Visiting Your Grave

I may never see your grave in person
But I will be there every day
That’s a promise I can keep
Every night before I sleep
As I travel to the place where you’ll lay

I will be the rain that falls on your grave
I will be the wind in the trees in the graveyard
I will be the soil that grows the plants
I will be the plants that grow from you
I will be the sky that shelters the earth
I will be the earth lying under the sky
I will be the sun shining down on the trees
I will be the trees growing over the graves
I will be the needles and leaves that fall from the trees
And carpet the ground where you lay

So don’t fear that I will never visit
I will be with you every day
I’ll be the rain and the wind
And the sun and the stars
And the earth made into clay
I will see you from above
I will see you from below
I will see you from without
I will see you from within
And if you want my flowers
Just look for the weeds
Growing at the base of your grave

The graveyard in the woods.

The graveyard in the woods.

The graveyard in the woods.

The graveyard in the woods.

The graveyard in the woods.

The graveyard in the woods.

[This is not the poem I’d been working on.  It just came out, rather quickly, all on its own.  Almost too fast to write down properly.  These pictures are the actual graveyard my father has picked for when he dies, and he has also picked out a beautiful plain pine coffin.  He loves how peaceful this tiny graveyard in the middle of the forest is.  I believe it suits him perfectly.  I will miss him terribly, but I feel better knowing his body will be laid to rest in such a wonderful place.]

Love Be With You

What do I do
When I know anything I say to you
May be the last thing I ever say to you
But at the same time
I never know
Which day will really be the last?

How do I say goodbye
When I don’t know if this time
Is really goodbye?

How do I know what to say
When all I want to do
Is crawl into your lap
And play with your beard
Like I did when I was too young
To know what goodbye meant?

What do you say
When you know this time
One of these times
Goodbye will be forever?

Goodbye — short for
God be with ye
And that much
Is appropriate enough
Love be with ye too

If Grief Is Love

I already feel as if
Some part of me
Has been shattered into pieces
That spread on the wind
Even at the prospect
Of your upcoming death

My body has been going into shaking fits
Without my permission or approval
And I didn’t want to show you
How upset I am
Because it’s your death
Not mine

But I just read
That grief is love

And if grief is love
Then I am so filled with love for you
That my body can barely hold it
It shakes and trembles, outside my control
Because I love you too much for words

The terror, the grief, the pain
They are all just words for love
And if those are love
Then my body shows my love
By quaking like a wild baby bird
Picked up by a human hand for the first time

Which conversations will I regret not having, the most?

I often have things I want to tell people
And then when the person comes around
The subject has fled my mind

“If it’s important, it’ll come back to you”
And it does come back
But only when I’m alone again

“Write a note, then you’ll remember”
But that requires remembering
To write notes and to read them

Eventually, eventually, I remember
I remember at the right time
And I tell them what I wanted to say

It could be a little funny thing that happened
It could be an important personal reminiscence
It could be something beautiful I wanted to share

What scares me is you’re dying now

What if you die
Before I remember
All the things
I want to tell you?

What if you die
Before I remember
All the things
I want to ask you?

You have so much knowledge stored up
Not just idea-knowledge, practical knowledge
Knowledge of how things used to be
Knowledge of how to do things
And I don’t even know the right questions

You have layer after layer
Of beautiful memories
Of places like the Sierras
And the redwoods
And other places
That make people gasp or cry
From sheer beauty

And I know that, like me,
You store sensory memories
With many layers
Until they are so thick with beauty
You could burst

And all of that will be gone when you die
And how will I share those things with you?
And what if there’s something I wanted to say
And I don’t remember it until you’re dead?
Will it matter so much, that I never forget?
Will it matter so much, that it always haunts me?
Or will the only thing that matters
Be whether I said “I love you” enough?

I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

I love you —
I could say it a hundred times
It would never be enough

Dance partners

Love is life and joy and happiness
And love is also
Death’s permanent dance partner
Neither would be what it is
Without the other nestled inside it
The closer you get to death
The closer you get to love
And sometimes that scares people the most

What can be feared from love?
Only the total annihilation
Of all that is not love
And that’s not just anything

What can be hoped from love?
Only the total annihilation
Of all that is not love
And that could well be everything