Haibun: June 25th

Haibun: June 25th
“It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” Anthony Bourdain – Parts Unknown

Today would have been Tony Bourdain’s 63rd birthday. But he was dead by his own hand, hanging himself in a French bathroom. But today was a day of celebration. declared by his two closest friend – Eric Ripert and Jose Andres. So I am celebrating it in true fashion. I went to Waffle House and had a pecan waffle. This was introduced to him by Charleston chef Sean Brock. I then went to volunteer at the local food bank and soup kitchen where I have been putting in time cooking for several years. Most people do not know Tony volunteered a lot of his time – teaching, cooking, sorting foodstuff. He encouraged the lower echelons of the kitchen – dishwashers and was their most fierce advocate. After which I went home and began preparing our meal for the night – pommes frites in duck fat, steak au poivre, ceasar salad with an appetizer of uni on toast. His favorite meals seemed to be at someone’s home among the residents of the city or among the restaurant workers. So I lift a beer to you Tony. Happy birthday. You left behind many of us who knew you and loved you, although we couldn’t save you.
birthday celebrant –
another year without you –
here but sadly absent

 

Although this is from Waking Ned Devine, it is one of my favorite songs, sung at my grandfather’s funeral as his casket was taken out of the church.

#Bourdain Day

 

Too Many Tears

For Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse Poets Pub – Proesy. I don’t know if I did this correctly. I don’t do fictional prose but I tried.  I don’t know if I care for this fictional form.


Too Many Tears

“Hey! If we can solve any problem, why do we lose so many tears” – Paul Young, Everytime you go away

You set off to parts unknown to charm us. You gave us yourself in limited doses. We traveled behind you and laughed, were horrified, were sobered to tears or shook our heads at our own foibles.

We do not know what you heard – what called you to your death. When far away an interrupted cry spoke to you out of the darkness and in its stopping, starting, stopping and starting again it finally called your name. We cannot know the sobs felt only in your chest or puzzles in your brain or the grief felt only in your soul. we knew your smile, your laughter, your wise words, your compassion. But did we really know you?  We only know we heard your silence as you hung there quiet and aloof.  We only knew the end of the story – the big surprise of the year.

The Kitchen is Empty

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of resources.

The Kitchen is Empty
‘I’m never a reliable narrator, unbiased or objective.” “I have a tattoo on my arm, that says, in ancient Greek, ‘I am certain of nothing.’ I think that’s a good operating principle.” Anthony Bourdain

the boy at the beach has traveled to places
we could not imagine.
the stars no longer follow his parents
as they drive through the night to their home
from the Jersey shore he so dearly loved.
The kitchen is empty –
his great story telling voice like
dark chocolate ganache is silent.
his narrow face no longer wrinkles with laughter
or sorrow nor do his eyes peer out to the end
of the horizon, seeing things only
he could see.
The kitchen is empty –
the knives lying in their coffin drawers,
stories are silent –
no longer being told with
understanding and humor,
with sorrow and truth.
the kitchen is empty.
the kitchen is empty.

Stargazing Rabbit

For Day Six of NAPOWRIMO = Kerry’s Prompt

Stargazing Rabbit
Jason Limberg

>Stargazing Rabbit
“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.”
Richard Adams, Watership Down

Under the moon in the argent lighit,
a rabbit slowly hops into view
as I sit on my back steps
breathing in the scents of gardenia and honeysuckle.
The sky is a perfectly clear June night.
Gazing upwards, I look at the stars –
pinpoints of light against the black sky.
the rabbit grazes quietly in the bed of clover
on my lawn. I forbid my husband to cut it down
for visitors such as this.
I watch as it twitches its ears
and it too looks upward, toward the stars.
We both of us together gaze at the stars –
an owl drifts overhead but ignores the rabbit and me.
the dew falls and the air becomes steamy.
The rabbit goes back to munching.
I look up at the stars again and when I look back
at the rabbit, it is gone.
I begin to cry. A friend of mine committed suicide today.

THE AFTER BITS This rabbit brought to mind how I sat at night pondering the why of a friend’s suicide last June.

 

 

Garden of White Flowers

The Notes:  A triple Cherita. A cherita tells a story and is written thusly: one line, then two lines, then three lines for a total of six lines. There is no line length, no rhyme, no syllable requirement. This first Cherita is the beginning of a series of poems in my Garden of White Flower Series.  This first section is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend Jeff, a sweet and gentle soul. He committed suicide this past June 18, 2018.  I miss him dreadfully.  I seem to be on a roll here with poems about suicide. I am working on clearing my system of three deaths this past June: my mother and two friends by suicide, all within two weeks of each other.

Garden of White Flowers
“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you, all of my life.” Oscar Wilde

I. Jeff
He loved white flowers in his garden especially bathed in moonlight.

He began his white garden when he interred the ashes of the love of his life,
His lover who died from AIDS thirty five years ago and cremated.

He dug the corner of his yard by hand putting in much sweat equity.
He planted a scented white rose that climbed and then iris bulbs,
Paperwhite narcissus, and wisteria, in the corner with the magnolia tree.

He watered the flowers with his tears and sweat.

Next into the garden he buried his precious Cocker, Duncan –
Rescued from a dog hoarder, abused and starved.

He sat out here often talking to Gabe and Duncan.
He planted more white flowers to breathe their life into him,
He whose loves had all died leaving him alone.

He was sitting in his white garden in the moonlight

When he decided there were enough white lowers, enough memories.
He stroked the petals of the white iris and the white rose

Then went into the house on that beautiful June night.
The next morning he took his cat to the vet to board her for a few days.
He returned home and hung himself, the scents of his garden wafting through the windows.

They’ve come to take me home

For Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads, How does it end? Write a last line. Build your poem around it. Use it as the title, a line to be repeated, use it. She read an article with five suggestions to use a last line. I picked option number four, use the last line for a title. warning: graphic suicide verbiage in poem

They’ve come to take me home
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s OK. The journey changes you; it should change you… You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain

No one knew his thoughts
as he stepped off the edge of the tub
and fell into infinity,
the tie around his neck,
his legs kicking,
the breath being cut off from his heart and brain,
his last thought as his heart lurched and stopped –
*you can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home.
It had been building through the years –
Depression deepening,
The spaces between pure laughter
and love of life widening.
One day, he did it.
He ripped off a tie from the hanger in his closet.
He tied it around his neck
And then to the shower rod –
you can keep my things, they’ve come to take me home.

* line from Solsbury Hill

WE CAN ALL HELP PREVENT SUICIDE. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 1-800-273-8255

Aokigahara – Sea of Trees

Aokigahara – Sea of Trees
“Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. It’s unsatisfying… If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple fucking answer.” Anthony Bourdain

Beautiful dense at the base of Mt. Fuji –
Signs at path beginning warn
to stay on path lest you be lost.
In the beauty is a huge yuck factor:
Don’t follow the tapes –
Youmayfindabody.
It is the #1 place in Japan
to contemplate/commit
…suicide

 

WE CAN ALL HELP PREVENT SUICIDE.  The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
1-800-273-8255

 

 

 

 

 

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