a cloud of crows hovering
over a stone angel
-Church Graveyard Haiku, Chenou Liu.
Should a man wax tears
when his wooden world fails?
In town, leaves were paper
but the hills were a flock of faiths
To a boy who walked all day
each leaf was a green breath
Rebuilding a love
I thought was dead as nails
Blessing death & the baptism by fire.
-A City’s Death By Fire, Derek Walcott.
Lovers and thinkers,
into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull,
the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt
of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,
—but the best is lost.
-Dirge Without Music,
Edna St. Vincent Millay.
We cross under the midnight shield and learn that bullets
can curse the air. A symposium of endangered stars
evicts itself to the water. Another convoy leaves the kiln.
The crowded dead turn into the earth’s unfolded bed sheet.
We drift near banks, creatures of the Mekong, heads bobbing like
ghosts without bodies, toward the farthest shore.
With every treading soak, the wading leg, we beg ourselves
to live, to float the mortared cartilage and burial tissue
in this river yard of amputated hearts.
-Water Grave, Mai Der Vang.
The ghosts swarm.
They speak as one person.
Each loves you.
Each has left
-Unbidden, Rae Armantrout.
Death is a Dialogue between
The Spirit and the Dust.
“Dissolve” says Death
The Spirit “Sir I have another Trust”
Death doubts it
Argues from the Ground
The Spirit turns away
Just laying off for evidence
An Overcoat of Clay.
-Death Is A Dialogue Between,
Death is drawn to sound
like a slipper without a foot
a suit without its wearer
comes to knock with a ring
stoneless and fingerless
comes to shout without-
a mouth, a tongue, without a throat.
Nevertheless its footsteps sound
and its clothes echo, hushed like a tree.
-Death Alone, Pablo Neruda.
They thought the tide of grief would flow
Uncheck’d through future years;
But where is all their anguish now,
And where are all their tears?
Well, let them fight for honour’s breath,
Or pleasure’s shade pursue–
The dweller in the land of death
Is changed and careless too.
-My Lady’s Grave, Emily Jane Brontë
His palms spaghetti.
There’s spaghetti on his spaghetti already.
He’s nervous, but on the surface:
He looks calm spaghetti.
To drop bombs but he keeps on spaghetting.
-Lose Yourself, Eminem.