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Tag Archives: loss

Gone

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how delicate is this life

that one word, one mis…step

the bending of one finger

can rip a hundred hearts apart?

the way the zephyr innocently snaps

a limb so sturdy lush and green

or the fate of the field mouse feasting on seeds

as red hawk’s talons take hold

the hiker’s boot carelessly crushing

the castle of the dawdling slug

or the fragile web that can only hold so much

of dawn’s dew drop tears

only love is infinite and still

time, thoughts, nature, earth…

everything else moves

everything else dies

 

 

 

For Open Link Night. Bjorn is our fearful leader and host as we go LIVE at 3 p.m. EST.

More details at dVerse Poets Pub.

Before

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Before you die

sit here, snug in my eyes

where love circles you

endless and time-capsuled.

Paint me pictures of you

in shades of words

I have never heard.. before.

Write me letters in the wind

when all I hear is the storm,

leave your kisses in the clouds

to fall like feathers with the rain

Please don’t ask me to explain

Before you die

sit here, snug in my eyes

 

 

For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.

Come join us! Doors open at 3 p.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Hush

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It was an early phone call for a Saturday. My brother’s caller ID but not his voice. My mother forced words she could not yet comprehend herself. He was gone. I asked where he went.

 

moonbeams radiate

October sky remembers

flicker of fallen star

 

 

For Quadrille Monday at dVerse. Kim has offered us the word “early” for our 44 word poems. This prompt is open all week.

One Photo

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One photo

Frantically collected

From the poised and piled

As tornado warnings proceed

The sirens repeat

 

One photo

Treasured among smiles, scattered

Corners curled and tattered

Taken before digital days

This face, irreplaceable

 

One photo

Made of thirty six Christmases

And one million memories

Warmed in the palm of my hand

Rain quickens, pelting against windows

 

One photo

Could easily take flight tonight

Trailing the tempest

Clutching you closer to my heart

Stay with me in this storm

My brother

 

 

Written for Sarah’s Poetic prompt, “Mindfulness and Poetry” where she has asked us to choose a small object that could fit in the palm of our hand. Explore it, write freely about it and form a poem. In light of recent devastation northeast of here, we were under serious tornado warnings in my area tonight. I scrambled to choose “what is important” and take it to the basement. Easier said than done. Thankfully, what could have been, never was. We are all safe and sound.

 

 

Unanswered

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Where did your light come from?

Did you ever moon gaze under muted skies?

Did nature stir your soul?

I picked a flower for you today and wondered

Watching white floaties sailing into

Dandelion dreams and it seems

We never touched on this

 

 

 

For Open Link Night.  Grace is our host.  It is a pleasure to welcome Sarah Connor to the dVerse team. She was our lovely host for this week’s Poetics , introducing us to the artwork of Fay Collins for inspiration.

Image credit: Fay Collins

 

 

Too Late

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Warning: language

 

I googled you today

you were gone

I was wrong

to think that time was infinite

it was only imminent

this cancer, “fucking cancer”

would escort you out

without waiting one zippin’ minute

for thoughts to collect

memories to reflect

on your beautiful face

 

 

 

Written for the Quadrille prompt that De is hosting this week at d’verse Poets PubThe given word is “zip”. Somehow I managed to incorporate it as I struggle with the loss of a childhood friend.

 

Nagame (Long Rain)

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dscf4146

 

We begin the journey home from windy shores and seagulls galore. Hues of blue and grey ominously mingle on the horizon as patter becomes pelt against the windshield. My sunglasses hide pools of pain on the brink, mimicking the skies.  I am the passenger on these long drives, musing away miles, soaking in cimmerian clouds until I rain. These are moments for writing elegies of those still breathing. These are my dark secrets I dare share of time lost and obsessions with the inevitability of death. Maybe it is the monotonous rhythm of tires on wet pavement that plays to my melancholy heart. Is it any wonder that flowers grow up and rain falls down?

 

rain beats in doldrums

shrouded sun waits for downdrafts

torrential  tears

 

 

Toni leads our Haibun Monday prompt titled “50 Shades of Rain”. She shares with us the many artistic Japanese words for rain. Focusing on one of the words, we are to write a concise paragraph of non-fiction prose followed by a haiku about rain…how it makes us feel, the inconvenience of rain or the beauty of rain.  Haibun Monday is open all week. Feel free to join in!

 

 

 

 

Imminence

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September 2015 089

 

Cumulus clouds blacken

As I lay here staring

At the underside of maple leaves

Oh sweet tempered breeze

Are you my only comfort

Before the storm?

~

Linking this up with Open Link Night at dVerse.

