The Color of Grief

the deep funk of his grief
was like watching
a jagged knife being drawn
across her smooth skin

he laughed — bitterly,
almost spitting in their face —
when someone described
his mood as ‘blue’. blue to him
was calm, soothing…lake water
and her eyes.

this was white like the searing
heat of metal fresh from the
furnace right before being branded
to the flesh

or black — suffocating and sucking
all life and joy from a room — dark,
passionless. a void to fall into.

there was no lack of anger and hate,
tears were in abundance. relief
and joy absent, purpose
a lost desire.

...."Each Small Candle"

….”Each Small Candle” (Photo credit: wdroops)

Written for the Trifecta Challenge and the Poets United vive/versa prompt.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

21 responses to “The Color of Grief

  1. i love your description, especially in the first stanza. this certainly was no blue poem, it was far more searing. excellent write!

  2. “white like the searing
    heat of metal fresh from the

    Now, this is some scorching heat…your poem is brimming with emotions. Excellently crafted, Mark.

    You’re missing a “t” from spitting, thought you’d like to know…I always appreciate it, too.

  3. I am so pleased that you chose to write to Vice/Versa. I am attempting to grow this site, and if you have any time visit other posts I would sincerely appreciate.

    You have, in your poem, described grief so strongly. It definitely is a jagged knife. And blue does have different meanings. I do feel grief as a ‘lost desire.’ You must know grief (as I do) to mention that. I feel your poem, and that is what is important to me. Thank you.

  4. Yes, Mark, this is grief, right in the worst of it. Hot, searing. Powerfully written. Love the title very much. The color of grief is not blue.

  5. Victotria

    Powerful. I have felt that searing white grief – accurate to my experience.

  6. love the title and love the way the poem articulates the choice of title. good work!

  7. rosemary mint

    Um, you know I LOVE this. Nice and gritty and nasty. He sounds like a serial killer tormenting his victims, depending on how you read the pronouns. But I get that you’re talking about one man having lost his wife or something. I really like how you used “funk” in the opening line. That is one of my favorite words. 🙂

  8. I used to think it so callous when the experts would describe grief as a process, until I went through it with two people I loved most in the world, and discovered it is indeed a process. This describes some of its stages really vividly.

  9. You capture grief so well that it takes me back to that place. No one can know if they haven’t been there. It reminds me, too, that some people think depression is a little sadness; not the killer disease it is. Wow!

  10. I like the story in this

  11. That third paragraph was so powerful — really well done.

  12. Such a vivid image of grief–and yes, blue does seem too gentle for active grief like you describe. I hope you are not now in the midst of this but I think you must know grief to have written this.

  13. Your poems are getting more and more assured, and the power of your words is astonishing.

  14. I loved this: “blue to him / was calm, soothing…lake water / and her eyes.”

  15. trifectawriting

    Thanks so much for linking up with Trifecta this week. I agree with the commenter who said that “funk” was a great choice here. It’s markedly different from the rest of the language you use here, but the grittiness of the piece bridges the gap nicely. Interesting take on the prompt. I love how you’ve managed to use more than one definition of the word.

    Hope to see you back soon.

  16. Well done… Excellent description of grief. Love the way you draw the reader in.

  17. Wow–no wonder you placed in the trifecta challenge. I love this–sorry I missed it earlier!!!

  18. Great post! Congratulations for the win. 🙂

  19. debseeman

    You have strung together exactly the right words. I have felt and feel those words. There is no way to chose my favorite line because the piece is a whole and must be held together, so it’s everything.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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