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be all but gone

Author: blueorchids
ASL Info:    30/F/California
Elite Ratio:    6.43 - 1096 /928 /91
Words: 229
Class/Type: Poetry /Serious
Total Views: 2371
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 1470


for my grandfather.

recommended listening: Marc Cohn - "Man of the World"

be all but gone

we gather treasured offerings
of moments with you,
previously kept close and
never shared ...
like rare seashells,
pushed up from the sea
onto the shore, never an instant
sooner than necessary.

in repose, framed within a
broken rosary of roses and
you become
our benevolent enigma.

quiet was the manner in which
you held yourself tall;
a hero with arthritic, craftsman hands.
silent was the
laugh whose breathless sound
i cannot remember; but the
wide, toothless smile it was wrapped in
i will always see so clearly.

my regret is in never
asking why you preferred
vanilla to all other tastes and
what thoughts you looked so lost in
during tv commercial breaks.

you were supposed to give me away at my wedding;
i wish i had asked if you would.

your devotion to family and
deep love of God, your
unbroken promises
inspire me to be better.
you have always inspired me to be better,
a piece of my heart that remains
when the weight of the organ is
beyond what my body can bear.

i pray you
stay a legend and the
one man
who in life never let me down.
be all of these things to me

but gone.

Submitted on 2005-07-23 00:07:58     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  I was sitting here reading this wonderful ode to a very special man in your life and I found myself picturing him and wanting to seek wisdom from him myself. Your feelings toward your grandfather pretty much mirror the feelings I hold close for my late Mother. She wasn't perfect, but darned sure close enough.

Thank you so much for sharing your illuminating words words with the company gathered on this site. You make the vists more than worthwhile.
| Posted on 2007-09-10 00:00:00 | by ErgoIgo | [ Reply to This ]
  This makes me wish I had a grandfather that I'd known...instead of one that died when I was too young to remember, and another that I never had a chance to know...

Your love for your grandfather shines through in's the best thing that I've ever read pertaining to death and the loss of a loved one.

Your grandfather seems to have been an amazing person, and if everyone loved him as well as you did, I bet he had an amazing life...

Thank you so much for sharing this...I think you're amazing!
| Posted on 2007-09-10 00:00:00 | by Raivn | [ Reply to This ]
  Aren't we lucky when we someone this profound right within our insular family. This made me think witfully about my late great Grampa and i found myself grinning like a fool in a crowd. Your style was gentle on the readers eyes and painted a picture that even the most myopic of people could see. I am duly impressed.
| Posted on 2007-04-19 00:00:00 | by ErgoIgo | [ Reply to This ]
  I remember this one, as a poem I'd think about again in the weirdest of moments ie looking up at the sky, bored at work, or someplace else... and... it wasn't like it'd ever be about the words themselves... but... the feelings they invoked--it was always unique and verging on something indefinably celestial in's why I came back to re-fave this, to have it here permanently.

It's just... a poem that endures and will always endure... a true classic to me.


| Posted on 2007-02-21 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
  This is beautifully written and carries such resonant emotional imagery... rare seashells, treasured memories - the opening stanza caught me smack between the eyes.

You paint a picture of your grandfather's love and devotion exquisitely... and your love and admiration for him permeates this poem...

I wish I could say more but silence is golden and echoes a million times more in my heart.

Moving and heartfelt.

| Posted on 2006-01-27 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
  Extremely touching
This write brought a tear to my Eye
It was very beautifully worded
I am sorry you lost this person
But know they are always alive in your Heart where you can find them waiting to help guide you along the path of Life
God Bless
| Posted on 2005-12-02 00:00:00 | by Ronswords | [ Reply to This ]
  I love the way you reveal the character of this person through tiny details suchas the fondness for vanilla and the arthritic hands. By using these details you make your experiance universal yet also extremely personal. I also like the way you begin the poem, once again with crystal clear images. I can see your memories becoming hard seashells cradled in a tightly clenched hand. I wish you had continued with your attention to detail toward the end of your poem. Your last few stanzas are not as unique. I can understand why this is so, but try to add more color and detail in the future. Make those last stanza's totally yours.

| Posted on 2005-10-27 00:00:00 | by VanillaLeaves | [ Reply to This ]
  This is lovely Grace, what I like most is how you paint your grandfather in an earthy way, using every day life references.
The first stanza shows us the treasured intimacy one on one that those who knew him enjoyed.

It's so hard for me to speak about this piece, I just hope you're ok. The last stanza makes me feel the weight of your heart your wish for him to "be all but gone." I hope your healing is swift dear.What a beautiful image you've painted of him to share with us. Thanks for letting us help with your healing, too.
much love,
| Posted on 2005-07-30 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
  I agree with Jaydee, this made a great tribute to your grandfather. I love the way you chose to word it. Being a guy, things are different, but I lost my grandfather about a year ago now and I miss him more than anyone could imagine...In fact, you've inspired me to write a piece about him..Keep at it, you did a great job.
| Posted on 2005-07-29 00:00:00 | by t0_eazy | [ Reply to This ]
  I can't say aything that hasn't already been said. I admire you being able to write something so beautiful without a flaw in it. I wish I had better words. It's amazing.
| Posted on 2005-07-28 00:00:00 | by Celeste J. Bell | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow grace this is simply stunning. I am at a loss for words and re-read it for about the 5th time after faving it. Then I read some other's comments (which I seldom do before commenting)- and i guess all i can come with is that I love Keith's comment, -about the bottle encapsulizing the poem and sending it out to see. This has that "found treasure" aspect about it and a timelessness that perfectly fits the eulogy itself.

