Haibun: Man Poses

A few months ago, I did a prompt for dVerse called, What are your plans? In it I wanted poets to write about their plans for their lives, their poetry, their loves…This is what I wrote for that post with a few additionsI wrote this after an ugly contretemps with one of the so-called “poets” at another prompt website. I decided life was too sort to be polite and civil to those who do not reciprocate in kind. In short, I was ready to be a civilian again after being a staff member who had to be “polite”, even to assholes. i stepped down and I feel much freer. This is posted on Real Toads in response to Bjorn’s prompt to write a mainfesto to 2018.  So, Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you all have a year filled with joy and poetry.

Man Poses
My mother died in June of this year. It was a long, hard death for her. And watching her die broke my heart. But…she wanted me to continue on with my education (I have three degrees but hey, I never cared for odd numbers!) and to continue writing my poetry. She wanted me to continue to grow and to shake up the world.

In honor of my mother, I am going to do just that. I am going back to Duke University to get another degree (MA as opposed to my original MS), I am going to be writing, continuing to critique poetry and to be criiqued, I am not going to take myself too seriously but at the same time, I am not going to be flippant and “cute” about sujects, I am going to get my chef recertification (I was originally certified in 1986), and I am going to be howling down the roads on my 916. I am planning on publishing a book of haibun and I am going to be visiting other poetry sites and not just those that are safe and polite. I will not be carrying as baggage sycophants who worship everything I write, even though most of it is crap; I will however be making new friends who are honest about my poetry. I am honoring my mother who was *onnabugeisha” long before I was.  I am honoring myself. I am honoring my poetry.

autumn turns to winter –
winter turns to spring – horizons
open before me

*Japanese for woman warrior or samurai

Cup of Kindness – 2015


And so we come to the end of another year. This has been a year of tremendous changes. In spite of so many hard things, there have been many good things.  In March, I lost my job due to ageism and racism. Ugly combination, hey? And as time has progressed, my mother has become more fragile in her health and after rescuing her from a bad situation in Florida and taking her to live with her youngest sister in Tennessee, she just seemed to just step off the edge of the cliff. Health folks often call it that. She is now in and out of reality. Dementia is a demon from which there is no escape. I call her daily. The other day she asked me where my father was and why he hadn’t been to visit. I gently told her he died 30 years ago. She didn’t remember. This is a daily heartbreak for me. It is also a daily reminder of those fragile relationships that mean so very much and could suddenly….end.

But there has been highs in this past year. I’ve been able to devote more time to my writing, reading, cooking, independent study and went back to school for pharmacy. Being an engineer, my outlook isn’t the typical glass half empty/full thing. Our thing is, if the glass is half empty or half full, then get another glass. So I got another glass.

I am also ending this year finding out that my deep depression disorder is not that at all. I am bi-polar. Not a death sentence by any means but a life sentence none the less. But I can and will cope. I have the best husband in the world and I have friends – beyond excellent friends.  Hope and faith – words for the new tomorrow.  I promise, I’ll do my best not to be whiney about it!

Dear Chloe over at: http://sirenatales.wordpress.com did a post on Automaticity. Just what I was thinking for the past week or so. Basically, practice makes perfect. Practice a dance move, a speech pattern, whatever – until you do it automatically without thinking. Like when I draw my wakizashi with that single sweep and into fight position. I don’t think, I do.

What to practice in 2015 until it becomes so engrained? Here’s my list. What about yours?   Compassion, hope, joy, positivity, sharing, honor, humility of spirit, curiosity, open mindedness, open heart, gentleness, faith…big one – Faith. 

I forget who said this: When we worry today, we rob tomorrow of its hope.  There.  Nuff said.

I thank all of you who follow both my blogs; this one and Aki no Koe. Thank you for your likes, comments, kindnesses, prayers, positive thoughts. Thank you for your posts and all you have shared. Blessings to you in 2015.  I wish you all and those you hold dear, the best that can be granted to you.

