Cry woman workshop

burnished sea

Here’s where you’ll stand,
at the head and the feet.

Your cheeks will be wet
(keep nothing in reserve).

Have your song – a simple descent
where the last note catches
and breaks.

And poetry – a few lines will do –
how the world’s reduced,
the sea’s burnished brilliance
the hills blown down,

(though never say ‘I’
instead become the tears
and the breath and the breath).

Practice hands in the dirt then
fist at the sky (that ancient glyph)
at He who takes and takes, over again.

Take censure (and stones)
on your head and your feet
like those before you and before.

Sweep flowers and mild condolence,
bruise hands that would help
but hold, again and again.

Ready roar for a requiem
to rouse the indifferent dead
and those who’ve gone ahead.

Prepare (however you can)
to be overwhelmed and overwhelm
and (for all of us) balance
the remains and remains.

10 poems in 10 weeks – This is week 6

Posted on Dverse open link night #203 hosted by Grace.

This poem was inspired by an article in Yes Magazine on lament singing in the Karelia region of Finland; ‘cry woman’ is Finnish for a professional mourner.
Image – insyros –

9 thoughts on “Cry woman workshop

  1. Very instructional and I have never thought one can write about it ~ Specially admire this part:

    Ready roar for a requiem
    to rouse the indifferent dead
    and those who’ve gone ahead.


  2. I read that article too and was fascinated that it still goes on. I remember reading about “hired” mourners in earlier eras, but thought the custom had died. I Love the idea of lament in your poem. Great last line. Well done.


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