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The Dead

by James Shammas (Age: 50)
copyright 06-03-2005


Age Rating: 7 +

One passes through life so many times
With the gray ghost of unfinished Death,
On a riderless horse-- boots pointed behind--
Snarling and sucking all spittle and breath,
Dismounting, to slink past the goose and spiced beef,
The port and the stout, the sherries so fine;
The sweets and berries, the treats in gold leaf,
In hearts of crystal, transparent like mine;
Past figures in flesh-- all just fine shadow--
All of us unseen and unheard
By deaf, pointed ears and eyes that swallow
My own visage, too-- formless, infirm--
Seeing, like Gabriel, the image it fears,
Stuck and still spinning 'round long-wasted years.


Dedicated to James Joyce and his story, "The Dead."




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        03-09-2006     Frederick Van Kirk        

It seems I find something different in this poem, not death, not rebirth. But the living of life upon the fringes, of not being able to enter in fully. A life lived on the wrong side of the mirror. You may judge by these comments that I like it very much. It causes me to think, I ask nothing more of a poem or story. Fred

        12-30-2005     Richard Reed Jr        

Like everyone else, I loved this poem. Its eerie, haunting, Yet mysterious and beautiful. Perhaps death is all of these things.
I wish you would have placed end-rhymes through ought the poem.

Excellent write,

Rich

        06-04-2005     Roger Crique        

I think this poem captures the essence of the transition of death. It subtly plays with the color of ash and opaque, which lends to the total concept of death and the mystery of death. I don't know if you meant,"fear," as opposed to,"fears." I also could not associate the word,"covetous," with the part of the body,"ear." Otherwise, I think this poem is intelligently written and conveys to the reader the magic of the stage of death.



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