Go Gently into that Good Night

My dear sweet mother is nearing the end of her life, and I find myself suddenly dashing for the airport. I will be away from the blog for a few weeks.

This beautiful poem and the accompanying photos by Sue Vincent speak eloquently of the arc of life as expressed through flowers. I encourage you to read it to the end. I have closed comments here, simply because I would feel obligated to reply, and my heart is elsewhere. But trust that I know you wish me peace and comfort. Please enjoy this stunning poem.

Flowers

There were always flowers.

Orchids pinned upon a mother’s breast,

All lace and diamonds.

Long black gloves

And painted lips,

As she left, laughing.

A child who watched

As the door closed.

There were flowers…

Yellow tulips,

Cellophane and ribbon

A girl who blushed

As the curtain fell

Upon the stage;

She cradled them,

A first bouquet.

There were flowers

Roses and lilies

White, in hands and hair,

Their fragrance mingled…

 

Continue reading at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

 

 

Autumn

pixabay image

In celebration of Colleen’s 100th poetry challenge! A haibun/tanka.

Autumn

I love autumn, even though it’s a season of dying. There’s no ignoring the withering of vines and weeds, the fading light and deepening chill. Leaves cease gobbling up sunlight and chlorophyll breaks down. The green ripeness withdraws, revealing shades of canary yellow, pumpkin, and fire-engine red… before crisping to brown. How softly life let’s go. With a breath of wind, it drifts and returns to the earth. Nature is wise, isn’t she… to make this time of dying so beautiful? There are lessons in each of her rolling seasons. The graceful fall of Fall mirrors my experience working in hospice. If we are lucky we will spend our autumns like the leaves, in beauty and glory, bright and brisk of spirit, joyous and beloved… and let go with a whisper to dance on the wind.

I glide with the wind
in autumn’s celebration
gold and vermillion
a confetti of crimson
dying in graceful beauty

At the Mirror: like hell

Tanya, from the incurable dreamer, doesn’t post often, but each time she does I sit down for an amazing read. I laugh or cry or I feel understood or inspired. This is a moving piece about uncovering the beauty of the journey, even when there is pain. I hope you enjoy the read.

like hell

by Tanya

‘Hello.’

*taps mic*

‘Is this thing on?  HELLO.  Can you guys hear me in the back?’  Whispers softly,  ‘Shit, is there even anyone in the back?’

*squinting to see*

‘Okay, well, here it goes.  For anyone who might still be here, this is what I have come to say.’

Out of nowhere, he appears, like a breath of air.  He is poised, pressing a small dark cloth bag firmly against his chest.  Without invitation, he begins to explain that inside the bag, are hundreds of tiny balls.  They are highly sought-after, mystical balls.  Gifts and riches – bountiful, beyond my wildest imagination – are mine, and eternal if my destiny is to pull one from the bag. Destined, he explains, because amongst them is one ball, which if picked, will bring forth afflictions of grand proportions.  He steels himself, then thrusts the bag towards me.  Gesturing at my arm, he demands, stick your hand inside and choose one.  I tell him I don’t want to.  He says the decision is not mine.  I do not understand. Before me, he continues to stand, unmoving, unwavering in his request.  I look around.  There is no one and nothing.  Only me, and only him.

The odds are in my favour, I think to myself, this is not a big deal.  There are so many.  What are the chances?  I mean, surely.  His stare is unrelenting, escape futile.  It’s obvious.  I must choose.  Hesitantly, I reach my hand up high and place it inside the bag.  My hand, now submerged in chance, begins to sift through an endless sea of balls.  Fate tempts and rolls and slips between my fingers.  Just one, I think, just one.

There is no distinction; only smooth similarity.  Panicked, I begin to wonder how I will know. I grab hold, then just as quickly release ball after ball, convinced the right one still awaits.  My eyes lock with his.  Resolute and hopeful, I continue to sift.  My fingers then rest on one.  He senses my choice when my fingers cease to move and I grow still…

(Continue reading: like hell)

 

October

My backyard

I wrote this poem during my first fall in Oregon. It was inspired by the 10-mile drive from town to my home along Highway 47, one of many roads here that takes my breath away.

