The Mine

The words. I did not use all of them. solitude, cage, moonless, identical, circle, gravity, canary, root, platitude, apparition

For Skylover’s Word List.

The Mine
“Grief is like living two lives – One is like pretending everything is alright, and the other where your heart silently screams in pain.” Anonymous

January 3.
the smell of petrichor rises
from the roots and
moist air circles me
in the moonless night.
solitude cages me.
an owl drifts across the sky
like an apparition.
I look up from the depths of a mine,
a caged canary beating my wings
against death.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry Marr
    Jan 03, 2020 @ 22:39:44

    So moving, sad and beautiful, Toni. I especially love that owl flying past.


  2. Kerry
    Jan 04, 2020 @ 00:10:06

    You have turned emotion into imagery and shared a grief almost too hard to bear.
    Thank you for writing using the Skylover Wordlist, even when there are few words to really explain how one feels about loss.


  3. Michelle Denness
    Jan 04, 2020 @ 01:24:50

    Wow… powerful


  4. Susie Clevenger
    Jan 04, 2020 @ 12:03:23

    This brings tears. I feel the pain and the hopeless winging against death. My heart goes out to you.


  5. susanstoo
    Jan 04, 2020 @ 12:04:05

    Wow! Never has grief been expressed so sparingly and elegantly. Thank you for writing from that well. In some ways you are not alone.


  6. Carrie V. H.
    Jan 04, 2020 @ 14:36:21

    Written from one that certainly knows grief. This is absolutely amazing poetry Toni! I especially love the line, “a caged canary beating my wings against death.” Such a deep and moving piece! You have been in my thoughts and prayers my friend.


  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Jan 06, 2020 @ 02:21:45

    Oh, that anonymous quote is so apt, isn’t it? Then your beautiful, deeply felt words make the experience agonisingly personal. Ah, what else can one do with such grief but live it and write it? I think of you….


  8. jaerose37
    Jan 06, 2020 @ 06:55:44

    What a vivid and affecting poem – very powerful


  9. Magaly Guerrero
    Jan 06, 2020 @ 12:43:50

    The metaphoric imprisonment feels. I can hear the wings beating against the cage, see the desperate bird flapping for freedom… or, at least, some release.


  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 06, 2020 @ 14:26:12

    And still the canary sings … pretending we still are not dying.


  11. oldegg
    Jan 06, 2020 @ 17:43:34

    I remember the stories of caged canaries being taken by miners underground that were there to warn the workers that if the canary died it was a signal to evacuate the mine immediately as the air was not fit to breathe. Great poem.


  12. hypercryptical
    Jan 07, 2020 @ 14:10:01

    The beauty and longing of your words made me gasp with emotion Toni.
    Please know my thoughts are with you.
    The kindest of regards.


  13. Regine Karpel
    Jan 07, 2020 @ 14:50:20



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