Poem Up at Vita Brevis

My poem “Ardea Herodias” appears today at Vita Brevis.  It was written as a tribute to a dear friend of mine who died way too early, two years ago. It was Dave who turned me on to Presque Isle State Park, just a mile from his home in Erie, and he came to mind as soon as I took this photo, last year. I think that the Great Blue Heron must have been his spirit animal.

My thanks go to Editor Brian Geiger for featuring this poem.

Ken G.


Considering the grief of others

the grief of others
is one small step
on the path to

Considering the grief of others.png

can be elusive,
even when freely offered.
is a matter for the soul.

Joy is never
an alternative,
until recognized
as a state of being
with hidden aspects.

Only with understanding
and regard for
the inner turmoil
of another
is true empathy possible.

This quartet of poems is my first attempt at writing gogyohka, as my response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #45 Gogyohka.
Gogyohka (pronounced go-gee-yoh-kuh) is *5-line poetry, similar to tanka but with no fixed syllable count and no conventions regarding content. Here is a link discussing gogyohka.

*Image size when I first posted this forced “understanding” in the last gogyohka/stanza into an extra line. I’ve corrected that.

Image source: pixabay.com



I will drive, and the memories will come,
melding with the miles, feeling the same.


But the miles now outpace
the memories, the trips

more often each passing year,
my own years soon passing.

Will I be someone’s miles,
someone’s memories?

Traveling for what seems like the wrong reason, but which is, of course, the right reason.

All That Remains

All That Remains

Memories measured in miles

A memorial in my mind

Loss, and the connections that remain

In the past couple of years, traveling has become about loss. Taking photos while visiting favorite places in the same area is a nice distraction, but making the trip is just as much about finding comfort in the company of those I hold dear.

Ken G.

peony’s last petal falls ~ haibun

many seasons gone

peony’s last petal falls

We do not always get to choose the time of our final parting. Any meeting could be the last, and the last should hold the spirit of the true meaning of what we hold dear.  I would travel in any season, if it means paying my lasting, final respects to a most lovely flower.
Farewell, Cioci Sophie.

many seasons gone
peony’s last petal falls
accepting sadness

Image source: wikimedia.org (Peonies, by Yun Shouping, 1633-1690)

echoing sunset

echoing sunset.jpg

echoing sunset
waves of grief wash my footsteps
swallowing my heart

This“fusion” haiku (senryū ) is my response to the challenge at
Carpe Diem’s Crossroads #9 Ozaki Hosai’s “on the field”,
inspired by the words in the following two haiku by Ozaki Hosai.

on the field
where evening has died out,
my footsteps

the heart
that seeks something
I release to the sea

               © Ozaki Hosai (revised by Chèvrefeuille)

Image source: unsplash.com (edited here)




Read the news, avoiding
guns and death. Can’t escape
death. Woman and granddaughters
– babies –
knifed, left for dead as attacker
– disgruntled grandson –
waits for his uncle to arrive. Hammer.
Knife. Two dead, man and child
– a toddler.

Yes, it is people killing
people. Weapons powered by rage.
No guns, this time, but still know
guns must go.

How to manage rage?

There was a time when headlines would pull me in, and I would write. I didn’t enjoy that, so I came to stop at the headlines. I still don’t enjoy it. This particular story can be found here, but you may want to avoid reading it.

On Passing (revisited)

On Passing (revisited)

The moon rises again
and again, its light
a reflection. The sun

will rise, blinding
in its intensity.
Is there balance

On Passing (revisited).jpgother than eclipse?
What of a light
in a lifetime struggle,

brilliance alternating
with shadow? That flame
a flicker seeking

equilibrium, finally
seized by darkness, ending
its struggle.

Which light is passed,
held close,
while shared?

Following in the footsteps of On Passing. Where my mind has been the past few days.