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Poems That Speak To You


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The following came from several poems posted on the old board that I found poignant and thought might be worth bringing forward. Please feel free to add any poems that might speak to you.


A million times we've needed you

A million times we've cried

If love alone could have saved you,

You never would have died.

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we love you still.

In our hearts you hold a place

No one else will ever fill.

It broke our hearts to lose you,

But you didn't go alone

Part of us went with you,

The day God took you home.

-  Author unknown



For That, I am Thankful

by Darcie D. Sims


It doesn't seem to get any better...

but it doesn't get any worse,either.

For that, I am thankful.

There are no more pictures to be taken...

but there are memories to be cherished.

For that, I am thankful.

There is a missing chair at the table...

but the circle of family gathers, close.

For that, I am thankful.

The turkey is smaller...

but there is still stuffing.

For that, I am thankful.

The days are shorter...

but the nights are softer.

For that, I am thankful.

The calendar still turns, the holidays still appear and they still cost too much...

but I am still here.

For that, I am thankful.

The room is still empty, the soul still aches...

but the heart remembers.

For that, I am thankful.

The guests still come, the dishes pile up...

but the dishwasher works.

For that, I am thankful.

The name is still missing, the words unspoken...

the silence is shared.

For that, I am thankful.

The snow still fall, the sled still waits,

and the spirit wants to...

For that, I am thankful.

The stillness remains...

but the sadness is smaller.

For that, I am thankful.

The moment is gone...

but the love is forever.

For that, I am blessed.

For that, I am grateful...

Love was once (and still is)

a part of my being...

for that, I am living.

I am living...and for that I am thankful.




In the rising of the sun and in its going down,

We remember them.

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,

We remember them.

In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,

We remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them.

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart,

We remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share,

We remember them.

So long as we live, they too will live,

For they are a part of all who have known them.

We remember them.

--Author unknown


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I carry your heart - by E.E Cummings


i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear

no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want

no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)

and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant

and whatever a sun will always sing is you


here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows

higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart


i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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Found this one tonight . Like it .

He is Gone

You can shed tears that he is gone

Or you can smile because he has lived

You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back

Or you can open your eyes and see all he's left

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him

Or you can be full of the love you shared

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday

You can remember him and only that he's gone

Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

Or you can do what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on

David Harkins (1959 - )

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Guest Munsen

Death is Nothing by Canon Henry Scott-Holland


Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other

That we still are.


Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes

We enjoyed together.


Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,

Let my name be ever the household word that

It always was.


Let it be spoken without effort,

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolutely unbroken continuity.


Why should I be out of mind because I am

Out of sight? I am but waiting for you

For an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner .

All is well.


Canon Henry Scott-Holland (1847-1918)

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I wrote this. i guess that it is a poem.


2 years tomorrow.




Feeling your love and presence so strongly.




Letting go of some of the past.

Discovering my new life.

Trusting in the future.

Love you honey.

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Wrote this at 16 months.


We don?t have a choice.

Here we are.

Figure out what is up.

Figure out who we are.

The plans we made

Gone in a flash.



What else can we do?

Get through the day

Try to sleep

And hope for a brand new day


Hope will come

So will faith

Try to trust


So here we are

In our new found lives.

It won?t come easy.

So we have to try.


It?s a whole new game

With rules that we have never known.

Quite different 29 years later.

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I wrote this at 12 months.


One Year Ago Today - Cindy Left This Earth


About an hour from now she would speak her last words to me.


"I always loved you"


So as I sit here this morning, drinking my coffee...








She blessed so many lives.

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Letter From Heaven

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say.

But first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.

Here, there's no more tears of sadness;

Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.

Remember that I am with you every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through.

God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you.

It's good to have you back again,

you were missed while you were gone.

As for your dearest family, They'll be here later on.

I need you here badly, you're a part of my plan.

There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man,"

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.

And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.

And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.

God and I are closest to you....in the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years.

Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain.

Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you, all that God has planned.

But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.

Yet one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.

I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are rocky roads ahead of you, and many hills to climb.

But together we can do it by taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too;

That as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain;

Then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."

And now I am contented...that my life was worthwhile.

Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody, who is sad and feeling low,

Just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.

When you're walking down the street

and you've got me on your mind,

I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go....from that body to be free.

Remember you're not going.....you're coming here to me.

