A Year

A quadrille for Kim’s prompt using the word cycle.  What is a quadrille?  It is a poem of exactly 44 words using the prompted word.  The title is not included in the word count. Exacty a year ago today, my mother died.

A Year
The year cycles through its paces
Summer, fall, winter, spring.
A full year has passed since you died.
Today dawns as it did last year –
warm and sunny,
deceptive in its kindness.
I sit on the back porch
listening to birds singing your name.

mama as a baby

The Doe

For Karin’s prompt at Real Toads, What is? I don’t know if I met the bar but….here is my poem. I don’t use metaphors. I only write what I see and feel.  Also visiting dVerse Poets Pub open link night with this.


The Doe

“And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
Luckier”. Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass
Now that we speak of dying, And should I have the right to smile:” T.S. Eliot Portrait of a Lady III

I don’t know why I have been thinking of death,
sitting up here in my tree.
Maybe it is the suicide of Tony Bourdain or of a friend a year ago
or maybe it is the death of my mother,
almost a year ago.

The tree bark is warm and rough behind my back.
Green shadows dance about my head
while birds sing and fly and fluff
and squirrels chase each other,
some of them coming perilously close to my head.
I had dropped down some withered apples from
my pantry for the forest folk to forage.
I heard the faint crack of a branch and looked down
to see a doe nibbling on the apples.
She looked up and for just a moment
almost fled.
But then she resumed her eating.
Perhaps she had seen me sitting
on the back porch as she wandered through our yard.
Her eyes reminded me of my mother,
large and pansy brown
looking up with innocence,
looking up with knowledge of her dying.
looking into my eyes with sorrow
at leaving me behind.
I’ve been thinking a lot about death.
I wonder what it is.
I don’t know what death is.
I only know what it isn’t.
Today it isn’t the blue sky and green trees
and the doe eating apples
at the foot of the tree.

Termites

For Kerry’s Camera Flash prompt over at Real Toads.

clock-of-the-acad-mie-fran-aise-paris-1932

Termites

“Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.” Oscar Wilde

Figures swarm the bridge over
the rushing spring river –
figures looking like ants or termites swarming.
So intent on their business
looking neither to the left or right
or up or down only straight ahead
The termites swarm
never seeing the splayed bloated naked body
tumbling in the rushing river,
going past them, underneath them
looking like a starfish or
a blowup doll.
It finally wedges itself on the bank
into a nest of branches
finding its way home.
The termites swarm
over the bridge.

Haiku 05152018

This is posted on Real Toads Tuesday Platform in honor and memory of my friend Peggie who died three years ago today due to complications from COPD. She was a true onnebugeisha. She rescued greyhounds, people (including me), she loved her country, and she loved to laugh.  She never called a “turd a rose” …thank you Fireblossom for this wonderful quote.

summer night is long –
dew falls but fades at morning –
grasses remember

Haibun: The Kindness of Strangers

Today Xenia Tran is hosting the haibun prompt over at dVerse Poets Pub. She has given us the prompt of compassion but not to use the word. Also today on Poets United, Sherry Marr has highlighted me and some of my poems:  http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/2018/05/blog-of-week-update-with-kanzen-sakura.html

Kindness of Strangers
Sometimes it is the small things that show kindness. When my mother was admitted into the skilled nursing facility, she was at first hostile and afraid. The personnel did all they could for her and to help me. I felt guilty because I could no longer care for her at home. The aides would get her up and bathed and dressed, joking with her, cajoling her into eating a bit of her breakfast, and letting us know about activities planned for the patients for the day. I would wheel her around the facility in her wheelchair, talking to the staff and patients, creating conversation to include my mother. After a couple of weeks she began to get into the routine and to eat her meals in the dining room. I began to help the workers with seating patients, bringing their food to the table, wheeling them back to the activity room for afternoon bingo, musical programs, and craft activities.

After Mother’s Day, mama had a series of seizures and strokes. The little ladies I talked to daily asked me about her, asked me to give her their best wishes and prayers for her. The key would even have their pastors come to mama’s room to talk with her, to pray over her. She was nonverbal by this time and took all of her meals in her room. The Kitchen staff would prepare special bits of food that they knew she liked. I would sit with her all day. Everyone knew my routine. Early one morning, the floor nurse called me at home to let me know my mother had died.
birds on feeder
outside her window – away
they flew – her soul is freed

 

an angel made by mama in her craft class from an oyster shell

gogyoshi – Life

Happy May Day to everyone! Congratulations to all who did the April 30 poems in 30 Days. It was a grand race but now, it is over. Thank goodness!!! I am posting this gogyoshi for Real Toads Tuesday Platform. A gogyoshi is a Japanese poetic form created by Taro Aizu. It has five lines. That is the only constraint. Five lines – insanely simple. This poem came to me while sitting in my tree this morning.  This poem represents the Japanese concept of mujo – impermanence.

Life
Life is never promised.
We pass through time
like leaves blowing in the wind –
Like dew evaporating in the sun.
Life is never promised.

Froot Loops

Day 13 of (Friday the 13th mwahahaha) and Magaly is prompting us for the 30 Days of poetry at Real Toads. She has given us this quote and we are to use brtween 3 – 13 words from the quote to fashion our poem. I used four. This is also for the 55 at Hedge. The quote is longer than my poem.
The quote:
“People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in the ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield

Froot Loops
6:30 a.m. sharp
She began the annihilation
of her morning bowl of Froot Loops.
She crunched them as she would
old dry bones
and slurped the milk like she would
would the liquids from corpses.
Reading the morning paper
She laughed in high glee
and ripe humor.
The tyrant was in the midst
of a Stormy.

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