Elegy for Those We've Loved

Updated on June 22, 2018
snakeslane profile image

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


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    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      5 weeks ago from Canada

      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!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 weeks ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      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.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      6 weeks ago from Canada

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

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      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!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      6 weeks ago from Canada

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

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      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

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      7 weeks ago from Canada

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

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      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.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 weeks ago from Canada

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

    • manatita44 profile image


      8 weeks ago from london

      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.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 weeks ago from Canada

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

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      8 weeks ago

      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!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 weeks ago from Canada

      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.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      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!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 weeks ago from Canada

      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!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      8 weeks ago from Canada

      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 profile image


      8 weeks ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

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

    • profile image

      Kim Baker 

      8 weeks ago

      '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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