En~chanting Beyond


Bedside Singing for
Birthing Mothers

Bedside Singing for
Loved Ones

and Poetry for the Dying
and those who loved them

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on Bedside Singing, Music Therapy, End of Life & Pan-death information (Death Midwifery, Funeral Celebrants, etc.),
in Canada, United States and England

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E~merging Beyond
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Journeying Beyond
Death Midwifery and 'end of life' consulation services


for the
those who
love them

Vocal music
used to support

the journey
through the
of birthing

and dying
Victoria, B. C.

It can be difficult to find poetry that approaches Death and Dying in a positive way.
We hope that this sampling of poems are of some help.

contact us (click here) if you have any further poems to suggest.

Help us to be the always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers
by May Sarton
from A Passage from Invocation to Kali

.... One leaf atop another
yet under the next,
a vibrant tapestry of arcs and falls
all in the act of becoming.

Death is the passing of life.
And life
is the stringing together of so many little passings.

Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro

And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know that place for the first time.

From T.S. Elliot


The wind is a song
that harbours through the winter.
The sail is a door
that bids the song to enter.
Let us sail the sea, good friends,
and let us sing together.
The singer lasts a season long,
while our song, it lasts forever


Open Sea

When my doing is over
Find me on the open sea...
Letting my being expand

Letting my mind sleep...
I'll be in every drop of water
feeding off the sun...

by Lanxin Curto

Song fills up the soul.
Soul opens the heart.
Heart welcomes the light.
Cherish the night with song.


If you cannot sing like angels,
If you cannot speak before thousands,
You can give from deep within you.
You are like no other being.
What you give,
No other can give.


To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of the intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know that one life has breathed easier
because you lived here.
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost over throw
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure – then, from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more. Death thou shalt die.

(John Donne)

When you were born, you cried,
and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die,
the world cries,
and you rejoice.

Traditional Navajo

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Shall be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Susan Griffin

Earth teaches me regeneration
As the seed which rises in the spring….
Earth teaches me to remember with kindness
As dry fields weep with rain.

Nancy Wood

…. There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable
and whole,
while learning to sing

Please call me by my true names,
So that I can wake up.
And so the door of my heart can be left open,
The door of compassions.

Chief Seattle

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Who, herself unmoving, harbours the movements
And facilitates the life of the ten thousand creatures
While resting contented, stable, tranquil.
Deep peace of the quest earth to you!

(Mary Rogers, adapted from the Gaelic &
probably the source of various versions of the chant "Deep Peace")

Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy. The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.

Wendall Berry

…Sun and moon, I smile at you both
And spread my arms in affection
And lay myself down at full length
For the earth to know I love it too
And am never to be separated from it.
In no way shall death part us.

David Ignatow

I am there
Look for me when the tide is high
And the gulls are wheeling overhead
When the autumn wind sweeps the cloudy sky
And one by one the leaves are shed
Look for me when the trees are bare
And the stars are bright in the frosty sky
When the morning mist hangs on the air
And shorter darker days pass by…….

I am the love you cannot see
And all I ask is - look for me
Iris Hesselden

To learn how to die cut down a tree,
Watch how so many years fall.
You don't need to have planted it
for it to be your life…….
Count the rings and stand on the stump
and stretch your arms to the sky.
Think only because it was cut down could you do this.
You are standing where no one has stood
But the dark inside a life
That many years.


There are two ways to live your life -
one is as though nothing is a miracle;
the other is as though everything is a miracle.

Albert Einstein

Relax into the Darkness
Let if fill your soul.
And loosen all your Separateness
Return unto the Whole.

The One becomes the Many
Then They return to One.
The Light, It brings the Journey:
The Darkness takes us Home.

And may you come again, friend
And may you come again - by spirit -
And may you come again, friend
And Blessed Be those who come Home.

Pashta MaryMoon - song written for the Dying

There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow beyond all grief which leads to joy and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open
to the place inside which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.


"I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white
sails to the morning breeze and starts
for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length
she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come
to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says;
"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"
Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull
and spar as she was when she left my side
and she is just as able to bear her
load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone
at my side says, "There, she is gone!"
There are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad
"Here she comes!"
And that is dying."
Henry Van Dyke

Arrayed in some new fleshly disguise,
Another mother gives birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain,
The old soul takes the road again.
unknown from Pagan Library

A Prayer for the Dying
Time has passed, the Wheel has turned.
It is time for me to move on.
I will walk hand in hand with the Ancient Ones,
and with my ancestors who came before me.

Great Mother, welcome me back into your womb,
I come to you and know I am blessed,
for my life has been one I am proud of.
As I enter your world, wrap me in your loving arms,

Lord of Death, I wait for you to take me,
I come to you willingly, with eyes wide open,
as my last moment approaches on the horizon.
May I look upon you without fear, without pain,
and knowing that those who walked before me,
await me on the other side.

O Ancient Ones, give me strength to take these final steps,
and allow me to do so with peace and dignity.
Let my family mourn my passing but not my loss,
and let them heal knowing I will see them again.
Time has passed and the Wheel has turned.
It is time for me to move on.
unknown from Wiccan/PaganAbout

Teach Me To Die
Teach me to die
Hold on to my hand
I have so many questions
Things I don’t understand.
Teach me to die
Give all you can give
If you teach me of dying
I’ll teach you to live

Deanna Edwards

We Are Grateful

We are grateful for children
teaching us that gentleness, care,
play, and imagination are our birthrights.

We are grateful for elders—
human, flora, & fauna—
who hold stories of our belonging.

We are grateful for the wisdom of the land
who shows us there is enough for all
when we take only what we need.

We are grateful for those who mend, lend, and collaborate
their way into abundant living—
teaching us the richness of divesting from corporate greed.

We are grateful for dreamers—
Singing, dancing, and planting forth
the world to come.

We are grateful for organizers
whose strategies and historic memories
shake loose chains of violation.

We are grateful for the courageous
whose solidarity has teeth,
whose compassion risks something.

We are grateful for comrades
who throw sand in the cogs
of the machine of oppression.

We are grateful for
Truth Tellers, Truth Yellers,
Way Makers, Pattern Breakers.

Our gratitude is not a flippant thing,
it does not gloss over violence,
it does not forget about grief–

it holds in its trembling hands
the preciousness of living,
feels the weight of all that has been lost,

draws us to a deeper connection
with all that could be,
blooms us into better ways of being.

a poem by Rev. Molly Bolton, enfleshed

See more resources for Funeral/Memorial poems at Other Natural Dying Options and Resources.

Please use the left menu to navigate through the En~chanting Beyond website,
and then contact us for more information on Bedside Singing
in the Victoria, B.C. area, and/or about the general concept.

Blessed Be