 

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…#26

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“Being with someone as they pass is as phenomenal as witnessing a birth. It is a privilege to be present.”

26 post

It started out as an ordinary day in November.

I was 22, enjoying my first “real” job since graduating from college. However, this day turned out to be life changing. Today I would lose my dad.

As I arrived at work, I was immediately told that I needed to call my aunt right away. It was about an hour’s drive to get to the hospital in my hometown. This was a blur, emotionally and literally as I urged my boyfriend to drive faster.

ICU was like some kind of dreamworld, some place that shouldn’t be…because the reality was too hard to accept. I remember white…sheets, walls, floors, nurse’s uniforms, the grey tone of my father’s face almost blending in. There were heart monitors, tubes, oxygen masks…things I had never seen. My 19 year old brother was standing beside the bed, trying hard to control his tears. I remember holding him up as his knees started to buckle. My 16 year old sister had an 8 hour trip by train. She would not make it in time. I remember watching the jagged waves on the heart monitor…every beep was another second of denial. As long as his heart was beating, this nightmare had not begun.

I watched him struggle to breathe. I saw the fear in his eyes. I felt the tiniest possibility of hope vanish when a nurse politely explained to us exactly how a person dies when there is no heart muscle left to keep them alive. She told us how the oxygen mask would make him “comfortable” in the end.

A few minutes before my father died, he suddenly attempted to rise to a sitting position. There was no logic to this, given the amount of strength he had left. It was frightening, but amazing at the same time. Looking straight ahead with eyes wide open, he pointed at something. He was unable to speak, but he was trying to communicate. He saw something. He knew something. He was entering a new realm, a journey that we were no longer a part of.

As devastating as this was, I felt so fortunate that I was there. I cannot imagine how disappointing it would be to take your last breaths on this earth without someone you love by your side. Death is not just about loss. Beyond the heartache, there is something more to this moment.

We celebrate the beginning of life.

We need to honor the end of it.

~

Beautiful Soul

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April 13 081

 

I watched the leaders of my country
Dodge bullets today
Literally, dodge bullets
That was the news
And that’s all it is
Simple violence
Point and shoot
Any coward can do it
But the story is not the news
The story is about a boy
A son, who became a man
A soldier
Corporal Nathan Cirillo
A father, an animal lover
A friend to many
Only 24 years old
The story is about
Hearts ripping, tears flowing
Making sense of inhumanity
Sorrow deeper
Than can be imagined
No, I did not know him
It doesn’t matter
I am a mother
And he was like no other
How do I know?
Just look in his eyes
That is the gift
We have been given
Beautiful soul
One heart in different bodies
One life in different times
One love in different worlds
We are different
Thank God
We are all different

 

 

In response to poetics at dVerse…but mostly in response to my aching heart.

 http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/10/22/soldier-shot-outside-of-parliament-at-national-war-memorial-active-shooter-believed-to-be-on-the-loose/

Empty Nesting

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September 2014 375

 

Curried carrot soup in the crock pot

Peach berry crisp bubbling in the oven

This is my morning

Its sixty four degrees and perfect weather

To watch the geese come in

For a spectacular landing over the pond

But that is not where my heart is

I am blind as autumn guides me through

The rituals of raking and baking

Buying squash at the market

Pinching off the mums that are wilting

Because I don’t have enough sun in my yard

I don’t have enough sun in my life

It is all a facade when there are no

Mouths to feed and no laughter kicking

Up the leaves

That was my yesterday

Little jean jackets, mischievous smiles

I brace myself for the cold

That never fails to surprise me

Half way through October

Even though it’s never left

Since you did

 

September 2014 457

 

~

It’s Open Link Night at dVersean opportunity to share anything, but when Marina Sofia mentioned Fall, this one evolved quickly.

Dear Robin Williams

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Thank you for your gifts

Robin_Williams_2011a_(2)Your shenanigans, charades

The epitome of a smile

Bigger than anyone’s

A brilliant mind

You so generously shared

With boundless energy

To make one thing happen

Laughter

We’re not laughing now

Conceiving your pain

Repeating your name

Retracing your fame

Brilliant minds are not safe

From the storm

Or the rain

We will take this joy

You so kindly gave us

Carry gently, your heart

And dance

In the sparkles of your eyes

 

 ~

“But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”
~Robin Williams as John Keaton- ‘Dead Poets Society’~

Image: Wikipedia

Cardio

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bleeding hearts

 

My heart still beats
Though stitched and sewn with
Threads of hope, frayed
Robotically repaired
In rhythmic mode
Patched up places
Where entry wounds gaping
Took hold of every breath

My heart still beats
Tick tock, tock ticking
Pulse belongs to them
Lovingly tended
Far from mended
But they are the blood
The oxygen saving
My life, my soul, my love

~dedicated to my father and my brother~

 

Today at dVerse Poet’s Pub, Marina Sofia asked us to “consider what does it take to shatter your world and how do you make it whole again”.

http://dversepoets.com/

 

 

 

Embers

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SAMSUNG

You are only gone

If I forget you

That could never happen

My brother, my friend

For memories, like oxygen

Breathe life again

Inhaling your laughter

Exhaling joy

You are only gone

If I let you go

But I don’t have to

Because flashbacks kindle the fire

Igniting hope

Warming my heart

And if my heart is warm

Then you are too.

