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Zakzzz5 Profile
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The warmest cover


The warmest cover when you are sick
Is death

I heard my lungs wheezing in the night
I had not thought of praying
Thinking I would live through the morning

In boldness halfway through my sickness
I declared victory, went on a walk
But in the aftermath the weather dragged me down.

I’ve been close to death before
But this time it was scurrilous (screeching)
Like weasels in my chest

In the end death was three little cherubim,
None involved with Michael nor with Lucifer,
Just there to watch
 
Sep/10/2013, 1:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


hi Zak,

First off, I hope this isn't autobiographical;
if it is, I hope you are much better now.

This is so plain-spoken, economical and arresting in its choice of words: "But this time it was scurrilous (screeching)/Like weasels in my chest"

The poem starts with the description of death as "the warmest cover" and ends with "three little cherubim...Just there to watch" Since they are not associated with good or evil, not even 'watching over' but there nonetheless...well, interesting meditation on the nature of death.

I think this is a very fine poem, Zak, thanks for it,

Chris
Sep/11/2013, 9:35 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Chris,

Well, not exactly autobiographical. Borrowed some from a near-death experience, some from my father's experience with "brown lung" and some from my imagination. I keep imagining someone dying alone in a dingy hotel. It must happen all the time.

Glad the economy of language works for you. Thanks for your commentary. Zak

quote:

Christine98 wrote:

hi Zak,

First off, I hope this isn't autobiographical;
if it is, I hope you are much better now.

This is so plain-spoken, economical and arresting in its choice of words: "But this time it was scurrilous (screeching)/Like weasels in my chest"

The poem starts with the description of death as "the warmest cover" and ends with "three little cherubim...Just there to watch" Since they are not associated with good or evil, not even 'watching over' but there nonetheless...well, interesting meditation on the nature of death.

I think this is a very fine poem, Zak, thanks for it,

Chris



Sep/16/2013, 8:15 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Hi Zak-

This makes me cringe all over so I guess it is doing its job!

The last stanza confuses me. I don't know what you mean by in the end as the narrator is still living?

Caroline
Sep/18/2013, 8:54 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
queenfisher Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


dear zak

death could be the warmest cover - when the time is ripe or rather right!

but not when it is not! as seems the case here! the screeching like weasels (very effective) sounds torturous!

but perhaps the end was peaceful....? with the three little cherubim to keep watch...

Sep/19/2013, 2:06 am Link to this post Send Email to queenfisher   Send PM to queenfisher Blog
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Hi Zak,

The opening stanza of this poem is very provocative. It stops me in my reading tracks. I don't know what to make of it. So I read on. Stanzas 2 and 3 allow me to get my bearings. In S4, I become like the N, who went out boldly, declaring victory, only to have the poem unsettle me again. S5 is unexpected too: don't expect death to be what you might have expected. That is, if you expected some grand battle between good and evil. There are angels, yes, small angels, sort of like guardian angels. Are they merely watching -or- watching over? The N doesn't say explicitly, but the use of "just" implies the former, perhaps.

Chris wrote: "This is so plain-spoken, economical and arresting in its choice of words." I get that. There's not a lot of consolation or cajoling going on here. Not a lot of drama either, expect for those damn weasels, which are scary enough. Maybe I should say there is not a lot of metaphysical melodrama.

This is a poem that will stay with me, I think. It is certainly one I can return to and puzzle over from time to time.

Last edited by Katlin, Sep/19/2013, 10:22 am
Sep/19/2013, 10:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
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Re: The warmest cover


Caroline,

Well, it wasn't intended to make you cringe, but we can never predict what a poem will do. I merely wanted to get into the psyche of an individual who was going through that experience. I wanted to show that that individual had a toughness in him to deal with the advent of death. He's bold at some point during his ordeal, and then he seems to step outside of himself and view death in a sort of circumspect manner. That's my two cents, anyway. Your question about the last line is a good one: My take on it, on a plane of equality, is that he is at that borderline between life and death, maybe at some place where he can see both sides. Just a guess. Zak

]carolinex wrote:

Hi Zak-

This makes me cringe all over so I guess it is doing its job!

The last stanza confuses me. I don't know what you mean by in the end as the narrator is still living?

Caroline



Sep/20/2013, 8:13 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
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Re: The warmest cover


queenfisher,

You may have hit on something. Can death be peaceful even when the physical aspects of it are torturous? I guess some of us will eventually find out. Can the spirit find tranquility at the end in spite of discomfort? How important is spiritual preparation, or some other preparation, and how important -- or how much weight -- does the physical component carry? Thanks for commenting. Zak

queenfisher wrote:

dear zak

death could be the warmest cover - when the time is ripe or rather right!

but not when it is not! as seems the case here! the screeching like weasels (very effective) sounds torturous!

but perhaps the end was peaceful....? with the three little cherubim to keep watch...




Sep/20/2013, 8:16 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


You might consider?
in the end, near death

I am thinking of the states my mother experiences. She was able to verbalize this to me last night, with alzhemiers, her being in two worlds.

Last edited by carolinex, Sep/20/2013, 12:12 pm
Sep/20/2013, 12:10 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Good poem. Solid. Yeoman-honest, if I may coin a phrase meant pejoratively. A characteristic of your best poetry I've always appreciated, responded to. Penultimate tercet alone worth the price of admission. Final tercet leaving open certain equations. Just a good poem.

Tere
Sep/21/2013, 3:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
deepwaters Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Hi Zak-
I don't really have anything to add to what others have said. But, I thought I would share with you that this poem has stayed with me, and I have come back to read it again and every time I just sit here after finishing, not being able to immediately move to the next read/task/errand/what-have-you.

Thanks for the read.
Sep/29/2013, 11:20 am Link to this post Send Email to deepwaters   Send PM to deepwaters
 
arkava Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


quote:

Zakzzz5 wrote:

In the end death was three little cherubim,
None involved with Michael nor with Lucifer,
Just there to watch
 



this NDE is the real thing. stark and unflinching. we don't get a laundry list of emotions from the poet. we do get a glimmer of what death might be. a voyeur. like us, the readers.

solid,
arka
Oct/13/2013, 9:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to arkava   Send PM to arkava Blog
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: The warmest cover


Sorry to all for the late responses. You know how we poets are sometimes -- tardy.

Katlin,
I’m very appreciative of your kind words, and that you shared with us how you approached the poem. Zak

Caroline,
I’m still considering your recommendation. It’s not easy for me. Zak

Terreson,
Good that it had that plainness. I go back in my mind to a poem I wrote a long time ago. There was an older man in a seedy hotel. Zak

Deepwaters,
You say the poem keeps you in place, unable to go to the next task. I guess that’s high praise. Without reference to its quality, I would add that the subject matter is something we all contemplate at one time or another. You know, we witness people making their various exits. Zak

Arkava,
You say NDE, and the poem says “in the end” -- and so I think the experience whether real or imagined, or viewed from the edge -- might be irrelevant. It might be the contemplation of it that we might value. Oh, what am I saying anyway? Thanks for reading and commenting and for the graciousness of it. Zak
Oct/28/2013, 7:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 


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