Life Without Regret; A Sijo

The elderly Samurai’s katana had lain unused for decades
His weapons now displayed prominently honoring his ranking
Stern eyes reflect his pensive memories—lives taken

Grace hosts Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets Pub…join us and choose any one poem to share.

Golden Rain: A Tree of Memories

Moonlight filtered through the gauzy curtains.
I knew the Golden Rain tree was just outside.
Memories washed over me,
climbing its branches, looking down from above.
I knew the Golden Rain tree was just outside.
How I love that tree, though now grown old,
bent with age, losing limbs.
Memories washed over me.
Remembering the cookouts, the laughter,
hearing its leaves rustle with an autumn breeze.
Climbing its branches, looking down from above,
I see Dad’s chair, vacant now,
some day the tree and I will join him.

Please join us as Mary instructs us on the Trimeric form today for dVerse Poets, Minding the Bar.

Haibun Monday 2


My mind drifts in and out and flows around and about, switching directions on a whim, back to childhood, in between and then up to the present again. This play moves my emotions with it as if on a roller coaster ride. The sting of a hurt feeling from decades ago can be recreated through a memory that becomes dislodged by the smell of the apple pie that is cooking in my kitchen today. The contented joy I felt while mothering my newborns is a love-filled, treasured memory. Instantly I feel at calm ease when I reflect upon that time. But even this memory takes me from present time, it too a phantom.

Memories are powerful imprints within us. They can evoke times of joy, love, closeness, warmth, smiles or fear, panic, sorrow, regret and shame. To dwell on painful memories can hold us tight to the past and rob us of our life in the present. And interspersed with all those memories are the daydreams of my imaginings…both are fleeting wisps, gone with yesterday.

echoes of the past
ghostly mirages at play
today let me live

Today is Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets. Bjorn and Hamish invite us to pick one of two quotes from Khalil Gibran that they have provided and write a haibun. The details are here:


She toddles
as she gets up
and hurries to
the phone
careful not to
lose her balance
and fall…again.

I watch from my
chair next to hers
where we had been
talking moments
before and notice
she has left her
cane behind…again.

In a few short months
we have become trusted
friends and I have listened
to the stories of her extravagant
and privileged life.  Strong-willed
she chose differently for her
life than her parents.

She eloped with the love of her life.
She filled her home with children,
knowing that an only child’s
life…even though a life of
opulence could be a lonely one.

Now her life has been reduced,
diminished, moderated by
old age and ill health.
Once so vibrant and engaged
with life and doing…for others,
she now relies on them and
marvels at the state that her
life has become.  And yet
she still has a sense of humor
and giggles and shakes
her head to think that she is the
mother of a now seventy year old.

She heaps me with compliments
as she eyes what I’ve worn each
time we meet and tells me I’m
“adorable” and “precious”.  Once
dressed impeccably as the wife
of a successful executive and
as the daughter of a wealthy
entrepreneur, dressing gowns
and robes are now her attire.

Still feeling the sting
of wanting more of her parents’
love and attention as a child,
she tells me again and again
of how she would often be
left with maids and chauffeurs.

Even many passing years
don’t always alleviate the
slights of our youth.

Tony Maude is hosting Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets:

Piney Woods

Pine-needle strewn path
winds through the woods.
Morning dew intensifies
their piney mustiness and
I’m reminded of the days
playing in the “back woods”
behind my house as a child.
Trails led us throughout
to the low-shaded canopy
of the Florida scrub where
we dug “forts” in the cool,
white sand.  We gathered
and spread soft pine needles
to cover and cushion our floor.
The summers were
blistering but digging
down just a few inches,
the cool earth
offered respite in the shade.
We’d crawl back in the
brush that blocked the sun
and if a breeze blew
through it was even
more pleasant.
A wide, cleared path
took us to the abandoned,
dilapidated house that
generally we stayed
clear of…we had made
up frightening stories of
the place that even we
had started to believe.
Another trail took us on a
shortcut to Caldwell’s,
our favorite “five and dime”
to purchase penny candy
that was handed to us in
small, brown paper bags.
We’d sit within our dugout room
in the woods and swap sweets
and chew great gobs of bubble gum.
Sometimes we would
start an exclusive “club”
back there in the clearings
we had so tediously created.
But would end up including
everyone because how could
you leave your sad, baby
sister sitting outside?
We climbed trees,
lounging in the boughs of
old oaks and laid there
for hours as if in the
arms of a comforting elder.
We told secrets to each
other and “pinky swore”
to never tell anyone.
And we never did.

