The End

A haibun for DVerse Poets Pub. It is about new beginnings. I am ending the haibun with an American Sentence instead of a classic haiku.

The End
“Grief is like living two lives – One is like pretending everything is alright, and the other where your heart silently screams in pain.” Anonymous

December 22 my husband died unexpectedly. He had been in the hospital for a few days but then, he died. I sat and held him untl he drew his last breath. Christmas did not exist this year. The New Year’s did not exist. Nothing exists except the deep pain. I walk around the empty house and look out of the windows. The beginning of the year dawns grey and rainy. I curl up in Brad’s recliner wrapped in the blanket. I don’t think I will ever get warm again. Half of my heart has died.
I look up from the depths of a mine, a caged canary beating my wings against cold death.

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.

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.

Haibun: Autumn Leaves III

Haibun: Autumn Leaves III
“Autumn’s the mellow time.” William Allingham

The dead leaves drift in faded tatters. I can see their spirits rising in the rain. The green leaves are now gone. Leaves float in the river of goodbye.
trees wave in the wind
saying goodbye to their leaves
half past autumn has arrived

Haibun: Family

Today is Haibun  Monday at dVerse Poets Pub.  “This week, let us consider gratitude: Its essence, those reasons we have for feeling it, and what our lives—and our world—may look like if we live it.”  Frank wants us to write about gratitude.  It isn’t just for American Thanksgiving, but for us all.  Traditionalist that I am, I am ending this with an American Sentence.

 

Family
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” Richard Bach

The black and white photo, a Polaroid. One of the first my mother took with her new camera she bought for the heck of it. We all stared in wonder as the picture appeared on the film and she wiped the swab of developer/fixer across it. The photo has lasted for 62 years. It shows us all around the Thanksgiving table – my great-grandfather, my grandmother and grandfather, my father and mother and me, and my two aunts, the younger sisters of my mother. In the center of the table is a huge turkey, a ham, and a big platter of my father’s perfect fried chicken. Bowls of vegetables from the garden canned or frozen, and on the sideboard salads,  a luscious fresh coconut cake, several pies, a pecan pound cake with an orange glaze. The first cake I had ever baked. I was six.
We are sitting around the table smiling at the camera. My mother pressed the remote bulb and there we are, frozen in time. Now the only people left alive in the photo are my two aunts and I. However, I look in the scrapbook at the photo with tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart. My family. My people, my tribe. How when we went around the table to speak what we were thankful for, we all to a person said, “Family”.

Love surrounds us daily even when family has passed to heaven.

Haibun: I am Lone Wolf

For Sherry’s Prompt on Real Toads “Answer the wolf’s call with your poems about wildness and wolves, domesticity and mothers, daughters and sons, or your own fierce love for your child. Allow the passage quoted to take you where it pleases. Bring us back whatever you find.” And for the Midweek Motif on Poets United: Authenticity

Haibun: I am Lone Wolf
“The wolves knew when it was time to stop looking for what they’d lost, to focus instead on what was yet to come.”
― Jodi Picoult, Lone Wolf

Most of the time, I prefer to be alone; not part of the crowd. I prefer to wander in the forest and sniff the smells there, feel the heat/cold/rain/snow on my back. I prefer an honesty in my words and actions. If something is shite (IMHO) I prefer to say so and not shilly-shally with polite words. This has gotten me into trouble in the past and so, I prefer to be alone, with my honesty. I am a lone wolf. I only kill to eat, to leave behind forage for the pack roaming behind me. I prefer feeding rather than being fed. I can feed myself. Sometimes I am shot at, sometimes I am smiled at, most of the time I am left alone. I prefer honesty, or authenticity if you will. I don’t put down pretty words and prefer actually, that you be authentic with me. Let’s smell each other’s butts and see where the other has been, what the other has eaten. Sometimes I put my head back and howl at the moon, even when it is hidden by clouds.
fall comes like a storm –
it can be smelled on the wind –
inhale it deeply

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