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(A Collection of Select Works... / The City That Never Sleeps)

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' NO WONDER WHY GOD MADE US ALL MORTAL BEINGS...!

Fresh flowers, sliced at the stems, on an angle...,
so they breathe at the parlour....deeper, longer;
still, in two day's they'll lay with the dead...dying,
tossed like trash from a black El Camino.

Coffeee, and petit-fours,
from Artuso's Bakery
awaiting our arrival,
from black limousines,
to deliver us from death, back to life,
to the home of the widow in mourning;
and we'll smack our salty lips,
at the site of the pasteries,
and slap each others backs
at the sharing of tell-tale,
carry-on 'bout the deceased.

Redundant cliches play a pestilent tune, like:
''It's the only time we get together it seems'',
and, '''Doesen't he look just like himself'''?
And as a child, i would think: Who else would he look like?

Sat, and watched the last of the arrangements,
flooding the rear of the black El Camino;
Saw petals.....all shapes and colours,
strewn through the highway wind,
streaking past my peripheral view;
makes me glance out the tinted glass,
at the cars in the faster lanes,
counting how many faces
were staring back at mine,
as we procession to the yard,
for last good-byes,
Father Quinn leads in prayer;
morose toss of roses,
Amadeus,
passion-red, short stemmed, and thornless.


And after the final rose finds rest on the wood,
and we all walk away, like zombies on qualudes,
i look back o'er my shoulder, and marvel,
how all the flowers,
now dead..... are irreverantly piled,
and i muse as to why they always seem
to resemble an Egyptian pyramid.
Strange souls we be...When Death arrives;
No wonder why God made us mortal...!

Submitted: Monday, January 19, 2009
Edited: Sunday, July 07, 2013


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Comments about this poem (' IF JUST FOR A MOMENT WITH YOU... by Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR )

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  • Riley King (8/5/2009 8:02:00 PM)

    Mr. Ryan,

    Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. There really is nothing more specific I can add. This is so far beyond the range of my own abilities that it would be an insult to you for me to comment on things like style, tone, rhythm, etc.

    Riley King

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  • Scarlett Treat (1/26/2009 2:32:00 PM)

    You have an 'eye' to hone in on the things in life - - and in death - - that matter, the sorrow of someone dying, and yet the laughter at the wake...but that over the shoulder look back at the funeral pyre of dying flowers! This is one of the most awesome poems I have read lately, and a new 'best favorite' of mine. Powerful writing, indeed, Dear Batman... Robin

  • Sulaiman Mohd Yusof (1/21/2009 4:09:00 AM)

    End of journey.........fills with flashbacks, in the minds of still living, counting their days.A cuttin' edge writes! !

  • Frank James Ryan, Jr. (1/20/2009 10:17:00 PM)

    I agree with Mamta, Dad. This theme is very sensitive, but you express your distaste for some of death's rituals, in a way that is eerie but at the same time is so true to life. Great work, Dad!
    Love,
    Lauren Marie Elizabeth
    xo

  • Mamta Agarwal (1/20/2009 9:35:00 PM)

    a very provocative title, and a sensitive theme. you have sketched disenchantment with hypocrisy, disrespect to those gone- comes out like delicate petals of flowers- very effective use of the metaphor of flowers- cut, wilted and discarded irreverently. Frank, this another thought provoking poem. can the dead see what happens after they are gone...10

    Mamta

  • Michael Gale (1/20/2009 2:21:00 PM)

    Bestill death, we not do very well...
    Hopely, we'll travel to Heaven, not Hell.

    Only time, will ever tell...
    About our stillness near.

    Many drops of liquid tear...
    Death of dead, we treadly, fear.

    Great poem Frank. Tis a shame we must all become stiffened, inTENsley ridgid.

    God bless poets, all-MJG.

  • Eddie Roa (1/20/2009 3:25:00 AM)

    Nice treatment of what would otherwise be a morbid topic. Good restraint and fluid verse. nice write.

  • Alison Cassidy (1/20/2009 1:19:00 AM)

    This is rather brilliant Frank. You have described without morbid self-consciousness the theatrical process of 'saying goodbye' with a refreshingly personal touch. There is irony, humor and wisdom in your lines. A well constructed poem penned with flair and authority. Love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Fay Slimm (1/20/2009 12:14:00 AM)

    'Redundant cliches ' do indeed 'play a pestilent tune ' Frank - - and I endorse so much more in this verse, the title of which makes its bold statement which intrigues........ the subject of death is so easily sugered too much and you here Frank treat it to a new approach........ good poem........ fondly from Fay....xx

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