Monday, February 16, 2009

Without memorial

There was no moon to witness the murder,
no sun to kiss an image indelibly on the basalt earth.
A few stars stood bone-still and blind
no sign of their milky companions
and even the chill in the air held its breath.

There was a girl, but now there is none
and she took her stories with her. Nothing remains
but a ripple of fear, a finger brushing the skin
drawing the fur tight on the coyote’s necks, bristling
as they skirt their way round, safe passage stolen.

Rachel Westfall
February 16, 2009


Fat Arse said...


"bone-still and blind" - beautiful!

Lisa said...

words are magic

Lisa x

Faith said...

Rachel, this is another beautiful poem. You have made a memorial for a lost soul without a memorial. You use words so sparingly and tight. Your poems are crystal... "even the chill in the air held its breath" Amazing. Aching.

I really feel as though you are connected with a spirit of poetry that goes so far beyond the circle of my own world. And you are connected with the spirit of humanity and nature in a way I hope someday to achieve. You are so truly gifted.

RachelW said...

Thank you all!

Faith, something you said on Christopher's blog resonated with me, about how we are on a spiritual journey, and writing is a part of that journey. It is a language that lies just out of our reach, and the longing to reach for it is finally eased when the words begin to flow. Hugs!

Faith said...

Thank you, Rachel. I think I am finding "angels" everywhere. I may not leave comments here that often, but I come to read and always leave feeling inspired and more complete.

RachelW said...

Thank you, Faith! That means a lot to me.

christopher said...

I see what you mean about coyote. As you said at my blog.

Coyote Grief

Sometimes the night stills,
hardens, and the tight stars choke
and fall to flat earth,
dead embers. The sky
is no longer black, dim gray.

Coyote's sadness
is deeper than hope.

She snuffs at dead stars amazed,
confused, wants to put
them back, cannot reach
that high, to the dim flat sky.
They won't burn again.

Anonymous said...

i let it sink in..and then remembered none of the words, only felt a deep loss of something beautiful and fragile.. it's not about how good the words sound, but how hard they make you cry...your amazing...jorc

RachelW said...

Christopher, thank you so very much. Your poem has captured that feeling so perfectly. It is exactly as Jorc has said; when I read your words I feel that deep loss, and I feel so upset by Coyote's sadness; it is a grave injustice for Coyote to feel this way. I cannot just leave your poem in the comments here. I'm not sure what else I can do, besides find a home for it in the sidebar, somewhere on my windowsill altar.

Jorc, thank you... I love how you put that. I will try to remember that.

Julie said...

Oh, this is so sadly beautiful. So much power in these words. You have made me cry. You have created a memorial where there was none. And your memorial is beautiful.

Even the chill in the air held its breath. A fantastic line. I was holding my breath as I read this excellent poem.

Wendy said...

Wow! The imagery is powerful, breathtaking.

LORENZO said...

"She took her stories with her"...the way we all will one day. Great line. I'm feeling it.

RachelW said...

Julie, thank you! :) I'm amazed this poem worked! Maybe I should write more often when I'm dead tired, and it's late, and I should really be in bed.

Thank you too, Wendy, Lorenzo. I sure appreciate all your feedback and support.

Poetikat said...

That last line is so telling. I actually really like that first line too (and the rest).
I find it works both ways for me in the creative process: dead tired, or caffeine-rush awake.


Cynthia said...

Oohhh, this is like a breath of death, that
stops in midair and evolves into a state of
blissful suspension, the girl's presence remains
but she has actually left, her stories tight
in her hands. Exquisite writing.

Karen said...

I don't know how I missed this earlier in the week. Those bone still stars are chilling in their aloneness. This is beautifully sad.