Secrets

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

Secrets
“And stare through the wet branches of an oak
In winter, & realize I am looking at the stars
Again.” Winter Stars by Larry Levis

the stars in winter hold secrets
close to their hearts.
their silence tells of sleeping bees
and bare trees and falling flakes of snow.
they hold these secrets close to their hearts –
telling no one except the night sky.
they wait for pink spring
and the waking of the bees.

Ghosts of First Snows Past

Today was the reception in memory of Brad. When I came outside from the church to go home, it was spitting snow, the first of the season. The Japanese have a term for first snow – hatsuyuki. It is considered a quiet and holy event. The snow did not stick but the snowflakes swirled wonderfully.  This is for Fireblossom’s prompt at Sunday Muse BlogSpot.  She explains that southerners have a tradition of bottle trees.  We had one when I was growing up.  I have one now, bottles from that old tree and from a private collection. A friend in Beaufort, NC has one of the old homes.  When they excavated their basement, they dug up thousands of opium bottles.  It seems the original mistress of the house was an opium addict and buried the bottles rather than have her secret come out.  My friend took the bottles to the Duke lab nearby and had them irradiated (she worked there).  The older bottles turned a deep purple, the newer bottles a pale aquamarine.

Ghosts of First Snows Past
“All Heaven and Earth
Flowered white obliterate…
Snow…unceasing snow”
― Hashin, Japanese Haiku

the temperature dropped from 56 degrees
to 25 in a couple of hours.
the first snow began to fall,
swirling like tiny white butterflies.
the bottles hanging on my crepe myrtle
hung perfectly still.
bottles of purple, blue, aquamarine, clear.
some were new and some were
perilously old –
two hundred or more years old.
they hadn’t done much trapping of spirits
but they sparkled gloriously in the sun,
shivered in the rain,
slept through the snow.
I walked from the car to the bottle tree
and touched some of them gently.
I thought about you and the first snow.
I remembered our first snow together.
It came in the night as we lay
together under my old quilt.
I felt it in my dreams
and I went to the window.
I awakened you and we stood with our arms
wrapped around each other,
watching the snow.
I touch the empty bottles and wonder –
are we caught in one of them,
held together for all time?

Love

I chose option 1  for Mish’s prompt – a book that is physically close to me and that means a lot to me – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
A short not-quite poem.

Love
“ ‘You’ll stay with me?’
Until the very end,’ said James.”
― J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I will stay with you,
Until the very end.
I held him until he took his last breath –
my beloved husband whom I love until the end of time.

Days Pass

For Carrie’s Sunday Muse BlogSpot.

Days Pass

The red of sunrise, the blue of the sky all remind me that you are gone.

Wolf Moon

An American Sentence for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

 

Wolf Moon
“As different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.” ― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Beneath the full Wolf Moon, the frozen earth sleeps in its soft argent light.

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.

The Mine

The words. I did not use all of them. solitude, cage, moonless, identical, circle, gravity, canary, root, platitude, apparition

For Skylover’s Word List.

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

January 3.
the smell of petrichor rises
from the roots and
moist air circles me
in the moonless night.
solitude cages me.
an owl drifts across the sky
like an apparition.
I look up from the depths of a mine,
a caged canary beating my wings
against 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.

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.

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