The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch

The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt this morning reads:


Prompt #81 “Instruction Manual for the Dead”

by mindlovemisery

For this prompt I either want you to invent your own mythology surrounding the afterlife (you can combine and utilize existing philosophies to create an original perspective) or to elaborate on existing philosophy. In the Tibetan Book of the Dead there are actual instructions for the newly departed to navigate the netherworld. These instructions are chanted to the deceased by trained monks as part of a unique death ritual. Of all the after life mythologies I have explored, the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy paints the clearest visual of the beyond so it might be a good place to start your inquiry. You can even take the stance that we are already dead and that this life is false like the Dustmen of Planescape Torment. If this life is false how do we break the spell?

There are no right or wrong answers and you don’t even have to write something that reflects your personal beliefs just explore.

Here’s one of my poems that fits, I think.


Dead Standard

I read that there are standards
for the declaration of dead.

(How is it measured? Who measures?)

This is the undead proclaiming certainty
over what they cannot know. And yet,

when you cross borders the dead here
may still be living on the other side of the line.

At night, the dead take surveys:
Tick here if you are dead, there if undead

or indicate on the line below if you hold
some other status. Ghost is the third option.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 29th week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dead travellers must carry their death notices
at all times, be prepared to present them

or take the chance of being hooked up again
to tubes and wires that pump a body up
to a semblance of an undead state.

The dead hide their faces behind hands folded in final prayers.
Behind their hands, the dead are laughing.


Carol A. Stephen

Merged photos depicting a copy of the Ancient ...

Merged photos depicting a copy of the Ancient Egyptian papyrus depicting the jounrey into the afterlife. This version is known as “Guide to the Afterlife for the Custodian of the Property of the Amon Temple Amonemwidja with Symbolic Illustrations Concerning the Dangers in the Netherworld”. Photo(s) taken at the Altes Museum, Berlin, later merged and cropped using PhotoShop. Catalog number: P 3127. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Poem inspired by a excerpt, Mar. 19, 2014
It’s a question you would think medical science would have answered long ago – when are you dead? But in “Dead Enough” the fifth estate explores how the standards for when and how people are declared dead can vary from province to province and even from hospital to hospital. Bob McKeown looks at how, in the rush to meet the need for life-saving organ transplants, some doctors are worried that we may be pushing the ethical boundaries.




Photo Challenge #33 “Endless Walk”

Something about this image caught my fancy, and I respond here with Pas de Deux:


Matilda Emgård Endless Walk 33

Pas de Deux for High Wire

Grey days Magda walks her crow along the wires,
their lightning rod umbrellas raised against rain,
each in sleek black dress. Crow hasn’t found
right-size red shoes, tiptoes bare-clawed
holding black string, the thing that
keeps them grounded mid-air.

It’s an odd tableau: Woman and Crow, a soggy circus
in sky and air, a curious three-step on the wire:
Shuffle, stop, hop, shuffle, stop, hop—
‘til rain stops the show.
One, two three—
Umbrellas up!
And step off the wire.

Carol A. Stephen
November 4, 2014

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

Matilda Emgård Endless Walk 33

Matilda Emgård

Use the above image as inspiration for a poem or short-story


If you are an artist or photographer use this as an opportunity to showcase your own work

You have 1 week to complete this challenge

Please credit the artist

View original post


Poets, Poetry, News, Reviews, Readings, Resources & Opportunities for Poets and Writers


Scarred Joy is dedicated to those who have experienced and endured suffering in life and want to talk about it. This includes experiences that cause others to shudder over such sadness as the "loss" or "death" of children, whether this be "stillborn", "born sleeping", died shortly after birth, lingering illness or tragic accidental death or even murder. Followers may feel free to speak about how grief and suffering have impacted one's life.

How a Poem Moves

Short essays on short poems, published every two weeks, by Adam Sol

Poetry of Presence

An anthology of mindfulness poems

Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Björn Rudbergs writings

Poetry and fiction by a physicist from the dark side

Paul Scribbles

one word at a time

QWF Writes

Quebec Writers' Federation. Two cents, once a month.

Women Who Submit

Empowering women writers to submit their work for publication

The Stolen Colon | Living beautifully with an ostomy

Stephanie Hughes | This blog is my way of connecting with the world about living with an ostomy and Crohn's disease.

Travels in the Middle East and beyond

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart " Confucius.

Speaking of Marvels

interviews about chapbooks, novellas, and books of assorted lengths


the bifeminist, interfaith ramblings of an apostate writer

The Trumplandia Review

The Most Trusted Name In Fake News

The Write on Bowen Blog

Bowen Island, B.C., Canada

toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)



Lighting the Fire...Write Hot!!!

%d bloggers like this: