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On Grief

July 28, 2006

Think here of orange peel and cloves, boiled
against winter in November kitchens,
or the flutter square of a tea bag, or ellipsis
of deer scat, punctuation of a spooked animal.

Try to think–but a thought, cinder-
block certain, eludes in grief. Ideas
dissipate like twilight. Life is like a gut
punch, thought the breath

you cannot draw. Life like the vertigo
in the afterblur of a camera flash,
magnesium dreams ghost the cornea,
the pupil, crackle the optic nerve,

things long gone now insistent
half-images, always there
when you close your eyes
to wish them back.

by Gabriel Welsch

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  1. July 28, 2006 at 12:36 pm | #1

    Exactly. “The breath you cannot draw.”

    Thank you for this.

  2. July 28, 2006 at 1:29 pm | #2

    Dale, you took the word out of my mouth.
    Exactly.

    Fabulous, Gabriel.

  3. MB
    July 28, 2006 at 1:55 pm | #3

    Beautifully done.

  4. July 28, 2006 at 6:09 pm | #4

    Yes! I still clearly remember these feelings as I read these beautiful words. I love “orange peels and cloves” for a beginning.

  5. July 28, 2006 at 6:48 pm | #5

    Very accurately captured, but nothing ordinary about it at all in its accuracy. Thanks for beautifully explaining what its like, and I’m sorry you’ve had occasion to experience it.

  6. July 28, 2006 at 7:54 pm | #6

    Oh. yes.

  7. July 28, 2006 at 8:35 pm | #7

    “…Ideas
    dissipate like twilight. Life is like a gut
    punch, thought the breath…”

    That says it all.

  8. July 29, 2006 at 9:30 am | #8

    This is very nice. Good, fresh details.

  9. July 29, 2006 at 10:23 am | #9

    You’ve captured the truth as I feel it. Thank you.

  10. July 31, 2006 at 1:09 am | #10

    A tricky subject about which to say anything new with authority. This poem succeeds admirably.

  11. August 1, 2006 at 8:59 pm | #11

    wow – ‘magnesium dreams ghost the cornea’

    fabulous, gabe

    you write well of grief, i know those orange peels and cloves, the fluttering teabag waved against ‘winter.’

    and i also really love – “deer scat, punctuation of a spooked animal”

  12. Gabriel Welsch
    August 15, 2006 at 9:04 am | #12

    Thanks, all of you, for the edifying comments. I am glad you enjoyed the poem.

  13. August 24, 2006 at 5:11 pm | #13

    Gabriel Welsch is an amazing poet (and writer as well). This is but one of his many stunning poems. If you all like this, I recommend his book, Dirt And All It’s Dense Labor, which I have linked to in my name. It will not disappoint. Congrats, Gabe.

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