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Elegy for Those We've Loved

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.


What feeling is best
now that you are laid to rest?
A door has closed.
Yet in me, your whole life is opening
like a rose unfolding. What feeling is best
now that you are laid to rest?
Seeing you that one last time
walking away,
you didn't look back. What feeling is best?
The affairs of life
are put to rest.
You had a life, you had the best. I see this is the same
for all of us.
We cling to our stories.
We cling to failures, and glories.
We wake every day to death.
What feeling is best
when you are laid to rest?

A pang of guilt
A gush of confusion
A scattered recollection
A fragment of a song. What feeling is best?

We hold on to passion
We struggle for our breath
We mark our days
We chart our ways
We grow, we bloom, we die. What feeling is best
when you are laid to rest?

You, or I.
It's all the same,
a sad refrain.
What once was grand is gone.
A star at dawn.


I seem to have written a sort of generic elegy, having lost many dear to me. The grief never lessens, but somehow, magically one comes to realize that life goes on, and we learn to celebrate it's fragile fleeting.

The World is Too Much With Us

The world is too much with us,
and then, not enough. Everyone wants it smooth,
to be just in the groove.
To win, and never lose.
To have the life we choose.
To never sing the blues.Tapping to the rhythm
of the dance,
As we go about our heedless ways. The world is too much with us,
and then, not enough.


William Wordsworth I am not! But I accidentally stole the first line from his Sonnet.

© 2018 Verlie Burroughs


Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on July 12, 2018:

Oh! Audrey, I'm so sorry to hear about your dear son. You have been living with grief a long time, so you know well, it never really goes away. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you, and his family.Thank you for reading and sharing what this means to you..Hugs Audrey!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 12, 2018:

You have touched my heart with your poetic magic. I live every word, every feeling expressed here. It's been 12 years since my beautiful son died of cancer. His children live on, forever damaged by their loss. I will carry pain and sorrow deep within my heart forever. Of course, this will not be obvious to anyone as I live with a smile and positive attitude. My broken heart is hidden deep inside me.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on July 04, 2018:

Peggy, thank you for your lovely, eloquent, comment, hugs lady.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2018:

What you have so eloquently written in prose is so very true. Life is indeed short and what we carry with us while we are still here is our memories of bits and pieces of the people we have loved. At my age I now have have loads of those memories!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on July 04, 2018:

Mar, thank you so much, you always lighten my day!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 04, 2018:

Dear Verlie,

My turn to be teary eyed at this universal and relatable piece... beautiful reflections and a favorite song choice.

Love and hugs, Maria

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 24, 2018:

Dear Peg, thanks for this beautiful comment. I can relate so well to your finding comfort in your mom's cherished treasures.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 24, 2018:

A beautiful reflection on the meaning of life and the recollections of those who've gone on. You're right about there being too many in recent years.

"We mark our days,

We chart our ways."

I've had the sad task of packing away my mom's things and along the way, have found so many treasures she cherished, forgotten things that had meaning for her and now, new refreshed meaning for me.

Your poetry is beautiful.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 23, 2018:

Manatita, thanks so much for reading. I appreciate where you are coming from.

manatita44 from london on June 23, 2018:

Not Wordsworth no, but more Shakespeare in approach. They are very good poems and yes, reflects the thoughts of many. Not Blake either. He was more me or I more him. We like to lift it, like the Persian mystics Rumi and Hafiz. Great work though. Appreciated.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 23, 2018:

Rinita, what a warm, encouraging comment! Thank you Poet!

Rinita Sen on June 23, 2018:

Wordsworth would have been so proud, to have seen a successor in our generation, in you Verlie. You said it all plainly, yet strongly, and there's no more to say, as I, and many more, can so relate!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 23, 2018:

Bill, I hear you, and I'm truly sorry that you experienced so much loss so young. I think this write tries to address the ambivalence we all tend to feel about death. A bit heavy for a beautiful summer Saturday morning. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 23, 2018:

I lost so many by the time I was twenty-one; I sense, now, that I am numb to loss, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. Beautiful words...sweet melancholy, me thinks!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 23, 2018:

Good morning Mike, what a lovely sweet comment, music to my ears (as Peg would say). As author of 'The Carriage Driver' stories, I know you understand these sentiments well. Thank you Maestro!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on June 23, 2018:

Dear Kim, Thank you so much, I'm happy to see you here! Your reading means so much to me. And your comment is poem in itself, beautiful...

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on June 23, 2018:

Verile, Elegy for Those We've Loved is such a creative piece. It resides in a high realm a thing of beauty.

Kim Baker on June 23, 2018:

'Elegy for those we've loved' Verlie poetry at it's finest. Flowing from your heart and thus heartfelt. Loss and pain woven within the eternal golden threads of love. Thank you for sharing. Love and best wishes always..kimx

The world is too much with us... that title is in its self is profound. Beautifully written. Wordsworth is surely smiling. thank you...kimx

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