Ties That Bind Us 2 ~ a poem about the bonds of love and loss

Ties that Bind 2

Do not cut those ties

To those you have lost.

The blade hurts beyond bearing

And cuts more than you know.

Let those ties fray rather

In the winds of passing time.

Thread by thread

Strand by strand,

Time wears the fabric down.

The first to fray is need;

Wiry like old roots,

It shrivels without feeding

Becoming dry and brittle

Before finally snapping

And becoming dust

That the wind catches

And blows away.

The next to go is illusion:

Flashing through rainbows

Of coloured pasts

That become slowly

Monochrome and clear.

You see things as they were

You see the truth

A skilful pen and ink sketch

Showing the bare lines

Of what there truly was.

Anger goes next,

Serpent-strong, writhing

Shrieking with fury

Dull red and thick with misery;

It grows quiet, finally

Stills its thrashing

Lies quiet and subdued.

You look again,

And it’s gone.

Each strand that bound you

One by one wears out

Frays to nothing


It’s gone.

And when each tie is gone,

You may find that one alone remains,

Bright shining silver,

Gleaming in the kinder light

That time will bring you.

This is the thread that never frays

Never breaks, never snaps.

If at the end of all the threads

This one remains,

Then leave it be.

Cutting this one

Only cuts your heart.

10 thoughts on “Ties That Bind Us 2 ~ a poem about the bonds of love and loss

  1. This reminds me of the Yoga Sutras, Viv! I agree with the sentiments. The only thing I would say is that I am not sure time on its own brings this deliverance and outcome, because time can also bring new strands of connection through imbuing with the colours of memory. I think that if you just wait, maybe you do end up where you say, but I am not sure if you learn or if you are just subject to the whole thing happening again…? Just a thought. Hope all is well. xx


  2. Letting time and memory takes its own course, take its own sweet ‘time’ is what we should all learn to do more, be patient with. Far too often people are taught to think by society that we do not need to suffer from our past and those that inhabited it. Take a pill, see a shrink, read a self help book, ‘CUT IT OUT OF YOUR LIFE… by following these simple to follow rules and you will be ‘happy’………. pain and longing and loss are part of life, a huge part of life, these are the things that help shape us into a whole person. Time does heal the worst of the pain, but like something physical, there can be scars left behind. The scar may not be painful anymore, but it reminds us that we have lived and survived and gone on.

    This, almost fascist need for ‘happiness and fulfilment’ makes failures of us all if we are seen to ‘linger in loss’. But time and our own minds will heal themselves if we let them, and if we have good friends they will give us all the time and space we need. We don’t need self-help books on ‘How to be Happy’…. what the hell does that really mean anyway?!?!?!? Light needs dark as dark needs light. We banish dark then we spend our lives in a dull grey half-light…. cos without the dark, the light never really gets to shine.


    • Thank you. It came out of a hard place, of being told to sever emotional ties, but of knowing instinctively that was not the right way. The ties frayed and disintegrates by themselves just as surely the yellow prayer tie I tied to the prayer tree at the Sammye Ling gardens will also have frayed and blown away.


  3. Pingback: Embracing darkness and shadow that we might also be light and joy – Everything Matters: Beyond Meds

  4. Many years after you wrote it, but this is beautiful and resonating with me during a difficult time. Thank you.

    The withering of need, draining of illusion and subduing of anger so accurately summmarize my recent lived experience. The urge to fully cut and run out of pain and fear is strong but that would do a disservice to all that was and the loving positive memories we’ll always share.


    • Yes, that’s it. We cut these things at our peril. And after some years, the pain is pretty much gone, so I hope that this will be your experience too.
      Thank you for visiting.


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