A Deluge for the Dead and the Dying

2년 전

A friend came to me last night in a lucid dream,
dead eight months now, sly and whispering.
He said – “Drink in the truth, don’t deny
a place for the dead and the dying.

Open the doors and let them in,
as there’s plenty who need refuge,
a deluge that needs a course to run
for all the dead and the dying.”

I bowed my head and he croaked
and laughed, “you always were a sycophant.
Take a stand, voice a cry, open up those lidded eyes,
the dead and dying are wandering in your mind.”


A girl unfurls her mother’s shawl.
Deadwood skin, eyes glisten in stale
sockets. A welt of crimson calico
bile, from shrapnel that’s burnt a smile

across her face. Empty veins
dapple her arm as her daughter spills
tears, that fill the gorges that run in
a deluge for the dead and the dying.

Bloated fish crisp in the midday sun,
on beaches of broken bark peeling.
Drunken reeling trees stagger
in the wake of flood born quakes.

Rivers Spill carcases of shanty huts
Into the guts of the sea, while we watch
the daily news - peruse our broadsheets
commentary on the dead and the dying.


I stagger each day from my bed, my head a
cacophony - a wind-blown sigh. Angry, resigned,
blind; I emerge from that dream.
A subconscious scream echoes my day

in the mornings soft bloat of waking
through to the evenings refrain, I just
can’t get away. Voices follow me and say –
“who will speak up for the dead and the dying”.


All images are free to use, please follow links to check sources Image 1 Image 2 Image 3. If you have enjoyed this poem you can check out my other work @raj808. A big thanks to the folks over at The Writers' Block and specifically to @tinypaleokitchen + @sunravelme for helping me workshop this poem, thanks for your comments and suggestions.

© Rowan Joyce 25/11/2017

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good job, my friend, you will not have problems to conquer the girl.

the dregs of the skull... the abyss of dismal bliss.
you are a master my friend... the suffering wails pass through you to the pen...thank you


Thanks for your wonderful comment buddy. Yeah, it's not exactly an upbeat poem but they can't all be that way. In suffering the pains of the world we reach out to try and embrace, understand and ultimately change the injustices. That's the way I feel about it anyway, people who bury there heads in the sand, living vicariously through - the daily, news - peruse our broadsheets commentary on the dead and the dying - without truly caring, are the people that this poem is kinda trying to awaken! If I've created something that puts people in the same place that I get to in my darkest moments when thinking about this kind of stuff then I know I've succeeded as a poet. Btw's, it's exactly the same with trying to express, wonder, joy and transcendental feelings, so not all doom and gloom 😉

That is a powerful piece of writing. Wow, you are gifted.


Thanks @onethousandwords. I really appreciate your comment and am glad you enjoyed the poem. When I first wrote it and thought about putting it up on steemit I was worried that it was a bit too personal, dark and maudlin. I have been sitting on the first draft of this poem for I while but I re-wrote it today and was finally happy to share it.

This is absolutely beautiful. Haunting.


Thank you @tinypaleokitchen, it's from the heart. Sometimes sad things can lead to important realizations and that is the way it was with the circumstances that lead to writing this poem. Thanks for your comments in the workshop earlier 🙂 ✍


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What a well done piece of poetry. But I must admit, once I came across that pic of the girl crying...I could hardly continue. As a mother of a child nearly that age that picture (whether real life or faked for the photo) brought me to tears and made me very unsettled. It certainly got the point across.


Thanks, @topkpop. I know the poem has been successful if it caused feelings of sadness and anguish, this is exactly how I feel about the subjects I'm describing in this poem. I understand where you're coming from, this is certainly one I debated in my head about posting.
I also debated with myself for a good while on using that picture, but decided to in the end as it has the impact of expressing the message of the poem. The injustices that are perpetrated in this world by ruthless psychopaths in positions of power are truly horrific. I feel like if I expressed only the joy/wonder I see in the world through my writing I would be being dishonest and not true to myself. Anyway, all I can do is give as much as I can afford to charities that help people in these types of situations, I wish I could do more.
Also, I can promise a more upbeat blog post for the next one. I have a review of a nature reserve planned, that I visit in the summertime over here in the UK, it's definitely a more uplifting post 🔅 🙂 🌳

So sad, but powerful... Thank you for sharing.


Thanks, @micika987. Yes, it is a very sad poem but words that I needed to write ✍

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