Haibun in the midst of these troubling times

It was to be a celebratory long weekend in Washington DC. We would all gather in a large rental house to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary. Our children. Their children. The Circle of Love as we call ourselves. Dinner reservations made. Photographer arranged. So long in the planning. Fifty years in the making.

And then the unthinkable took hold across the globe. It became clear we would not be “eleven total in raucus revelry.” Instead we are sheltering in place in our individual homes. Venturing out for groceries. Taking our own walks on separate unbeaten paths in three different cities, in two different states. We do connect with phone calls and Facetime to insure all are well. We share tales of in-house projects, board games, and home schooling. Love is always heard in our eleven voices  – no matter the distance. And for this we are grateful.

spring time daffodils
untouched by Covid-19
dance closely in sun

IMG_4554Written for Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets where today Kim asks us to use a previous poem we’ve written about ourselves, and from its core, create a haibun: 2 paragraphs of tight prose followed by a haiku with a seasonal mention.
My haibun today is based on my previous poem Solitude and quotes one line from it.

Photo taken on our walk yesterday — keeping “social distance” from others but enjoying the hope spring brings. So many daffodils planted along the banks of the river Charles…so close together. Would that we can all soon embrace our loved ones and walk arm-in-arm again.
To all my readers:  stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive.

Haibun True

The car pulled up. I couldn’t tell the make of it. Smooth and curved. Nothing harsh, angular or metallic. It was parked and waiting for something. One long oval window stretched from end to end. There was no driver; just passengers with smiling faces. Hands waved at me, saying hello. Or motioning me to join them? Then I saw. These were beloved faces. My two aunts and uncles. My mother, father and brother. All wanting me to join them. So happy. So inviting.

I woke up groggy, sitting up in bed;  in the middle of the night. Then I remembered the car. The waving. Who they were. Wanting me to join them. But they’d been dead for many years. I whispered aloud, “Not now. I can’t. Not yet.”

Next thing I knew, the alarm was ringing. Time to rise and shine and get on with my day. It wasn’t until lunch at work that I remembered it all. Exactly as I wrote it here.

frost glazes window
dog sleeps nearby, legs twitching
runs from what in dream

I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Today I’m asking folks to write a poem somehow related to a dream or dreaming….they can take us inside a dream, create a dream, write about the process of dreaming — be it a nightmare, a daydream, a hallucination, or  a suspended state. Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

Children through the ages . . .

Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less.
From Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

These were precious moments ~

holding you upon my shoulder
napping with you upon my chest
holding you to my breast

lifting you back up to walk again
reading together, you sitting on my lap
skipping lessons, hand in hand

sharing hugs on grade school days
combing hair and straightening shirt
and wiping tears as you tumbled.

Now you have growing children
and as their independence grows,
touching them is lessening too for you.

But between you and me
at this stage in our lives,
hello and goodbye hugs
seemingly last a bit longer.

Perhaps because we know
time passing, means less time left
and we treasure more
these moments of staying in touch.

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Shadows

When it’s very still
and my soul’s at rest,
I see shadows nearby,
waiting patiently.

An ethereal background
hovers . . .
seemingly through them.
As if a thinning fog.

Shadows of people,
all of them gone.
But here they stand,
their profile or back to me.

My brother, leaning in.
My father with wavy hair.
My mother, skirts lifted,
swaying to music I strain to hear.

Time intrudes and eyes focus,
reality presents itself.
Wedges its way into my mind
until I question what I saw.

But everybody sees shadows
on bright sunlit days.
They dance beside us,
follow, or lead the way.

So who is to say these shadows,
appearing to me when I am alone
are not at least as real
as those we see on sunny days?

Perhaps these shadows also lead me.
Quietly waiting.
Unobtrusively.

I’m hosting Open Link Night at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, and folks are invited to post any poem of their choosing. These photos taken this week in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod….and they got me to thinking about shadows.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

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.

There comes a time. . .

Developing her own voice
testing her wings,
child no longer.
He understood as a poet does,
metaphorically . . .
you cannot tether a bluebird to your wiles,
no matter how loose the string.

Written in response to Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Linda is hosting and asks us to write a poem inspired by one of six particular paintings by Jacquline Hurlbert. I’ve selected Bluebird’s Journey, with permission of the artist. Find all paintings and information about the artist at jhurlbert.com

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.