Graveyards

painted skull comp

Where do we bury the words
we didn’t say, our silent
protests—do they die
with our bodies, encased
in the skull, still afraid to move
the hand, the jaw bone?

Regret is relentless–
thoughts become blurred,
bordering madness and crossing
into the places where nothing
connects, nothing fits,
everything rests only in disease.

We try to hard to reverse
time, spinning wheels
in a landscape of quicksand–
in a landscape of chasms
that open like cut veins
spilling every trace of life.

The sky has already fallen,
abandoned even by
the phantoms of what was left
undone—this place is beyond
haunting–subtract everything
you thought you knew.

Add it to the ending.

painted skull don't look comp

Some old paintings and a new poem for earthweal’s weekly challenge, shifting baselines.

18 thoughts on “Graveyards

  1. Oh gosh. Thhat sent shivers down my spine. The images and the final stanza are hauunnting. The question about what happens to our unsaid words is so powerful. It is both haunting and chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that’s something I’ve never thought about before. Where do our regrets go once we are gone. Do they hang in the air like the vapor they’ve always been, waiting to be inhaled by someone else – moving forward with our past far behind them?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ego sure has one version of the tale — call it 1950s America — but the fragmentation & disolcation & disharmony under the surface dements the cultural brain. And here we are. That final stanza is a knockout punch. A place beyond haunting … Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

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