When a Man sets out to do Poetry he already has to figure it will be taken into some kind of odd consideration to begin with.Oh, Who Cares !
My Introduction to how the thinking came about for this Poem from my Imagination: 01/01/2012:
Pardon my weird imagination, but...If you flew back over the International Dateline headed West after you had already been in a New Year...and let's say hypothetically that the plane you were on crashed and you died...upon landing...back in the old year. Would your Headstone read the old year with actual date and time that you passed away...or would it read the ACTUAL day and year that you had made it to prior?
HHHmmm...MAKES ME WONDER?
And thus was the premise for this Poem. Each Year at New Year's...I thank God for having delivered me safely to another year. One more year that can be added to my Headstone.
Then…there's the Headstone itself: Most common information found on it is your name, your year of birth, and year of death. That is usually all that wraps up a majority of folks' Headstones. Just three simple things...posted, commonly on our Headstone that none of us actually...in the scheme of things...have absolutely...any control over...about ourselves (for the most part). Kind'a Weird...that this is all there will be left to be said of us...for years to come...and all that will ever be left to be said of anyone...Forever !?
You might share the Headstone with your Spouse...most do. Younger people usually have a few more words added to the Headstone to help aid in the grief. I would guess that people with more money...tend to have bigger Headstones...or perhaps some type of above ground "statuesque-type" memorial...but I can't say. Most everyone in my family or that I have seen with a Headstone...seem to fall into the simple category of name, year of birth, and year of death...with a space on the other side for their spouse to have the same thing memorialized. That seems to be most common. Oh well...Kind'a morbid to be writing on. Yet then again...as normal to the process of life...as rain is to the tropics...or your first steps as a baby.
Life has its season...
Well...you might find this a depressing topic...but then the real important part of the headstone information that lives on between the years...from what I have come to learn, indirectly, from a very inspirational Poem entitled "The Dash", by Linda Ellis...is "The dash". That's right..."the dash"! Therefore: You (the reader) will see "the dash" emphasized a great deal in this "Manly" Poem writing of mine. Best and Humblest Regards. Please read on...
Plenty of room on here for Name, Date of Birth, Date of Departure...and Maybe a nice short sentence. (Don't forget the dash!)
And Now...My Poem about "Headstones":
It may be pretty morbid of me to say...
Where we are all going to eventually wind-up...One day.
But...as sure as the dark night leads way to the new dawn...
We will all eventually be placed a few feet below a cemetery lawn.
Kind'a weird to think that...all that will be left is a small headstone...above our grave...
Kind'a strange to note that we have no control (for the most part)...of what is on the marker...of our enclosed cave.
It lists a name which was given to us...through our parent's at birth...
Then it lists the year...or even the date...we first arrived here on Earth.
Next...and usually the last and most final point...
Is the recorded time ...when we got out'ta of...this here joint.
That really is all that will remain...
A marker with some dates and our name.
Kind'a funny...if you think about the name you put down on top your first Spelling test...
Will be the last thing that everyone sees...put above the place...where you're laid to rest.
Oh, C'mon now...don't get "freaked" out by this particular topic...I write of...
None of these few details etched in stone matter...in the scheme of things...to the ones you love.
Seems to me...I remember hearing about what someone had heard at a funeral... or what someone once had said...(*)
The most important part of that headstone will be the "dash" between the year you're born...and when you’re dead.
The "dash"...though small...and not much for anyone to notice....
May be the greatest indicator of your life...though few may know this.
The "dash" represents what you did from the beginning...until the end...
For some...it may have been a short "dash"...while others have had...a lot of time to fill in.
What will your "dash" say...upon your very own...Headstone...?
Who will know what that "dash" means...while your old bones lie there alone?
For me...I am glad to have another run at the "dash"...for another new year...
I want to keep piling-up plenty of things into that "dash"...until I am finally out'ta here!
I was just sitting here...thinking of the three things that will be planted a few feet above my head...
Name, Date of Birth, and Date of Departure...will live on forever...above me when I'm dead.
Then...I was relieved when I remembered...that thing about the "dash"...between two important dates...
Though Gone...We will all be remembered...by the "dash" ...and what it states.
(*) (Please see my "Above Ground Footnote" (below) which is dedicated to the Poem Author: Linda Ellis, of the Poem: "The Dash")
(*) This is an "Above Ground Footnote" to references of "dash" from this original Poem about "Headstones". (Please Read On)
I was looking around the internet today: 6-12-12, and was interested to see if anyone was talking about the ”dash” ...that one has on their headstones between the important dates of their lives: Birthday and departure from planet day. I was trying to see if this topic was a big topic or just an idea that had travelled about. And Boy...was I in for a surprise!
Let me just say...again, First and foremost: that my poem (above) is based on original thoughts that I had at the first of the year: 2012...but appears that one of the central ideas...may have come from a Poem: "The Dash"; by Linda Ellis, through the central idea of her Poem being discussed out loud...by many...and the Poem is very popular!
So: First and Foremost...I would like to give "Credit where Credit is due". This Poem is inspired, indirectly, by the mentioning of the idea that Linda Ellis created in her poem: "The Dash".
I had no intention (nor knowledge) that I was building on her concept which she had already created in Poetry form. I thought "the dash-thing" had originated from a motivational speaker making the rounds, until some folks caught on and started discussing it.
Amazing that a Poet has made such an impression with her work. I apologize for taking 6 months to research the topic more thoroughly....However...I did get the impression of "the dash" through second-hand discussions about how important "the dash" can be...and I had no idea that a Poem was at the very root of the idea.
Linda Ellis: Your Poem "The Dash", inspired a Preacher (of a very big Houston Church) to talk about how meaningful our lives can be between the date we are born and the date when we leave for departure-of this planet. Then, family members of mine brought up the point of "the dash" in a discussion about our lives. And it resonated with me.
I was trying to build on that idea...or concept...when I wrote this. I....very innocently...did not know that a Poem existed about "the Dash" already.
Please Forgive Me...and allow me to dedicate this simple "Manly" Poem of mine...this mere Poem...to the talent you obviously possess.
Please follow the link below to read more about: Linda Ellis and her works.
- "The Dash" Poem, "The Dash" Author's Site, "Live Your Dash" | Linda Ellis - Author, Speaker, Poet
The Dash Poem official website. Read the world-famous poem that has touched millions. Linda Ellis, Author's Site
© 2012 ManlyPoetryMan