Like Roses

13 Oct


I usually only post when the subject has merit of some sort. Today I’m posting because I want to share something and ask a question.

I’ve been sorting through five and a half boxes of old manuscripts of the first novel I co-wrote with John Pace, titled The Last Resort. I’m saving files of attendant research and snippets of early copies to establish provenance and throwing the rest away. In one box, along with several ‘good’ rejection letters from major publishers at the time, letters from our agent and bits of history germane only to us, I found four copies of a poem which I’ve included below.

Something about it resonated with me and I thought about using it as a flash fiction submission for Friday Fictioneers. Have any of you have ever read Like Roses. Can you tell me the name of the author?




P.S. To those of you who have ‘followed’ me recently…and to the faithful old timers…thank you. I hope you agree with my preference for not constantly spamming this space with filler. I do appreciate your readership and try my very best not to abuse the privilege. Aloha, D.


Like Roses

The freshness

of her smile delighted;

Like roses.

And her life

was filled with beauty;

Like roses.


from the land she grew;

Like roses.


but inevitably she was snipped;

Like roses.

May the earth

fall gently on her coffin;

Like roses.

What do you think of this poem? (WordPress will not let me add spaces between stanzas…or this poor workman doesn’t yet know how to format in WordPress) Who wrote it? John Pace? Perhaps someone out there knows the author. I’d like to give them credit. Thanks for reading.

Like roses

16 Responses to “Like Roses”

  1. David Stewart October 13, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    It’s a wonderful poem. Where did you find it? I couldn’t find it when I did a search.

    • dmmacilroy October 13, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

      Dear David,

      In a box of old manuscripts. It may have been written by my co-author or it was copied from a book. I’m not sure. Just something about it that gets to me and has made me curious about the author. Thanks for leading the reading and commenting charge.



      • David Stewart October 13, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

        It is really high quality. If it’s not published, it should be. That’s quite a thing to just find. (I’m not sure why I asked where you found it, since you said in the post. I think I’m a bit slow this rainy Monday afternoon.)

  2. John Pace October 13, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    I Douglas,

    I remember deciding that I wanted to be a poet somewhere in the middle of “The Last Resort”… I wrote “Like Roses” and remember having mixed feelings afterwards… Went back to being a novelist… Both prose and poetry proved to be difficult to master…


    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2014 at 12:48 am #

      Dear John,

      Thanks for solving the mystery. I had a feeling you might be the author of Like Roses. As you will see from follow on comments, you had, and probably still have, a gift for poetry. Upon reading it the very first thing that I thought was that it was beautiful. The second thing I thought was that it would be great to use it in a Friday Fictioneers post. Like Roses is beautiful. Back when you wrote it I did not have the life experience to be able to see that. I do now.

      I’m going to update the post and tell your side of the story, if that is alright with you. May I use Like Roses in a future post for Friday Fictioneers? Like Dave Stewart said, I think it needs to be shared.



      • John Pace October 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

        Hi Doug,

        Use it as you like… I quote you all the time… By the way, congratulations on your recent disc golf victories… you told me many years ago you’d be golfing on the senior tour…

        Hope all is well…


  3. elmowrites October 14, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    I know nothing about poetry but I know what i like and this is lovely. The repeated line seems to pull it all together and it’s very gentle throughout. Glad you found the author, Doug

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2014 at 2:20 am #

      Dear Jennifer,

      I had the same feeling about the poem and could not be happier that the author surfaced. I wonder what he felt upon seeing his words three decades later. Thanks for weighing in on Like Roses. Your thoughtful comment reinforces what I felt when I read it this morning. I’m still getting chills.

      Lovely to hear from you.

      Mahalo and Aloha,


  4. rochellewisoff October 14, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Dear Doug,

    I have a friend who often tells me “sleep well and wake to beauty.” In reading this poem this morning I feel that I have. Thank you.



    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      That is a fitting description of how John’s poem makes me feel. Ripples from a rock thrown into the sea long, long ago have come back to land gently on the shore where they first started.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Your friend sounds like a sensitive person. Say hello and thanks for me.

      Mahalo and Aloha,


  5. sustainabilitea October 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    Doug, thanks for sharing John’s beautiful poem.


    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

      Dear Janet,

      Thanks for reading it and commenting. I’m glad I found John.



  6. cheerfuldalek October 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm #

    Doug, that poem is beautiful. I have no more idea than you do who wrote it, but I wish I knew. It’s almost haiku-like in how minimal it is, don’t you think?

    • dmmacilroy October 14, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

      It flows easily off the tongue and describes an entire life effortlessly and when it ends the reader is left alone at the graveside to reflect on loss and love. Yes, Haiku-like is an apt description. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  7. Sarah Ann October 15, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Thanks Doug for posting this and to John for solving the mystery. I too thought this was beautiful, but the lines ‘Abruptly/ but inevitably she was snipped,’ brought me up short. Their language is in strong contrast to the meter and imagery of the rest.

    • dmmacilroy October 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      Dear Sarah,

      I am so very glad that John was the author and that he surfaced to explain the origin of his moving poem. And I am equally glad that you took the time to read this post and say that you were affected by Like Roses in the same way that it moved me. I hope that John reads these lines and finds satisfaction granted by the perspective of time and the kind words of readers like you.

      Mahalo and Aloha,


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