I am with you still.

My spirit
embued within the sky
floating midst the clouds
cool mist above rushing waters.

I walked this earth
stacked small rocks
in special places.
I cared.

Grieve not for me,
stand quietly.
Between your steps
feel me still.


It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. And we begin anew. Week 1 with 43 more to come. Today, Quadrille Week 1, the word to use within our poem is “rock” – or a form of the word. Come join us! A quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words…sans title.

49 thoughts on “Cairn

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:30 am

      I’ve always loved coming upon cairns – thinking about who left them there and why.


  1. kanzensakura November 20, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    I like that you used the word cairn and gave one of its meanings in your poem. Not just a grave site but also as a marker. What are you marking the way towards?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:37 am

      There is a story behind this. A dear friend died of ovarian cancer in February. She fought it for 2+ years and was determined not to die. Thus – she’d not made any funeral arrangements. She was an avid outdoors person, an environmentalist, spiritual and religious. Her husband and children “took her” hiking/backpacking this fall – her ashes. They found a place in the mountains, by a stream, under the grand sky and placed her there, neath rocks and leaves–by trees, shrubs, the stream. They felt her ascend, released…one with nature–with all the elements. This was written with her husband’s telling me of this experience in my mind. Don’t know if that makes sense?


      • kanzensakura November 21, 2017 / 12:27 pm

        This makes perfect sense Lillian. I am glad they had that experience after such an excrutiating death. I took my mother’s ashes to the little country church where our ancestors and newcestors are buried. I dug a hole in her mother’s grave and placed her there. I think that would have made her happy. I somehow survived ovarian cancer – too many women die from it. I’d like to see all the $$ and research that goes into breast cancer go into ovarian cancer.


  2. Glenn Buttkus November 20, 2017 / 3:32 pm

    Markers of stone–cool metaphor. It is nice to write of death and hope in the same few words. You leave mystery as well, things unsaid; smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:38 am

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Glenn. Hope within death – a blessed extension of life.


    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:42 am

      When we lose a truly loved one, I choose to believe they walk with us still — in the quiet spaces – if we but pause to feel them there. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Victoria C. Slotto November 20, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    How very beautiful, Lillian. For me, it conjured up several layers of understanding, including spiritual and loved ones who have moved on. I like trying to build these in my yards–front and back. The kids like to knock down the front yard’s and the wind does it part, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:42 am

      Exactly, Victoria. Thank you for understanding❤


  4. Grace November 20, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    I felt very much consoled and comforted Lillian ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:44 am

      Yes. As I mentioned to someone, I believe that when we lose a truly loved one, they walk with us still — if we simply feel them in the quiet spaces, moments…they are with us.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mish November 20, 2017 / 7:11 pm

    Stunning. I love all of this but there is something about “I cared” that really made me curious of a story behind the story. There is depth and longing in your words and yet a calming voice. Beautiful work, Lillian.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:50 am

      Read my comment to Toni here. It is the story behind this post. And yes – the “I cared” is the lynch pin here — tied to the cairn. My dear dear friend was such a caring person – of her family, the environment, she planted plants for butterflies, took vacations to replant habitats, sang in her church choir. I miss her but feel she is all around — dispersed, released into the elements. She is with us although she is not. That is the calm I choose to believe — if that makes sense. I did want the poem to stand on its own — without the back story.


  6. jazzytower November 20, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    NIcely done Lillian. Layers to think about here.. Especially loved the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:52 am

      Thank you. Layers from life into death and released to be with us when we stop to listen and feel. Yes.


    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:53 am

      I’m so glad you liked it. For me, it was a heartfelt write.


  7. Vivian Zems November 21, 2017 / 6:28 am

    Poignant and beautiful. Hope and death in the same breath….very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 8:56 am

      Thank you for this reference, Paul. What a beautiful idea – a Life Cairn.


