Beyond The Sky
Beyond The Sky consists of five stanzas varying from ten to twelve lines each and is not rhymed.
The protagonist marvels at the night time sky and, taking his inspiration from what he
perceives as the wisdom of the moon, conceives of a place of rest far beyond what can be
seen from earth.
He muses on the mystery of the universe and the destination of us all concluding that it
provides a place of rest undisturbed by all he has known before.
Churchyard takes inspiration from Gray's Elegy and similarly reflects on the departed souls who are
now long lost to time. It consists of nine stanzas each of eleven lines (except for the first,
which is of eight lines) and has few rhymes.
An observer in the graveyard reflects upon the lives and struggles of the departed who, contrary to
Gray, are not revered merely for acceptance of their humble lot. I imply that their capabilities
and achievements live on beyond the grave in providing inspiration to the present world and thereby
incite us to overcome the challenges of modern times.
Dancing Through the Night
Dancing Through the Night consists of three stanzas of ten lines each and is not rhymed.
A lover is faced with the recent death of his wife and regrets that she will not wake again.
He must live on until he also passes away. They had lived as if life would never end but
they would never live those times again. He bids her to sleep forever a peaceful sleep
taking refuge in the delusion that the breeze will bring her back although he knows that
their past will be reflected, for her, in heavenly music and, for him, in the whispering
Desolation consists of ten stanzas of five lines each rhymed AE.
A man has lost his wife of many years to death and is cast into the depths of regret. Time
has moved on from their idyllic beginnings leaving him bereft with only the shades of
mourning as his companions and the thought that, beyond the thralls
of time, they will be joined forever among the stars.
The protagonist compares the moment of loss of his (or her) spouse to caravans crossing
unobserved in the desert. He senses an indefinite period that must elapse like night before
they can meet again and wonders what form she will meanwhile have assumed. He pleads that
she may stay close to him throughout the dark days to come and imagines her to be always
Format is 28 lines over three stanzas of unequal length irregularly rhymed.
Farewell to Bright Eyes
Farewell to Bright Eyes consists of nine stanzas each of eight lines rhymed DH.
Parents of a departed child are consoled in their loss by the prospect of meeting him or her
in their dreams. They see him often when they implore him to appear in the silence of the
night from his place among the stars to appear in the flowers and blossoms of their dream.
But, he is summoned by bells pealing faintly from far off steeples that announce the dawn and
they wake to find him gone. They wish for his safe return and keep him locked in their
memories confident of his reappearing in subsequent dreams.
A man imagines his deceased lover in several images that, whilst providing an ephemeral
comfort, retain her beyond his grasp. Sadly, he must finally accept her absence.
Format is seven stanzas each of seven lines and is not rhymed.
Last Voyage consists of seven stanzas each of twelve lines and is not rhymed.
It addresses the anguish of a relative who, too late, discovers that a troubled person has
removed himself from the world. His remorse is expressed in loving tones and understanding
with the promise that they will someday be re-united.
The poem uses maritime analogies in order to signify the inner turmoil of the departed and
the later reunification in harbour. The moment of anguish is expressed by reference to the
permanence of winter weather and the black birds wheeling about the churchyard. But it is
followed by the wish that the departed may finally rejoice in the warmer climes beyond
the seas where that brief life will find fulfilment in the love that accompanies him.
A man reviews his life with regrets for youth long since passed whereupon he embarks upon
his adult life. He, first, debates which path to follow, but, conscious that some decision
must be made, strides forth on his way. The adverse weather he encounters is a metaphor
for the travails of life that he encounters; and his leaving the winding road is a
metaphor for domesticity within which he is able to observe passers-by whom he can
compare with his own search for success.
He realizes that life flashes quickly by and, in his calm observance of others who must also
travel onwards, he muses on what he will encounter upon reaching the final destination. But
he is only too aware of the interval remaining and is reluctant to leave the world in
which he has found contentment. He stoically casts his mind on past glories and prepares
to enter the shadows proudly aware that he will be remembered for his achievements.
