My Gran, as a young woman, and our letters to each other, collected over several years some time ago.

I kept hers, and only recently found that she also had kept mine. I was very touched to discover this.

It’s great to read our parallel stories over time, the years having passed.

I wanted to write the perfect words for the feeling, but no words would come.

I knew somehow that Maya Angelou might have found them..I was right..


“When Great Trees Fall”

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.”
― Maya Angelou


16 thoughts on “Fragments

    1. Thanks Richard – it was a very tender experience to look through them, I wanted the light to feel how they felt somehow..

  1. So beautiful, all of it, Cath…great images, hints, fragments, as you said…and wonderful words…reminds me of my father-in-law and the emptiness after his passing…. Thank you.

    1. Oh I’m so touched to hear this Scott – I hope that you found the words comforting, I just thought they were so elegant, and so beautifully descriptive of the experience in many seemed to fit perfectly – I only wish I had written them myself!!

  2. Just beautiful Cath – yup, the third image is my favourite too. A beautiful, brave, and altogether sensual exploration of love and longing and loss. The Maya Angelou is a very fine fit for these images, and both word and image remind me very much of the many contemplations I have had in looking at ephemera tied to my parents and grandparents. Thanks for this.

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