~

In memory of my brother

who can still make me smile today.

~Oct. 28, 2000~

Void

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DSCF0598

Space without substance

Time without tolerance

Minds apart

Stabs in the heart

Form without motion

Endless erosion

Words unheard

Intentions deferred

Reach without touching

Nudge without crushing

Anger intact

Missing the facts

Love without action

Emotions in traction

Nothing but air

Hope and a prayer

The End

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DSCF7968

Every moment we are still together

Mother and daughter, so sacred

I have the unfortunate knowledge

It will not last

Because I have been there

Facing the impossible

Denying the unthinkable

 I have been there

When the bottom falls out

Making you wonder why

You invested your soul, your heart, your mind

If only for a short time

Why do we love so much

Knowing it will cause so much pain?

Why are we given these precious moments

Leaving us vulnerable and needing more?

I have been there

Devastated by the loss

Frozen in my tracks

Wondering where my next breath will come from

Kicking at pieces of my heart

Laying on the floor

Because life was over as I knew it

So today I look at you,  aging with grace

I hang on to your every word,

Every beloved gesture

Until the end.

Tree Killers

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DSCF4750DSCF4746DSCF4738DSCF4749How dare they

You were here first

Planted firmly, deep in soil

Casting shadows in the grass

Making rings for each year passed

A hefty price they paid

To bring you in dead

…..or dead

Roped and tied as if you’d run

You’ve stood your ground, oh rooted one

 Branches reach toward the sun

One last time

As if begging for mercy

Now I watch your severed limbs

 Turn into tiny chips

For pretentious gardens

And meaningless mulch

You may not be missed by those

Who mindlessly maim you

But I will miss you

My friend from over the fence

I will miss your undeniable presence

Your glorious stature

They can only kill you

But I will miss you

DSCF2207

Recipe for Change (50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#13)

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#13. Don’t look to others to change your life. It’s not going to happen. You are accountable for your own destiny. The only one that can change your situation is you.

Life is tough.

I think some people are more fortunate than others to breeze through the first half of their life, without losing  a parent or sibling, without going through a divorce, without being abused, without suffering from a serious physical or mental illness. Then there are others who have faced all of these and more.

Life is not fair.

Random things happen to random people. I think it is foolish to think that tragedy cannot strike at any moment. It can. It does. It happens  to someone somewhere in every moment. It could be me. It could be you.

So now that I’ve spewed this negativity and doom, I will follow with some hope. Hope is one thing that can always exist. No one can take it away. It is yours. No one can control it. No one can end it for you. If you take hope and mix it with a little action, it equals change. This recipe is a keeper. It can also be passed down. You demonstrate this for your children and wowsers, they will have the best formula for survival on this planet. Keeping with this analogy (humour me here), you can also stir things up that really need to be and watch your life rise to new levels.

I made the mistake of looking at where I was in my life as where I had to be. Someone had to get me out or maybe I needed to stay there. This wasn’t fair. What did I do to deserve this? Someone else had to change so that everything would be ok for me. How dare someone else try to ruin my life or leave my life. I wallowed in self pity, anger, resentment and pain. It took many years for me to realize that no one else was going to do ANYTHING of the sort. That is difficult to accept. First you are thrown this horrible fate and then you are supposed to be the one to deal with it? Seriously?

What it comes down to is that you cannot control the crazy, unpredictable, tragic, shocking things that can happen to you and no, you cannot change everything you want. Change  doesn’t bring back the loved ones you have lost from this earth. It doesn’t completely heal the scars that cover a victim of abuse or multiple abuse. Change is a place for you to go. It is anywhere else but where you are…..and  if you’re in any type of despair, then anywhere else is good.

recipe for change 004

recipe for change 002

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…..#10

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#10. “In an instant, your world can be turned upside down. The people you take for granted can disappear in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow is only a plan. This moment is all you have.”

