Haibun for 2021

As I think back on new beginnings in my life, I’m struck by how self-centered or family oriented they all were. Graduations, the births of our children and grandchildren, weddings, birthdays, rejuvenatement – never say retirement. New Year’s Eves don’t really come to mind as momentous occasions – until this year.

As we have in so many years past, George and I watched the crystal ball drop in New York City’s Times Square from the comfort of our home. We counted down the last ten seconds of 2020. But this time, when we hugged in 2021, I was literally overcome with emotion. Tears flowed and I clung to George. I was surprised at the depth of my emotional response until I realized what it encompassed. Hope on a global scale. Hope in the form of a vaccine. Hope that millions will escape misery, ill health, and untimely deaths. This moment in our lives, was a moment shared round the globe. It was so much bigger than us sitting on the couch. We were simply a microcosm of a weary world, rejoicing in hope.

snow pack melts in sun
trickle grows to waterfall –
like hope rushing forth

Today, I’m tending the bar at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe. We open 2021 with Haibun Monday. My prompt is to write about new beginnings. Think about how that phrase may relate to you. Perhpas you’re reminded of a new job, new garden growth, a new season. Anything that comes to mind in terms of a new beginning. BUT . . .
. . . I remind people that a haibun must meet certain requirements:
* 2 or 3 succinct paragraphs of prose that must be true

* followed by a traditional haiku.
Traditional means much more than simply 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables.
Come join us at 3 PM Boston time and find out what a traditional haiku really is!

Photo: taken on our South America/Antarctica cruise in January 2018. Vincennes Rosales National Park, in Puerto Montt, Chile.

This Last Day

Although this year ends
and the next promises hope,
far too many can not be joyful.
They survive, just barely.
Lost jobs. Lost income.
They watch the year end
without a loved one by their side.
Let the new year begin.
Let hope live and thrive.
Bring relief. Bring safety.
Hear our prayer, oh Lord.
Help us begin anew.

Let it be so . . .

There is hope in the air
in the midst of fear, rancor, illness, and loss.
Can you sense it?

In these final days of advent,
this challenging year,
let us open our hearts to hope.

Imagine a newborn babe.
Its innocence. Its vulnerability.
Imagine the brightest star aglow.

A new beginning about to be.
Hope for good health, good will,
so very close now.

Let it be so.

On this day . . .

This early morning, Thanksgiving day
before the dawn is bright,
I contemplate by candlelight
our family so afar.

Quiet am I now, as memories come and go.
Travel to another state, the table set for many.
Generations past. Grandchildren now grown.
Scenes of happiness and laughter, dancing in my head.

Sun now risen, our day to share begins.
Warmly we embrace, so thankful for each other.
Later we shall sit to sing our family’s table grace.
Only two place settings, two voices raised in song.

Thanksgiving 2020’s essence remains the same,
thankfulness for God’s abundant blessings.
Unique this year, we also have requests.
We pray for more kindness in our troubled world
and healing in these Covid times.

Shared with dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, and my friends and family, on this Thanksgiving day.

The Dawn Always Comes . . .

Hearts take the hand. Trump failed.
Dummy hand hapless in play.

Donned in camouflage
revealed as the ill-literate.
Sees no value in a paradigm shift.
Pair a dimes? Chump change.
No interest in cents at all.
Narcissistic I-land, far off shore.

You are no sire,
no knight with Excalibur.
Rather bellicose bellyacher
night or day, wielding tweets
perched upon a thin wire,
manufacturing a storm.

Hailing, thundering, “MY RAIN”
even as it is about to end.
Drowning in the fetid swamp
created by your squalls.
Your reign shall cease
and the sun will shine again.

Linda is hosting OLN at dVerse, where we can post any poem of our choosing: no prompt. I decided to engage in a bit of word play and ended up with a political piece – perhaps a poem of witness again? Photo from pixabay.com

Hope on the Horizon

In the darkness before dawn
we await so much.
Equality, justice,
civility, health.

I feel the arms of hope
reach out to comfort us.
Envelop our earth’s girth,
wrap ‘round this country’s soul.

In the darkness before dawn
we know in our hearts
the sun always perseveres.
It rises phoenix-like,

breaks through tumultuous clouds
strikes down darkness
and births a new day.

Photo: a recent dawn in our beloved Provincetown.

Awakening of a Septuagenarian

I am a product of white privilege.
I hula-hooped and pogo-sticked through youth
scholarshipped through college on the debate team
married, bought a house, and had two children.
We had two dogs who roamed our big back yard.
a vegetable garden and raspberry bushes.
Our kids had good friends, played board games
took music lessons, learned to drive,
went to high school swing choir competitions.
They went to college, married,
bought a house, and had kids
who took music lessons and walked to school.
None of us had the proverbial picket fence,
but sure seemed we had everything else.
I had no idea there was a Green Book.

At seventy-three, I am appalled, frightened,
and petrified for this country.
I applaud all who take a knee
and decry the knee that pressed,
without mercy, on George Floyd’s neck –
8 minutes and 15 seconds of deliberate hell.
I decry the lack of justice for Breonna Taylor.
I decry the narcissistic occupant
whose utter disregard for science,
truth, the environment, the letter of the law,
sacrifices made by our armed forces,
has decimated the moral fiber of this country,
left us with 200,000 lives lost to Covid.
And the number grows.
Yet people follow this self-centered prat,
gather in enclosed spaces
no masks, no social distance,
cheer on this person
masquerading as our president.
The occupant who doesn’t give a rip about them ~
except to keep him in power.
I write, I speak, I donate to senate contests,
and I WILL VOTE.
I maintain hope in the good.
That is my protest.

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets around the globe, where today Grace asks us to consider protest poetry.

Always with us . . .

are the sun,
the moon, the sky
and the stars.

Sometimes harder to see
are filaments of joy.
They always hover near.

If we open our hearts
look up, look about,
we will find them.

As this morning dawns
and hope rises,
let us seek at least one.

Let us live today
with the incandescence of joy.

sunrise-182302_1920

Previously posted and then shared on OLN at dVerse where Mish is hosting today.
Photo: dawn in Provincetown, 2019.

Catharsis 1906

Ship of dreamers
homeland left behind.
We cross vast seas,
anxiety churned by pitching waves.

Land nears.
Hope rekindled,
we stand tall,
crane to see her torch.

Hands clasped, excitement peaks.
Grinning widely we circle round,
dance exuberantly
as she comes into view.

We are joyful Swedes,
ready to begin anew.

IMG_4866

Brian Miller, founder of dVerse, helps us celebrate the pub’s 8th anniversary today by providing the prompt. He wants us to capture a moment in our poem, reminding us that moments come with a context. The happenings before and after the moment. Today I write motivated by a Hallberg family photo, taken in 1906, at the moment Hjalmer Hallberg and friends saw the Statue of Liberty, when coming to this country from Sweden. I write in the first person, trying to imagine this moment.