Reunion 2019

Somewhere above the sun
Mor Mor, Far Far,
Grampa and Gramma Hallberg,
Pat, Jay,
Ina, Wes,
Bertha, Bud,
Florence and Milt
shine bright,
smile so proud,
knowing they live on.
Three generations strong
remember.
Still gather
to laugh, love and care.

“Far Far” is my father’s father in Swedish; “Mor Mor”, my mother’s mother. Photos from this past weekend’s family reunion in the Adirondacks. See previous poem for fun pics!

Quadrille (44 words sans title) with prompt word “sun” written for dVerse.

For Johanna

She left today.
Someone else packed her things
shrink-wrapped paintings
boxed up lamps, books.

But they had no idea
how to fit memories
into the moving truck.
So they left them all behind,

for me.

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Shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. While dVerse take its summer hiatus, I will continue to share my somewhat poetic thoughts here….and invite you to read, like or dislike, comment or not, as you wish. Sometimes the muse strikes, even in the midst of a beautiful summer day!

Eulogy

Lost too soon . . .
gathered in pews
eyes tear-glistened,
memories spill from pulpit.

Amazing Grace reverberates
voices swell in unison.
Hear us missing you,
lost too soon.

Written for Tuesday’s Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Amaya prompts us to “Cry Me a River” — write about a song that brings us to tears or makes us melancholy. 
Photo from Pixabay.com

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth, you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Khalil Gibran

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We Gather Again

Fifty years ago,
we wore bridal veils.
Walked past the elders’
with a cursory but loving nod.

Then family reunions,
joyful raucous gatherings
at the twenty
and thirty-something’s table.

Then babies appeared on hips,
high chairs crowded table seatings,
crayons joined forks and spoons
and the elders watched lovingly.

Too soon,
teenagers rolled their eyes,
talked about whatever they do,
made lists for Santa’s exchange.

Someone tried to reproduce
Auntie Maia’s meringue cookies.
Papa Milt’s son took over
his carving-the-turkey role.

Beloved faces,
grandparents,
uncles and aunts
disappeared from the scene.

And now, tomorrow,
we gather again,
a new generation
gracing a bridal veil.

And just for a moment I see their faces.
Generations
who instilled love of family,
no matter the distance or age.

Then quietly
we walk into the room,
smile knowingly and take our seats.
We now, are the elders’ table.

For Kenji

‘Tis legendary
not ordinary,
‘cross sea.
Firm friendship, nary
time’s adversary.
To be
older, not wary.
Smiles luminary,
esprit.

Inspired by my recent visit in Yokohama with Kenji Kojima. Photos of Kenji and I in our 1965 senior high school album. And a new photo of us taken together last week in Yokohama, Japan.

Kenji was an AFS exchange student from Japan during our 1965 senior year at Waukegan Township High School in Illinois. We had not seen each other since 1965! The years didn’t matter. The distance didn’t matter. The friendship held true and we enjoyed two wonderful hours together reminiscing, talking about our families and grandchildren. What an absolute privilege to see him again.

Poetry form is the Lai: 9 lines with the following syllabic and rhyming restrictions:

Line 1: 5 syllables, rhyme word a
Line 2: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 3: 2 syllables, rhyme word b
Line 4: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 5: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 6: 2 syllables, rhymes with b
Line 7: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 8: 5 syllables, rhymes with a
Line 9: 2 syllables, rhymes with b

Lost in Time

Gold pocket watch clasped shut
sits unnoticed.
Dust dims its luster,
unseen though visible
on antique store shelf.

Faded smiling visage
carefully snipped
by someone’s loving hands,
nestles inside the old time piece.
Exactly fits within its rim.

Opposite those softly staring eyes,
wire hands mark five till twelve.
No sound. No movement.
Dead in time past.
Someone’s treasure cast aside.

Posted for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today I am hosting Open Link Night. Folks can post any one poem of their choice: no particular topic, prompt, form or length. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Haibun to Savor

I’ve often contemplated the difference between solitude and loneliness.

Five years ago, my husband was struck down by a six-minute cardiac arrest. For forty-eight hours, we did not know if he would come back to us. Although surrounded by medical staff and family, it was the loneliest time I’ve ever faced. It was frightening to think about life without him. Being alone in loneliness is a fate I wish on no one.

Solitude, on the other hand, is something to savor. In my definition, one is not lonely in solitude, even if one is alone. I’ve stood in the middle of Iowa country fields, feeling the wind on my face, arms outstretched, and felt solitude. A personal sense of wonder at being one with the earth. I also believe solitude can be experienced in partnership. Standing in awe with my husband, looking at our newborn. Feeling a sense of miracle, engulfed in love. It was only us in that moment – there was no one else was in the world – just us. For me, there is a profound sense of positive energy within the word solitude. I’ve experienced a myriad of moments in my life, shared in partnernership, in solitude. And some by myself. Thankfully, there have been very few experiences of abject loneliness.

doe stands in awe, her
sole prints in new fallen snow –
field mouse cowers cold

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First and foremost, let me assure everyone. My husband and I will joyfully celebrate our 49th anniversary on February 7th! All is well and we are thankful for every day.

It’s Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where Kim asks us to write about solitude. A haibun is two to three paragraphs of prose (must be true) followed by a traditional haiku (5-7-5 syllables; must include a seasonal reference and prefarably be about nature). Image from Pixabay.com