peace of sleep has now been erased

The searing pain strikes deep again

Grief of my loss comes sweeping through

Tears start to fall from eyes so blue

It’s real–it’s true, my love is gone

He made a choice to keep moving on

My first real love, I was so attached

But I’ve let him go–no turning back

The pain is with me like a gloomy cloud

Lightning bolts flash hitting hard

No joy within, no smile without

My heart’s been broken, crushed and slaughtered

I see no ending to this overwhelming carnage

I have no appetite

I can’t eat a bite

I blame myself

Somehow I was lacking

My days feel endless

I wander like a droid

No concentration

My brain’s gone numb

The only respite is when I sleep.






Until finally a glimmer of light I see

Childhood’s Grief

Why is it that the memories I hold

are the ones of distress and feeling so low–

my childhood seems so dark and bleakly cold.

I remember feeling a heightened dread

of the people I looked to for protection and love.

They were menacing and devoid of the nurturing I craved

and didn’t notice their girl was filled with sadness and pain.

There’s a sense of aloneness and abandonment that pervades

my memories of home life with an insidious unease.


You’re not there, you’re not present–and even when you are,

your mind is on yourself and your own interests.

You’re so emotionally gone that I barely felt your presence.


I remember the fighting and screaming and vile words thrown

about in the wee hours of the morning as I was trying to sleep,

and sometimes awakening to a drunken man on the floor.

There’s tension and anger that permeates my aura and

I’m so sensitive and perceptive that I felt every tremor.

I’ve pulled into myself all the hurts and the fears;

I’ve become a black hole where no light can appear.

I’m depressed and apprehensive and can hardly eat–

I have no appetite for what envelops me.

I’m constantly self-conscious and compare myself to others

all who appear to have attentive mothers and fathers.

Oh, how I wished I could have what they had,

a bright, happy home where parents felt delight at my sight.

I still feel the anguish of those long ago years and can’t quite

shake those feelings of grief and worry–

because you never once uttered the words:  “Gayle, I’m sorry”.

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