After the funeral

Already all is silent and the grave alone.
We shall not come here often, maybe never.
The earth has taken body and the coffin, both.
Now we walk far away from here,
as rain starts falling.

A blackbird lands between the leaning stones
to take a bit of ribbon from the flowers.
A nest is built above the grave, and eggs soon come.
They have a home that’s decorated with the silk,
and then eggs open.

The letters of the ribbon say: “Goodbye, dear, til eternity”.
Five little blackbirds eat the worms their parents catch.
At times they sing above the grave to thank the one
deep in the ground where sound can’t come. He feeds
them well, for ever.


Comments on: "After the funeral" (20)

  1. The circle of life, and death, and life, and….a lovely spring image, Ina

    • Hi Cynthia, thank you! I like the thought of worms eating us and feeding the birds that way 🙂 Maybe it is a bit sinister though…

  2. I must echo Cynthia’s words.

  3. I too must echo what Cynthia said. The last three lines bring it full circle. Beautiful work as always, Ina.

  4. to feed the living in one’s eternal sleep…to keep on giving after you’ve been taken…loving and hopeful poem Ina…

  5. Love it Ina, one of your lovely “beautiful melancholies” L&H xx

  6. and so it should be. You have a great perspective for nuance Ina. Nice work.

  7. hypercryptical said:

    I echo Cynthia too. Beautiful work.
    Anna :o]

  8. Well, Ina, I’m feeling like a very large room with no furniture in it…..:-)

  9. Ina, this is a powerful poem. The message, as Cynthia intimates, is eternal, but what makes the poem is the way it is written. First comes the idea that the funeral is over, the body and coffin are in the earth, and the mourners have left and
    We shall not come here often, maybe never.
    The rain, an ancient metaphor for sorrow and the earth/sky phenomenon that brings growth and life to the earth helps complete the image in the first stanza.
    Then we jump suddenly to the blackbird, which is also a metaphor. It is not a raven, but is still black, although the liquidity of its song can haunt you in the spring. This sudden transition makes the poem. The blackbird seems, for a line or two, a separate image from the funeral even as the blackbird takes
    …a bit of ribbon from the flowers.
    Then, in good storytelling tradition, the other shoe drops: The blackbird is building its nest above the grave. The two separate images are joined. The blackbird is not concerned with the funeral or human beings in general. It is concerned with its eggs and its hatched young. It feeds them with the worms from the good earth which is now concentrated with the human that is buried.
    They have a home that’s decorated with the silk
    The letters of the ribbon say: “Goodbye, dear, til eternity”,
    letting the reader see irony, but also the deep truth that Cynthia responds to: Individual human beings have the sentience to conceive of eternity, but the one who provided the ribbon will not be around to see it, but still life in the form of a blackbird with a nest and baby blackbirds on a gravestone present a promise even if the sun will someday die in a future too distant for any of us to actually understand.
    This is a classic poem that means, but does not say. The meaning comes from the symbols and metaphors and the simple story told, triggering a variety of emotions: Irony, the emotion as well as the substance of thought, a hint of mourning (sadness), a sense of beauty in the description of the blackbird and its nest. The images that make up the story are also strong in their own right.
    This is poetry as it ought to be written. Even the syntax and grammar is clean, something that is difficult for everyone but Cynthia to pull off.

    • Wow Thomas, your comment has so much in it, thank you very much! I am pleased you took time for such thoroughness ! I always pick up a lot from your words. 🙂

  10. Details like
    ‘A blackbird lands between the leaning stones
    to take a bit of ribbon from the flowers.’

    maketh a poem, a story, a truth! Lovely, Ina! XO ♥

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