Posts Tagged ‘loss’

Poetry of loss.

Posted: March 11, 2016 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

I’ve been thinking about and reading poetry again these days, something I used to do regularly “back in the day.”  I’ve shared some favorite poems here before:

The Highwayman
When the Frost is on the Punkin
A Ballad of China
And don’t forget Patterns.

Emily Dickinson is another poet, like e.e. cummings,  with a unique style of presentation.  This poem is one I enjoyed in those days when I was distraught by disappointment in love or like.  See what you think.

I got so I could take his name
Emily Dickinson

I got so I could take his name—
Without—Tremendous gain—
That Stop-sensation—on my Soul—
And Thunder—in the Room—

I got so I could walk across
That Angle in the floor,
Where he turned so, and I turned—how—
And all our Sinew tore—

I got so I could stir the Box—
In which his letters grew
Without that forcing, in my breath—
As Staples—driven through—

Could dimly recollect a Grace—
I think, they call it “God”—
Renowned to ease Extremity—
When Formula, had failed—

And shape my Hands—
Petition’s way,
Tho’ ignorant of a word
That Ordination—utters—

My Business, with the Cloud,
If any Power behind it, be,
Not subject to Despair—
It care, in some remoter way,
For so minute affair
As Misery—
Itself, too vast, for interrupting—more—

The weekly gathering of the Fictioneers has commenced. Bring out the halt, the lame, the blind, the murderers and aliens, vampires and vamps. Look carefully and you might see a human or two. Take them all, stir thoroughly, add a dollop of disbelief, a soupçon of silliness. Dip a spoon into the resulting slumgullion: each 100-word recipe meticulously prepared, marvelously rendered, tasty to the tongue. Your personal recipe is solicited or feel free to simply feast and go away replete; perhaps not always uplifted, but with your brain stimulated.


copyright Jan Wayne Fields

(To avoid any more confusion, please ignore the fact that the person in the photo is male and just read the story.  Thanks.)


Holidays were the hardest.

“Daddy, can we go along?”
“OK, you come with me. We’ll let Mom stay home and relax for a bit.”

One drunk driver was all it took…a driver who walked away.

The doorbell rang. Marty, spiraling slowly into dementia, and his daughter (his caretaker), would fill John’s and Emily’s places. On their heels came Annalisa, her ninety-five year old body still obeying her indomitable will, sitting where Gregory’s high chair used to be. Deshuan and his IED-bequeathed artificial legs sat in Jenny’s chair. George’s Down Syndrome face beamed from “Daddy’s” spot.

I sat.

Holy days.

I’m pretty sure that according to this week’s prompt, we’re all toasting marshmallows (yes, they’re giant-sized) to make s’mores (dark chocolate on mine, please) for Rochelle’s birthday tomorrow. But just in case I’m wrong (or even if I’m right), I’ve included a story, a haibun this week,  for Friday Fictioneers, a confection created from 100 words and mixed each week with other such confections that can be accessed by clicking on the little blue critter at the bottom of the post.  Beware!  Some of these confections might be tricks, rather than treats.  Some will be sweet, others might be sickening.  But you won’t know which is which until you click and read.

So happy birthday, Rochelle.  Thanks for hostessing this diverse group of confectioners and may your birthday be a sweet one.

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The first leaf fell today,
	lacking even grace of color,
to lie quiescent on the sidewalk
	‘til wind-blown travel claimed it.
Soon millions more will throw themselves
	to willing death,
flaming brightly before reduced to
	crackling beneath feet in futile protest.

Days grow shorter, nights stretch longer,
	nights where passion once flamed brightly,
now passing also into death,
	unwilling on my part,
	kamikaze-like on yours.

The fire that now burns
	devours all the love
	and leaves not even embers
	that soft breath could coax back to life.

Autumn's harbingers
Lie dying before my eyes
Love once green now dead

Friday Fictioneers writing is  based on the seemingly simple premise of telling a complete story, based on a photo prompt, in 100 words.  Believe me, it’s much more difficult than it appears at first thought.  But each week, close to 100 of us blithely give it whirl, with what degree of success you may feel free to determine.  My story follows.  The link to the stories of the group is found at the very bottom of my post.  If you wish to be a part, we welcome you.  The rules, such as they are, can be found here each Wednesday, as well as information on how to link your post so others can find it.  It’s fun, great practice and so very addicting!

