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Plaza Poetry Picks

John O’Donohue: “For Grief”

When you lose someone you love, Your life becomes strange, The ground beneath you gets fragile, Your thoughts make your eyes unsure; And some dead echo drags your voice down Where words have no confidence.   Your heart has grown heavy with loss; And though this loss has wounded others too, No one knows what […]
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“The Poem I Can’t Yet Name” by Nguyen Phan Que Mai, translated from the Vietnamese by Nguyen Phan Que Mai and Bruce Weigl.

For my grandmother My hands lift high a bowl of rice, the seeds harvested in the field where my grandmother was laid to rest. Each rice seed tastes sweet as the sound of lullaby from the grandmother I never knew. I imagine her soft face as they laid her down into the earth, her clothes […]
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The Dead

They stroll in a field with no bounds or rein, their traceless steps in luxuriant grass. There are no harps   or wings, no cauldrons or flames. Each guest rises equal from a bed of reeds. One leans back on a tree,   luminous cloak against counterfeit bark. Another lounges in the perpetual breeze, arm […]
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“Each Moment” by Arlene Gay Levine

Behind the mask of summer sun, the green rush of spring, the peace of winter’s silence, and autumn’s fiery crown there are only moments strung together. Beads on a chain, each as valued as the next; a necklace fashioned of attention to this day. What is gone and what will be are links fingered lightly […].... READ STORY

Prayer for the Dead, by Stuart Kestenbaum

The light snow started late last night and continued all night long while I slept and could hear it occasionally enter my sleep, where I dreamed my brother was alive again and possessing the beauty of youth, aware that he would be leaving again shortly and that is the lesson of the snow falling and […]
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When everything that ticked —has stopped. By Martin Willitts, Jr.

It is not anything that stopped; but me. It was not Death’s hearse of autumn leaves slowing down to find my Last Testament. If I made the smallest dent, I hope it was with Love. Nothing in this reflective silence is long enough. Nothing stops ticking in order to speak of me. I came into […]
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‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting […]
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‘We Remember Them’ by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

At the rising sun and at its going down; We remember them. At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter; We remember them. At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring; We remember them. At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer; We […]
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