death’s chemistry

the process of decaying starts
five minutes after someone’s death,

clockwork hauntingly precise,

larvae leave in silent files–
beaten soldiers, solely southbound,

none of the experts ever found out why

i’m heading north-wards b/cause
no one dies in summer,

ignore those fluttering flies, pinned
by hand to loosely knitted strings,
draped in the corner of your eyes,

luggage All-ready packed,
cracked memories stored in
aqua cardboard boxes, ob-

noxious, bleeding wounds wrapped
sea-freight-ready, sealed and
neatly folded in teeth-yellow duffel bags

a looming crowd, zoomed-out
into a thick-walled tower,
power-lessly tied to your fragility, we’re

heading north and you just stop

to be

.
it’s that time again and i’ll be your host for our sixth OpenLinkNight over at dVerse Poets Pub…write a verse and join us…gates swing open at 3 pm EST

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77 responses to “death’s chemistry

  1. Not I trip I want to take any time soon, love how you portrayed it as a trip one would take. Plus you have to like every neatly folded, even if they are in nasty looking duffel bags..haha

  2. nice…sotpping to just be carries the wieght for me…we are often defined by what we are doing…and miss that…well until we have no choice and then the worms crawl in the worms craw out…i took this forensics course from the FBI once…crime scene stuff…really gruesome…there is this place called the Body Farm where they study the effects after death…just as creepy as your opening to this…smiles.

  3. Oh…I guess we do share a similar muse this week! Brian gave me the heads up and I had to come see 🙂 Great minds! The ultimate muse, dare I say. This is dark, yet inviting. Your words, as always, pull the reader in, and refuse to let go…even after the reading’s done.

  4. I’ve read over this poem several times this morning pondering different aspects of it…for me…it brought to mind images of war, soldiers defending a leader not willing to admit defeat…Omar Kadafi comes to mind…maybe it’s just because that’s been in the news so much…any way…enjoyed thinking about it.

  5. *shivers* a powerful write that sucked me in until the end… I liked the ending… ‘you just stop to be’… I love how you write, your word choices and originality. Fab as always! 🙂

  6. I visited a lil dark side myself. A very well presented piece. Great line work and word choices: noxious, bleeding wounds wrapped
    sea-freight-ready, sealed and
    neatly folded in teeth-yellow duffel bags.
    Enjoyed great writing.

  7. Life and death – a choice? Sometimes. Your words are so artfully juxtaposed as to create some conflicting feelings. What a poet you are.

  8. The imagery here is just amazing, considering how few words you actually used–every one carries a punch. I don’t know why, but I feel that it’s about the sadness of leaving seen as death, packing your bags, the past now the corpse however beloved. Regardless of whether its about politics, love, war (or leaving Roma) I enjoyed it much–fine writing.

  9. Claudia… always such a ride to be had here.. even if we are (partly) talking about death… Discomposing take on decomposing… this just one example of your power:

    teeth-yellow duffel bags

    Thanks for another slice of double-take…

  10. I came close to see how it was done before and it is not a good scene.

    Great images with these lines:

    cracked memories stored in
    aqua cardboard boxes, ob-

    noxious, bleeding wounds wrapped
    sea-freight-ready, sealed and
    neatly folded in teeth-yellow duffel bags

  11. i’m heading north-wards b/cause
    no one dies in summer,

    ignore those fluttering flies, pinned
    by hand to loosely knitted strings,
    draped in the corner of your eyes,

    wow. I’m speechless (which is a good thing today 🙂

  12. ..are ye makin’ a review of Simon Beckett’s book? well, it seems so and i am loving it though i haven’t yet done on my readings of the novel i could already tell and feel same intense and beat of some part of the novel in your poem.. how precisely you produced those words in which i find familiar and awesome to say that this is like written in bone so tragically inspired!

    ~Kelvin

    • exactly…it was inspired by this book…though i never finished it….had to stop after the second murder because i seem to be way too sensitive for such things..

    • exactly…it was inspired by this book…though i never finished it….had to stop after the second murder because i seem to be way too sensitive for such things..

  13. Geez, this is wonderful, Claudia! Love the idea clean-up battalions always ready and waiting.

    Reminds me that we are all compost. 🙂

    May we continue to head northwards with dancing feet until we are very, very old then die in happy dreams, our remains making many flowers grow.

    xo

  14. wow, i really, really like this, the language you used, the rhythm, the subject matter dark but real, filled with the truth of life. am i imagining a tie-in to nine-eleven?

  15. very interesting. I just don’t get … “no one dies in summer’ I tend to think I have known a few who they were young, smart, amazing and “poof” … tragedy struck and they did die in their “summertime”. But I’m sure you meant something else by it but I can’t figure out what. It did get me thinking, though. That’s what poetry should do.

    Now, the opening two lines are quite the attention getter! 🙂

  16. Dark indeed this one. The beginning and ending are both grabbers. I could not see how to post a comment after posting my link on d’Verse so just posted the link. Anyway I enjoy reading the contributions to this site.

  17. Wow, you are courageous, to take this up front.

    Something that comes to us all…except those of us who die in fire….this decompositing….

    ignore those fluttering flies, pinned
    by hand to loosely knitted strings,
    draped in the corner of your eyes,

    Woof…..the imagery here is sharp, all too real.

    Claudia, hats off to you, I have seen and smelled human decomposition, and I don’t want to see or smell it again.

    But the imagery here is exemplary…..and the theme rises to the level of poetry.