P.S.  Yet another travel week coming up, so I won’t get to all the stories and not any posted late Saturday or thereafter.  Apologies.  Destination?  Costa Rica!!  Completely new place and experience, mother-daughter time, my Christmas gift from a year or so ago.  🙂

copyright by Dawn

copyright by Dawn

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Night

Night approached inexorably.  Sometime, in the dark next to his wife, tears seeped from the darkening corners of his eyes.   He’d have preferred deafness to the malaise that would gradually take all light, stealing the painting that fed and shared his soul.  No choice had been offered.

He sought to burn each image into memory’s always-living  (though sometimes changing) files, walked through the house eye closed (“training runs”), painted with manic speed, producing  images torn from his innermost soul.

One day he returned from the art store armed with clay and began to practice.  He vowed he’d not go gentle.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~Dylan Thomas

Sometimes the eye sees one thing but the heart feels something else. So it was for me with this week’s Friday Fictioneers story. My eye saw the misspelled word, tried to say “Humor.” My heart felt the word that was supposed to be there and ran with it to a place far from the humor of misspelling, a land where a different kind of trespassing was no longer accepted, a land foreshadowed by both the boarded-up openings and the burgeoning plants.

If stretching makes a person flexible, then I’m doing a back bend of epic proportions with this story. But that’s fine. We Fictioneers are a gymnastic team of unbelievable ability when it comes to flexible interpretation. That’s part of the joy of writing.

Copyright Randy Mazie

Copyright Randy Mazie

 Time Bids Be Gone

I pressed the shirt to my nose, noting with a sharp pang that his smell was fading.  Regretfully, I realized some memories were fading as well. The hurt in my heart had lessened from agony to intermittent sadness.  Almost two years now since Christmas had promised to be the best ever. When he’d…just say it, Francesca…he’d died, I’d wanted no more to do with love.  But now I knew I was ready to move on, to let go, to remember without pain.

After New Years, I’d tell Geoff I was ready to try for a new baby.  It was time.

We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.  ~William Shakespeare

Here’s the link to the rest of the stories. I know the authors would love to have you stop in.

Taking a break from vacation photos, today I’m focusing on the weekly photo prompt for Friday Fictioneers.  One hundred words create a complete piece of flash fiction, one that hopefully evokes emotion and reaction.  Other writers have different takes and you can read their writings by clicking on the blue creature at the end of my story.  Enjoy.  And come back tomorrow for more of the vacation saga.  Your place, on the porch or on horseback, is waiting.

To my fellow Fictioneers…I’m on vacation, in the mountains, with a slow internet connection and lots to do (especially relaxing.)  Although I always read every story every week, I may not get that accomplished this week.  If not, I apologize.  But at 7,000′, surrounded by family, horses and mountains, things take on a different perspective and priority.  Thanks for your understanding and if you’d like to see where I am and what’s going on, check recent and soon-to-come posts and relax with me.

copyright-Renee Heathcopyright Renee Heath

Hold me closer, tiny dancer

 Sitting on the porch, that day plays again for the thousandth time…

Charlotte’s joyful chatter on the drive to her first performance,
the squeal of brakes,
the pickup flying through the red light,
terrible sounds followed by silence that gradually resolved itself into hospital noise,
the pain of body and mind.

They told me she died instantly.  Grateful for the small mercy, I still wished it had been me.

Rolling my wheelchair to the table, I wind the music box and watch the ballerina twirl, remembering Charlotte’s excitement that birthday morning and her hug as she cried, “Grandpa, it’s perfect.”

What can you say in 100 words?  Quite a lot, as it happens.  Weekly, kingdoms rise and fall, heroes live and die, all sorts of fantasy and humor occur, zombies and other creatures wreak havoc, relationships flourish, die or are killed.

