Keeping Calm

For Sherry’s Prompt at Real Toads, keeping calm during the crisis of climate change.

Haibun: Keeping Calm
“The mightiest power of death is not that it can make people die, but that it can make the people you left behind want to stop living.” ― Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Uh oh. Another one of Toni’s let’s get real and honest posts. With topics such as Trump, BREXIT, climate change – I find it hard to take any of it seriously. My husband died Sunday, suddenly, after a brief illness. I find it hard to keep calm in the face of a personal crisis. I don’t really care about a global crisis at this point. The love of my life died Sunday – a tall tree in a forest of fakes cut down in his prime. During his brief illness, I discovered again that the only thing that lasts forever is love. True honest unpretentious real love. One day I will care about the climate again. One day. Maybe it will be too late by the time I care again. Until then, I will wander through this empty house, stare at the Ursids by myself, look at the bare trees by myself. Love. That is it. The end-all and be-all. Love.
a tree cut down in its prime –
my heart grieves
my heart weeps

Haibun: Eastern Stars

For Marian’s prompt at Real Toads, Western Stars. It is based on the new album by Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars.  Those of us who are fans of the Boss all have that song that he wrote just for us.  Mine is first and last and always, Thunder Road.  Written back when Bruce was young, raw and tender, full of juice, it is my song. I am ending the haibun with an American Sentence instead of a haiku.

Haibun: Eastern Stars
“The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters” – ― Larry McMurtry, Lonesome Dove

Fifty-two years ago, during the summer of love, I hitched hiked across the US with a gay male friend of mine. We slept in the desert several days. I will never forget the enormity of that sky with stars spread out like rhinestones on black velvet. It was the first time I ever saw meteor showers. I lay curled up in my sleeping bag watching the stars fall, several of them at once. We arrived in San Francisco, Haight Asbury a few days later. My friend and I were disgusted. The stars over the desert taught us a lesson about pretention, honesty, truth. We stayed a several days and decided to split. Back across the US we went, stopping in the desert again for a few more days of honest skies. We hit the east coast a week later. He went up to the Jersey Shore and I tagged along to meet up with my cousin Billy who later went to Woodstock with me. I lay on the beach at night at Point Pleasant and looked up at the Eastern Stars. They had the same lessons to teach about not being pretentious, about being honest. I have taken those lessons to heart and learned from them. Now I gaze out the window at the stars as my husband sleeps in the hospital room behind me. He is gravely ill and I stand at window and cry. A quiet unpretentious man, honest, and true.
Skies weep with rain as the eastern stars cry with me and hide behind clouds.

Car Accident

My husband has been in hospital for a week now with extremely bad pneumonia and twice he coded.  So my thoughts have been solemn but still hopeful, but then again, solemn.  I have been comforted with a notebook (which I rarely use) recording thoughts, poems and of course, American Sentences.  This is a grim poem I wrote after I got to the hospital and experienced several bad accidents on the highway within a half a mile of each other.  It is grim so if you don’t read, I understand!


Car Accident

“Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire…. Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It’s real.”
Charles Bukowski

In the blackness long lines of lights.
two bad car accidents within a half-mile of each other –
one at one exit,
the other at the exit opposite.
I see the firemen hosing down one site.
I think to myself:
on one hand, we gawk.
we want to see the blood on the highway,
the crashed cars.
on the other, we don’t want to look.
Death.
It reaches out its claw
and catches us as a raptor does
a mouse in a field.
We want to know we survived.
We need to know we survived.
Death being hosed from the highway.
We don’t want to look.
but then again…

 

 

 

The Future

For Magaly’s Prompt at Real Toads.  We are to take one of the 13 lines listed form Kerry’s Poetry, exactly as the line is written.  a beautiful prompt.  Kerry is a fine poet and an excellent artist, drawer of Tarot Card.  I fell in love with Toads when I found the site.  I thought some of the finest poets in the blogosphere posted their poems there. I still do.  I bow to Kerry in her greatness.  NOTE:  I used to live about 2 miles from the Dry Falls in the illustration.

The Future
“A weird time in which we are alive. We can travel anywhere we want, even to other planets. And for what? To sit day after day, declining in morale and hope.” ― Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

the future arrives just as water
turns into a dry fall
jutting from the side of the mountain.
we walked underneath it
looking through the water at the
river below us –
we stood in the cave behind it and
and held each other close
the future arrives just as water
turns into mist on a cold grey day
turning the trees into mysteries.
the future is there… looking back at us –
trying to make sense of the
fiction we will have become.

Dry Falls Highlands, NC

Peeking Moon

An American Sentence for the prompt at Poets United Wednesday Midweek Motif – At the Moment…  The full cold moon is peaking 12:12:12:12.  My husband has been in hospital since Monday with pneumonia.

Peeking Moon
“It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me

The full cold moon peeked in the window the moment I kissed my husband.

Lake Moon

For Linda’s prompt at dVerse Poets, for “Prosery” Monday. Prosery is where prose and poetry collide, sort of like a haibun but fictional. Mine is true. I rarely write flash fiction.  It is ended with a landay, an Afghan poetic form written and sung by the women.

 

Lake Moon
“The winter moon becomes a companion, the heart of the priest, sunk in meditation…” Yasunari Kawabata

I sat wrapped in my grandmother’s quilt by the dark lake.  The full cold moon shone white in the black sky and reflected on the water.  Never have I touched anything smoother than the reflection of that moon.  A few wild dogs passed within a few feet of me and lapped up the reflection of that moon.  A line from a poem popped in my head – “A cow is screaming across the arroyo.”  Suddenly I jerked awake.  It was pre-dawn and the crows were waking, cawing.  The cow was far away in my dreams and the dogs had wandered away in their quest for food.  The full cold moon brings long winter days – animals burrow beneath the fallen leaves for warmth.

Cold Moon

For Sanaa’s last prompt at Real Toads. She is introducing us to the Landay, a traditional Afghan style of women poets and sung. Typically they are a single couplet – the first line consists of nine syllables and the second with 13. I got this information from Wikipedia. I am keeping mine short and traditional – a single couplet.

Cold Moon

the full cold moon brings long winter days –
animals burrow beneath the fallen leaves for warmth

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