ash of falling leaves

ash of falling leaves.pngash of falling leaves
from steel to bits of nothing
flesh to memories
tragic day, innocents lost
cherished, never forgotten

The prompt from Tuesday Poetics  – “On a Loop” – at dVerse asks us to take a phrase from a poem/post from a September 11th in our past and use it to create a new one. I don’t know that I can do justice to Falling Leaves,
my poem from September 11, 2015,
but this tanka (call it free-form, if you’d like)
is my attempt to distill the essence of it.


On Passing

On Passing

The light does not go out.
It does not dim.
It passes, from one
to the next. Sometimes
divided, it is held
and shared so that others
may know, remember
what is held dear.

Thinking of losses, my own and those of friends, and how we carry a spirit, so that it is not truly lost.




A friend has lost
his mother, lost to him
in the sense of
her presence,
the light, bright
in her eyes, now gone.

I have not met her,
will not, now,
but I know her
through him,
know the smile she gave.

There is nothing
I can do,
so I think of my own loss.
That is what we do.

What can you tell a friend, except to smile at the memories?

The heart of a tree suffers

The heart of a tree suffers

Whether it is a near-to-heart friend
or far-distant relative,
the heart of a tree suffers
with the death of a single branch.
When it is at the very heart,
all who know feel the loss.

This poem is in memory of Ken Thayer, a cousin who lost his battle with cancer this past week.
This my first attempt at Sijo, in response to Carpe Diem Universal Jane #13 Sijo the Korean poem.

Sijo (a Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka)
~ three lines of 14-16 syllables each
~ a total of 44-46 syllables
~ a pause near the middle of each line
~ first half of the line contains six to nine syllables
~ the second half should contain no fewer than five
Originally intended as songs, sijo can treat romantic, metaphysical, or spiritual themes. Whatever the subject, the first line introduces an idea or story, the second supplies a “turn,” and the third provides closure.
Modern Sijo are sometimes printed in six lines.

Sketch artist: Natalie Bucki

Message from a Death Metal God

Message from a Death Metal God.png

Message from a Death Metal God

A heron stands in the shallows of the inner harbor, in the refuge of the park, poised to strike at a fish below the surface of the lake, when it spies me. It straightens, standing tall, and turns its head to look my way. As its bill slowly traces a circle in the air, the heron speaks to me with its eyes.

“Dave told you about this place, so, of course you would be here. He has asked me to give you a message.

They are the same, you know. Life. Death. And when they meet, the circle is complete. We are the circle, and all its aspects. Inside. Outside. It’s all the same. Remember that. He will always be with you.”

“That’s pretty metaphysical. Are you sure that came from Dave? Wasn’t there some irreverent banter? You know, maybe, ‘Good morning, my lusciously lascivious cumquat hoarders!’ Something like that?”

“He knew you would say that. He says he’s ready, any time you want to talk about it. Oh, and he says you need to start listening to death metal.”

With that, the heron suddenly lunged, snagging the fish swimming past its feet, then turned away, taking flight across the water in a broad circle before fading from sight.

I knew I would be seeing it again.

Isn’t Life Strange

Just as it seems darkness will threaten
A message comes in images
Of matters that matter most
When answers can’t be found
And words aren’t enough
And the message
Is one of
Peace and

I lost a very dear friend yesterday, so of course my dream would center around him.

Image source: Animals Clipart (Irene Murphy/Creative Commons)

Cucumbers and Pasta

Cucumbers and Pasta

There is no permanence to our parting

Of course, peeling a cucumber doesn’t mean
it was never green

I still know that pasta comes from loving hands
as well as – no, better than – from any box

I can walk into a mom and pop deli
and be back in 1961

Now, impermanence lies in failing neurons,
ever faulty to begin with, losing track of memories

For you, cucumbers and pasta are my remedy


We never really have any choice over memories and their association.
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