child as butterfly
held in mother’s gentle hands
child in later life
embracing mother with love
after many years
absence not always absence
forever in heart
A trio of senryū for Mother’s Day.
Too Many Candles to Count
Your birth date just past, I think of how I couldn’t wait just six more hours to share that day with you. I like to think I made that first day a happy one. Those six hours were like nothing, and every candle we blew out together marked a joyous time, your smile one I will never forget. So many candles over fifty-five years. So many smiles you brought to me. I shared my first twenty-two years with you, and you shared your last two years with me. Our roles were reversed, but I would do it again, without a second thought. You chose your role in life. Without that, my life would not be the same.
The 1950s and 1960s were different times. Women’s opportunities were far less broad then they are today. Advances have been made since then, with, hopefully, more in the near future. Given those earlier times, I’m thankful for the role my mother played.
within clouds and waves
golden dawn to silver moon
distant voices call
thankful for mother’s presence
staying true to family
The challenge for Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #49 Clouds and Waves by Rabindranath Tagore
is to distill a verse by Rabindranath Tagore
into a haiku or tanka.
Clouds And Waves
Mother, the folk who live up in the clouds call out to me-
“We play from the time we wake till the day ends.
We play with the golden dawn, we play with the silver moon.”
I ask, “But how am I to get up to you ?”
They answer, “Come to the edge of the earth, lift up your
hands to the sky, and you will be taken up into the clouds.”
“My mother is waiting for me at home, “I say, “How can I leave
her and come?”
Then they smile and float away.
But I know a nicer game than that, mother.
I shall be the cloud and you the moon.
I shall cover you with both my hands, and our house-top will
be the blue sky.
The folk who live in the waves call out to me-
“We sing from morning till night; on and on we travel and know
not where we pass.”
I ask, “But how am I to join you?”
They tell me, “Come to the edge of the shore and stand with
your eyes tight shut, and you will be carried out upon the waves.”
I say, “My mother always wants me at home in the everything-
how can I leave her and go?”
They smile, dance and pass by.
But I know a better game than that.
I will be the waves and you will be a strange shore.
I shall roll on and on and on, and break upon your lap with
And no one in the world will know where we both are.
©️ Rabindranath Tagore
Image source: Wikimedia Commons – Seagulls over the Waves, by Watanabe Shōtei
The blossoms of a weeping cherry in our front yard would wait for the beginning of May to open. Among the photos I have of my mother, one of my favorites was taken in front of that tree. She spent her last two years living with us. Even after ten years, it’s easy to see the content in her eyes on Mother’s Day.
spring’s offer of cheer
colorful cherry display
blossoms bringing smiles
A vision of Mother’s Day,
you, late in life,
with a child’s delight
in a room full of butterflies.
A day always special,
when you were here.
My joy for you cannot be displaced.
Its home always
will be our two days.
Birthdays nearly shared.
My gift to you,
arriving six hours early.
Yours to me, timeless. Delight,
as a child, carried to another day.
Mine, less significant
to me in later years,
still a reminder of a bond,
the greater portion of our lives.
Still wistful, on Mother’s Day,
on our two days.
A friend has lost
his mother, lost to him
in the sense of
the light, bright
in her eyes, now gone.
I have not met her,
will not, now,
but I know her
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?