How do you exorcise your grief?

I tell it again and again and again
to a new bearer each time:
hoping that it would dilute my pain−
spread it thin like fat-free butter on bread
hoping to soothe its sting
like honey on an insect bite
hoping to cool the burn
like ointment on burnt skin.
How do you exorcise your grief?
I write my story many times
on the airwaves into the late night.
I write long-winded poems
meant for unseeing eyes.
I sigh uncontrollably.
How do you exorcise your grief?
I find poems that shelter me.
I scream soundlessly
I unleash the rivers within
I miss tremors at 2 AM
Being engrossed with my own
I find any work
that fills that huge gap that’s my grief.
How do you exorcise your grief?

35 thoughts on “How do you exorcise your grief?

  1. i welcome my grief
    to sit beside
    and (we) share our joys
    lest foes we become
    because i found out
    very early in life
    grief when made a friend
    is grief exorcised

    1. Hi Birendra: Thanks! I read poetry in Hindi too. And well, anything that is translated into Hindi, English or Spanish.

  2. at first glance, i thought the title said how do you exercise your grief. maybe that’s what i do. i exercise it, rather than try to exorcise it. i make friends with it. and live with it. when i try to exorcise it, it says “You can kill me but I shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine” (starwars)

    1. Hi ricercar: Grief is an intensely personal thing. So we have to find our way around it. Exercise/exorcise might be two sides of the same coin, letting go.

  3. weee! i was gonna say something vain or stupid, then read the comment above ^.

    now i completely agree with the above person’s response. 😉

      1. Adee! You make a smile. I don’t have poems hidden away. Sometimes, I have lost them because I wrote them on paper napkins! 😛 But I will try and overcome my reserve and post a few others. 🙂

  4. a good read first in the morning… like this a lot especially for the images in the first stanza which are so original…

    thanks Adee for sharing your friend’s work… i really like your take too… that theme of acceptance is rendered so beautifully…

  5. Nice poem, but I somehow feel there’s something missing. Something, left unsaid…I thought about your question though, and this is what it made me write.

    How do I exorcise my grief?
    I don’t.
    My grief isn’t evil
    My grief isn’t a ghost
    My grief doesn’t flatter to deceive
    My grief doesn’t boast
    My grief doesn’t abandon midway
    like seasonal love, like the joy of success
    My grief doesn’t ask for “space” of its own
    My grief is mine to possess
    I soak in my grief
    and let it pass through me
    in the darkness of the nights
    it helps me get to know me
    My grief is my friend
    it strengthens me when it leaves
    rather, when it hides in the shadows
    waiting, till my heart grieves
    My grief hears my sighs and screams
    My grief embraces what my eyes won’t
    How do I exorcise my grief?
    I don’t.

    1. Wow! Your poem really answers the question. Maybe I am a rhetorical person. I can only pose questions. The answers are with the others. Or in this case, as I discover it, the answers are in others’ poems.

    1. Hey Rita: A friend’s dad passed away recently and I saw her suffering. That is what prompted this poem. We all have our griefs but losing someone is the ultimate one. But I am glad you asked this ‘prosaic’ question. 🙂

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