by Danielle Shelley Carr

For Jan Price

Part One


At the side of the house,
I tried to look through the window,
the curtains were tightly drawn,
the door thickly bolted.

I ran inside, and we rang
for help,

The officer said,
break the door down

Inside the room,
deeply unconscious,
In Honour of Life
we straightened the body

The ambulance appeared,

Trapped between four walls, and an immovable weight,

I cried desperately, 'please save her.'

With more intensive treatment required,
they lifted my mother onto the stretcher,

Part Two


Do you realise what has happened?
Do you understand what I am saying?


Please come into the hospital.

Part Three


Laid deep under cotton mesh,


The Body
As if held

Between two stages

Every point in Life has its ending,
every part of Life a phase,

Joan Lindsay wrote,

'A surprising number of human beings are without purpose.
Although it's probable, of course, that they are performing some
necessary function unknown to themselves.' *

Like The Caterpillar,
upon the Threshold
To rise as a new creation

To fly,
as if transformed,

The Chrysalis
an assurance of After Life

why Death was so much more attractive than life -
no trace of evidence

Do you wish to see her?

I remember my grandfather,
my soul left churning
the mind nearly collapsed,
I never wished to revisit the pain,
the faults,
the mistakes of youth,

I refused,
Then I realised.

This woman who
raised me
who I had chosen to be my parent
for whichever reasons
locked in with God,

not for wealth,
perhaps for some other Higher Buddhist purpose,

whether I had lived before;
the soul may not choose to return,

I requested a viewing of the body

Relatives and family friends surrounded us
with warmth and condolences,
so that I was not aware of its Darkness,

A funeral director,
and my father, accompanied me,

to the Chrysalis,

so perfectly

Beyond the Curtain

I began to question,

Was that why she was so sure

The rest of us left behind
were we the ones,

who overvalued the gift of life,
even if shallow and meaningless,
even if materialistic,

it was made clear to us,
we were only worth
the amount of money
in exchange, in Life

as it treks further and further,
closer to an ending
of Revelations

Was she in the better place?
Death, as a contrast,
puts Life into relief.

There was no guarantee
we would come back
Or need to,

If the Circle completed.

So I hung firmly onto the outer edges
of the plate,

even if she was in a deeper, more loving, peaceful state

I stepped over,

threw the dirt upon the coffin.

'Shanti.' *

*Lindsay, Joan, Picnic at Hanging Rock, 1968

* Shanti, - (Sanskrit) - Peace.


Danielle Shelley Carr's picture

Born Melbourne, Australia, 1970, Named after famous English Gothic authoress, Mary Shelley., First began writing novels at age twelve after seeing a clip from the film, Wuthering Heights, (1939), (possibly) distant relative of acclaimed British author David Peace, by way of George Peace (1829), of Ossett, West Yorkshire, who emigrated to Talbot, Victoria, in 1852, Editor, Australis - a collection of writing of academics in the disciplines of Creative Writing and Literature., Her collection of poetry, entitled Ellipse, was published in 2012. Reviewed in The Australian Writer, 2015., A verse novel, Blom, in German, meaning The Transformation, published in 2014. Recorded interview, RRR, Melbourne radio, Multi-Storied program, 27 April 2015., First Prize national writing competition for poetry, (Australia) at age 14., Also author of Gothic thriller novel, 'Blood for St Valentine'., Her books are available in Australian and NZ libraries., Author - thesis - Psychological Reflections on Post - Modernist Gothic Literature - published Deakin University 2014., Poetry published in 'Southerly', Sydney University's national journal (Aust.), Windmills, (Deakin University) and Cursive Scripts (NMIT), and performed by RMIT Theatre, and on radio., Qualifications: B.A. Media Studies - Film, M.A. (Writing and Literature) - Literary Studies, Deakin University.

Last updated June 13, 2015