one day I wanna write a poem like this…

I’m currently reading a book, THE BOOK THIEF, where the author, Markus Zusak, uses Death as the narrator with an omniscient point of view. Rather than usual skull and bones swathed in a black cloak holding a grim reaper, Death is portrayed as a sympathetic character with the tendency to define moments by their color. It’s one of the most creative books I’ve come across in awhile, and I hope to write in more detail about it someday soon. Meanwhile, I came across this poem written by a one-time email friend of mine from Kentucky, Jim Peyton (the author of ZION’S CAUSE). I think Mr. Zusak’s and Mr. Peyton’s versions of the dark angel both enjoy color. Don’t mind me, I just like this poem and I hope you do too, and I don’t think Jim would mind my sharing it here.

GARDEN GO by Jim Peyton

When the dark angel comes for me, 
Don’t scatter my ashes beneath some tree, 
Or toss them out for the winds to blow.
No, let me again to my garden go:

My Eden of earthy delight,
Where Rose awaits with heavy hips,
And Iris laughs with lavender lips,
And wonton Ajuga romps in the night.

Potash pleases them all, you know.

PostscriptIt occurs to me that “wonton” might oughta be “wanton” in view of the other sensuous references in the piece, but whichever way it works for you is okay with me.

13 thoughts on “one day I wanna write a poem like this…

  1. WOW!!!!!!! I love that poem — it says it all for me!!!!

    And yeah, I’m gonna put that book on my list!!!!


    • Doesn’t it though (the poem)? Maybe you can read the book thief while you convalesce after surgery. It’s unlike anything I’ve read.

  2. I LOVE the poem and was fascinated by the book as well. It’s one of those cross-generational novels that teens and adults love. I find the characters so fascinating – from the interesting guardians to their Jewish “guest” to Liesel and the neighbors, and of course, Mr. Death.

    I do think “wanton” works best for me as wonton makes me crave Chinese food – not exactly the imagery I think the poet was going for. It’s a keeper – meaning I’m adding it to my favorite poem portfolio.

    And thanks for always stopping by “my place.” Hugs, Renae

    • I suspect “wonton” was a typo that didn’t get caught. (I saw Hunger Games today. I was wondering if you would see it as I think it would be a great movie/novel to discuss in a high school class setting, and wondered if you would agree. (I’m waiting for installment #2.)

    • So long since I’ve heard a peep from you, Sue. I’m glad you like the poem. I wonder if you’re still writing. I can write all kinds of hack, but poetry eludes me. Someday, I promise myself! Someday.

  3. Okay, you and my daughter loved the Book Thief. So I’m going to get back into it. For whatever reason, I began it but didn’t get as hooked as I was expecting to be. But it is on my Kindle and waiting for me to begin again.

    • I found that the more I read the more hooked I got! I love imagining death as a much maligned character just doing his job–kind of like being hated as a snake when all the snake is doing is being who he is. I hope that makes as much sense in your world as it does it mine.

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