After reflecting to someone in yesterday’s comments that I should write more cheery stuff… Laura invited the folk at dVerse to bring a deceased person back to life. A deceased person we don’t know, whose name we found on a headstone. A quick google later and I’ve ended up with a not cheery piece. Go check out the folk others have brought to life https://dversepoets.com/2020/06/09/poetics-back-to-life/


Photo credit https://www.memphisflyer.com/AskVanceBlog/archives/2010/06/20/embury-methodist-churchs-odd-gravestones


Unknown, unremebered, unmissed
Yet I have a stone to my namelessness
Sad marker of life forgotten
Unmourned by fam’ly, lover, anyone

Yet once I live
Made my ripples in the pond of life
A stone
Vibrant. Colourful. Alive.
Everything was going for me
Until it wasn’t
All it took was a change of fortune
The wheel shifted
I fell




Ripples ended
Colours faded
Everything dimmed
But life held on

And then even the




Of life holding on




The ripples stopped
Just as the breathing stopped
Just as life stopped
And I was gone

Unknown, unremebered, unmissed
Yet I have a stone to my namelessness
Sad marker of life forgotten
Unmourned by fam’ly, lover, anyone

Hope you enjoy, please feel free to comment
The Lonely Recluse

~ by The Lonely Recluse on June 10, 2020.

23 Responses to “Unknown”

  1. Sad but so very well written.

  2. A poetic jab to the plexus, strong, pathos, clarity and deep dark sadness. I like the way you designed the line breaks.

    • I’d actually tried to change the lengths of the line breaks (e.g. falling falling falling should get further apart each one) but wordpress wasn’t playing ball. Thanks for the comment

  3. Well done! Amazing what misfortune and depression will do to a person.
    I liked this line…
    Made my ripples in the pond of life

  4. Your pacing is excellent. In my reading, the repetition slowed the pace down in a way that added depth. Well done.

    • Yeah, the original plan was using the repetition with bigger space between them to slow it down even more, but wordpress didn’t play fair. Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the kind comment

  5. Nice line: “Yet I have a stone to my namelessness”

  6. I like this line, “ripples in the pond of life”. I think everyone wants to lead a “vibrant” and “colourful” life and create those ripples. It’s so sad! Well done!

    • A friend reminded me of a quote by Terry Pratchett after I showed it to them
      “No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away”
      Makes it even more sad that I said their ripples stopped before their life. Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed it

  7. The sole word ‘Unknown’ on a gravestone is an open invitation to a writer to turn a negative into a positive, if not cheery, speculation. I like the circularity of this poem, the way you start and end with a list of three poignant negatives, in the nameless speaker’s voice. I love the phrase ‘Made my ripples in the pond of life’ and the way the ripples echo throughout the rest of the poem.

    • It’s a bit late, but your comment made me notice that the last quatrain would be better the other way round, fading out as we faded in. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for the comment

  8. thank you for joining in with the prompt. Love this poem! some excellent imagery here
    “Made my ripples in the pond of life
    A stone
    Vibrant. Colourful. Alive.”

    ~This was a good repeat too
    “Unknown, unremembered, unmissed”

    • I nearly didn’t join in with the prompt at all, but when I googled gravestones and found the image above, I kind of had to write it. thank you for the prompt, and the comment. Glad you enjoyed it

  9. Very effective to start and end with the same lines.

  10. Excellent piece of writing. The slowing down at the end, as a life fades.

  11. Perhaps remembered even if their final testing place is not known…I hope so. (K)

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