Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Be Ever Wonderful

This image reflects the times and loss I know. This is my story not theirs.


They band a suite, cacophony of loss

I
Ronald: internal rage splattered against a backroom pillow
a single shot. Self-inflicted. He died alone.

II
Arverna: asphyxiated. She was found prone on perfectly
combed white carpet. Her chiseled biceps, taut abs and
narrowed nose, were not enough. Cause unknown.

III
John: sloughed off youth and atrophied limbs, immobility closed
off freedom in his locked mind. He starved off hope, then muscle
until his bones were light enough to float to Heaven.

IV
Roland: lean as the cinnamon sticks he chewed but organic living
couldn't repair past afflictions. Sobriety wasn't a bargaining chip
for AIDS' inevitable sentence. Five years clean.

V
Ernestine: big auburn hair, ladies powder and crisp white skirts gave
way to diapers and half-sentences by sixty-nine. Rasped her last
"Hello Darling!" after a stroke and before another decade
she couldn't remember.

VI
Sidney: a blue-collar brother out after thirty years on the line.
He was dreaming laid back afternoons and resting old bones.
Instead he was gone after a no contest with cancer. Death
came before the age of retirement.

VII
Gina: a smile for every one, room for everybody
not even half a century old. Like her brother Sidney
cancer came violently and swiftly. Raced through
her body like a band on a cross-country tour.
Last show was final.







linked up for Trifecta #88: band: unite together. Join us.
*image. Legendary Earth, Wind & Fire. They were iconic.
This image is used because it reflects the times and loss  I know.This is my story not theirs.


linked with dVerse Open Link Night. Join us.

41 comments:

  1. dang...all rather tragic...they def made their mark, and in several genres, but at what cost? like how you broke each one out into their own little poem...

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  2. So sad, yet you portray each of them and their deaths so poetically. Beautiful piece!

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  3. Wow! I had no idea. I can remember my dad listening to Earth Wind & Fire on his 8 track tape player back in the 70s. I was just a kid but even then I loved the band name, and their sound lives on in memory.

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  4. Okay, error on my part. This is not the band's story. The reflect the times and loss for me. This is my history. My loss. I may change the image. It's having an unintended effect.

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  5. I think everyone wonders how their own end will come, and when. It's never pretty, and all the more reason to embrace the moment in all its trouble and imperfection.

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  6. Poetic and moving. Beautiful craft.

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    1. Gwendolyn Brooks said, "Poetry is life distilled." It is my hope to capture our lives, distilled. Thank you.

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  7. That is a lot of people with tragic endings. This is a beautiful poetic tribute to them.

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    1. Janna, this list is short from where I sit. And this is why the poem matters to me- the magnitude of loss I've known. As Fireblossom writes, life is rife with troubles and imperfection. Death isn't easy to accept but I've learned to embrace all of life which means death, too.

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  8. tormenting... suffering from the losses of the past is excruciating.

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  9. omg, how sad and beautiful, your tribute to good people gone too soon

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  10. There are stories to be told in the living of each of our lives. I really like how you created whole stories about each person in so few words. When my times inevitably comes, may you be there to make poetry out of my days. Thanks, ever so much, for linking up and for sharing your fantastic work, LaTonya. :)

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    1. Thank you, Tom. Many will speak about you. I won't have to. In our few talks, I know you have affected many in wonderful ways. Thank you.

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  11. oh heck... this is tightly penned... just a short snapshot but a whole life shines through.. this is really masterfully done

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  12. LaTonya, this is raw and painful. We all have our stories, but it hurts me to know that you have so many, and I see above, there are more. I agree with Claudia, masterful and haunting.

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  13. This is one blow after the next and you knew them. How difficult this must have been to write. As I age, facing my own and others' mortality. I too like how you broke out each person's story. My wish we all go peacefully. Such poignant writing.

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  14. So much lost. It's hard watching friends die.

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  15. La Tonya, this is a poignant write. I like how you set it up with each one as their own poem. Excellent presentation on our inevitable outcome.

    Pamela

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  16. Wow that's a wonderful heartbreak tribute to your friends. For some reason when I first glimpsed I saw Earth Wind and Fire. Be Ever Wonderful was at least close to one of there songs that was my favorite I used to play on the piano when I was young. The friend on the right looks just like the lead singer to me but it been so long since I saw their names I can't remember. Sorry for the digression I love Earth Winds and Fire and have them on my mind a lot lately using them in my blog post. Love you friend thank you for sharing these heartfelt memories about your friends.

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  17. I think as we age we are forced to accept death's place in life. And it is always too soon. These are brilliant little word images, each one revealing its own tragedy.

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  18. Very poignant...rather heartbreaking...I love the profoundness acceptance give it.

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  19. Every life has a story.. I remind myself of that often, I sit with it and know that my story is neither sadder or happier than anyone else's and that life, death, disease, addiction, even joy doesn't really care who you are.. It will come for whom it pleases.

    As a 70s girl.. I love EW&F, have seen then in concert and turn their music up loud and proudly.. Now after I've heard the stories... I may tear up as I bounce to their melodies.

    Wow, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing and linking. Xo

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    1. "This image is used because it reflects the times and loss I know.This is my story not theirs."

      Readers, EWF is compromised of 10 members: 9 men and 1 woman. My members are 5 men and 3 women. They lived. The music is an imprint, influence. I'm a poet, one who writes from experience.

      Thank you.

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  20. beautifully written, yet so very heartbreaking.

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  21. That is all so poetically tragic. The clipped bios make it that much more poignant.

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    1. For my non-poetry readers, this style is called a suite. :-) Thank you.

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  22. So tragic, yet beautiful. I could feel the loss tying every strand together. This was perfect.

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  23. You tell so much about them, in so few words. They each stood out as unique and individual, you deftly avoided the danger of the numbness of a laundry list. This line really stood out for me: until his bones were light enough to float to Heaven.

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    1. Thank you, wispatory. I chose a list form but I didn't want a laundry list feel so it's rewarding to hear you think I did well here. John was the youngest. I think that plays into the idea of Heaven for me, wanting him to find peace when he couldn't have it here.

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  24. This comes at you kicking. So freaking powerful. We get to a certain age (somewhere past thirty) and we rack up our catalogue of losses, each one invested with its own peculiar grief. When we see the catalogue laid out on the page, though, it's a mallet to the heart. Beautiful, LaTony.

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  25. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to comment. I've come back several times to read your work. As everyone has said it is extremely affecting. Loss and grief are so specific to the person who passes. I think you've reflected that individuality very well. Uniquely written too.

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  26. I am so sorry for all your losses. You have offered a beautiful tribute.
    Earth, Wind and Fire forever!

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  27. La Tonya, this is so moving. It causes me to recall my own wild youth and the names and faces of those who didn't even make it out of their 20's. I still wonder why I was lucky. Well done, my friend. (That doesn't even really begin to cover how I feel) :)

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    1. I hear you, Valerie. I, too, am not here because of my smarts and actions. Thank you.

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  28. I absolutely love how you write LaTonya; always insightful and moving. This is sad, but quite beautiful at the same time. Nicely done

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  29. Beautiful and moving work LaTonya. I am so sorry for your losses, but your tribute is stunning. I love the structure you've chosen, it really adds to the impact of your words. Thank you for sharing this.

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