    This one will haunts for a longggggg time. It deserves to do so.

    Lady Nyo

  18. Well, Claudia, we got beautiful Rome outa ya’. This is the tradeoff, death. You are very courageous to tackle this in poetry and in this forum. I never got further than anabolism and catabolism. It’s the flies that get me. But you did a great job, I must say. Cheers!

  19. “the process of decaying starts
    five minutes after someone’s death…”

    ~you probably know that the body looses 21 grams postmortem…
    I haven’t read the book you mentioned but, I have met death in person and from different perspectives.
    It is quite perplexing how
    ” …you just stop
    to be”
    Claudia, you write so skillfully, touching “cracked memories”…
    ~thank you…
    deb

  20. Claudia, this comment may end up in moderation or marked as spam here on your blog and over there at d’Verse because I’m in Seattle, Washington and my IP address have changed

    “the process of decaying starts
    five minutes after someone’s death…”

    Now, with that being said, once again, your words are very beautiful,but I must admit the title Of your poem…“death Chemistry” have an eeriness, a coldness and yet, your words are always…“powerful!”
    [Hmmm…I just had an afterthought…happen if “death” is warm and not cold?!?]
    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 😉

  21. I have never read such a perspective about death.

    i’m heading north-wards b/cause
    no one dies in summer,

    ignore those fluttering flies, pinned
    by hand to loosely knitted strings,
    draped in the corner of your eyes,

    Wonderful wonderful wonderful!

  22. Claudia, love your writing. I really like the mixture of tone in this piece. The factual bits are fresh and the message is definitely alive. Also the intimations of sarcasm are nice to see, just enough of it to add to the shifting. Great write

  23. This is the second death poem I’ve read in a row and now I’m looking over my shoulder. Top it off with the fact that I’m sitting on my porch and these annoying flies keep trying to land on me. Excellent poetry that oozed itself into my real moment.

    Beth

  24. The tiniest death affects us all. Power lines, cars smashing butterflies, or toads seeking warmth in spring. I sense that need to run away from a season that should be burgeoning and instead in life one keeps seeing things crash down and disappear. Deep and philosophical today dear Claudia. Exceptional as always.

  25. I’ld be lying if I say I am afraid of death…and your poem certainly gave me the chills, girl!! But it was awesome!!
    “teeth-yellow duffel bags” — that line totally reeled me in!!!

  26. hauntingly written as only you can, claudia ~ you write the most vivid imagery i’ve ever read and all in ultra-bright or ultra-dull colors from crimson blood-red to headstone grey. intense! ♥

  27. While I don’t fear death, I’m not ready for it today. And the whole worm-creepy-crawly thing? Nope, just put some mesquite in my pocket so I smell good when I burn!

    Claudia, this was powerful writing. The whole north/south image sticks with me. Will I really “keep” longer in Wisconsin? I can only hope. Thanks for hosting! Amy Barlow Liberatore

  28. On the way to bed,
    and I said
    I’ll read one more
    before I snore

    Thanks a lot, Claudia–now I’ll be awake until it’s time to BE awake!

    How much this brings to me the knowledge that our bodies are just like everything else on our globe, here to day, stink tomorrow, and gone. But hopefully there IS some part that remains alive to thrive in the next place.
    You are ‘good’, girl. And we all know that!
    PEACE! (Or should I write “Rest in Peace!”–grin!)

  29. Actually, I’ve always been conscious that life is a fatal condition. But I’m afraid I’m all too aware that I am likely to go naked into that goodnight. And when they see me on the other side, someone no doubt will wonder aloud, “What IS he wearing?” And another observer is even more likely to declare, “I don’t know, but it certainly needs IRONING!” Thanks for the poem!

  30. Sorry. Some identity confusion here due to my clumsiness with all the varied ways to post. The post above was actually by me, not Joanne. Silly me! As I was saying: Actually, I’ve always been conscious that life is a fatal condition. But I’m afraid I’m all too aware that I am likely to go naked into that goodnight. And when they see me on the other side, someone no doubt will wonder aloud, “What IS he wearing?” And another observer is even more likely to declare, “I don’t know, but it certainly needs IRONING!” Thanks for the poem!

  31. This reminded me of a TV show called Bones. I saw an episode once where there’s a body farm — where they study the decomposition of cadavers. Gruesome? Yes. Real? Absolutely.

    Great visuals, Claudia.

  32. Oh wow! This one really got me. Powerful. Haunting.

    And I love what Charles Elliott wrote! I can see the pile of laundry on the other side. — Press Here.

  33. Far too much of this lately. I have wondered about the bodies shipped home from the war… Thought-provoking and beautifully written, my friend.

  34. damn.. these are lines I wish I had of written,
    “luggage All-ready packed,
    cracked memories stored in
    aqua cardboard boxes, ob-

    noxious, bleeding wounds wrapped
    sea-freight-ready, sealed and
    neatly folded in teeth-yellow duffel bags”

    wonderfully told of “that” journey we all must one day make..

  35. Clouds Ma’am,
    Morbid though, but we sometimes need reminding that things aren’t always rosy.
    (Rather late in the day for this comment)
    .
    Hank

  36. It’s like we all have the same thing on our minds this week. I especially love the opening stanza and the last five lines. This is a hauntingly gorgeous piece.

  37. You have such a way of revealing the grit of life, through literal and figurative meaning. It is always an enlightenment for me to see what it is you can do with words.