Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I Kept The Ashes

Despite all my mother tried to do, I am an ordinary man in most ways. However, most men are not practicing poets. Only a few try for that. I've made the cut. I started writing poetry out of something that happened early in my counter culture days and I was not good at it most of my life. I would slip in, write a few, and then out of the robes in distress even though occasionally I would think the work good for a while. Now I ponder, What was I thinking? I understand the poems, even feel the emotional flow, but such a result. I have tossed nearly all of them. Good riddance. This last move forced a shriving, a skinning, a digging in the deep of things and then retracting the hooks to watch the detritus flutter down into the wasting fire.

I Kept The Ashes

I leave you strewn so -
across the garage you drift -
several crannies
and nooks. I spilled you
on purpose, to see the shift
in all the worlds that
tumble with you, splash
the light this way and all that,
feel the grit of you
under my feet.

the flesh of my heart, lover.
Grind my soul to bits.

July 16, 2013 9:01 AM

Actually true...I did keep a small bit of my wife, Annie. I have a photo of her in Hawaii she made for me, a view of her from the back in a boat, gazing out to sea. It's a small photo. So is the pile of ashes a small layer in the modest corked clear green tinged bottle her sister sent to me. This layer is all that is left after I placed the ashes in her various places and mine. The main resting place can be found on the Oregon coast, at Newport, where we were married. Some are in the back yard of the house we bought in 1981. Some are in the front of the house I moved to. I also placed some with her uncle and aunt up at Willamette National Cemetery. Along with the ashes I kept, and draped around them is the Rosary she left me. As far as I know, Annie did not practice but she was raised in Catholicism and was serious about it until her mother and dad both died, when she was in high school.


  1. Part of me wishes to be there, to reach out, but the sadness? Do I have a right? Maybe the best I can offer is a respectful withdrawal.

    1. Interesting. I do not write with sadness exactly, but I am displaying the exact view of things. I long ago reconciled with Ann's death. 2001, and we separated for the final time a few years before. She went with her sister to Ohio, back home for her. The poetry...I suppose in the event (a total long shot) I become famous, then people will be mad at me for having lost all the early stuff. Otherwise, as many people would agree, lightening the load is the obvious thing.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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