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.

21 January 2018

How Do You Like Your Blue-Eyed Boy, Mister Death?

Thank you, I like him fine.
Buffalo Bill will never 
not be handsome now,
and his prowess won’t deteriorate.

And when I give him back
to the cradling earth again
– for I don’t get to keep them, you know –
dressed in a new body and sporting a new name

perhaps you’ll meet him once more, in a different dream 
… unless it is you I am holding then. 
Unless it is you I lead by the hand
to your new, true awakening….

At "imaginary garden with real toads" Brendan asks us to "dance with a ghost", i.e. to respond to another poem. (Well no, it was to play tennis, but I prefer to dance.) The original e. e. cummings poem is one of my favourites – and hey, if someone's "defunct", they're really a ghost! (I have read the cummings poem bitterly in the past, identifying with the questioner. So in a way I am here talking to myself, using Death's voice to persuade myself of a different, kinder perspective.)

The "different dream" is an allusion to the final passage of Kahlil Gibran's
The Prophet, and in Death leading one by the hand I was recalling Sir Terry Pratchett's lovely posthumous tweet (involving his fictional character, Death).


  1. This is as balletic as ghost-tennis gets, Rosemary! You picked such a silver original to answer to. Turning elegy into transformation. Well done.

  2. This is such an incredibly powerful response, Rosemary!💞 The idea of 'a new, true awakening' gives me much to chew upon!💞

  3. I really like the death here... I feel that he respond to the bitterness in cummings poem.

  4. Fantastic response, evoking the reincarnate soul. Brilliant stuff.

  5. Very interesting meld of muses


  6. Yes, I like the voice of death in this one. Death always brings anger in some manner. I haven't always dealt well with that part of it.

  7. Chilling response to dealing with the notion of death. Well said, Rosemary.

    1. Hmmm, wasn't conceived of as chilling. Maybe it depends on one's attitude to death.

  8. I don't often say this, but... I wish I had written that title. Delicious!

    1. Wonderful, isn't it? But cummings wrote it first, albeit as a line, not a title.


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