And above all, let us practice kindness. Let us drink deeply from that cup o’ kindness and pass it on. Let us practice it until we don’t have to even think about it. Kindness as automatic as our hearts beating. Sharing it without thinking.

My Words for 2014

Every year, I meditate and pray and then my words for coming year come and I use them to live in the next year. This year my words are: Choice, Joy, and No Fear.

I will choose to live my life with Joy and No Fear. The choices I make will have to do with Joy and No Fear. The choices I make will hopefully allow me to live a life of kindness, courtesy, curiosity, health.

Last year was a year full of events that caused me much fear and anxiety, depression, pain. Some I could control and others I could not. I am going to exercise my faith muscle. I do believe in a God that loves me and renews His faithfulness and love to me daily. I will choose to have more faith, more trust, I will listen to that Holy Spirit in me that whispers it is always close and there for me. I will work on that relationship of love and trust and in turn, have less fear and more joy.

I will treasure each moment and person I love. Oddly, it was a dog that led me to this, or rather, her person. I follow the blog, Rumpydog (http://wp.me/p1GPpQ-2D9) . DeDe, one of the dogs, has cancer. Her human is having a hard time with this and trust me, I understand this totally. My beloved Pugsley cat and I went through this a few years ago and it still makes me cry. I miss his sweet self. I try to be the person he always thought I was.

But anyway, Sundays, DeDe gives beauty tips. That sweet dog says, the best beauty accessory is a smile. She also said her resolve for 2014 was to live each day to the fullest because you never know how much time you have. And she is right. I’m probably too tender hearted in these things, but it makes me cry for her and for her human. And she is right.

My mom is not doing well. COPD, old age…it is scary and makes me feel like I will soon be an orphan. We never know from one breath to the next how much time we have in this life and with people we love. I lost two dear friends this year – cancer and suicide. I am still reeling from this and working through it.

So I choose to live my life full of joy. I can’t go about fearing the next moment or event. Passion, joy, excitement, curiosity. Smelling a rose, watching a robin pulling a worm out of the ground, the mental pleasure of making an A on a Quantum Mechanics course, doing the Quick Step with my husband down the hall, rubbing the sweet face of my Sam the Ripper Cat, hearing my mother’s voice on the phone. All of this and more.

What we have in this life if we choose it: grace, joy, hope, faith. I open my arms to 2014. Here’s to a year of living joyously: frying chicken, writing bad haiku and loving it, breathing in sweet winter air, tracking the progress of the flowering quince bush, smiling at babies sitting in grocery carts, being gente with elderly folks on the phone when they call for information at my job, trying to steer my teen Sunday class through the paths of righteousness, sharing my love of life and joy, being sentimental and not ashamed to feel, to making new friends, to letting my heart choose those friends rather than conventional wisdom, trying to be a loving and loyal friend, daughter, wife, woman….to continuing to blog and never getting Freshly Pressed and never having more than 300 followers which is fine because I’m okay but you folks are even better, to having a year of dreams and maybe one day…maybe sitting on the viewing platform at Ryoan-ji in the snow once again, to never having my heart closed to love…

What are your words for 2014? What are your dreams? What do you want? Face your fears – take your passion and make it happen. This is your now.



Happy New Year dear Family

imagesSALIZHMP       I wish all of you a safe and happy 2014.  I’ve reblogged from Chasing Rabbit Holes, a place where those of you who may be alone or need some folks to talk to, be happy with.  Click on the badge on the site and be whisked away to talk to people you may not know but will be glad you got to know.

They say you can choose your friends but not your family.  I have found, in the WordPress family, that to be most happily untrue.  My time here blogging has been an incredible journey from all parts of the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, the Philippines….

We may not be stylish enough to be Freshly Pressed, all of the time, but we enjoy and appreciate each other.  That is the best to me.  To be appreciated by ones peers (family) is bestest of all.

I am grateful to you all for your support, comments, best wishes, and prayers.  I wish you all the most joyful, healthy, full of light and peace, prosperity, wisdom….all things bright and beautiful in 2014.  Happy New Year!!!

Love to you all!

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