Writing: The Continued Performance of Death and Grief

Trevor Collister 1922-2016


Death and Grief move

as partners.

One leads,

The other follows.

Notes and chords

choosing the leader.

But for the most part…


for the most part it starts and ends the same.

Grief manifests

whispering past lips

screaming into ears

to hover above heart and lungs

to root in our stomaches.

Grief catches hold

as Deaths gasping fingers reach out

for the final beats of pulsing blood,

the final hums of breath.


Grief screams,

“too soon”,

“not yet”,

“even so…”

Death drags and pulls,


before we get a chance to say a proper goodbye.


In return, Grief burns,

flaring up the roots it has made.

to poor out our eyes

and track dirt across our cheeks

to throw itself into the rhythm of

sobs and                               silences.


Grief slides down to its knees,

drumming familiar beats,

with hands and feet


as Death takes a bow.

Its performance over.

Yet, Grief continues on.


Eventually, Grief settles.

Not today

and probably not tomorrow

but someday,

Grief will find a place to calm


Memory to spill out.


like spoonfuls of sugar

and the smell of cigarette smoke,

reaching both arms out wide

to spin


and round.


This is when Grief slips away

put to rest

until its next appearance

on stage.

– a. benson (seascatchfire23)


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