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

Tracing Whitman’s Path

Lying back, blue sky beckons me
carries me through dreams
until flock of geese interrupt serenity.
Rolling on my side, eyes shift to daffodils.
Yellow ruffles near still pond,
quiet in their breezy sway.

Noisey crowd above migrates north
racing through scattered clouds.
I rise reluctantly, retrace my steps.
Well worn path through banks of trees
leads to asphalt covered parking lot,
return to life’s routine.

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Written for Napowrimo Day 18’s unique prompt. Select a poem (or stanza from a poem), cover up all but the last line: write a response to that line. Now cover up all but the second to the last line: write a response to that line. Etcetera.  In essence, you read the poem backwards, creating your poem. Your poem responds to the original poem, and is its reverse.

I’ve used the first 6-line stanza of Walt Whitman’s famous poem,
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud:

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Beside the lake beneath the trees
A host of golden daffodils
When all at once I saw a crowd
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
I wandered lonely as a cloud.

First line of my poem responds to last (6th) line of his stanza; second line of my poem responds his 5th line; third line of mine responds to his 4th; fourth line of mine responds to his 3rd; fifth line of mine responds to his 2nd; sixth line of mine responds to his 1st.  My last stanza simply completes my original poem as the “speaker” of the poem must leave the beauty and serenity of nature and return to life’s routine. 

Poet’s Plight

Words tumble round my head
searching for mates to copulate,
birth meaning upon the page.
Sleep eludes me as words deluge me.
May I write, please?
Spackle paper in alphabet hue.

Night remnants. Darkened window pane.
My muse flickers like candles upon the sill,
fickle handmaid of creativity.
If light begets light
perhaps dawn will quicken her step,
drawn to these sputtering flames.

Words slowly seep from pen
cursive dips and curves.
I write tentatively,
then speed the pace
racing to beat the dawn.
And then,  I rest.

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Solitude

My lineage lies in bleached bones,
ash commingled with soil and sea.

I am the living
happily paired,
wed forty-seven years
progressing still.

Mother of two
grandmother of five.
Eleven total
in raucous revelry.

This crowded world
my species’ millions
and millions more,
multiplied by the unknown.

In the midst of all,
I savor oneness.
Scraps of solitude
contemplative discovery,

and recovery.
Sips of silence
to be and to know
who and what is me.


Posted from Bermuda. We are in midst of TransAtlantic crossing and will not have access to Internet for five days. I shall post again from Lisbon.

Snow Visions

i.
Thunder snow
rare glimpse of winter anger
snow angels disappear in gales.

ii.
Softly swirling snow
heaven’s hushed lullaby
midst city streets and sounds.

iii.
She stands by her window
wrapped in color splashed comforter.
Forehead on cool pane, eyes closed,
her thoughts begin to drift
like falling snow on once green mounds.

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Photo: From our window…looking out on Boston as snow piles up on ground, trees and window sill.