Poetry

Welcome to our poetry page

Please feel free to use any of the poems here but always remember to acknowledge the author where applicable. If you have any poems you’d like to add please send them to us.

info@bereavement.co.uk

 

 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
By Terry Kettering

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and “ I’m fine”.
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else,
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say Barbara again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say, Barbara to you
and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me alone
in a room with an elephant.

The Rose Beyond the Wall

A rose once grew where all could see
Sheltered beside a garden wall
And, as the days past swiftly by
It spread its branches, straight and tall

One day, a beam of light shone through
A crevice that had opened wide
The rose bent gently toward its warmth
Then passed beyond to the other side

Now, you who deeply feel its loss
Be comforted, the rose blooms there
It’s beauty even greater now
Nurtured by Gods own loving care.

Author unknown

The Ending

To every life there’s  an ending  
but the  feelings of love never die
All that’s  mortal departs
but love lives on  in each heart 
that remembers 
as time goes by 

Alex James

 God looked Around His Garden

God looked around his garden

And found an empty place,

He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace be Thine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

Author unknown

 

THE DASH

One of our very favourite poems Sadly we aren’t able to publish here so
please click the link to visit  Linda Ellis web page and read

http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

 

How Can The Sun Still Shine

How can the sun still shine so brightly
birds sing and circle cloudless sky in flight
flowers bloom still fragrant as ever
and day still roll on gently in to night .

How can this road that often we have driven
where folk still stand and chatter in the street
and children play
while my own grief unhidden
reflects in eyes of all those I meet.

How can the shopping precincts be so full
and television programmes be the same
and music on the airwaves keep on playing
and never once a mention of your name.

How can ordinary things   that once I took for granted
continue on as though things are just  the same
and everywhere your  memory is planted
and every breath I take breathes out your name

Take  my arms for I no longer need them
There is no one now I wish to hold
and taste and touch and sound will have no meaning
or summers warmth or winters icy cold .

Take away the laughter ,
take those who still naive have life intact
take all the colour from the world it has no place here
for my own world is shrouded now in black .

Without you there’s no reason for the sunshine
No need to wrap up warm on starlit night
Stand on a beach or watch a sunset
My coloured world is changed
to black and white

I wander round our old familiar places ,
recalling you and how we used to be
Around me just  gaps and empty spaces
And words that bring no comfort yet to me .

How can the sun still shine so brightly
Birds sing and circle cloudless skies in flight
Flowers bloom as fragrantly as ever
and day still roll on gently in tonight

Alex James ..Sept 002

 

 Remember Me

Remember me when I am gone away ,
Gone far away into the silent land ;
When you can no more hold me by the hand ,
Nor half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day to day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember ,do not grieve :
For darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad .

 by Christina Rossetti

 

 Stop All The Clocks

Stop all the clocks , cut off the telephone ,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone ,
Silence the pianos and muffled drum
Bring out the coffin , let the mourners come .

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky HE IS DEAD
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves ,`
Let traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves .

He was my North, my South, my East and West
My working week and my Sunday rest.
My noon , my midnight , my talk , my song ;
I thought love would last forever : I was wrong .

The stars are not wanted now: put out everyone
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good

WH Auden

Death is nothing at all

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 are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always 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 ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral

 

 

THE SHIP OF LIFE
by John T. Baker

Along the shore I spy a ship
As she sets out to sea;
She spreads her sails and sniffs the breeze
And slips away from me.

I watch her fading image shrink,

As she moves on and on,
Until at last she’s but a speck,
Then someone says,She’s gone.

Gone where? Gone only from our sight
And from our farewell cries;
That ship will somewhere reappear
To other eager eyes.

Beyond the dim horizon?s rim
Resound the welcome drums,
And while we’re crying,There she goes
They’re shouting, Here she comes!

We’re built to cruise for but a while
Upon this trackless sea
Until one day we sail away
Into infinity.

 

My Grief is Like a River

By Cinthia G. Kelley

My grief is like a river,
I have to let it flow,
but I myself determine
just where the banks will go.

Some days the current takes me
in waves of guilt and pain,
but there are always quiet pools
where I can rest again.

I crash on rocks of anger;
my faith seems faint indeed,
but there are other swimmers
who know that what I need

Are loving hands to hold me
when the waters are too swift,
and someone kind to listen
when I just seem to drift.

Grief’s river is a process
of relinquishing the past.
By swimming in hope’s channels,
I’ll reach the

 

If I should Die

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hands to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.

Attrib. A Price Hughes

 

BORROWED HOPE
By Eloise Cole, Scottsdale, Arizona

Lend me your hope for awhile.
I seem to have mislaid mine.

Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily.
Pain and confusion are my companions.
I know not where to turn.
Looking ahead to the future times
does not bring forth images of renewed hope.
I see mirthless times, pain-filled days,
and more tragedy.

 

Farewell

Farewell to Thee! But not farewell

To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
Within my heart they still shall dwell
And they shall cheer and comfort me.

Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live
And men more true Thou wert one;
Nothing is lost that Thou didst give,
Nothing destroyed that Thou hast done.

Anne Bronte
1820-1849

Indian Prayer

When I am dead
Cry for me a little
Think of me sometimes
But not too much.
Think of me now and again
As I was in life
At some moments it’s pleasant to recall
But not for long.
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace
And while you live
Let your thoughts be with the living

 

 Not, how did he die

Not, how did he die, but how did he live?
Not, what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away?

Anon

Life Goes On

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower
Nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I am gone
Speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves
That I have known

Weep if you must
Parting is hell
But life goes on
So …. sing as well

Joyce Grenfell
1910-1979

 

Time Will Ease The Hurt

The sadness of the present days
is locked and set in time,
and moving to the future
is a slow and painful climb.

But all the feelings that are now
so vivid and so real
can’t hold their fresh intensity
as time begins to heal.

No wound so deep will ever go
entirely away
yet every hurt becomes
a little less from day to day.

Nothing can erase the painful
imprints on your mind
but there are softer memories
that time will let you find.

Though your heart won’t let the sadness
simply slide away
the echoes will diminish
even though the memories stay

Author unknown

 

 

But Not Forgotten

I think no matter where you stray,
That I shall go with you a way.
Though you may wander sweeter lands,
You will not forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head
Nor the tremulous things I said.
You will still see me, small and white
And smiling, in the secret night,
And feel my arms about you when
The day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be,
You’ll hold me in your memory
And keep my image there without me,
By telling later loves about me.

Dorothy Parker

The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved