When I was 8,
I thought death is cruel fate and is a punishment to the sinners.
The cadaver is buried or burnt to not leave any traces of the misdeeds, my grandparents say.

And after years, I realized,
death is a peaceful end to life,
a fullstop to existence, no commas, no continuations,
humans are mortal and not a renewable resource to spread love.
After all, death has one more letter than life and love.

One fine day will turn up,
on which I’ll depart from the world,
leaving them,
everyone and everything I loved.
I’ll breathe for the last time in life and my body with no heartbeat will be called “a corpse” and customs be carried out to discard it.

They’ll delicately lift me and put me into the casket.
My best friend know that I’m fond of good smells, she might suggest a sandalwood coffin, maybe.

My daughter gracefully carries the weight of woes but can’t bear the thorns in rose, adorn it with chrysanthemums, my mum would cry.
She drapes dreams as her dress and victory as her maquillage, dad would boast.

I would have written a note asking them to place things that makes my heart soft; my mother’s perfume,
the sea shells, stamps and the coins I collected, a cassette tape with evergreen songs, the love letters I wrote and received and lastly, his pictures to carry him forever in grave.

I’ll see people mourning, weeping and they’ll talk about everything
the places I travelled, the poems I penned, the my music I made and the way I lived.

You see?
I’ll go a drive through a nostalgia street and joyful days.
I’ll listen to the eulogies and funeral poems being read,
there are also tears falling from the sky, pansies accompany her, ocean water turns black and mourns; people add imageries and flatter me.
Who will cry when you die? If they ask.
Look at them I would say, proudly.

There he stands leaning on the wall, a funeral where my love for died, but I live,
my man would say to himself.
I trail him as shadows in disguise, showed him what love is, taught him what life is, but didn’t teach him to live without me…
He cries,
and I would cry seeing him.

Thank you so much for reading!🌻


68 thoughts on “Quietus

  1. This is profoundly beautiful poem, Hemalatha….I think my heart just skipped a beat….your poem creates an intense imagery….true, body turns into ashes / become one with different elements….but soul never dies….this formless form takes another form…I see such Images on my screen at times….Images is also the name of my poem that I wrote once….thank you for your sharing ✨

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Navin!😇 Imageries unintentionally occupy my poem, I don’t think and add them but when I write they join in the flow. I notice them while proof reading. I’m glad you noticed them.😊

      I’ll check your poem right now!😌

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this was so thought provoking and I thought of death as beautiful for the first time…I don’t know if that’s the right thing to think about something like death…but this was so profound. the last line 😍😍

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Oh, that twist at the end… 🥺
    I’m always amazed at how you can create such beautiful, beautiful poetry, Hemalatha! It’s truly amazing. The stanza listing all the things that make the speaker’s heart soft is my favorite. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hello Hema,

    I wrote this English essay a few months ago about how death is necessary for life. I spoke about how immortality is actually a curse and our limited-time gives us purpose in life and the motivation to take action.

    Reading this poem gave me a similar feeling. Death shouldn’t be something we should fear as it’s just a part of life. But this poem was definitely touching and the imaginative aspect was outstanding!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I was very scared of death. I had sleepless nights thinking about how can I ever face it!
    This poem is so beautifully written Hema .. touching one.. I hope someone places my mobile too in my coffin 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Good afternoon, Hemalatha Ramesh

    Death walks next to me
    since my birth
    he is my companion
    I’m afraid of
    of which I fear every day
    feel in me

    and then comes
    in the last breath
    the shadow
    of the all-encompassing

    Best regards
    Hans Gamma

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m often very unwilling to think about those final moments, not yet. So much more to live for, but sometimes, in a tangle with depression, the thought crosses my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right! I sometimes never think about death thinking it’s something worse in Life, at few moments I try to glance at it in a wider perspective and try to get the point that it’s more than a loss or void in Life.
      Thanks for reading, Jude.😇


  8. Wait, What is your age again? (Kidding, u don’t have to tell!)

    Just wondering how you come up with such profound thoughts everytime? And your ability to pen them down like a masterpiece! Brilliant Hema!

    Liked by 1 person

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