07 September, 2010


There, but Not

The almost-were, who never formed; the ones not breathing,
voice unheard; the safely launched then quickly gone, or with
us long and snatched away.
Death came and took them, one by one; the how--it hurt;
the loss--much more, as memories spill, of those we knew,
or not yet knew ...
the ache’s the same.

They came to us, as if on loan, not really ours to keep
(as if love can be harnessed, owned).  They visit now
through shadows' mist.  The ache subsides, then crashes
forth; retreats, returns--a shriek, a moan, and when
grief's spent, no words at all;
not even words unsaid.
We settle down into the now,  but with us still, the
There-but-Nots--within, without; not there, yet
There; we hold their place, that empty space inside we keep
for them (and only them) to fill, our loved, beloved
lost ones--gone,
still there.

A very special thanks to the eight poets below for their kind and gracious permission to share these deeply personal poems of loss, grief, memories, reflections, and above all ... Love.  All but two of them have written about a personal loss as a parent; two were written about the loss of someone else's child/children but because of the profound effect it had on these poets, their verses have been included here as well.  The focus in this small collection is not on the fact of death but on the depth of the sense of loss of certain special beings, or almost-beings, who are no longer with us.

~ ~ Editor, Salamander Cove

Photo courtesy of Jonathan
at Beeps & Chirps

not here
the  one

~ ~ Chris Agee

From Next to Nothing, Salt Publishing, 2009.   Copyright Chris Agee, 
quoted with permissiom from Salt Publishing.


gets done
it sits
on the desk
covered in dust
the notebook
of "Memories"
I'm unable
to face

~ ~ Chris Agee

From Next to Nothing,  Salt Publishing, 2009.     With permission.