Monday, August 24, 2009


The weight of the heavy air pushes down
On the drooping shoulders
Of a damp northeastern town.
And whispers of a place that’s cursed,

Pierce the ears of all that felt and heard
The blow of one more tragedy to be immersed
In a sea of goodbyes that seems to always return.

I wrote the above poem earlier this year. I can't seem to find new words to express what I'm feeling as I sit here and write after more dark news emanates from my small hometown. Helplessness has invaded my mind again. But I feel numb. Last night, I looked at my phone to find a text message beginning with, "Kendra, I have bad news..." and I couldn't figure out whether to roll my eyes or let my heart sink to the bottom of my stomach before I read the rest of the message. Stories like this have become an unsurprising shock. It's shocking that they continue to be told, to be felt, to be experienced by the loved ones of all who leave us... but there is never much time that passes between these morose endings. I'm flying to Maine tonight where I will stand with everyone else beneath the heavy clouds that have once again rolled in. I am not sure what to think or feel as I make this trip home. I feel like I can best serve myself and those around me by being grateful for the amazing network of people I am lucky enough to have on the other end of the phone or computer, across my back yard, across the country, down the street, down the hall... I'm not sure I can accurately convey to these people my genuine appreciation for their existence and for their impact on my life.


John W. May said...

As always, Kendra … beautiful poem.

Is it correct that I sense a disparity in it? Notwithstanding, great write. Its eloquence reminds me of William Wordsworth’s poem: ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802.’

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Kendra Lise said...

Thank you for sharing! Your knowledge of poetry is admirable. I've been a selfish writer so far in my life, so it's been nice learning about other great works from other great poets (you included).
The disparity you sensed is real. My hometown seems to be plagued with a depression so deep that suicide has become the only option for too many. The town can barely end their mourning before we hear of another life ended. (Here's an article that describes when most of it began, shortly before I graduated high school: Tragedy has become a deadly growing virus in the place that I grew up in.