October

If I drive off the road of life
know I was distracted by the wilderness
gazing for a moment at gilded leaves
arched against jagged boughs of evergreen.
 
Perhaps I beheld a quilted river
of fallen crimson and vermillion
winding along the roadside
vine maples blazing in random rays of sun.
 
Had I gazed into the weave and texture of leaves
layers interlaced, sharp and dense against the sky?
Or the rain glistening, black branches of the forest bending
silhouetted by canopies of countless green.
 
Did I glimpse dry fields of weeds,
browning blades and flyaway seeds
the river meandering, my roadside companion
a tapestry of quiet color before me?
 
If I soar off the road of life
and fail to rise
know that I drove distracted by the wilderness
and my eyes brimmed with beauty.

***

Just a note that Catling’s Bane is free today until the 29th.

Sunday Blog Share: Beyond the facade

A lovely poem by Kim about kindness and compassion and our ability to make a difference.

Beyond the facade

by Kimberly Laettner – Peace, Love and Patchouli

 

You must have been a beautiful baby

the song plays quietly in the background of my mind

I hum along and wonder,

well, aren’t they all when you think about it?

When it comes down to a heart beating

and the miracle of cells dividing

multiplying

creating something so unique,

and why is it only

babies that can be beautiful

for when we see the dirty unkempt homeless man

or the woman with the missing limb,

what changes in the mind to see…

(Continue Reading: Beyond the facade)

Alone – #writephoto

The child stood on the threshold of morn, his gaze to the dawning sky. “I am off to find heaven,” he said and beckoned Friend Wind to wander with him.

Grandfather Sun stretched his ancient fingers across the Earth. “I will light your path, my child.”

Grandmother Moon yawned and dipped her toe into the sea’s blue rim. “Safe journey, my little one. I will greet you at the close of day.”

The child launched his wooden boat. Friend Wind blew taut the sails and laced the waves with seafoam. The whales crooned love songs and mercurial fish glittered like schools of silver coins.

On the distant shore, the child paused where flowers dripped from trees in pink tresses. He traversed bamboo forests while Friend Wind slithered through the narrow leaves with the sound of rain. He climbed the terraced paddies carving the hills like dragon scales, and stood at the precipice where endless rainbows arced from waterfalls and painted the hills in vibrant hues.

And heaven eluded him.

Come the heat of midday, his goal carried him south to the land of pomegranates and tea leaves, and he rode camels beneath the palms. Friend Wind shared a whiff of fragrant spices and blew patterns in the shifting seas of red sand. The child gathered orange daisies in the desert, watched clouds mirrored in salt mines, and cooled his feet in fairy-pools. He hiked pastel hills and serrated shorelines looming over turquoise waters, sandstone pillars, and limestone islands jutting from the sea like fat thumbs.

And heaven eluded him.

In the afternoon, the child knelt at ancient temples, rode swans by the ruins of frosted castles, and climbed in ice caves. He capered with winter foxes in crystal fields of snow that turned into fields of tulips and lavender. He scaled giant redwoods and napped among the buffalo while Friend Wind whispered lonesome music through hollow reeds. In the twilight, he looked down into the canyons carved by water and Friend Wind laughed for he had carved those canyons too.

As the day’s end drew near, the child climbed a stone mountain that rose wondrously high, and his hopes soared. At the top of the bald dome, he looked for heaven and beheld nothing but Grandfather Sun in the mellowing sky. “I have searched the day through, Grandfather, and heaven has eluded me.”

“I have lighted your path,” Grandfather Sun said. “Now is your time to sit alone and reflect on all you’ve seen.”

The child nodded, too well-mannered to complain further. Friend Wind ruffled his hair and drifted down the mountain. Grandfather Sun winked a wise eye, and as he shuffled below the horizon, he dusted the world with gold.

“Little one, did you find heaven?” Grandmother Moon whispered over the child’s shoulder.

“Yes, Grandmother.” The Earth child smiled. “It was beneath my feet all along.”

***

The descriptions in this piece were gathered from looking at photos of the Most Beautiful Places in the World – Link Here. And Here.

Thanks to Sue Vincent for her Thursday #Writephoto Prompt.