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.

2 April 2017

They Have Gone to Feed the Roses

And they lie beneath the smooth grass
and the flower-beds, rotting
until they are only bone. 

That's how it was done, once.
There are cemeteries of white stone
rows of markers sticking out of the earth.

I am not one who likes to walk
among the silent dead, reading
what their relatives said, carved in marble.

I don't want a burial. My shell
won't need a resting place, when the soul
has already left – the animating spark.

Let the body emulate that, go out
in a blaze of ... not glory, just honest 
flame – fierce, final, beautiful. After all,

my heart was fiery, my spirit ablaze, my soul
incandescent. Let me have fireworks! Let me 
depart with a bang: a cracker, a sparkler, a rocket!

The title is a phrase from Edna St Vincent Millay's 'Dirge Without Music'.

Written for Sanaa's Prompt Nights: 'Light is easy to love. Show me your darkness' – well I tried, but I seem to have plumped for the light after all!


  1. Hi Rosemary! Even with fireworks that emanates at the end, I strongly feel the presence of darkness in this moving piece. A speaker contemplating how they want to depart and be remembered. Accomplished write!

  2. how about you just calm down and stay. :P

    1. Yes, but I can have a bit of poetic licence meanwhile. :)

  3. Thank you and very well done Rosemary ... splendid in form, content and spirit ... "not glory, just honest / flame – fierce, final, beautiful" ... ... :)

  4. There was a "shiver" there between the ellipses: the angle brackets ensured its suppression :D :D

  5. I love this so much. I'm right with you--let it burn and dance to celebrate a life lived fiery.

  6. This makes me smile. Honest flame, yes, that's how I'd like to be honored as well, though I'm good with people taking the ashes left over and making them part of a teacup.

  7. Love these words, I can relate so well. Remembering times of walking in old graveyards, reading tomb stones. I like the idea of leaving in a blaze of glory and celebration. I hope it transpires for us :-)

  8. I can hear you singing out.May your dreams come true.

  9. Whistles!!❤️💝This is absolutely gorgeous writing, Rosemary. I love the fiery passion that paints your poem, sigh especially; "Let the body emulate that, go out in a blaze of ... not glory, just honest flame – fierce, final, beautiful." Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights and for your constant love and support❤️💝

    Lots of love,

  10. This is beautiful for its sincerity

    "Let the body emulate that, go out
    in a blaze of ... not glory, just honest 
    flame – fierce, final, beautiful. After all,"

    much love...

  11. OMG hahaha...I know have a very wicked image of my own cremation...nothing but a shroud, flesh and bone for the compost heap...but maybe a well hidden fire cracker...can you imagine the uproar???!!! Fantastic piece :D XXX

  12. Oh me...that's the glory of spirit...loved this idea...in our faith it is the fire!

  13. Well I'll leave no instructions however my children and grandchildren may one day want to say something to my ashes or some words on a plaque or carved out of stone; so I'll leave it up to them...I'll be busy elswhere.