Bereaved: Finally Bare

by Xanthe   Nov 14, 2012

Not a poem. Just something I needed to write and submit as some sort of proof or reminder for myself.
No need to comment or rate or read, actually.

- - - - -

"I daydreamed of eyes too empty of remorse."

Shadows writhe upon the coffee table,
a television - silenced -
alight faces once gleaming with passion.
I knew they were neither too weary
nor too lonely to retire; the night is still
too raw, unripe.

My hands yearned to write of those faces
as they sought for meaning inside
a room suffocating with canvas - spread -
anticipating a flood of dreams gone stale.
A flash of light momentarily lit up the room,
the faces - both empty for far too long
to actually be filled again - sending streaks
of sparks pirouetting through the air,
to the carpet.
If hope could be anything visible, it would
be like that: binding, fleeting.
In the blink of an eye, faces utterly gaunt
and lost were masked to show what once
was brimming with life.
Hands reached out for mine, and I recall
a pair much younger - holding amber crayons
too tightly until they almost broke.
That bitter toxic scent sat flittingly within my
throat, smothering me in the briefest of moments
until I finally believed there was nothing as

I've always thought we are
so alike suns -
fated to fall by dusk,
yet so unalike for I know
we aren't meant to rise.

I was never a poet who'd risk writing
about the future - something so distant -
because I dream of death too much.
These days, I find books too romantic
to keep beneath my pillow by nightfall.
Their covers much too soft, much too
hard for me to distinguish leather from
paper to cardboard; their scent too
strong yet too faint as the numbers grew
and pages thinned until spines reclined.
I found my love poems and I almost
rewrote them - to finally speak of the
truth - but I am a coward, I always am,
I always will be and you know that.

Senseless thoughts take the shape
of a language foreign to you
(with the o's "too circular" and "too
perfect" for you after all these years)
onto paper almost yellow, and naked
faces appear a little too deformed -
the walls look so promising now.

The vaguest evidence of moonlight
stalked through the room, on faces,
upon alabaster walls;
I was told I'd find hope by then,
but in its place, I rediscovered emptiness.

"Did you ask how it felt?"

You called me a fool as I wept
for grief not mine.
Too naive was I to understand you
that night as I desperately wrote
of those faces before they vanished
Voices spilled over the atmosphere -
perhaps confined within my head for days

I've always loved sleep but lately,
rest never comes, and I am too much
of a dreamer to believe that
waking up ever begets anything right.

I remember you holding on to an umbrella
- closed -
too tightly, white knuckles contrasted
the red colour of it,
leaning by your broken leg -
your broken everything - too afraid
to open it up and bring it over your head.
Why won't you open up?
And you complained
of how I used to do the same.
...used to...

I searched clouds too empty
as me to let rain fall over our heads
and soak my face of grief; regret.
My faith buries itself deeper -
to the pit of my stomach until I felt
numb, driving me farther down the

Somehow, I managed to blow out
candles ablaze this year - too small to
be standing still - half-melted, half-
wished upon.
Smoke swirled toward the ceiling,
clinging on to chipped paint,
smelling of what is suffocating and pleasant
- addicting -

I allowed myself to believe a little too long
that I'd finally feel something afterwards.
Faces resemble Autumn leaves to-night;
hanging, perishing with time, for the breeze
has relinquished a fortnight ago.

"You'd never understand, anyway."



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Latest Comments

  • 5 years ago

    by The Queen

    To write a very long poem which is worth reading is certainly an accomplishment and I could truly read this piece over and over again and never get tired of it. The poet's way with words is truly stunning as to how they make it flow so well and the theme interesting so much that it certainly appeals to the senses in so many ways. For example, I find the concept of the title "Bereaved: Finally Bare" genuine and certainly heartfelt, which is evident throughout the poem. Although the final line is incomplete, (the poet's feelings/bereavement remain unrequited/unheard), their longing to be together is evident to the reader.

    "was brimming with life.
    Hands reached out for mine, and I recall
    a pair much younger - holding amber crayons
    too tightly until they almost broke."

    These lines indicate their romantic feelings for someone who they spent their childhood years.

    "I've always thought we are
    so alike suns -

    In describing themselves as suns, the poet has achieved a rather effective comparison; younger people tend to be fervently desirous when it comes to what they want in life, and have fiery personalities.

    Overall, I enjoyed reading this and will definitely come back to re-read it again.

    "to open it up and bring it over you head."
    ^to open it up and bring it over [your] head

    Just a typo I thought I should point out.

  • I feel that there are many interpretations possible for this piece of writing and that only you will know its true meaning.

    But, in saying that, I feel strongly as though it has something to do with aging and death. The candle aspect towards the end allows the reader to infer that the writer of this piece is celebrating a birthday, though under unusual or sorrowful circumstances. The candles 'half-melthed, half-wished upon' -> to me gives the impression of a great sorrow perhaps a household which cannot afford new candles, cannot afford much and therefore many things are reused or perhaps that the inhabitants are grown up so much that the candles are no longer what they were when first purchased, i.e. the children have grown or an old person has lived life - though with this last part, you wrote a note above the piece that suggested this poem was about YOU.

    Death is another scenario, as death always brings such sorrow, such deep insight and can be imagined within the stanzas concerning 'faces' - faces of people at a funeral, faces perhaps faceless because we may not know them personally, but know they have sacrificed themselves - I took note of the date this piece was written, Remembrance Day - perhaps these faces are those of soldiers, and hence the idea of age... it was years ago now, though the grief still holds us captive on this annual date. This scenario can also be seen in the segment of 'wept for grief not my own' -> you weren't there, you may not have met any one of these faceless people, and therefore this grief is not entirely yours, you feel it, because these are people, and its the compassionate thing to do, as well as having learnt much about the event you would hold sorrow in your heart, but its indirect sorrow.

    Sorry if I am mistaken in my interpretations, but as I said, only you will know its complete meaning and that is the way with all writings especially those close to our hearts.

    I must say, to some your use of detail could appear overwhelming, but to me it is effective in its drawing of imagery. Everything is vivid, and to me it appears that you have intended to allow people see clearly what is on your mind, even if they won't entirely understand it.

    This piece holds an emotional onslaught for its readers, with every aspect of raw emotion thrown in haphazardly but necessarily so. The impact is immense.

    For something that was a spill of emotions for you, this piece is truly and utterly incredible.

    A worthy nomination.


  • 5 years ago

    by Hellon

    Gosh...I hope I don't make you sad with my interpretation especially if it's totally worng so...forgive me in advance if it is...

    I see this as your grandparents who are now in their twilight years and not able to to the things you loved to do with them. Now they just sit and watch TV find that hard to accept?

    I could break this one down but....if my interpratation is correct I really don't want to. I was never lucky enough to meet any of my grandpartents (WWII) saw to that parents were very full on with my own children and...although they have passed away themselves kids have very happy meories of them that I'm a grandparent myself.....I do still try to keep that alive...I play with them...draw with general, I just encourage them to be the little people they are.

    Sorry if this is totally wrong...just my thoughts...

  • 5 years ago

    by Karla

    I wish I had a vote left.Awesome piece.

  • 5 years ago

    by Wild flower

    Any poem from the heart is great, and yhis piece is AWESOME:)
    Amazing job Xanthe..