The Angels’ Trail – for Robert


JKLeahy (I wrote this poem yesterday for my cousin Robert) 

The Angels’ Trail

In your journey, after the earth

at distant shore, you will berth

The end of Angels’ Trail you will see

Lifeless as dust in the wind, we will be

Vibrant and free as a bird, you will soar

In Godspeed your wings find you sooner

No blood, pain, or will you suffer

Here, bounded in grief from tragedy, earth life quiver

Trapped in naked depth of sorrow, we linger

Cloth, wood, soil and stones enfold remains

In earth, we buried with your shell are our souls

In wind, as a dandelion you will lift higher

Earth’s gravity draws darkness, we see death

Hold back tears, your brothers’ will

Hear their songs, when the wind is still

In dirge and tears, sisters call you fond epithets

Where you, dandelion rests, is where Angels’ Trail begins

Follow beside where the lights glow

for darkness, as deep dark wine bestow

swallows where the shadows go

Seek your mother, for she seeks you

Your brother, aunts, uncles, your sister too

In patience, expect they will be for you

at a place where they had once passed Angels’ Trail

Gaze ahead; leave earth with your memories

Be light on your feet for them you will meet

Drowned in sorrow, our heart bleats

Softness is your voice, abound to share among our kin

Rejoice will be, the angels in triumphant

and kin spirits who had long passed The Angels’ Trail


Robert was a handsome, healthy, living young man in his mid twenties. He was buried today in my village, Wagang. His life was taken tragically last week in a car accident, leaving behind his two young children – aged 14 months and 4 years old, and a young wife. Robert went for a ride with our other cousins. They were all sober and picking up another cousin sister at Nadzab Airport, 40 minutes from Lae City, Papua New Guinea where he met his death in the tragic accident. The details of the accident are not known to me nor my brother who made the call to me. Four others are in  critical condition at Angau General Hospital, Lae. Those of you that follow my blog, Robert was the third son of my Aunty Yellow (Yang Yang) who died last year. She was instrumental in my upbringing and specifically, my traditional fishing and dancing skills. Robert was a little brother.

11 thoughts on “The Angels’ Trail – for Robert”

    1. Dear Sylvie, it is very kind of you to send me a message. It means a lot to me. I just wanted to write something for Robert, as I am away in another country and won’t be part of our family and the rituals they have to take to celebrate his life. This is a only a small way, my way of remembering him.

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  1. You have my deepest sympathy, Joycelin. This is a very tragic story. It is always difficult to come to terms with the death of one so young. Your poem for him is lovely, as is the one sent to you by Kurt Struble above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Millie. It means a lot to me to have friends like you. It was deeply touching for Kurt Struble to send his poem. I am so grateful. No-one in our family can understand what happened. It is difficult.

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      1. It will take time to understand what happened . . . and why. It’s bound to be hard to make sense of things for a while. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping things get a litttle easier day by day. Look after yourself.

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  2. no words can give you what you
    need ….

    there are strands of
    caring and love emanating i see them
    surrounding … i wish you
    peace … joy from the light of
    beautiful memory …. i’m taking the liberty of
    sending you a piece i wrote about death and
    burial …. perhaps it will give you a ray of
    hope during this incredibly difficult time ….

    – Where I’ll Sleep –

    I want to be buried surrounded by the
    fields of my youth … next to other
    kindred souls who decided to
    lie in similar peace … on that
    grassy knoll sheltered by a
    giant oak … it’s limbs spread
    wide to shield us, it’s roots embracing our
    boxed homes … cradling us in our
    sleep … distant from the
    hub-bub of life … too far away for
    casual visitors with plastic flowers … our
    serenity only slightly disturbed by the
    occasional car rushing by … the sound of
    tires rolling fast … metal barreling through thick air
    rising from summer heat ..when
    corn silk and yellow seedlings … trees and
    grass all join in the
    dance of life, thrusting higher and
    higher toward the Sun … the same as my
    neighbors when they produced seed,
    multiplied, then passed on … leaving tiny bits of
    themselves behind to prove there’s life
    after … .

    In the stillness of winter’s most
    beautiful, clear night … I’ll rise from within the
    Earth to glide on moon’s rays … the wind my
    flesh/the air my
    breath/the stars my
    sight ..

    The oak tree above my haven … .

    doesn’t matter if he was cremated … the thoughts are still the same … my thoughts with you and your loved ones … and his …. ks

    Liked by 1 person

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