Line in the sand

Some will remember the angst I have spoken of from time to time. Seventy Four years spent mostly tormented by it.  Two years ago it finally ended.

A strange time was ticking away.
A time that was anticipated often:
Imagined in moments of fear maybe,
For there is no knowing the reasons,
Or if there is, shame may obscure
To help diffuse regretted notions.
I watched her final breath and a
Tsunami of emotions broke my shore.


The air was thick with the motion of clouds,
Some faster than the eye could see,
Some obscuring the watering eye,
Others misleading as to their intent.
Yet here was I set freshly adrift
In a raft of diaphanous grief
That was truly neither sorrow nor joy.

I turned to flowers as a mark of respect:
Something that had real meaning.
I settled – as light as a feather,
On daisies – pure, simple, and white.
More a hope, more a wish, than a fact.
Was I doing what she wished?
I was not sure it mattered anymore.

Words popped out of my open mouth
That had been practised throughout the night.
They were as pure as I could make them.
I looked at the ring of deceitful fairies,
lonely as a cloud topping what was left,
And at the ring of souls who came
To witness this final ‘’celebration’’.

I spoke with wavering voice –
Blown by the winds of my life,
Modulated by memories embedded
In a sad, now ended, relationship.
The assembled remained silent.
The music – chosen at great length –
Was too loud and drowned solemnity.
There should have been reverential silence
But I didn’’t hear it; not a single byte.

Softly, by devious mechanical deed,
The remains slid downwards and out of sight.
No curtain to hide them symbolically,
Just a sleight of hand trick – deception –
A final lie, a final illusion to top them all,
And a paradigm was gone to fire and ash.

At the door I refused my daisies,
I had them placed on actually forgotten bones.
I saw no point in my retaining them.
They had served their purpose I supposed.
What use a second-hand wreath to the living?


After, the air was thick with traffic fumes.
Backed up along the dual carriageway.
See, there were spindly daffodils
Growing on brake dust sprinkled verges
That I would likely never pass again.
They swayed in the breath of cars,
Bent to the gale of passing removal vans.
Her flowers. Our land of our fathers,
Our green green grass of home
Blighted by dirt, dust and sorrow.
Another line drawn in the sand.


Griffonner 2019


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“Yet here was I set freshly adrift
In a raft of diaphanous grief
That was truly neither sorrow nor joy.”

These three lines sum up perfectly this poignant poem recounting the heart-wrenching departure of a loved one and the ensuing emotions.
Brilliantly penned, Allen. Thanks for sharing it.


Nothing to forgive Allen, it was my pleasure to read your fine verse once again.
Welcome back.



How glorious to see your fine work again! A very poignant piece, graceful, skilled writing and a depiction of a friendship which soured but still meant something to ones heart and mind very well handled. I particularly enjoyed the 2nd verse.

I tried to email you, and a few others from here but have lost nearly all of the emails due to different computer issues over the years. I sure hope this finds you well, despite the loss this piece indicates.



My heartfelt condolences on your loss Griffinor! Am amazed by the exquisitelly penned poem on such a poignant subject and the title chosen! It is an experience for the reader. The pain and agony of reliving the funeral of a loved one (reading between the lines could understand not all love is lost, there are beautiful memories too, she left behind), after a gap of two years while the wound is yet to heal and pen on it, needs a brave heart. The smooth flow in the description of events alongwith the emotional turmoil brings out the solemnity of the… Read more »


Hi Allen, Lovely to read you again!
There is a huge amount of pain and inner reflection in this poem. It takes a long time sometimes to understand people come into our lives to help us grow and teach us lessons. The deeper the suffering the more it digs a place in our souls to know deep compassion.

I know from personal experience the dreadful misery that family members can inflict on us. Harder to process than anything else.
The intense hurt was palpable but the last line had great power and healing in it.

Alison x

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