Saturday, January 9, 2016

Islands of Memory and the Ferryman of Souls

Don't Pay the Ferryman
by sweetlittlevampire at

As I crossed the vast desert, 
I heard them, singing, 
as they paddled under the order of
the ferryman of souls.

They appeared around the bend, 
voices still ringing,
oars lifting and dipping,
with the wave-tops' pitch and roll. 

I stood on shore, and ready to step in.
They looked at me, oars paused. 
The ferryman shook his head.
"You've yet to pay in full your karmic debt.
Not this time.
It is not your time just yet."

Singing still, they vanished round a bend,
their voices sweet as ever song could be,
and wistfulness lay within my heart, not dread,
at how close a thing had almost come to be.

for Brendan's wonderful prompt at Real Toads : Islands. But you must go read it all, it is very wonderful. This is based on something that happened to someone I knew, during a near death experience. 


  1. This is beautiful. It is reminds me of a dream I've had many times.

  2. So true.. There is a time somewhere where we have the funds to cross the river.. But there are the days when we can hear them singing.

  3. The ferryman awaits us all, perhaps closer than we think.

  4. Thanks Sherry, the weave here is entrancing and, yes, the proximity is one of wonder and longing, not fear, from both sides of the boat. Our culture has built such walls of terror against death (Trump is one of them), and yet the door is wide open, and this song is beyond.

  5. Yes indeed, Sherry--you make us all long to hear that final song, and then we perhaps can know some peace.

  6. Wow. This gave me a bit of a chill, Sherry, and a lot to think about.

  7. This is just lovely, Sherry--agree with all the others. Too bad we don't listen more closely--when we can. Really beautifully done. k.

  8. I love this:
    "oars lifting and dipping,
    with the wave-tops' pitch and roll"

    And what a great ending!

  9. You, my beloved Wild Woman, have a way to take something that terrifies almost everyone and make it desirable... even if not right away. ♥

  10. I love the peace that is infused in your poem. Death is a start of a new journey.

  11. Beautiful :)
    Loved reading it specially these lines: "oars lifting and dipping,
    with the wave-tops' pitch and roll. "

  12. One is mindful of the fact that when it comes it comes at any time.


  13. One is mindful of the fact that when it comes it comes at any time.


  14. This is chilling, and has a haunting beauty associated with it ... loved it :-)

  15. Oh wow...goosebumps, Sherry. I remember you telling me this story and your poetic rendition is stunning!! ♥

  16. somehow, in this generation, I wonder if our debts will be paid at all... ~


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!