Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Returning to the poetry of grief

I began a regular series of "diaries" several years ago as a registered member of the DailyKos community, based on linking wire services photos, mostly from the invasion and occupation of Iraq, with poems that I was familiar with, or that I found online.

My idea was to use the words and images to acknowledge and express grief - both as a witness to the grief of others; and as a more direct personal statement about what was happening.

I developed over 600 entries in the DailyKos series, beginning just after the 2004 presidential election and lasting until mid-January, 2007, at which point I developed a blog that continued the series, though with less frequency, for another year.

I haven't done anything else with my project since that time, but thought it would be good to try picking up again here. I'll start by simply copying from that earlier work, at least once each week.

- - - - -
Cayetana G. Palacios cries as her son, U.S. Army Corporal Eric G. Palacios-Rivera, of Atlantic City, N.J., is posthumously recognized with the Drum Major for Community Service award, during the New Jersey Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission's annual King Holiday Celebration, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2007, at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. Palacios-Rivera was killed in action in Iraq on Nov. 14, 2006. He is pictured on his mother's shirt.
(AP Photo/David Gard)

from Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus

by Denise Levertov

ii Gloria

Praise the wet snow

falling early.

Praise the shadow

my neighbor's chimney casts on the tile roof

even this gray October day that should, they say,

have been golden.


the invisible sun burning beyond

the white cold sky, giving us

light and the chimney's shadow.


god or the gods, the unknown,

that which imagined us, which stays

our hand,

our murderous hand,

and gives us


in the shadow of death,

our daily life,

and the dream still

of goodwill, of peace on earth.


flow and change, night and

the pulse of day.

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