Michael Walker

Gold Star - 58,571 Points (cv48488)

Life And Death.

Poem by Michael Walker

I know, or I think I know, where I was born.
New Plymouth, a city with two sprawling cemeteries,
where I found my grandparents' gravestones at last,
but they were covered in gray lichen and moss.

The kindly sexton said she would spray the gravestones
and I will go back to see them cleaned and clarified.
My grandparents were always there for me.
My grandfather taught me table manners, sternly.

He and I used to watch the cricket at Pukekura Park
then we would wander around the lake,
seeing the sleek canoes gliding on the surface.
I loved to hear the fountain playing on and off.

I thought that death may not be the end,
when I found their graves last weekend.

-15 June,2016.

Topic(s) of this poem: life

Form: Sonnet


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I went to Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth close to the above date, searching for where I came from. Without the sexton's help, I would never have found the headstones in that sad place.
The phrase 'death is not the end' is the title of a song by Bob Dylan on his album 'Down In The Groove'(1988) . The song moves me and why not let Dylan have the last word on the subject?

Comments about Life And Death. by Michael Walker

  • Geeta Radhakrishna MenonGeeta Radhakrishna Menon (12/9/2019 12:11:00 PM)

    This is marvellous poem, Michael.
    In search of your grandfather's gravestones in a Cemetery in New Plymouth itself shows your deep respect for your roots - from where you come and belong.
    According to Hindu Philosophy, death is not an end. It is the beginning of a new life of the soul in a new body.
    To the life of a beautiful poem- a full score....10(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(12/9/2019 4:22:00 PM)

    Thanks very much Geeta for commenting and comparing Christian beliefs with Hinduism.
    It would be good to be reborn in a new body, endless possibilities to think about that.

    2 person liked.
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  • Sarah ShahzadSarah Shahzad (12/5/2019 3:12:00 AM)

    touching piece thank you so much for sharing this masterpiece..(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(12/5/2019 7:57:00 PM)

    Thank you very much for reading quite an old poem of mine. Great comment.

    1 person liked.
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  • Lee BoueriLee Boueri (11/12/2019 2:41:00 AM)

    Nice reminder of how we live on after death in the memories of those we left behind.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(12/5/2019 8:32:00 PM)

    I believe that is true. That's why I remember my deceased parents and brother.
    'Death may not be the end'-I cannot prove it one way or the other. Thanks for your assessment.

    1 person liked.
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  • Chima OnonogbuChima Ononogbu (10/11/2019 7:50:00 PM)

    A reminder of life and of its end. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(10/12/2019 5:29:00 PM)

    Thanks for your generous comment.

    1 person liked.
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  • Lyn PaulLyn Paul (8/18/2019 10:34:00 PM)

    You are such a respected and well read poet.
    I understand why.
    Thank you(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(9/9/2019 7:04:00 PM)

    You give generous praise, which I do not forget. Thank you very much.

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  • Darwin Henry BeuningDarwin Henry Beuning (7/19/2019 3:37:00 AM)

    Michael, This is one of my favorite poems of yours. I visit my grandparents graves when I visit Minnesota in the summer's. I miss them so.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/21/2019 10:31:00 PM)

    I miss my grandparents after all these years, I hope to meet them again one day. (I revised this poem-a few changes) .

    3 person liked.
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  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (7/15/2019 4:14:00 AM)

    death is no end
    death a chapter which employs the reminiscence closest than living chapter
    very impressive writings and superb poem penned; thanks for sharing(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/21/2019 10:33:00 PM)

    Death may not be the end. It is the next chapter in the book of life, I think. Thanks for your analytical comment.

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  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (7/11/2019 10:27:00 PM)

    I know, or I think I know, where I was born.
    New Plymouth, a seaside city with two cemeteries,
    where I found my grandparents' gravestones
    at last; but covered in gray lichen(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/21/2019 10:34:00 PM)

    An accurate quote of the opening lines. I have since revised this poem. Thanks for quoting me.

    1 person liked.
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  • Jane Campion (7/7/2019 2:18:00 AM)

    A wonderful poem that has deep feelings.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/8/2019 10:53:00 PM)

    Thanks for your fine appreciation of an early poem of mine.

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/8/2019 10:51:00 PM)

    Thanks for your sincere appreciation. One of my early poems.

    0 person liked.
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  • Prabir GayenPrabir Gayen (12/31/2018 5:00:00 AM)

    Fine poem on life and Death.......(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/8/2019 10:54:00 PM)

    A much appreciated comment, my friend.

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  • Madhabi BanerjeeMadhabi Banerjee (5/30/2018 1:08:00 PM)

    thanks a lot for such a briliant poem(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(5/30/2018 9:16:00 PM)

    I appreciate your comment very much. Will get back to you.

    0 person liked.
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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (4/18/2018 6:36:00 PM)

    I agree with you and Bob Dylan. Death is not the end. I have the names of hundreds of my ancestors and plan to meet them all some day. I only knew one of my grandfathers (my mother's father) and one of my grandmothers (my father's mother) in this life. My own mother has been gone for more than fifty years.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(5/30/2018 9:19:00 PM)

    You give a very detailed reaction to the poem, raising the question of ancestors and
    how important they continue to be in our lives. My mother passed away in 2003. Regards, Michael.

    1 person liked.
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  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (4/15/2018 10:13:00 PM)

    I have reread this touching poem. Again, I will give a top mark for sincerity and expressiveness. Hope you are well Michael.

    Regards
    Robert(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/11/2019 7:58:00 PM)

    I would like to send you a private message, if that is all right with you. I miss your poems.

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(4/15/2018 10:22:00 PM)

    Thanks so much for your sincere comment. I still miss my grandparents, after
    fifty years.

    0 person liked.
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  • Feipeng ShangFeipeng Shang (11/1/2017 2:18:00 PM)

    Why not let Dylan have the last word on the subject, and it's very moving indeed that you've found your grandparents!(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(4/15/2018 10:23:00 PM)

    Thanks for noticing and typing an opinion on this poem. I like Dylan's song 'Death is not the End'.

    0 person liked.
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  • Jr CuyamJr Cuyam (8/2/2017 8:40:00 PM)

    death is not the end. nicely done poem sir(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(4/15/2018 10:25:00 PM)

    Thanks for noticing and typing a positive comment.

    1 person liked.
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  • Fabrizio FrosiniFabrizio Frosini (7/10/2017 3:48:00 AM)

    Michael, congratulations. I had already read your excellent poem: it is surely worthy of P. of the Day!(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(4/15/2018 10:27:00 PM)

    You make a generous, affirming comment indeed. I'm so grateful.

    1 person liked.
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  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (7/10/2017 12:01:00 AM)

    Congrats, Michael, for being the Poet of the Day. Every time I read the poem, I remember my parents and grandparents, think of life and death and of afterlife. Thanks.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(7/21/2019 10:38:00 PM)

    Thanks for your keen observations on one of my earliest poems.

    1 person liked.
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  • Kim BarneyKim Barney (7/9/2017 9:20:00 PM)

    Death is indeed not the end, just a transition from one phase to another. I also just visited the grave of my grandparents two weeks ago today. A lovely poem and congrats for having it selected as member poem of the day!(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(4/15/2018 10:26:00 PM)

    A tremendous comment, and much appreciated.

    3 person liked.
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  • Beryl Kransky (7/9/2017 8:30:00 PM)

    A wonderful poem that shows death is not the end at all.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(5/30/2018 9:22:00 PM)

    A wonderful comment likewise, which gives me more confidence.

    2 person liked.
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  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (7/9/2017 10:49:00 AM)

    What a beautiful poem about your love and respect for your grandparents. The flow and style are simply amazing. Like to read many times. Thanks for sharing.10+++ and Congratulations.(Report)Reply

    Michael WalkerMichael Walker(5/30/2018 9:20:00 PM)

    Thanks very much for your analysis of what I
    was trying to say.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, June 20, 2016

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 19, 2019