  8. Sabio Lantz November 21, 2017 / 6:54 am

    Love the pictures of the cairn — I saw them all over both India (Shiva’s Linga)
    and Japan (where they have similar meanings at times — fertility issues). But I realize their use as markers of places – special places too.

    My poem meaning question: We are not to grieve for you, because in death you were imbued INTO the sky?

    A grammar questions:

    I think “embue” is the archaic, obsolete for of “imbue” == maybe simple spelling mistake? But then, you used “midst” in an older English way to sound poetic too. It threw me, not being an archaic English speaker, but like midst and mist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 9:04 am

      Ah, you are a literal reader, Sabio. Read my comment to Toni here, for the back story to this post. But it is meant to stand alone. Many read the calm, the idea of death and hope together. The idea that when we lose someone we truly loved, their spirit remains with/around us — in the elements. The language simply came with the feeling and the sound of the words — not a spelling mistake and not trying to write in an archaic fashion. For me it flowed. Came from the heart.
      Obviously for you it didn’t flow and I understand. All readers do not read alike. Once our words are down, their meaning is diversified by as many readers as they have. And that’s okay.
      Glad you liked the use of mist and midst.


      • Sabio Lantz November 21, 2017 / 9:54 am

        Thank you for replying so honestly Lillian. I wonder whether “literal” is accurate — though it does sound sadly limited doesn’t it. But maybe it is also that I speak several languages and my mind watches words more carefully than many. I pick up dialects and such much easier, for instance, than my colleagues and friends. Maybe you too are multi-lingual and know what I mean.

        But you will notice that others asked questions too, I think many people read quickly, have little understanding and just write compliments to be nice — they of course enjoy aspects but do they really get as much as we hope, perhaps not.

        That said, aesthetically, I enjoy poems which don’t force me to read more than once or twice to understand, or which put words up that make my mind stumble without some felt benefit. Some of my readers help point them out to me in my poems

        Some of my favorite poets use the title of the poem to help welcome the reader and offer gentle guidance in their journey through the poem. In that way, one does not need comments to help clarify as much.

        So after reading your comments, I thought of these titles (if I may be so bold to just illustrate my point):

        My Friend Final/Remaining/Comforting Words

        I hope you don’t mind the comments. I am never asking for change, just sharing one reader’s minds honestly.


      • lillian November 21, 2017 / 10:17 am

        Responding to your second comment: I’m always happy to exchange thoughts on our writings here at dVerse. 😊


  9. kaykuala (@hankkaykuala) November 21, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Grieve not for me,
    stand quietly.
    Between your steps
    feel me still.

    One may not have to be sad but still, leave some feelings intact! Good words Lillian!


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary (tqhousecat) November 21, 2017 / 9:15 am

    Memorial rocks…bringing the past into the present, leading us into the future, and knowing we don’t go alone. Beautiful!


  11. Charley November 21, 2017 / 9:51 am

    A fitting memorial: your cairn of words, thoughts, memories. Years poured into those forty-four words. And others written, to be written… those left unwritten. She lives in those… and you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian November 21, 2017 / 10:18 am

      Oh thank you so much, Charley. What a thoughtful and wonderful comment. You have no idea how much it is appreciated. Truly, thank you.


      • Charley November 21, 2017 / 11:39 am

        You are very welcome.


  12. lynn__ November 21, 2017 / 10:45 am

    Words like stones of precious memories and a loving presence felt.


  13. dornahainds November 21, 2017 / 1:56 pm

    A Beautiful Splendidness. 🥀🥀🥀🥀🥀


  14. adda November 21, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    Life is magical… wonderful!


  15. Truedessa November 21, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    This made me smile as I often stack small rocks, leaving a small totem of wonder behind…


  16. kim881 November 26, 2017 / 7:24 am

    That is such a subtle, clever play on words, Lill: cairn / cared, like a core of rock through the poem, like the message through a stick of rock! Like our mothers at our very core.


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