Death Is the Loss

Three friends
Stood close to me.
Holding me
With tender support.
And I felt the welling up
Of deep energies
Flow in my body
Lifting me high
Into joy
And the clear huge
Vista of mind.

They stood close into me,
Filling me with tender love
As I watched the river
Of joyful awareness
Carry me beyond myself –
Carry me
To a place where
I felt the presence
Of my late father.

“I come to teach you of death”
He said.
Then he laid his hands
Upon me
Taking my life away,
And I cried with the
Tearing away of all that I was,
Of all people I thought I possessed;
At the falling away of
All I had built.

I know there is death
For I died
Under my father’s hands.
And death was the loss
Of everything,
My children –
My life,
My work,
My woman,
Gone – to be no more.

In his arms
My father carried the
Empty shell of me,
The corpse of what I had been.
And he lay it upon a
Heavenly meadow
Where dwelt
The potency of all things given.
All that, in my life,
I had given to others,
And all they had given to me,
Began entry into my dead form
To become its life.

For I saw,
Nothing of us survived,
In death,
Except what we had
Given of ourselves,
Or been given by others.
And of the latter,
What gave life was
Not what we had been given,
But what we had
Allowed ourselves to receive
Of another.

In this way my new being began,
With my father near by.
And my first awareness
Was of love in its many forms.
The shy love of a child,
Tender love of a woman’s care,
Or the passionate love of jealousy,
A baby’s devouring love,
Or the unexpressed love of
One who simply sits and waits.

I saw these and many more of loves forms –
Wondering in my new life
How often I had closed myself to love,
And whether my heavenly body
Would grow straight limbs,
Or be bent
From lack of giving and given.

Then your love touched me;
Love you had given me
All these years,
And was giving still
Even beyond the grave.
And I felt my
Body of death
Flex itself,
Fluid and radiant,
Alive in its new life.

Copyright ©2001 Tony Crisp

Art by Jonathon Day


-yvonne greene 2013-08-17 17:29:39

I felt the need to read this again and again – as beautiful as it is, it fills me with a deep sense of injustice and longing – my father was unable to show love – and I’ve been scared to love – and so the cycle goes on. When I die, will I leave the same legacy to my daughter? Yes, I’m afraid so. I feel so angry and hurt, and so does she, but at least she is not afraid to love her children – so all is not lost.

-yvonne greene 2013-08-10 17:59:08


    -Tony Crisp 2013-08-12 9:46:06

    Yvonne – Thank you.

    It was an actual experience that was so moving I wrote it as an attempt at poetry.


      -yvonne greene 2013-08-16 9:13:26

      Well, you certainly are a poet. Thanks very much.

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved