Can you hear me?
Can you hear me cry?
Can you hear me as I die?
I wonder if my voice travels
Outside this place, this clearing,
Surrounded by my brethren
And sisters born from a great fire.
The staff of my life has rotted away
See my mangled entrails, my roots
Now exposed by climatic winds and rains
If you look close, can see in the fading light
Layered ashes from my father close there
Entangled within my severed taproot.
My bark once rich and thick lies crumbled at my feet
Scavenged by Promethean birds of prey
Who’ve eaten what life still clung to me
And has left me a bare white wooden bone.
Quick — the sun is setting — the air grows cold
My broken fingers claw at the sky
The shadows slip all round us here
Bringing peace and darkness
As I prepare to rejoin my father, my kin.
Come close … hear my whisper
But the stirring of air is all that remains.
Can you hear me?
I have picked out these stones,
Always near, they brought me comfort,
Let them remain, pressed into earth
To mark that I was here, once where
I was, a tower, a spear, a mast near.
When the ground I reach, make
Something of me, a memory,
Gather the kindling of my life soon past
Light the fire, let the smoke
Carry my voice for all to hear
And return me to ash.
Submitted as part of “National/Global Poetry Writing Month” (#NaPoWriMo #GloPoWriMo).
Today’s prompt: Day Eight: write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.
30 Poems in 30 Days
All text and photography © Dale Schierbeck
…. more of my original Poetry on EatsWritesShoots here.