Open Link Night at dVerse Poets is hosted by Tashtoo today.  Join in with any poetic offering of your choice.


Big Room, 1948,  by Andrew Wyeth

Afternoon light filters the once upon a dreams
Abandoned farmhouse letting go of days gone by
Filled, once, with lives who moved downstream
Memories held fast in the bricks, mortar and beams
There, to recall, with a melancholy sigh
Afternoon light filters the once upon a dreams
Love happened here, as well as sorrowed screams
Lives at once ordinary but somehow gone awry
Filled, once, with lives who moved downstream
All has become sepia-toned, ashen, gone the gleam
Secrets, deceits, untruths, never revealed by-and-by
Afternoon light filters the once upon a dreams
Empty and hollow, a sour taste it would seem
How is it people falter, trip and choose to deny
Filled, once, with lives who moved downstream
This house could have been a home with a melodic theme
Yes, tidy, kept clean, orderly, just so, but lacked an ally
Afternoon light filters the once upon a dreams
Filled, once, with lives who moved downstream

The Mag # 132 :

Bygone Era

The Brownie camera
lays there in the
bottom drawer of the
secretary, not used
for half a century
now, abandoned for
the newer technology
that has made photo
taking effortless and

But the many
treasured photos–
of us all at the beach,
lined up neatly in the
front yard, spotted with
measles, playing with our
neighborhood pals
and at birthdays
and special events…
all those long ago,
dearly-departed days,
were taken by that
beloved Brownie.
It, as well as the
bygone era it
served to capture,
is so lovingly valued
and memorably cherished.

Neighborhood Friends


Only Memories…

Matane cemetery

Never to rejoin

In this earthly realm again

Only memories…


The sketches you’ve drawn

Through the years they’re found

In a now-old sketch book that’s still tightly bound

I’ve never tired of admiring  those pages

Your talent always envied by my appreciative eye

Art lessons you took maybe before I was born

Led to those drawings, drafts and outlines

There’s a brightly penciled hibiscus

Was it one outside in our yard?

And there are deepening-greened palm fronds

Sideways blown by a westward sea wind

Your ability with faces, so delicate and fine

Gave me feelings of enchantment, enjoyment and charm

There are two native women with skin of deep brown

Carrying baskets on their heads, coming back from the farm

With each sheet that I turned, my fascination grew

I found more that pleased me and increased the allure

I saw the way your aptitude flourished

With the flair of a line here and a contoured shade there

I saw something of you in each stroke laid to paper

Your soul, what you felt, a freedom with no limit

My entry for Monday’s Poetry Potluck:  Theme of “Sketches, Images and Impressions”

Kitchen Drawer

The kitchen drawer at my mother’s house
squeals in protest and needs a bit of prodding
before opening fully.  Sixty plus years of mustiness
greet my nose as I push aside the Better Homes and
Gardens cookbook that her mother had given to her as a young bride and now is barely being held together by its aged binding.
The pages that hold the lemon meringue pie, meatloaf and
the favorite appetizer recipes I learned to make
as a teenager are loose-leaf pages just stuck
in anywhere in the ancient but beloved book.
Here are hand-written family recipes neatly
stored in the front cover of the book,
so we always know where to find them.
I’m searching for the pair of scissors that have
been kept here as long as I can remember.

Where have they gone to I wonder,
as I shuffle through the odds and ends
and scraps of paper with important numbers and
names written on them–long ago forgotten–no longer
of any significance.  There are paper clips, rusting
and bent out of shape, tacks that still have sharp points
and pens that have long ago had their ink run dry and
pencils that are stubs with erasers worn down to flat, dark nubs.
Why haven’t they been thrown out?

Here’s an old school photo of one of us kids from back in elementary, folded and wrinkled such that there are lines across the child face.  Dust coats the bottom of the drawer, as I rifle through and dig deeper to find too many green and red rubber bands of assorted shapes and sizes, always saved, “just in case”.  Now breaking as I stretch them, long ago worn out–no longer having any snap.  Here’s a neatly clipped together stack of receipts dated from the 60s.

Several broken Crayola crayons have drawn on the bottom of the drawer over time–leaving squiggly muted lines–smudged.
A prescription bottle with remnants of some medicine needed to help fight an illness–was that from when three of us
had the mumps at the same time?
Lifetimes of all of us, still living in this one drawer–
a small slice of life–
everything contained within holding a story of how it came to be here.

But where are those scissors…?

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