Frosted Memories

Frosted Memories

Time cannot diminish the luster of frosted glass

Or silence the voice that is the beauty within

Water and stones sift through my fingers

And that beauty shines through

Elusive memories touch the light of day

Have their say, then retreat

Time moves on

Images: beach glass & the shore of Lake Ontario
                    09 November 2020

Shared with Open Link Night #278 – Rejoice! at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Black and White Stories

Black and White Stories

My darkroom phase wasn’t as much about learning
to see in black & white or teasing the image
out of a negative as it was about nostalgia.
Learning the details of a photo by tracing
my finger over the lines and shades
of a colorless image was like a journey
into the past. My past, and yours.
My early years were captured
primarily in black & white.
Now, as then, I find a story
in those gray shades.

Each time I view the one photo I have of you
as a child I discover new details.

A photo of us, together, says as much
about your life as it does about mine.

And my favorite photo of you, taken
during my darkroom phase.

I trace those lines and find stories.

The photos here are mine
My father (3 years old?)
Sitting on my father’s lap
My father, in the 1980s

This is my response to dVerse Poets: 9th year Anniversary, and the prompt from guest host Brian Miller, which is to write a poem that captures a moment
in a way that evokes memories and experiences.

polishing cedar ~ fusion troiku

The prompt for Carpe Diem #1789 The Winter Trees (Crossroads)
starts with two haiku by Yosa Buson (
in blue) to be used
to create a “fusion” haiku which is then to be the base for a troiku.

cutting into with the ax,
I was surprised at the scent.
the winter trees.

unfolding at the
hand of the glass polisher:
a camellia!

               Yosa Buson

polishing cedar
beauty of the grain unfolds
stimulating scents

polishing cedar
respecting treasured heirloom
held in loving hands

beauty of the grain unfolds
revealing further treasures
beloved keepsakes

stimulating scents
reminders of days long gone
held close to the heart

A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku. It’s not always possible to have a 5-7-5 format in the second haiku, due to the limitations of the suggested haiku. The name of the form is derived from “troika,” a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, an iconic symbol of Imperial Russia.


Image source: (troika)

Fleeting Memories ~ ekphrastic poem

Fleeting Memories

Tiny currents brush the edges of my mind.
Random details, trivial and not-so-
minor, flutter, teasing my thoughts.
Never clear in their intent. Prodding me
to remember, or struggling
to break the tethers imposed
by those details, always out of reach?

This is my response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #113,
which offers a variety of images for inspiration.

Image source: / Anthony

Lost Keepsakes ~ quadrille

Lost Keepsakes

Do you still keep those memories
we once held dear, now that we have
nothing else to share? The one thing
we could not divide between us
dwindled away for me, once we went
our separate ways, leaving nothing
but faint memories of memories.

This is my response to Quadrille #91 – Keep — the prompt from Kim at dVerse, which is to use the word keep in a 44-word poem that does not require meter or rhyme.

On Visiting Lost Waters ~ prosery

On Visiting Lost Waters

It was his heart that took him away, but his heart still missed the waters flowing through a canyon of green that would explode with color when the first frost found its home in leaves that could bring light to the grayest day.

Trails that bordered the rim of the majestic gorge and paths that descended to follow the shore of the winding river had called to him often over the years, and many were the times he had answered that call.

But love had taken him to a distant place, and years had passed since last his footsteps had fallen in this forest, since his eyes had seen the splendor of the river’s descent, and his face had felt the mist rising from the falls.

Sadly, with these thoughts on this brief visit, he knew these memories were left here with the trees.

Prosery is a form devised at dVerse, and the challenge is to write a piece of flash fiction with a 144-word limit (144 words, here). Included in the bit of prose is to be a complete line from a poem. With Prosery: Memories with the Trees from Merril, the line to be included is “These memories were left here with the trees” from Joy Harjo’s “How to Write a Poem in a Time of War.”  While that poem speaks of the lost or stolen beauty of a homeland, my piece describes Letchworth State Park, a place I often visited when I lived in Western New York (revisited this past week).

Middle and Upper Falls – Genesee River at Letchworth State Park, Portageville, New York
~ left: 09 Sept 2019 & right: 19 Oct 2010 (note the old train bridge in 2010 photo) ~
(click image for larger view in new tab)

As the Pale Moon Rises

The Dark of December

As the Pale Moon Rises

An autumn night, and the pale moon rises.
My mind goes back as the pale moon rises,

To a man in the autumn of his life,
In autumn days as the pale moon rises.

With talk of work that’s done and left to do.
A day well spent as the pale moon rises.

Having no regrets, taking stock of life
And what’s in store as the pale moon rises.

In quiet moments under the stars,
Stirring embers as the pale moon rises.

Seasons, people, and places fade away.
I miss those talks as the pale moon rises.

There are lessons held in these memories,
If I may ken, when the pale moon rises.

My father retired early due to health issues. As I wrote this ghazal for the dVerse prompt, my thoughts turned to him and time spent with my parents in the Eighties, during weekend visits to their home in the country.
Ghazal ~ five or more couplets, lines the same length, meter not required
~ first couplet same end words; 1 to 3 words in 2nd lines repeated; rhyme – aA bA cA dA eA
~ (optional) internal rhyme in second lines, preceding repeated rhyme
~ possible naming or reference to author in last couplet
~ traditionally invoking melancholy, love, longing, and metaphysical questions, ghazals are often sung by Iranian, Indian, and Pakistani musicians

misty morning walk ~ haibun

misty morning walk.jpg

My parents had a home in the country. It was in a narrow valley that had a stream running through it, and fog at sunrise was a common autumn occurrence. When visiting my parents, I enjoyed morning walks with my father on those foggy days, in spite of the cool air.

misty morning walk
grass in the valley is wet
exploring with dogs
bacon and eggs afterwards
more wood added to the fire

Carpe Diem Special #222 Candy’s second – morning walk

Haibun ~ prose, often about a journey and in the first person
~ followed by a haiku or tanka

Image source:

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

The Dark of December

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

It was the day we said “goodbye”
that I remember,
not the day you left us, forever,
although the news from that early,
early morning phone call
three days prior
will always stay with me.

I prefer to think of it as
a farewell gathering.
Your friends. Your family.
All of them mine.
Composure isn’t really important
in a situation like that, is it?
Yet, it is, in order to get through it,
and it was hard to maintain
after reading a moving poem
written for you by your grandson.

My own words, written
nine months earlier on a premonition,
long before any indication of
your pending departure,
sounded to me like the voice of
someone else, as I looked into the eyes of
your brother, your friend,
and saw your own looking back at me.

I imagine those eyes, still,
seeing me each step of the way, since then.
My years are now longer,
but will they ever be as full as yours?
While your last six months seemed like a lifetime,
you had not yet reached old age as you
raged, so long, against the dying of the light.

…with a respectful nod to Dylan Thomas.