Where does all this take place?  In the world of Friday Fictioneers.  Using a photo prompt as a jumping-off spot,
their characters
 take off for worlds known, unknown, and don’t-want-to-be-known.
Feel free to explore with them as they often boldly go where no one in his or her right mind would want to go. 

Take off with your little blue guide at the end of the story and fasten your seat belt because you have no idea where you might end up. 

Or with whom.


This week’s photo is courtesy of Randy Mazie, at The Writer’s Village.

In the Running

Being a nanny makes finding the right relationship difficult.  I didn’t have to do all the running in ours, although I took the lead.  He followed with alacrity, though, and as a couple, we were perfect.  Those who knew us bet that we’d make it. And they were right.  Ours was a winning combination.

We had great fun until one day, while out training together, what does he do but drop dead of a heart attack?  It gets my goat; it really does.  I miss you, Pierre, especially since without you, another team will win Tobago’s goat races this year.

My initial idea was about as far from this one as you could get.  Then I recalled a short article Bill pointed out to me in Sports Illustrated as we sat waiting for the doctor to arrive yesterday morning.  After that, it was off to the races.

If you want to read a bit more about the goat races in Tobago, you can go here:—-a-pathway-to-development-194624821.html.

Take a look at how the fun unfolds:

Anticipating Winter

Posted: June 3, 2013 in Personal, Poetry
Tags: , , , ,
This is another poem from many years ago.  I don't recall the exact circumstances but the
sense of impending loss still seems real.

           Anticipating Winter

Even though you are not yet gone,
     my self does not know it;
     is preparing for the cold as gradually as possible.
With so many claims upon you now,
     I cannot bring any I may have to bear on you.
I must leave you as free and unencumbered
     as I can.
Since I can take none of your pain upon myself,
     the least I can do is to bear my own.

Friday Fictioneers.

One hundred words, one story.
One picture, many stories.
Read more by clicking the link at the very end…
or join if you dare!

Icon_Grill_copyright Ted_Strutz

Icon_Grill_copyright Ted_Strutz


He almost didn’t go.  Too many miles in too few days, a week of writing deemed not good enough and erased, too many restaurant meals, too little exercise.  But he needed time to unwind before going home.

She sat, absorbed (as always) in a book, somehow more connected than those constantly online. He caught her eye, smiled, raised his glass.  Her grin and raised glass decided him.  Tonight he’d say hello.  He rose and…

jerked awake, sweating,  crying, catching that same grin in the picture frame as he rolled across the empty space on the other side of the bed.

How many years does it take for children’s songs to fade from your brain?  The answer seems to be an infinite number, so choose those songs carefully!  Our girls loved Sharon, Lois, and Bram and one of the songs they sang comes from Burl Ives and before him from folk song history.  It’s called “Lavender Blue” and the lyrics and lovely melody SL&B sang have been in my head all these years.  It inspired the title of this week’s story.

If you’re new to Friday Fictioneers, each week on Wednesday, a number of addicted writers wait with great anticipation for the photo prompt selected by our hostess-with-the-most-ess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  We then cudgel our brains a/o wait for the muse to strike us (hard), then craft our stories for the week with the best hundred words we can choose.  If you’d like read more stories, click on the little blue guy at the end of my story, sit back, and enjoy. Feel free to “like” and comment too. We writers love interaction with our readers. And if you’d like to join, the door’s always open.


copyright Sandra Cook

copyright Sandra Cook

Lavender Blue

Lavender perfumes the patio where we linger over déjeuner with local wine, basking in the sun, relishing food chosen at the village market.

Once children are gone, it’s time to move on.  We took “move” literally, leaving the town where we’d lived and had a child.  Choosing Provence had been easy, finding the house more difficult. This house attracted us with its quirky sculpture. It remains a now-bearable reminder of the tricycle David was riding when the drunk driver’s car jumped the curb, hitting him as he joyously wheeled along the sidewalk.

Lavender perfumes the urn tucked in the garden.



Lavender Blue
Sharon, Lois and Bram)

 Lavender’s blue
Dilly dilly
Lavender’s green
If I were king
Dilly dilly
You’d be my queen

Who told you so
Dilly dilly
Who told you so
I told myself
Dilly dilly
I told me so