It was October of 2000. It was a Saturday morning when the phone rang, waking me up from a deep slumber. As one who usually dreaded the worst, I assumed this 7 a.m phone call meant something was wrong. Perhaps my grandmother was ill but in the back of my mind, I thought “calm down, it’s probably just a wrong number”. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to hear.  It would have been the furthest idea from my mind. It was unthinkable.

When my crying mother said my brother was “gone”, I asked where he went. He was single. He could go wherever he wanted. He had no significant ties. I thought…. where in the world could he have gone that would upset my mom so much? What was she talking about?

Confused and half asleep I asked her, “Where did he go?”

“He’s dead”, she muttered  with whatever strength she could dig up from……somewhere. My mother had waited hours to call me. She just couldn’t pick up the phone.

He was 36 years old. He was my baby brother by three years.

He was my only brother.

I fell to the floor. I remember so clearly the sound that came out of my mouth. I remember pacing back and forth and screaming “no” over and over. I am sure at that moment, I was insane. I remember crawling up the stairs, waking up my ex husband. I was not me, but just an empty, robotic being, mumbling, sobbing, shaking, running around the room……lost in denial.

I cannot understand to this day how I drove an hour and a half by myself to get there. My two sons were still asleep (or were they?) and their dad would stay there with them. I didn’t want them to know anything about their uncle yet…because it couldn’t be true anyways. That was the plan I managed to somehow articulate before running out the door to my car. I was going to see him because that was the only way I could prove that this wasn’t happening.

The next time I saw my brother, it was Halloween night and he was in a casket.

DEATH is sneaky. Don’t ever trust it. It hides away mysteriously and then leaps out of nowhere to blindside you into oblivion.
LIFE is precious. Don’t ever take it for granted. It is amazing, breathing and beautiful and it never hides. Take everything it has to offer.

Don’t wait until the phone rings or there is a knock on the door. Live your life to the fullest.
Every minute unfolding in front of you is amazing.

~ In memory of my brother, his laughter, his incredible smile , his song , his silly dance and most of all, his loving heart.~

Rebuilding from the ashes……

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With the passing of my beloved pet on Saturday, I have reflected back to other more devastating losses throughout my life. You can’t compare the death of your dog to the loss of your mother or father, although at times, the pain could be the same. It comes down to the fact that a piece of your world as you know it, has disappeared. Sure, sure, sure, they’re “in your heart” but you’re not holding them. You’re not talking to them. They are not available to help you, listen to you or comfort you. You miss their touch, their voice, their face, their laughter, their mannerisms. It’s as though your life stops for a moment to reassemble itself. It can’t go on the way it was because a link is missing. I have fixed that link a few times in my life. It just took awhile to find the right tools.

Losing my father when I was twenty two was not only excruciating but I was totally oblivious to the stages of grief. I focused on the pain of my younger siblings and my mother and drove full throttle into life thinking all I needed was a brand new sports car purchased with inheritance money to do it. Wow, was I wrong. My body basically shut down with daily migraines and I was just stuck. During a visit to the doctor’s office, she asked me “Have you grieved the loss of your dad?” I must have looked at her with a blank stare because she answered for me, “I don’t think so”. So I finally allowed the pain to touch me, punch me, kick me and the tears flowed for weeks, or months. There were no more migraines and I became more aware of the steps to getting my life back. I had already completed the anger stage. Check! I brought that one right to the funeral home with me. I distinctly remember cursing him out, under my breath for leaving me so early in my life. Lack of maturity was only part of that, the rest is just about a daughter who never thought she was good enough. I needed more time to prove him wrong….or prove myself wrong.

Moving through the other stages was a natural progression. I just needed a kick start. Marriage, motherhood and a career path intertwined with my grieving process. It amazes me how our past and the effects of our past spill into our future and our future generation.

We are what happened to us.

We are how we feel.

We are how we deal.

Then even when we think we have it all figured out, death knocks on your door again and it’s time for another reconstruction of your life.

My brother was thirty six. It was sudden. Only three years younger, I still considered him my baby brother. This one blindsided me into oblivion. You think you have the tools but you fluster to find them. You think you have the strength but God only knows where you get that from. This time I said, “No way! ” . There was no way I was going to live my life without my brother. Brothers aren’t supposed to drop off the face of the earth overnight when you’re supposed to enjoy many more years of sibling rivalry and love. Brothers aren’t supposed to outlive their parents. I grabbed onto those trusty stages of grief with all my might this time, hoping that somehow I’d still be here when they were done with me. Acceptance was the peace I found in the end, but keeping his memory alive was the best tool I could have ever pulled out of the box.

Death is part of life. As I reluctantly go to the vet’s office next week to pick out an urn for my sweet little dog’s remains, I will think of him as I always have in order to safely carry his ashes home. I have to treasure his life in order to embrace his death.