Let me down easy

the way hints of winter
fall exquisitely today
scattering icy lacy flowers
from a cloud bouquet

flutter, waver just a bit
unhurried and unworried
to get on with it.

A deeper cold will come
but stay its harder hand
let play a little longer
the november grey indefinites

let me down easy.

The longest night is still ahead
weighs heavy in the apprehension
threatening dismay

let me go haltingly into its
frozen moonlit desolation
tempered by the touch of
something of its opposite

knowing I am anyway
to be let down, I pray

let me down easy.


I have recently been diagnosed with cancer—metastasized, terminal. Since I am not writing any new poems at the moment, this one, posted last year as the month of December was beginning, seemed even more appropriate now.

33 responses »

  1. Dearest The Lady Who, The beauty of this poem stunned me and while listening to it, I read the last two sentences which stunned me further and then the beauty of the poem shocked me. The first word that came out of my mouth was a swear word. So, was the second word. I am filled with emotions running between anger and hot tears.
    ~Ginene Nagel

  2. I echo Ginene Nagel’s comment and am also stunned by the beauty of the language in this poem – you have an amazing talent and made a good choice this is appropriate on many levels,, Isn’t that the stamp of a great poem? You also read it beautifully. I especially enjoy the imagery of the first two stanzas. Lovely!

  3. I think of you every day.

    ” the way hints of winter
    fall exquisitely today
    scattering icy lacy flowers
    from a cloud bouquet”

    The readiness is all. I think you have always been ready for a long time already. It’s no consolation, but it will help to ease your path, I most sincerely hope.

  4. Oh, Cynthia, what sad news to hear. It has been a privilege to have a short acquaintance with you funny, intelligent, gifted and brave woman. I hope your path will be as easy as possible.

    My love to you, Cynthia.

  5. Dear Cynthia, at first I was dumbfounded, then the tears came my friend and then I didn’t know who to thank for this web friendship, and then I thought about how you have dreamt of leaping into heaped colours of newfallen leaves and how I have treasured our conversations about a creek….Oh Cynthia, there are so many things and feelings that I have come to associate with you….especially the gorgeous Hydrangeas blooming in Sydney right this moment, and while I know that no one is immortal, the child inside has cried…..see how all your poems have resonated with me
    All my love and I am sure you will be let down easy……

  6. Let me down easy. These four words will now and forever be linked to you my dear friend.

    I am so grateful you allowed us this platform to share where you are and to express our collective grief and wishes for you. I read the comments and feel a group of people surround you, caring about you, loving who you are and expressing their grief at losing you from their lives. We will all miss your witty and humorous comments, your wisdoms, your kindness and tolerance and the secret gypsy soul in you. And your thought provoking poems filled with lines of pure magic that catch the breath and cause us to look anew at the world. Oh yes, my friend, we will all miss you! You are brave and gentle and loved! There will be a Cynthia sized hole in the heart of the blogging world – maybe we will try and fill it with stories of you and thoughts of you and memories of you and the quoting of our favourite lines of your poems.

    Go gentle into that good night dear Cynthia – I hope we will meet again! Thank you for being my friend, I love you.

  7. The beauty of this poem was enough to have me hit ‘like’ direct from my inbox; only afterwards did your additional words come into focus. I am so sorry to read of this news. I wish you strength and peace in the days ahead and thank you for your wonderful poems and the pleasure they bring.

  8. A superb and beautiful poem. Since I heard this news, you have been in my thoughts a lot. The poem crystalizes a lot of what one thinks about dying, things that can not easily be put ito words…

    The past weekend, the first snow of the winter fell here in my part of Korea, little ‘icy lacy flowers’ as you describe… I took my son out and let him play, as I shivered and took photos on my phone, the way modern parents do. And my son was joyfully oblivious of the gloom that the snow portended, and that, I guess, is one example of those ‘hints of its opposite’ that you describe. So, I like how the poem is clearly about the approach of death, but it is also no less a clear and precise description of the coming of winter, too. There is nothing at all forced about it. But also, how lines in the poem resonate with real life experiences and moments and memories, as so many of the poems you have written do – and will continue to, I think, as I read your poetry growing older and perhaps wiser…
    And that is, alongside the technical skill and craft, the achievement of your poems, and it is the reason they have touched people so deeply.

  9. I’m glad you decided to share this with your blogging world…
    Your poetry, your spirit…


    …deserve to be celebrated, for what you have meant to so many people, that you know of… and so many more that you can’t be (not yet, anyway…) aware of…

  10. Other friends are more poetic than I, but I wanted to thank you. Your poetry has been one of great lights of my inbox. Your presence in the world has made it better and your words will remain with me. Much love to you.

  11. Wonderful Cynthia,
    It is a wonder in the great bog of the blogosphere that I stumbled onto you and your poetry. Your style is so deceptively simple and yet multilayered like a piece of baklava, sweeter and better with each bite and when you get some pistachios on top? My goodness. The best. Your generous comments, your sharp wit, your kind words, are a balm in this sometimes incendiary medium. Thank you for introducing me to William Stafford and a style of poetry I hope to achieve one day. Mostly, thank you for your weekly poetry presents and your genuine presence. With much love, Susanne

  12. I am grateful for knowing you, Cynthia, and for all the comments we have exchanged. With a heavy heart I am writing this, and pray that everything you ask in your poem would be granted to you. Sending you my love.

  13. Words are inadequate to express my feelings, but my thoughts are with you, Cynthia….as I know yours would be with any of your readers if our situations were reversed. Take care.

  14. What a gorgeous poem,Cynthia. I was so sorry to read your post script. I have so much enjoyed the instruction and intellect and spirit you brought to the blog and to us in your comments and visits. I will miss your mind and its humor and grace. If I were in Rumford, I would be a visitor now. I wish for you the company you want and the comfort you need in this time and that you will be granted the poem’s wish.

  15. I’ve been stunned into silence as I read your words. It is so clear Cynthia that you have touched many with your words – you are loved and admired around the world. I see the thousands of icy lacy flowers of cloud bouquets falling from the sky as many sad tears stream from above. My prayer is that you are let down easy my dear friend – you’re being held close in my thoughts, with much love, Mary

  16. Cynthia, I hope you get the strength to go through this phase of your life with fortitude. I hope to continue interacting with you and draw inspiration from your kind and wise words.

  17. Cynthia, I only just saw the post-script to the poem. Which now has layers of sad meaning. Dear Cynthia, I am saddened to hear this, and shocked. So now I will say another prayer, echoing your last few lines. Ahhh, my dear. Sending you a warm Canadian hug.

  18. Cynthia, when I read the first line, I had a premonition of what you were going to say, but I didn’t realise you’d put it with such haunting beauty, the way only you can do. Your poem reminds me of the pain that Keats felt listening to the nightingale, except that you are your own nightingale here. The opening returns as a refrain in the last line, reminding of an endless circle, endless night, endless memories, endless oblivion.

  19. Hi Cynthia. I haven’t visited your blog in awhile and am so saddened by the news. I love your poetry – thank you for sharing it with all of us. Sending you thoughts of strength, peace and love during this time.

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