Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not Better Off Dead

This is not
any love song,
nor any psalm,
for me.

A 20-something’s rush
to the office store,
replace the paper
to write a score.
A truck turns,
and broad-sides his legs,
rescuers drag him, footless and burning,
not to sing, not to beg.
Not a love song,
nor a psalm
…..of a poet
not better off dead.
In a still, lone bed
of a rural ICU
a patient with a lung-implant
gasps a poem
I do not know.
The Rag is passed
and the new ear listens.
Is it a better love song
or psalm
sought after
the author's gone?
From a month spent
in coma from a stroke:
springs one man,
with one wife,
a universe-city of students,
twin boys full of life,
to teach, to talk,
to hug, to walk,
to reach:
only one-armed not,
but for a love song,
and a psalm for all.
She cuts
on her arm,
not for physical pain,
but release of heart’s balm
on her psychic longing,
 of a new moment dawning,
again…not better off dead.
that I cannot
live without you,
But knowing
I can
see you
is a love song
and a psalm for
a better-off day.
( To: Those in Haiti, for the victims, dead or alive)
all rights reserved


  1. Great poetic tribute, Diane,


  2. Thanks devika,
    just when I think I have no more time, I can't stay away from my poetry friends!

  3. To the calamity
    tributes sent from all over
    thank you, thanks a lot

    We had Great Hanshin earthquake on January 17,1995. Since then we've received tributes from all over the world.
    Dianne san, your poetry is a great mental tribute to the Haiti people.

    Best regards,
    Hidenori Hiruta

  4. Dianne san, I'm sorry. Great Hanshin earthquake occurred in 1985, not in 1995.
    Thank you again.

  5. Thank you Hidenori san,
    I would not know,
    but I have known earthquakes in California.

    just 5 years ago some were killed in our town from falling buildings (I don't recall the year)

    keep writing!

  6. fitting words and well spent ones too.

  7. I know how it is Diane! :)


  8. a wonderful yet sorrowful tale. thank you.

  9. This is deep with emotion amid the gloom but yet so inspiring as the lines in the last unit extol the virtue of keeping hope alive.

  10. Hi Diane,
    This is haunting, moving, and evokes so much emotion.
    I saw you look for poetry, and immediately thought of haiku, but then noticed you've got links to it already.
    There was a massive earthquake in Kobe in Japan on January 17, 1995, at 05:46. Wasn't that called Great Hanshin? My wife's family lives in Kobe, and although around 5,000 passed away, they said the loss would have been much greater had it not occurred early in the morning.
    I've recently read 'One Liter of Tears' by Aya Kito, which has several haiku that she wrote.