I faved this to enjoy over and over again.
| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by Silverdog | [ Reply to This ]
  this is simply beautiful and touching..

in repose, framed within a
broken rosary of roses and
you become
our benevolent enigma.

gorgeous lines.. there is nothing to critique here, it is so very touching yet sad. it is so real and honest. a new fave.
take care,
@ Cat
| Posted on 2005-07-27 00:00:00 | by magnicat | [ Reply to This ]
  there's nothing in the world i can say. it's amazing and staggeringly powerful.

I read your journal and I don't know what to say about that either. whenever i say anything like that people always tell me I should love me first and not worry about others but that's so hard, we're social animals. I just don't know.
| Posted on 2005-07-25 00:00:00 | by joe quinn | [ Reply to This ]
  wow. this was absolutely beautiful...i'm tearing up. it really reminded me of my grandfather because he, too, was the only man in my life that never let me down...

"my regret is in never
asking why you preferred
vanilla to all other tastes and
what thoughts you looked so lost in
during tv commercial breaks."

that was probably one of the best parts of the reading for me. the imagery was absolutely wonderful, and it makes you think about a lot of why people don't ask or say things that they really want to.

it was just absolutely breath taking.
| Posted on 2005-07-24 00:00:00 | by cre_dia | [ Reply to This ]
  ...have you ever thought how brave you have to be to write something like this?
I'm pleased for you, that you effectively walked down an aisle with him here, with us watching.
that's how it seems when someone eulogises as sympathetically and as clearly as this.
the narrator holds the hand of the subject.
and I suppose we get to hold yours too.
this should be rolled up, placed in a bottle and thrown out to sea...
take care Grace.
| Posted on 2005-07-24 00:00:00 | by Awkward | [ Reply to This ]
  Before I read the description, I knew it was about your grandfather, or atleast someone who played that role in your life. This is an amazingly beautiful and graceful poem. The flow is unique, kind of 'off kilter' at first, but as one continues through the poem, you get lost in the fluency of it all. The pictures painted are just incredible, They are so vivid and intimate...I felt like I was reading an extrememly private thought or even watching a memory.

"quiet was the manner which you held yourself tall."
Such a strong image, it was easily visualized.

I also liked the entire stanza about the broken rosary of roses...etc, lovely word choice, just great over all.
| Posted on 2005-08-17 00:00:00 | by LadyChaos | [ Reply to This ]
  I don't think much needs to be said about this. It's a poem you should be really proud of… I feel like analysing it would be crass but I will say that the stanza
'my regret is in never
asking why you preferred
vanilla to all other tastes …

and the ending are the most moving parts for me. But all of it is elegant, poignant and really touching. I don't think I could criticise it even if I wanted to. Take care, and this is beautiful…

| Posted on 2005-07-23 00:00:00 | by SugarMouse | [ Reply to This ]
  this is beautiful, heartbreaking, graceful... this is love.

i read this and my heart breaks for you...
i guess most of all im with the part about him sposed to be giving you away at your wedding... when i was told my father was dying and only had 5 years MAX to live the only thing that stressed me was the need to get married before he died... before he got to a state of being unable to walk me down the aisle and be hell proud of me...

my grandfather died last year and i wished i had more memories of him collected up... it sounds to me that your grandfather was the glue that held your family together and will continue to do so even now...

this is a most wonderful tribute to your grandfather...
my heart and prayers are with you honey... take care of you always...
| Posted on 2005-07-23 00:00:00 | by Someones Epiphany | [ Reply to This ]
  Lovely tribute to your grandfather. My grandfather died, but I still remember him. He seemed larger than the world. I am sorry for your loss of your grandfather, but no one is ever lost if we remember them. Sounds like someone that I would have enjoyed knowing. Lynn
| Posted on 2005-08-06 00:00:00 | by greensnake | [ Reply to This ]
  ...the simplicity, grace, that is where the beauty of this lies. In your piece, I see bits of my own "healing" poem. Death and mourning are universal, but we all take it in and process it in different ways. The way of a writer is to put that perspective down and show a side never seen, a voice that is distinctive. I love this glimpse you have given us of your grandfather. Mine passed away last November and I wasn't prepared at all. He was gruff and funny as hell. He was a hard man, except deep inside he was a pussycat. He seemed grumpy at times, but would surprise you with an invitation to rub his snakebite for luck ( it wasn't actually a snakebite, but a calcium deposit that had grown to be about the size of a gumball on his forehead- but when any of us grandkids asked what it was, it was a snakebite. Even at 29 years old when I would speak to my grandma on the phone, I would always tell her to kiss grandpa's snakebite for me.)

That was a hard day. What I remember most though was the sound of theguns being shot off. He had a military burial. That is the most jarring sound ever. Sorry about all this rambling, your piece took me back for a time.

THere are so many beautiful pieces in this, are a few of my favorite:

"like rare seashells,
who are pushed up from the sea
onto the shore, never an instant
sooner than necessary."

..."but the
wide, toothless smile it was wrapped in
i will always see so clearly." / comical and are not romanticising anything about this man for poetry's sake.

"a piece of my heart that remains
when the weight of the organ is
beyond what my body can bear." / so melancholy and beautiful. It is that moment when the smell of the floral arrangements, the sight of the people in your life dressed up in their best, the ache in your eyes to cry if you haven't yet been able all comes together to form that lump in your throat. It is the release.

"be all of these things to me

but gone."

...and grace, this is the most beautiful of all.

Here's to healing sweet girl.
| Posted on 2005-08-09 00:00:00 | by Magnolia | [ Reply to This ]

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