December 2, 2010

Last Pome-a-day

[What I anticipated would be the last prompt for the pome/a/day November project from Writers Digest was not, but I had already written the poem (alternately, "I had already poemed"). Seems a shame to waste it in my battered workbook.  Sort of a half-sonnet.]


When the heart stops at the end
the breath stops, the words end
Poems don’t stand around the bed
Instead, it’s people standing like poems.

When the heart stops, hearts keep beating
those we made, those we have touched
keep beating for us when the words stop.


Anonymous said...

from Therese L. Broderick -- So poignant, Dan. And so nicely-done. Several one-syllable words, like single heart beats. Much involution, the way silence/death insinuates into sound/life. I love the unforgettable image of people standing around like poems! This poem ends with "stop" -- and also ends the month of writing. I wonder how this poem would sound as a Round, read aloud by three people, each person starting and ending at different moments? Might be really heart-wrenching to hear this poem in that way.

Anonymous said...

so glad you gave it a try!

Inna Erlich said...

Translated by me into Russian:

Kогда в последний час
Cердце перестает биться,
Дыхание пропадает,
Cлова умолкают,
Не стихи стоят у постели,
А люди, стоящие как стихи.

Когда сердце перестает биться,
Tо стучат cердца тех,
Чьих судеб мы коснулись.
Стучите для нас, сердца,
Kогда умолкают слова.

Ben-Yolik said...

И стихи тоже!
Они укроют нас от забвения!
Люди умирают, а стихи нет...
С признанием!

Translated from Russian by Inna E.

And poems, too!
They will shelter us from sinking into oblivion!
People are dying, but poems are not...