---Author unknown



When Tomorrow starts without me


When tomorrow starts without me,

and I'm not there to see;

If the sun should rise and find your eyes

all filled with tears for me;

I wish so much you wouldn't cry

the way you did today,

While thinking of the many things

we didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,

as much as I love you,

And each time you think of me,

I know you'll miss me, too.

But when tomorrow starts without me,

please try and understand,

That an angel came and called my name

and took me by the hand,

And said my place was ready

in heaven far above,

And that I'd have to leave behind

all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,

a tear fell from my eye,

For all my life I'd always thought

I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for

and so much yet to do,

It seemed almost impossible

that I am leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,

the good ones and the bad,

I thought of all the love we shared

and all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,

I thought, just for a while,

I'd say good-bye and kiss you

and maybe see your smile.

But then I fully realized

that this could never be.

For emptiness and memories

would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things

that I'd miss come tomorrow,

I thought of you, and when I did,

my heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,

I felt so much at home.

When God look down and smiled at me,

from His great golden throne.

He said, "This is eternity

and all I've promised you,

Today your life on earth is past,

but here it starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,

but today will always last,

And since each day's the same day,

there's no longing for the past.

But you have been so faithful,

so trusting and so true,

Though there were times you did some things

you knew you shouldn't do.

But you have been forgiven,

and now at last your free.

So won't you take my hand

and share my life with me?"

So when tomorrow starts without me,

don't think we're far apart,

For everytime you think of me,

I'm right here in your heart.



--Author unknown

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  • 4 months later...

there is a place in the heart that

will never be filled


a space


and even during the

best moments


the greatest times


we will know it


we will know it

more than



there is a place in the heart that

will never be filled



we will wait




in that space.


― Charles Bukowski

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not generally sentimental, but there has always been something about this one that makes me cry.  In the beginning, I wasn't ready for it and it upset me in a bad way, but now I just think it's beautiful:


Epitaph, by Merrit Malloy


When I die

Give what's left of me away

To children

And old men that wait to die.

And if you need to cry,

Cry for your brother

Walking the street beside you.

And when you need me,

Put your arms

Around anyone

And give them

What you need to give to me.


I want to leave you something,

Something better

Than words

Or sounds.


Look for me

In the people I've known

Or loved,

And if you cannot give me away,

At least let me live on your eyes

And not on your mind.


You can love me most

By letting

Hands touch hands,

By letting

Bodies touch bodies,

And by letting go

Of children

That need to be free.


Love doesn't die,

People do.

So, when all that's left of me

Is love,

Give me away.

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Writing poetry gave me what little sanity I had during the first few years after his death.


Death Watch


I watched Death wait for you.

I saw him in the yard,

And around the corner,

And peeking through the window.

I would look him in the eye and stare him down,

Then turn back to you with a smile.

No sign on my face of who was lurking near our home.


I became a woman to be reckoned with.

I scared away the future.

I kept us safe.

This is what I did for you,

This is what I would do again.


When Death came through the door

I had unlocked it.

I swung it open wide,

Said "come on in."

I held your hand and talked of love.

Tears could flow another day.

I'd not allow my tears to cause you sorrow.


I was a woman to be reckoned with.

I faced the future.

I left you go.

This is what I did for you.

This is what I would do again.


Would you know me if you saw me now,

Eyes ahead, feet in motion,

Walking toward the unknown?

I know you would.

That is who you always saw.


A woman to be reckoned with.

A woman with a future.

This is what you did for me.

This is what you've always done.

This is what you do.







Poem On The Second Anniversary Of Your Death



It's like picking a scab.

Each time its almost healed

I rub and scratch until the blood flows.

I bleed for you. I bleed for me.


Sometimes I just bump into things

And knock it open.

But mostly I pick at it.


I have songs that can rip it open,

I have photographs I hide away until I want to see what I have lost.

And there is still that little seed of doubt that I was good enough for you.

That seed I can plant and water with blood until it grows so tall I can not see the top.


If the scab heals, all that's left is a scar.

Scars can fade away.


I would have died for you.

I would have died with you.

That would have been easy.

The hard part is letting the scab heal and believing you won't fade away.







I sometimes told you that you saved my life.

You would grin and make a joke.

Or in a more serious mood say

"No you saved your own life,

I was just with you when you did it."


I guess it was a little of both.

But either way I am still here

And you are not.


