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Updated: Apr 9, 2022

I came upon a man,


Known a bit of my life,

A man happy I know,

Had you known him,

His insides belying,

His happy face.

Hello! Hello! Hello!

“Hello,” he said.

“Hello,” I replied,

And distinctly I know,

I heard an echo.

From him,

From inside,


Hello! Hello! Hello!

His words hit me hard,

My head spun dizzly round,

Words echoed hollow,

Bouncing in my brain,

That same refrain,

Hello! Hello! Hello!

“My wife just died,”

He sighed.

“Oh No,” I replied,

Again came that echo,

Only this time,

Oh No! Oh No! Oh No!

Hollow man,

Hello! Hello! Oh No! Hello!

Pleasant outside,

Empty inside,

Hollow man replied,

“Yes,” he sighed,

Hollow inside,

An echo is all that,


We all must go,

Leaving loved ones to tend,

Though the pain now,

Is part of the happiness then,

Still, empty within,

How? How yet,

You bid me hello,

Hello! Hello! Hello!

How long ago

Ago! Ago!

Ago! Ago! Ago!

“Last week,”

He sighed,

Empty inside,

An echo’s,

Al’s’t that remains.

Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello!

The echo within,


For you, you see,

when your lifelong friend dies,

Your eyes,

Can bely a cheerful hello,


Emptiness exudes from inside,

As alone,

On your way,

You go.

Hello Hello Hello

Author’s Note: Grief is an emotion so strange. Inwardly resides. Outwardly we cry. Brief yet in some, intermittently lasting long, grief must be experienced. It cannot be denied, lest it haunt you well beyond your time. Although not a daily thing, when it comes, it’s an anguished emotion, most certainly tied to one’s devotion. So you see love and attachment are tied to grief. And though grief must be experienced to give the heart relief. Heed, indeed, the message from “Shadowlands,” “The pain then is part of the happiness now.” With happiness comes certain grief. Good grief! Without grief, can there be happiness? In life one must take the leap to love, despite its cruel respite.

Good grief is there possibly some good that can become of grief? Of course, the recourse is healing. The soul must grieve to release the heart’s love. It’s human nature to grieve a loss. Perhaps all living things grieve. As sure as we live and breathe and attach and love and enjoy, grief lingers by. We must grieve to heal. Keep in mind you see, that we don’t just grieve death, we grieve loss, whatever the loss may be. After grief we are freed to enjoy and appreciate that which is lost, to be able to carry the good memories and joy, and rekindle joy in that which we have lost. Lighten up and carry on.

One more note: Grief is personal. That is to say we must grieve alone. We are sad with others but others must give us space and time to grieve alone. Sometimes grief is brief. Sometimes it lingers and pops up again now and then. It’s nature’s way of healing “the happiness then.” God hugs the grieving soul.

There is joy on the other side of loss and grieving. There is spirit. Ever notice how the lost person’s spirit remains? Just ask the missing person a question. You will instantly know their refrain. Are they gone entirely? Of course not, their spirit remains to flourish in those left behind.

”Fear not grief, for through it you transcend.”

True Story. Jim is my neighbor. He’s from Mobile originally, Nan back up east. The least, I understand, is how he and, his Nan, landed here in my hood. It was round ten that night, that first night in our house, when my smoke alarm plight, began it’s low battery, dad-gum battering. “Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Incessantly, unceasingly, persistently ad nauseam, Beep! Beep! A-ways a-way up, out of reach of my twelve foot ceiling. Mattress on the floor, no sleep with that distress, Jim, whom I had called out of desperation, showed up, dark night, with a ladder, at our door. Hello! Hello! Hi there come in, Jim. And that’s how I met the kindest, humblest man I’ve neighborly known. His lifelong wife, passed away, now alone.

tom tenbrunsel

Poet Laureate of My Domain

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Apr 09, 2022

“Hello! Hello! I just now retweeked “Hello” a bit.

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