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dVerse — descriptive detail — Emissary

Image result for peng bird


Peng, whose wingspan covers the sky
Alights on Yellow Mountain’s Peak
Red eyes survey the village below
From whom will he take today?

Old Mrs. Yen, asleep on the porch,
Broom still in her hand,
Will have fewer dreams after today;
fewer remembered celebrations, fewer regrets.

The seasons pass…

One winter moon shines through the window:
Mrs. Yen, a guileless smile upon her cheeks.
Peng beats his mighty wings, rises;
In his claws, a small, lifeless form.

Across valleys, rivers, then higher,
Through the clouds to Celestial Abode.
Wakened, Mrs. Yen opens her eyes
And cries as family embraces her.

Frank H is the host of dVerse today.  Frank says:
To participate in this prompt write a poem paying attention to the descriptive detail that will tell readers what the poem is about and what you hope will hold their interest and make them want to read it again.

Peng” painting by Sue Gurland.

51 thoughts on “dVerse — descriptive detail — Emissary

    1. Kerfe, I read somebody’s poem this week where their loved one slowly lost their mind with dementia/Alzheimers, and it got me thinking, maybe that is the way nature does it so the person doesn’t fear or suffer at the end. The “gradual visits” let the person coast at the end. They not only lose the “good stuff” that troubles their loved ones to witness, but they lose all of that guilt and worry along with it. What do you think? I agree with Dwight, it’s way better than one day you open the door and The Grim Reaper is standing there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an interesting thought. My mother was a hypochondriac, and one of the first things that happened with her dementia was that all those phantom illnesses went away. So perhaps it is a gradual easing into what comes next. But I still don’t want to go that route myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As my grandmother, who was always too anxious to get on an airplane, was passing she told my Aunt that she would be flying right over those (Wasatch) mountains soon. I thought of her as you painted this fiercely gentle emissary. Wonderful Jade.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this story so much. Beautifully told. I am especially touched by, “Wakened, Mrs. Yen opens her eyes
    And cries as family embraces her.” I attended my grandmother’s death, and this describes exactly how it felt to me, a gentle falling asleep and waking to a new loving dimension. So thank you for this illuminating tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susanne thank you. Death is seen as a menacing thing so many times. What I wanted was for the fears and regrets to be taken from Mrs. Yen so she could die peacefully and then be carried to her loved ones waiting for her. Glad you connected with the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful imagery and cadences. I am curious about why you used the word “Peng” to describe the bird., which I took to be death. Are you aware that it can mean either either a drugged state (specifically,achieved via marijuana) or beautiful? Strangely enough, it has both Chinese and Jamaican roots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peng (the bird) is what it is called in the Chuang Tzu/Zhuangzi, one of the texts on philosophical Taoism/Daoism. There are discussions by the scholars on what Chuang Tzu meant by the bird, but I don’t think there is consensus. I am a student of philosophical Taoism and have always liked Peng and so used the concept here for death. Interesting on its meaning in another culture for drugged state or beautiful!


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