Visions of Absence
In darkness filled with the light of memories,
I call out in a voice that carries no weight.
The silence of your response echoes
in scenes that play out before me,
moments always out of reach but never
far from my mind, even in waking dreams
when I know you are gone but always
with me. The separation of decades
knows no distance, whether dreaming
or awake. Day and night are the same,
your absence all the difference.
This is my response to dVerse – Poetics – Fractals, the prompt from Lisa at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to write a poem using “fractal poetics.” Alice Fulton describes this as exploring the structure of free verse as “a dynamic, turbulent form between perfect chaos and perfect order,” here.
Image source: shutterstock
Circles grow, encompass
more than they can hold,
splinter, yet still overlap.
Who is to say what stays,
who goes, when time
cares not whether a tree falls?
Within a circle?
Outside? All that matters
is that it is gone.
At my fiftieth high school class reunion, deceased class members were memorialized by placing their graduation photos on a tabletop “tree.” It was a sobering moment, as the loss of most of them was news to many in attendance.
This is my response to Poetics: Naming the Rose, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which asks us to write a poem using the name of rose from a given list of English country garden roses, either as a title or within the poem. I have chosen “Absent Friends.”
Out of Reach
go, whether I stop
to think about the pain
or drive it from my mind.
Never really gone,
it rises when I fall victim
to regret, consider wasted
moments when I long
for those out of reach,
no longer here. I reach
for words they will never hear,
never sure if the words
will reach me.
This poem is my response to Poetics: From a place of pain, the prompt from Ingrid at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is “to revisit a time in your life when you have felt pain (emotional or physical, acute or chronic) and come out on the other side stronger.” I don’t think I’ve ever survived such a moment in a way that made me any stronger. Instead, I consider myself just as vulnerable.
It was not by choice, but he left much earlier than anyone expected, his body finally succumbing to the ravages of illness that had plagued his life. His last six months were the hardest for him. The hardest for us.
But we go on. And so she did, for another fifteen years. Missing his love. Missing the many things he’d done for all of their life together. She was overwhelmed at first, but we assured her that we would do anything for her.
And we did, but the time came when her own health issues became too much for her. As I sit beside her bed, holding her hand while she sleeps, I know that soon she will take her last breath. Both of my parents will be gone.
Sometimes the great bones of my life seem so heavy, no night heavier than this.
This is my response to Prosery: Bone Weary, the prompt from Linda Lee Lyberg at dVerse ~ Poets Pub. With Prosery, the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit. I suppose this could be seen as fiction. Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. For this prompt, the line to be included is from “Spring Azures,” by Mary Oliver.
“Sometimes the great bones of my life seem so heavy,”
– Mary Oliver
I’ve met the additional challenge of hitting the 144-word mark, exactly.
Aware of Darkness
Who is to say one’s grief
is greater than that of another?
Never really gone,
all exist in all they touch,
yet some are touched
in ways that cannot be equaled.
Who is to measure a loss,
if not the one whose heart
cannot find a way to fill a space
that already holds something
that can no longer be touched?
One who sees the darkness
that would consume
the light that fills that space.
One who lives with that grief.
These are my thoughts after reading Beware of Darkness, by Kerfe Roig.
Linked to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub
Family photos on the wall of this small room
speak louder than the words that leave her lips.
How long do I need to stay here?
Speaking softly, I say,
This is my response to V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #82: whisper,
from V.J. Knutson at One Woman’s Quest II.
A Truly Cold Moon
Having decided not to travel for the holidays, I am on the road in mid-December, nonetheless. Life does not always proceed according to plan, and the loss of a loved one takes precedence. The heart of my brother-in-law has been broken since the death of his wife, my sister, ten years ago, and it finally succumbed to the weight it has carried all these years. There is one less light in this world.
viewed in my travels
moon rises in a dark time
cold night in my heart
This haibun is my response to Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge # 129: Cold Moon.
The Cold Moon also is known as The Moon Before the Yule.
Linked to OpenLinkNight #256 at dVerse ~ Poets Pub
Moon photo: 11 December 2019
How I held your counsel dear,
missed now in your absence –
the talks we shared,
the lessons learned.
Long years have passed
since we last spoke,
each trial faced reminding me
of the advice you gave,
each time leading to
that never ending question.
~ Which is the right course to take? ~
No words I might provide
would hold the answer you seek.
It is not mine to give,
but yours to divine.
Look not to my past,
but to your present.
There is hope and despair
in all that you face.
Know the difference,
and all will be revealed.
The prompt for MTB: O Apostrophe! from Amaya at dVerse ~ Poets Pub is to use the poetic apostrophe – not as in possession, but in reference to something absent. When poets direct speech to an abstract concept or a person who is not physically present, they’re writing apostrophe poetry. Historically, poets often began their address to the absent party with the interjection “O.”
The is my first attempt at writing a puente. Its form seems perfect for my purposes, as this poem contains a response to the opening stanza.
The puente has three stanzas with the first and third having an equal number of lines and the middle stanza having only one line which acts as a bridge (puente) between the first and third stanza. The first and third stanzas convey a related but different element or feeling, as though they were two adjacent territories. The number of lines in the first and third stanza is the writer’s choice as is the choice of whether to write it in free verse or rhyme.
The center line is delineated by a tilde (~) and has ‘double duty’. It functions as the ending for the last line of the first stanza AND as the beginning for the first line of the third stanza. It shares ownership with these two lines and consequently bridges the first and third stanzas, essentially resulting in two that overlap.
always brothers by choice,
in spite of distance
a seclusion, each
of our own choosing
I have missed you
for a long time
now I will miss you
In the Flicker of a Flame
There is a moment in that flicker of a flame on a dark night.
A brief blue?
The split second when yellow goes to red,
then dances out of the way to leave, what?
Not a void, because there is light as red dances back.
Or is it orange? No, it’s that brief tease
of blue again, and I see your eyes.
I see you stirring the fire, as if you were
never gone, and a warmth passes over me.
It’s in your smile and the nod of your head,
and I realize they’ve always been with me.
The flame dances back, and you are gone,
but not your warmth. I hold that close.
The prompt from Merril, with Poetics: Invisible at dVerse, is to write a poem referencing invisible or invisibility. It could be something seen or unseen, real or imagined
– or, in this case, someone who is missed.
Image source: Navid Saboori on Unsplash