I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

11 April 2017

Never Call Me Rose (It Hurts Too Much)

on being asked if a song had ever saved my life

No song came to save his life. 
He was alone that night, when he took it.
Mine thereafter was not in need of saving.
With his death, I too was dead already
only still walking around in a body.

But eventually my blank brain
heard some words which pierced
months of numbness, though gently sung: 
When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long ...

and I forgave him then, and became –
well I wouldn't say reconciled, but at least
I understood that some things 
can be too much to bear. And so 
I came alive again, into pain.

Day 11 of April Poetry Month at 'imaginary garden with real toads' is the unprompted Tuesday Platform ... but the question, 'Has a song saved your life?' was offered as a suggestion.

Yes it is a true story, but it happened 35 years ago. (Though, obviously, I have not forgotten.)


  1. Oh Rosemary. This is so tender and vulnerable and beautiful and heart breaking and i'm not sure I could listen to the song right now.
    Virtual hugs.

  2. Goodness, that is just heartbreaking.. some things really are too much to bear...

  3. I know every word of that song and have sung it hundreds of times, mostly in my youth, but now and again as an adult. It does go straight to the heart, like your poem.

  4. Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I believe the words of the songs I sang helped me fall in love and to follow those words. Your poem has an aching sadness that can be felt, like the song itself.


  5. 35 years feel like a second when the emotions are this strong. That living pain still bleeds through your words, my Rosemary. So red and tender.

  6. Part of the irony is that we only know we're alive because we feel the pain...and sometimes the joy. Nicely done.

  7. Such a searing experience could never be forgotten. I am glad you were able to heal over time. It is amazing how the words of a single song and, of course, poem cam give a vital new perspective.

  8. I can understand.. a pain so searing can never truly be forgotten.. big hugs.

  9. Oh, Rosemary, one would never forget something like this!! Even episodes that aren't so final I have not forgotten. Nor do I tell of them though I would love to write about them. Spare the kids though.
    You wrote it perfectly, I was living those long periods right there with you.

  10. I especially like the wording you used here: "But eventually my blank brain
    heard some words which pierced
    months of numbness . . ." Nicely done.

  11. Feels like hundreds of emotions are running through me right now ... beautifully composed, you and the poem.

  12. Very honest and vulnerable. This was profound.

  13. So sorry (both for the loss and the pain). There is yet beauty in your words.

  14. So sorry...There are times we need to express what is so often to hard to remember.

  15. ah. time is not so much a salve, as a lens ~

  16. well I wouldn't say reconciled,
    but at least I understood that some
    things can be too much to bear

    If it brought back memories it would feature as an unforgettable episode nice to recollect. Especially when it is a true story.


  17. Pain doesn't have a time limit. And songs have a way of tying memories and emotions together in a neat bow, even while those emotions may not be so neatly processed. This was a very poignant and honest piece.