Some Poems and a Bit of Prose About My Death Experiences

Robert Trakofler
6 min readDec 19, 2022


Image By Author
Spoken word by the author


Savor sensation
scent, sight, and sound;
The fades of perception
as my life unwound.
My fragments of conscious
drifted unbound;
Like plucked notes from a symphony,
till the melody’s unfound.
And the fractious fray of figment
unravels from my claim;
Like staccato snatches of pigment,
from the Picasso of my frame.
diminishing to flittering filaments
drifting in the breeze
of my conscious
as cobwebs,
became the pages
of my memory
till there was nothing.

And I, in the absence of;
Savor, sensation,
scent, sight, and sound…
something remained…
Was it my displacement,
of the countless droplets
in the perpetual motion
of the water cycle?
Or the parsing,
of the many passages,
placed upon the stanzas…
of my conveyance?
This I will never fully understand,
not alive anyway;
but I can say
There is a peacefulness in obliteration.
And as the I,
became they…
like a child learning to ride a bicycle,
the reflexive sensation,
of movement in an unknown motion,
was at once;
Strangely familiar,
and completely foreign.
The fragmented I, we… they,
still existed.

Stock-still, I sat upon a wingback seat,
overlooking luxurious bookshelves;
charged with many a grand treatise,
I gazed at a stately-looking woman
delving into the numerous volumes
For hours, days, minutes, or a turn?
I could not tell…
for at times, she would dash about the shelves
an almost imperceptible blur.
And at others, she would slowly dwell,
Was it I that was a ghost,
haunting her?
Or was it she to I, this host,
watching me?
But if I turned my head,
I would no longer be in this place
And her presence was comfort.
I did not know her name,
Nor did I, my own.
and when she spoke,
there were no words
only thoughts

Image by Author

The cart pushers,
Were assembling in the hallway
They were tenuating
There slatbooms
And percorating
There grispolators
In preparation for…
another grand parade!
They would move about in a circular motion
Their machines bobbing and turning
To lift and probe
The many other souls
hidden behind the many curtains
strewn about the big round room
Soon a cart pusher will jot by
to tend my grubhubbler
and spin some knobs
one would mutter something in cart pusher
that I couldn’t understand
I wanted to reply
but I had no voice
soon the cavalcade would end
as they weaved and danced about
putting away their instruments
once again, they would disappear behind that door.
that’s when the hunger always begins… If I could just get to that door.

“l have been accustomed to these,” she said as she adjusted her spectacles.
“They are, of course, not necessary.”
She spoke while returning a book to the shelf
“It takes some time getting used to, navigating this place
You will find, it is the little things… that hold you together.”
I mustered the courage to pull myself from the chair
“There you are dear, do explore.”
I managed a few steps and abruptly slid through the floor,
and dropped into the basement.
My footing became a bit steadier, and I was able to survey its contents
I conversed with the various baubles and bric-a-brac
Their notions would appear upon my view like old memories… but they weren’t mine.
I came upon a curious-looking object
a square brown pad that resembled a cardboard egg holder like the ones that would be hung on studio walls to act as sound absorbers. Picking it up, I asked her what it was, and she replied
“I’m afraid, dear, that is one of yours.”
Instantly, I became transfixed, and the hunger that insatiable hunger pulled me away.

The bitter taste of plastic pervaded my mouth, and the scorched scent of adrenaline suffused with a slightly sweet scent of vanilla charged the air as a sudden jolt of gravity spun the room about me. I dizzily spotted two cart pushers sitting at the counter in the hallway before me. The grumble of my hubbler and the hiss of the grispolator resonated as I tried to sit up to no avail. The heaviness of this place was so pervasive, how could I of forgotten?

I wanted to call out to them for help, but my mouth was blocked. Reaching to pull out the plastic invader, I realized my hands were bound. That’s when the teeth-clenching pain hit me it quickly overwhelmed all of my senses… paralyzing, unimaginable pain. The last thing I remember seeing was that impossible door!

Sitting back in the library once again paralyzed in fear, I reached out to her, “I do not know who I am, yet I know that I am, but I don’t know what I… is! I am scared and afraid and I am filled with such a ravenous hunger and yet I don’t know for what it… is.”

My dear, there are bits of you all over these volumes you could spend an eternity searching the lines and connections strewn across these pages. You are everywhere, scattered throughout. That craving is universal it is the one sense, the one thread that connects both of these places. it is the last delicious bite of a peach that you accidentally dropped. It is the revel… the feeling of the next great poem you haven’t written, the perfect brush stroke of a glorious sunset glanced on your finest day. It is the wallowing on a crisp pile of rustling leaves when you were a boy smiling at the kaleidoscopic canopy dancing overhead. That hunger, that craving, is what drives us… many try to fill it, often with the wrong things, some with power, others with wealth, and some even food! But it requires only one thing… love, that is its fuel the more you give, the greater the resplendency. The more you try to fill it with the wrong things, the greater the despondency.” No longer afraid, I responded, “I have something to do I…” she replied before I could finish, “I know, dear.”

I could taste the sweet air across my dry lips, and I felt the light brushing of fingertips tickle my forearm. The sudden rush of ozone mixed with the scent of my hospital gown filled my nose as I watched myriad fragments slowly collect about me to reveal the loving glance of familiar eyes looking down upon me. I heard the still imperceptible cacophony of voices and machinery inundate my ears, but I felt a comfort in their sounds even as my mind could still not process much of what I was experiencing. It was at once completely foreign and strangely familiar.

Image by author
Spoken word by the author


How can I tell you
when my lines lack the locution
and my whisper is as effete
as the words to my ghostly outline
is it enough
to touch your brow
with my ethereal fingers
and relish in your visage
when mine is
but a cold chill
a glimpse of déjà vu
like an oddly familiar fragrance
from a fading memory.

I am here now… as I was then
Animate is my sway.
Yet my touch is still as ineffectual
as my pen stroke
But not my resolve
nor the intimation
of crave
that brought me back…

That ubiquitous crave
empyrean and earthly
between life and the grave
it exists universally
the root of all divine
is an insatiable mercy
and I stand here now
as I did, then
and I reach for your brow
that was heaven sent
and for a moment
I fill the yearning…

Hanging on the wall next to my hospital bed, I spot that brown square pad that resembles an egg holder. Shaking my head in disbelief, I asked a nurse what it was, and she told me it was a fall alarm. I later learned that the second time I died, I had pulled myself from the bed in the recovery room.
It took me several more weeks to be able to navigate successfully enough to return home. During this time, many more fragments collected and reassembled in my mind; everything from taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight… how to reconnect and process these senses in order to walk, manipulate my environment, and even express my thoughts.
After I returned home a day or two later, I mustered up the courage and managed to walk a block around the corner to my stepdaughter’s house. It was Christmas Eve, and I got to surround myself with so much love that night, the highlight of the evening was that I got to hold my newest granddaughter for the first time. There I was, recently dead and revived, holding a newborn baby girl in my reborn arms, I do not have the words to describe the tearful joy of that moment.

© 2022 Robert Trakofler



Robert Trakofler

Poetry & lyric writer, drummer & vocalist Owner of an art gallery, antique store, Vegan restaurant and performance venue in Pittsburgh called The Zenith.