Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dead Man Walking


stench of death tinged with breadth of life
tongues a warning of regret and grief
value measured in shades of grey
mourning rising each generation

dreams of color form ashen footsteps
with gait of choices on dusty road
to the vibrating pulse of a static heart
charred with remains of earthy memories

the subtle hues of light and dark
rich with allusion cast no shadow
for he is obscure, a shade of sunless
for he is the shadow, the dead man walking

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43 comments:

  1. The combination of the stench of life with the breadth of life is powerful. The bridge between the two is sometimes such a short one. It is good if the earthly memories do live on. I wonder if they do. Nice to see you again, Kathryn.

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    1. I find myself wondering too . . . at some point I guess we'll find out. Hopefully later than sooner. :)

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  2. I specially like the play of light and darkness ~ Can a static heart recall the the earthly memories ? ~ The dead man walks, always in the shadows ~

    Lovely to see you Kathryn ~ Have a good week ~

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  3. i hope when my time comes i am not haunted by regrets....our choices though will determine that for sure....merely a shadow...

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  4. "value measured in shades of grey' - as much as we'd like to shine and be remembered as such, it is more likely that we will be remembered in shades of grey. Hopefully the grey will be light.

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  5. Very chilling, but also filled with honesty... It always comes down to light vs. dark.

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  6. great play on light vs dark. And that stench of death--pass the air freshener, please? smiles

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    1. the stench of death can be overwhelming . . . turkey vultures are obviously immune. :)

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  7. this made me think of people who grow up in war regions...

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  8. The way the shadow is his home - yes a dead man walking has to be there...

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  9. Kind of related and unrelated at the same time..
    but after reading the words..
    it reminded me of a previous thought...
    do we really die..
    when we upload our soul
    on the Internet..

    just a thought i guess..

    and perhaps a relevant..
    revolutionary truth..

    for those that literally find a way..
    to exist.. relatively forever..

    in more than one heart..
    as words make heArt...
    at least in
    poetry to me..:)

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  10. In the modern age we have learned to fear death in ways people in the past did not. We need to unlearn.

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  11. So many beautiful lines, wow!

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  12. I like the 'subte hues of light and dark'...and 'charred with remains of earthly memories' that go to the heart of death.

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  13. This is a powerful write. I like your choice of words which enhance the melancholy mood of yearning for life.

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    1. Thanks Myrna, it's been a while but I was inspired.

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  14. yes - I agree that the choice made this rich

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  15. Drat! My comment was lost. Let's see whether I can recreate it. The colors you chose here really enhanced the feeling of emptiness and death. Although I know we'll all have griefs and regrets at the end of our lives, hopefully they'll be outweighed by the joys and opportunities taken.

    janet

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  16. The beginning hooked me in. It reads like a chant with a mystical, eerie tone. I loved the last two lines.. :-)
    -HA

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  17. A powerful opening line I think it might be best to make amends if you can before you pass
    to the other side. I like the way you weaved some light into this dark piece.

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    1. Thanks Truedessa . . . always that struggle between light and dark.

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  18. To feel alive and joy is the answer whichever road you take.

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  19. The more I read these dead man poems, the more I look over my shoulder to see the shadow world beneath the matrix. Can it be inhabited by non-hungry zombies? Which is more alive--what lives in the grey or one who dreams beyond it? Mysterious and spooky.

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    1. So true, the "mourning rising each generation".....great lines, Kathryn!

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  20. "the vibrating pulse of a static heart" a fantastic contrast...the shadow man bears it in his sunless existence, all the pulsating memories of life & we are like that dead man sometimes...

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    1. thank you Sumana, I agonized over that line hoping it might convey some of the energy that the dead leave behind.

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  21. From the first line, a contradiction in terms - somehow full of life although very dead.

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  22. this poem left me with a dark foreboding that sorta said 'see here, what can happen.'

    haunting, dark, and lovely!

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  24. I quite admire the cadence in this - it supports and enriches the pen ~

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