When Great Trees Fall

My friend Andy Hobsbawm sent me this gorgeous Maya Angelou poem today in memory of  Zoe. Worked for me... thought I'd share it.

 When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly.  Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed.  They existed.
We can be.  Be and be
better.  For they existed.

19 responses
Beautiful poem. Moves me to tears every time I read it. I'm so sorry about the loss of your daughter Zoe.
Big hug to you Chris.
Beautiful and interesting ... Love Maya Angelou - she has always been an inspiration reference for me. My daughter is named Maya (after her). My daughter had a twin sister that never made it (still born). Her twin sister's name was to be Zoe. Really. Peace and comfort to you and thanks for making me think of my Zoe in the grace of Maya Angelou. Sincere best wishes.
Beautiful poem, Chris! Thanks for sharing it!


Wow. You can actually FEEL what he writes. Peace
Touching and beautiful,it captures the essence of a loss.Thank you for sharing.
I honestly don't know what to say. I'm truly sorry. Beautiful poem does offer some solace.
Words are so many and yet so hard to find, This wonderful piece of poetry must be as close as one can get. You sharing it with us may help us with our own losses and in turn sharing it with others
lovely poignant poem, rings in the realty of life
Lovely poem. So very sorry about the loss of your daughter. May you and your family be held by the love that surrounds you.
I can't imagine what you are going through, my deepest condolences. I am so very sorry for your loss. My daughter is also named Zoe, which spurred me to click through to the memorial fund - thank you for sharing.
Today is the 3 year anniversary of my father passing and I just happened to read through my subscriptions today. Fitting and beautiful... Thanks for sharing... My thoughts are with you.
Have shared this poem with several people. Thanks again...


Chris, we worked together during testing magazine times almost 10 years ago. I didn't keep in touch and, at this time, that feels especially awful - and wasteful. My thoughts, prayers and best of best wishes are with you and your family, Chris. You were always the most gentle, most thoughtful, kindest, and calmest of calm people, Chris. I pray that you can - as you say - somehow draw strength from all the wonderful things Zoe was and did during her too short life. All my love, Colin
It can't work as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I consider.
online sale of Sheri Bodell | discount online Club Monaco | buy Nellie Partow
3 visitors upvoted this post.