We ran a competition last year encouraging people to send in their poems around the theme 'Grief and Loss'. HRH Princess Michael of Kent choose 5 of her favourite poems which we have included below:
The house is empty now
the man who filled it left.
Deep imprint in the cushion
registers his nest.
And I, I am bereft.
The house is silent now.
No scrape of chair
or stick across the floor.
No heavy breathing, no dreadful cough.
Michael had borne enough.
What arms enfold me now?
Where the comfort of such security?
How does my blood flow
through this severed part of me?
Birds still sing in the garden.
How can they make their song
with Michael gone?
Hook in the Wall
You see that hook, that hook, there, in the wall.
He put it there especially for me,
-With me being five feet one and rather small -
It's where we hang the calendar, you see.
One of those "page-a-week" ones, very cheap,
Where half each page is his and half is mine,
In order that each one of us can keep
Appointments separated with a line.
Though he's now gone, the calendar still hangs
Upon that hook, that hook there, in the wall,
But now, there is no 'his' and 'mine' and pangs
Of grief and loss cut deep and fresh tears fall.
And in that gulf of pain and emptiness,
There, on that little hook hangs loneliness.
Yesterday a faint rumble of thunder,
passed over now, disregarded.
Next, a sudden electrical storm,
a lightning strike from an empty sky.
One heart-stopping moment
and the family is shattered.
Shattered and scattered they lie,
the heart silent, absent,
until the ropes of love
heave and tug them to their feet.
Together they stumble forward
into a different future.
Words chatter in my head
"What shall we have for tea?"
"Surprise me" you said
You say "put your shoes on"
Stroll around the garden
We'll exercise our legs
"I'll check my roses then"
The cold chill breath of death
Whispered in your ear
Lifting you from this world
To a higher sphere
One more conversation
Is all I ask with you
"Please will you tell me?"
"What I'm supposed to do".
It comes when you least expect it
It comes when you least expect it,
standing amongst a disinfected dining room,
a mug of milk in a now trembling hand.
Hospital breath stinging your nostrils.
It comes without warning,
red flashing signs across the dazed canvas of your eyelids.
It comes in many forms.
Sore thumbs refreshing emails to infinity infinity
and nail-bitten fingers clawing at a childish letterbox.
it comes when we least expect it.
They come in torrents, and blaze our soiled lives.
when the rain pours down through our crevices.
In the form of a devilish thing; the moulded earth at feet,
the heavens guiding hearts and hands.
And then love gets to work, gluing together the jigsaw pieces of a life torn by loss.
We have produced an anthology of all the poems so click the image to download others that were entered in the competition.