My life was in your hands.

I put it there and chose to keep it there.

Hands that sheltered but never held too tight.

Hands one could curl up in and feel safe.


I am still here

And you are not.


I am the trapeze flyer without a net,

The baby bird pushed out of the nest,

The boat riding the rapids, heading for the waterfall.



You are not here

I am.


The hands fell away but I can walk on air.


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Here is a poem my husband wrote to our daughters about 3 years before he died suddenly:


My Changing Heart


By: Wilfred Bereswill


She fits in my hand,

Flying through the room, giggling her silly giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is filling.


She chases a ball,

With twenty others, giggling her determined giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is content.

She snuggles on my lap,

Watching men skate on ice, giggling her amazed giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is full.


She arranges her dorm room,

Hanging clothes on a rack, giggling a nervous giggle,

This is the best time, for her,

My heart is unsure.


She walks in white,

Taking her hand from mine, giggling a silent giggle,

This is the best and worst time,

My heart is empty.


She takes a tiny hand,

And places it in mine, giggling along with a silly giggle,

This is the best time,

My heart is filling again.


(This is especially meaningful to me right now, as our last daughter gets married Sept. 5th.) The only part he didn't get to experience was holding our grandbaby while alive. 


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  • 1 month later...

Life is a stopping place

A pause in what?s meant to be.

A resting place along the road

To sweet eternity.

We all have different journey?s

and paths along the way

We all are meant to learn many things

But never meant to stay.

Our destination is a place

Far greater than we know.

For some the journey, quicker

For some the journey, slow

And when the journey ends

We all claim a great reward

And find an everlasting peace

Together with the Lord



We give them back to you, O Lord,

who first gave them to us;

yet as you did not lose them in the giving,

so we do not lose them by their return . . .


For what is yours is ours also,

if we belong to you.

Love is unending, and the boundary

of this mortal life is but a horizon,

and a horizon is nothing

save the limit of our sight.

Lift us up, strong Son of God,

that we may see more clearly . . .


And while you prepare a place for us,

prepare us also for that happy place,

that we may be with you

and with those we loved for evermore.



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  • 2 months later...

For those of us seeking our next love and feeling that our scars put people off...


Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics


I am not the first person you loved.

You are not the first person I looked at

with a mouthful of forevers. We

have both known loss like the sharp edges

of a knife. We have both lived with lips

more scar tissue than skin. Our love came

unannounced in the middle of the night.

Our love came when we?d given up

on asking love to come. I think

that has to be part

of its miracle.


This is how we heal.

I will kiss you like forgiveness. You

will hold me like I?m hope. Our arms

will bandage and we will press promises

between us like flowers in a book.

I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat

on your skin. I will write novels to the scar

of your nose. I will write a dictionary

of all the words I have used trying

to describe the way it feels to have finally,

finally found you.


And I will not be afraid

of your scars.


I know sometimes

it?s still hard to let me see you

in all your cracked perfection,

but please know:

whether it?s the days you burn

more brilliant than the sun

or the nights you collapse into my lap

your body broken into a thousand questions,

you are the most beautiful thing I?ve ever seen.

I will love you when you are a still day.

I will love you when you are a hurricane.

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Like Water


It hadn?t been three months since he had died

when we sat together in your living room,

a green world going on outside, the June wind

blowing hot and hard, bending each leaf and branch,

while inside all was still: a still interior where

three women sat in shadow stirring summer drinks,

the room the same as it had always been,


but changed, his absence palpable. You said,

?I thought I?d gradually miss him less, the way

a craving for a cigarette lessens a little after weeks

of going without. It?s not like that.? You paused,

drawing in a breath. ?It?s like a thirst that deepens

as each day passes. Like water,? you finally said.

?I want him back the way I want a drink of water.?


(Elizabeth Spires)


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I prefer to grieve

on the floor beneath a table

or outside stretched

upon the ground.

But, well-intentioned friends

come with pleas for me

to see a counselor and

eat dinner at their homes.

Begging I do something,


not understanding I am tired

and need to be inactive.

I want to sink beneath the tables,

lie in the dirt, drink until morning,

and grieve until the loss evolves

slowly into a timid strength.

Alcohol that is not usually kept in the house

because I will impulsively drink every drop,

now whispers greetings for me to enter

those dangerous zones of long lost spirits.

And friends will call

and display horror, disgust

when asking, ?Have you been drinking??

Powerless, they sigh, ?Oh no.?

Never understanding how that despair

and wine are so painfully short-lived,

nor how comforting it is to let my tears fall

while driving along that hard paved road.

Copyright ? 2001 by Diane Payne. All rights reserved.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Come What May from Moulin Rouge.  It was my wife and I's favorite movie, this our favorite song.  If you haven't heard it, you should give it a listen.


Never knew I could feel like this

Like I've never seen the sky before

Want to vanish inside your kiss

Every day I love you more and more


Listen to my heart, can you hear it sing?

Telling me to give you everything

Seasons may change, winter to spring

But I love you until the end of time


Come what may, come what may

I will love you until my dying day


Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place

Suddenly it moves with such a perfect grace

Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste

It all revolves around you


And there's no mountain too high, no river too wide

Sing out this song and I'll be there by your side

Storm clouds may gather and stars may collide

But I love you, I love you

Until the end of time

(Until the end of time)


Come what may, come what may

I will love you until my dying day

Oh, come what may, come what may

I will love you, I will love you


Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place


Come what may, come what may

I will love you until my dying day

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  • 3 weeks later...

The first one is a Sonnet he printed out for me on our first Valentine's Day together, framed along with a  photo of us.


Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda


I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,

or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.


I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.


I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way


than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.  




And this one I came across recently


My Love Is Lost


My love is lost.

I held it as a handful of sand, clenching my fist

to hold it there.

Yet, bit by bit, it slipped through my straining fingers.

Now, nothing but memories of every smile, every kiss,

and, above all, every word.

For 'twas not into my ear you whispered but into

my heart.

'Twas not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

And when I opened my tired hand and found my

love was gone

I trembled and died.

I struggle to hide my deadness.

To conceal the emptiness in my eyes,

that sparkle with tears always so close

but never come.

My mind quivers and screams, fight, fight to live

But why?

My handful of existence has vanished.

My love is lost.

My love is lost.


~Judy Garland


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  • 2 weeks later...

This makes me cry almost every time I read it.


The Thing Is by Ellen Bass


to love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you've held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again.


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  • 4 weeks later...

From the HuffPost common grief article "I'm Not a 'Good' Widow (and That's Okay)"  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nora-mcinerny-purmort/you-do-not-have-to-be-good_b_9283332.html


You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.


-- Mary Oliver, Wild Geese



ETA - just finished reading through the whole article.  I think this may be my favorite line - can I have it on a t shirt please?


Hard things are hard, and while they can someday teach you a lesson or make you a stronger person, they are entirely capable of just beating the everloving shit out of you and leaving you emotionally dead and physically exhausted.


I also dig this one:

Your job, when bad shit happens, is to get through it however you can. It is not your job to make your life more palatable for other people.


and this one:

It's okay if sometimes you hate your friends for having things you don't have anymore, and then you hate yourself for hating perfectly nice people who love you, just because their husbands are alive! That's okay!

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  • 11 months later...

Here's a poem by the great English writer Thomas Hardy. It's not uplifting (that wasn't his thing), but it's pretty powerful.





I dream that the dearest I ever knew

Has died and been entombed.

I am sure it's a dream that cannot be true,

But I am so overgloomed

By its persistence, that I would gladly

Have quick death take me,

Rather than longer think thus sadly;

So wake me, wake me!


It has lasted days, but minute and hour

I expect to get aroused

And find him as usual in the bower

Where we so happily housed.

Yet stays this nightmare too appalling,

And like a web shakes me,

And piteously I keep on calling,

And no one wakes me!

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  • 5 months later...

Just came across it readin the kids to sleep. From Silverstein, I remember "where the sidewalk ends" but not this book, "everything on it". Kids poems, by a fine poet, at least in my uncultured estimation.


"Oh, where are you goin, my Jimmy-Jack-John,

With only the moon for your light?"

"I'm goin' roundin search of the dawn,

And I'll prob'ly be gone most of the night."


"Oh, why are you cryin', my Jimmy-Jack-John,

And why do you stare out to sea?"

"I'm thinkin' that over the waves of the pond

The dawn lies a-waitin' for me."


"But why do you wander, my Jimmy-Jack-John,

A-roamin' in search of the blue?

Just wrap yourself tight in this blanket of night

And the dawn will come to you."




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