Grief, Touching up My Memories. {poetry}


Grief came to stay one day
and harshly took my hand
delved in my chest
squeezed my heart
and an ache began to spread
into my weary mind

I sat and quietly wept
quiet weeping at the start
but then as grief delved deeper
long-lasting sobs
that tore deep chasms
into the paths
that you and I had walked

Grief wasn’t done
not even near to done
deeper and deeper
until my life was torn
away from yours

I looked at grief and asked why

I slumped there in disbelief
when in reply
grief smiled
and said
It’s time for us to bargain

It’s easy
I replied
I want you gone from my life.
The joy, the delight that was my life,
I want it back
and you I want completely gone.
The beauty, the wonder, the to-be-found,
I want it back as well

At that, grief saddened
and quietly wept.
My heart I had to harden
Be gone
I will not with you bargain.
The sadness of losing
someone close
the depth I can no longer walk
the ache that fills me constantly
I want it all to go

The sobs that came from grief
were too much for even me to see
I closed my eyes and wept
my words tore grief apart

As grief turned
and slowly walked away
I felt at once relief
the pain was gone
the sadness too
the memories all grew dim

And yet
grief’s words I heard
the words were very dim
the sound so far away
they echoed in my mind

A terrible bargain you aim to drive
one I hear so very often
of life unlived
of love unloved
of memories to be forgotten

I want them both
I want it back
my life, my love, the memories
but you must go
you cannot be
that taints the final ending.
That’s my bargain

Then walk with me
grief replied
your life
your love
your memories
can all still be
can all exist
it’s me that lets you reach them

I sat
and thought
and felt
and cried
great desolation overwhelmed me

But then I stopped
I breathed so deeply
and slowly I began to dance

I danced
with joy
with great delight
and utter and complete abandon

Could grief be right?
Could joy be found
among the memories
that grief now tightly held?

I sat
I wept
I smiled

I now walk the paths that we both walked
a different companion with me now
grief is not as good
not near as fun
but without grief
I’d have nothing

The joy you brought
the pain we felt
the amazing love we shared
it’s all still there
the color painted through my life

And grief…
grief quietly sits
touching up the colors
every day grief faithfully repaints
the texture of our life
as I recall them from our past

I walk with grief
we are friends now
it’s grief that lets me walk
the paths we walked
that I must walk
alone and without you.


Luke Visser is an engineer by background who found that poetry sprung from the strength and power of emotions. The untimely death in the 90’s of his elder brother drew poetry from the depths. This happened again at the deaths of his dad and mum. Dormant, it hibernated for a long time. It rested until he found more love in unexpected places that helped draw out the emotionally entwined words that live in the oceans of who we are. Now, in a moment of connectedness with life, the world, and particularly people, poetry flows quite easily. Every poem feels unformed in the first instance, nurtured over time, and then some are free to be what they want to be. Each poem is a snapshot in time of life, painted with words.


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