House of Heart

When the sun is sinking low

the living gather at the river bank.

A widow wails her mantra out and into

the watery grave.

The Moon plays upon the wake of the burning boat

while at the bank mourners chant and dance

their faces obscured by the glow of the fire.

As the pyre disappears beyond the horizon

the young smoke herbs and chew kava

to make it easier to forget.


pyre 3

photo by Day Schildkret

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10 thoughts on “by fire

  1. Oooooh, I want herbs and kava at my funeral send off. I think it’s the least I could do after having the audacity to inconvenience friends and family with my demise. I want my boat to be filled with fireworks too. Lovely poem Rene, it harkens back to those ancient rituals that brought communities together and renewed bonds with the living.

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