Format twelve stanzas of from eight to twelve lines each which are irregularly rhymed.
A reminder to mourners in a remembrance march, as they think upon their fallen comrades, that
losses have occurred on all sides and should be remembered together. They should not only
mourn the dead but be proud of the new age in which they now live thanks to past sacrifices
made on their behalf. Others, wherever they may be, who may be closely affected
by the losses, also deserve a part of sympathy in their sorrows.
Format is three stanzas of twelve, four and ten lines few of which are rhymed.
Remnant of Spring
Return to the Old Abode
Return to the Old Abode consists of three stanzas each of thirteen lines which are not rhymed.
The poem relates the return of a man through the memories of his wife's decease back to his
former home and his reminiscence of the happy times they spent there. He finds the place
now bereft of the charm he had recollected of the well-tended gardens where they spent
their happy years. They, like his memories, have also become overgrown and wild.
But he then hears a thrush singing amid the blossom. His memories are transformed as he
recalls their former life and the bird seems to revive his soul with the thought that he
is no longer alone.
A story of a man reluctantly ferried by Charon across the river Styx who protests to the gods
that his interment will serve no purpose and pleads to be granted an extension to his life.
The gods are implacable, however, repeatedly dismissing his promises of reform. He, finally,
relents in despair but with the wish that others will not also suffer his fate. The gods
grant him an interment wherein he may atone for his misdeeds by dreaming goodwill
throughout the afterlife.
Format is sixteen quatrains mostly rhymed AD, BC but with the occasional AC, BD.
The Distant Hills
The Distant Hills consists of six stanzas alternating between nine and ten lines each.
It addresses the sadness of bereavement. I had in mind that of a mother addressing her child
but the departed could easily be a lover or husband.
The mother refuses to abandon the memory of her child whom she believes will be ever present.
She recognizes that their separation will be long and that deep sadness will intervene; but
she will feast upon the image of the child as if he or she is standing on a distant hill
and thus always visible. She will be able to gain some consolation from the vividness of
her memories which will restore the child to her as if he or she had always been present.
The Lost Land
A man has lost his lover for some unexplained reason and reflects upon the barrenness of the
life he now faces. There are explanations for disasters but he finds none for his
predicament in the loss of the happiness they knew. His future, now, is that of the
precipice or of a new episode in his life. The former offers certainty, the latter merely
a possibility of renewal. He debates the merits of each and marvels at his ability to
assess the arguments concluding that some final goal, when reached, may bring reward.
Format is eight stanzas, mostly of ten lines, each heavily, but irregularly, rhymed.
Too Far,Too Soon
The protagonist has been separated from his wife by the overwhelming power of a loving God who has
called her with a strength that could not be denied. He reminisces on their deeply felt love that
would have lasted throughout their lives.
He has given his heart away but, nonetheless, keeps it with him within his soul and wonders whether
she hears the angels sing and whether she resides among the flowers. He implores her to visit him
in his dreams until, at some distant date, he may join her in her celestial abode.
Format is eight stanzas each of ten lines except the first of eleven lines mostly rhymed HJ.
Whispers in the Dark
Whispers in the Dark consists of six stanzas each of eight lines and is rhymed throughout mainly AC,
BD, FH, CG but with variations.
Many poems have been written by lovers who have survived the death of a partner and who address him
or her in the grave. This poem expresses the contact with the survivor from beyond, or rather, from
within the grave.
A deep love has been severed by some catastrophe but the deceased still wishes to convey a love that
has never died from a place evoked by suitably sombre imagery. He recalls their previous happy life
as the sound of bells and laughter linger in his ear. He implores them to ring out again and for his
lover to sing her love as she sang before.
Since a pair is the union of complementary items, he claims that her whispers from above will join
his thoughts and thereby bridge the gulf between life and death.