POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


Dear Poetic Bloomings Loved Ones,

It is with great sadness that I share with you the news that our dear fellow Poetic Bloomings poet, Dyson McIllwain, has passed from this world to the next.  He has been missed, and I’ve been to his poetry blog more than once to try to check on him.  His daughter Kairn kindly left word for all of us on his site, “Say Aye to the Heart”:  https://ayetotheheart.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/sadness-and-regret/#comment-96.

Kairn shared his last written words with us:

IF MY WORDS SHOULD DIE by Dyson Douglas McIllwain

If my words should die afore me,
t’would be the cruelest thing
to ne’er hear their tender voice,
nor hear their fervent ring.

Silence would befall my heart
afore death gathers in,
and as my poor soul shall depart
would leave not clamour, nor din.

The soul from which compassion comes
would wither then and cease,
a muse no longer to express
of heart and mind deceased.

If my words should die afore me
my memory will fade,
the spears and arrows of my fate
will be the price so paid.

But shall I pass afore my words,
then in them I shall live,
for they will speak my final say
and comfort they will give.

They will live as they had lived in me,
much life to give within their breath,
and I am sure I will be remembered
well then after death.


To my knowledge, Dyson never saw his poem in print in “Poetic Bloomings – the first year.”  I’m thankful he knew, though, that he was included.

My interview with him may be found here:  http://poeticbloomings.com/2012/01/04/web-wednesday-dyson-mcillwain/.

Dyson, it was our joy to count you among us.  Rest in peace now, friend.

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  1. Thank you so much for letting us know, Marie. My heart aches for his family, and for the world having lost his amazing words.

  2. Thanks for sharing this sad news, Marie. Condolences to the family of a great poet.

  3. Thank you Marie for informing us. It was an honour to share Dyon’s company here, an even greater honour that he, a far greater poet than I will ever be, flattered me. I mourn for his family and his loss to the poetic world.
    I’ll take a dram and toast the life and work of a fellow Scot who will be sadly missed ❤

  4. Great sadness for this loss to our world. And at the same time so much gratitude for Dyson’s powerful voice. This poem is a fitting tribute. Rest in peace.

  5. How very sad…a wonderfully lyric poetic voice silenced very much too soon. Thanks for letting us know Marie Elena.

  6. I am shocked and saddened by this news. A great poet gone too soon.

  7. I never knew this man, but this is still very sad news to me. His words are amazing.

  8. I’m please to see the kind messages being left at Say Aye to the Heart. I’m sure that will mean a great deal to Kairn and the rest of the family.

    I love Dyson’s tribute poem to Kairn: https://ayetotheheart.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/wee-bonnie-kairn/

    It makes me think of our own Walt and his beautiful daughters, whom he admires greatly.

    Marie Elena

  9. But shall I pass afore my words,
    then in them I shall live,
    for they will speak my final say
    and comfort they will give.

    They will live as they had lived in me,
    much life to give within their breath,
    and I am sure I will be remembered
    well then after death.

    Such a comfort indeed…I echo Marie’s sentiment about being glad he was in our numbers…truly. Much ♥ in his memory…

  10. Thank you for letting us know this distressing news. Dyson was a wonderful poet. He will be remembered well.

  11. I came too late to Poetic Bloomings to know this poet well, but from Marie’s post I am wishing I had been more familiar with him and his wonderful words. I pray for comfort for his dear ones and that the impress of his thought and passion continue through his work.

  12. I find it difficult to find the words. He had many wonderful thing to say about me in his interview with Marie. I was humbled then, and even more so now. God had blessed up with Dyson’s presence however briefly. Thank you, Dyson.

  13. Ahhh, such sad news. Thanks, Marie, for passing the info along. He will be missed.

  14. I always enjoyed Dyson’s way with words (and a fellow Scottish heart). Thanks for letting us know, Marie.

  15. He will surely be ‘remembered well then after is death” Our sympathies go out to his family and loved ones. It is always sad when a poet dies

    When a Poet Dies…

    When a poet dies
    Even nature hangs its head
    Mourning with earth’s fellow-men
    For the artist that is dead

    Honor-rendered beauty
    Beneath his touch is still
    No more are we delighted
    By the nuance of his quill

    When a poet dies
    We cling to what remains
    His heart spilled into images
    And word-whispered refrains

    Ah, when a poet dies
    He leaves a legacy
    Of tender, timeless portraits
    Woven into poetry

    © Janet Martin

    Rest in Peace, Dyson.

  16. claudsy on said:

    How is it that one so distant in miles can be so near to one’s heart as Dyson was to many of us? Though I knew him only a wee bit, and that only through Bloomings and the times I dropped into his website, I still feel diminished that I knew so little of him or his work. He’ll be gracing others with his words now.

    I feel blessed to have Marie to keep an eye on each of us and to pass on news of us, even as she did with this news of our friend and fellow poet, Dyson. Thank you, my friend.

  17. This is very sad. Thank you, Marie, for telling us and also leading us to Karin’s beautiful tribute to Dyson.

  18. sheryl kay oder on said:

    Thank you for this tribute Marie. I must admit I did not pay close enough attention to remember Dyson, but I enjoyed his last poem and the poetic tribute to Karin. Oh, and listening to the bagpipes was fun.

    If his picture was current, he looked much too young to die.

  19. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Ohh… I am so sad… I send my condolences to his family! I will miss his words!!

  20. Thank you, Marie, for letting us know and for the tribute to Dyson. I remember his work both here and at PA so well. I hope it comforts Kairn that her father touched lives with the vitality of his presence in his poems and comments. I’m deeply sorry for her and our loss of a splendid poetic spirit.

  21. Sad news indeed. His words do indeed live on, which gives us all a reason to continue.

  22. In Memoriam, Dyson Douglas McIllwain

    For when it’s time, and all is said and done,
    what are we but a legacy of sand
    and wind? Best we could hope for? A good run.
    But is that what matters? Was it all grand?

    What are we but a legacy of sand?
    We leave behind scattered words, tossed and blown.
    But is that what matters? Was it all grand?
    We’re here for a brief while; then gone. Alone.

    You’ve left behind scattered words, tossed and blown
    I long for your scattered words…for a sign…
    You were here for a while; then gone. Alone,
    except for my thoughts, swirled in bitter wine.

    I long for your scattered words…for a sign…
    for when it’s time, and all is said and done,
    (except for my thoughts, swirled in bitter wine)
    there’s wind. So, Godspeed. You had a good run.


  23. I was so sorry to learn of Dyson’s passing. I published his work in my Pun-ku Issue at The Word Place and hoped to invite him back to submit more of his powerful work. May this good man and poet rest in God’s peace.


  25. This was very sad news. I was a fan of his at PA. However, with both the interview and his amazing poetry, there is a part of him that will never pass away. Thank you Marie and Walt.

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