Here’s where you’ll stand,
at the head and the feet.
Your cheeks will be wet
(keep nothing in reserve).
Have your song – a simple descent
where the last note catches
And poetry – a few lines will do –
how the world’s reduced,
the sea’s burnished brilliance
the hills blown down,
(though never say ‘I’
instead become the tears
and the breath and the breath).
Practice hands in the dirt then
fist at the sky (that ancient glyph)
at He who takes and takes, over again.
Take censure (and stones)
on your head and your feet
like those before you and before.
Sweep flowers and mild condolence,
bruise hands that would help
but hold, again and again.
Ready roar for a requiem
to rouse the indifferent dead
and those who’ve gone ahead.
Prepare (however you can)
to be overwhelmed and overwhelm
and (for all of us) balance
the remains and remains.
10 poems in 10 weeks – This is week 6
This poem was inspired by an article in Yes Magazine on lament singing in the Karelia region of Finland; ‘cry woman’ is Finnish for a professional mourner.
Image – insyros – https://www.flickr.com/photos/insyros/2127482724