Yesterday morning, over a breakfast quesadilla and too hot hot sauce– a discussion took place on sadness, particularly how it looked on my face. 2018 was particularly sad year in terms of loss. So I turned to one of my favorite sages on this and other wisdom– Kahlil Gibran in his seminal work: The Prophet. Thus his writing on joy and sorrow:
“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain”.
I confess to really not understanding this. How can sadness be contingent on joy or vice versa? And yet I do understand–the greater the love–the deeper its response (sorrow) when that joyful love is perceptively lost. Perception is the key.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
The takeaway here is that sadness is truly an act of love–damn that it just doesn’t feel that way. So I’m learning not to push it away, and instead invite it in for conversation.
walking with sorrow
around the corner
a begrudging friendship
if not for sorrow
The following are haiku-like short poems called “found haiku” or found poems. They are poems distilled from other writings–i.e. prose, news articles, longer poems, etc.. Within and from other sources, a writer/poet gleens her own version using the original author’s words in the order they appear in the original text. This is a legitimate form of writing so long as an acknowledgement is offered. There is even a Facebook page for “Found Haiku.”
In this case, the short poems are found in the New York Times Magazine section: The Lives They Lived (12/30/18); the article is on Margot Kidder by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.
This year was a challenging one for most people that I know, on all levels–personal, national and global. Probably universal if I were to hazard a guess. My mom passed on as well as another close matriarch/friend. These found words are tendered in tribute and love.
edges are sanded down
is that the actual tribute?
can you ever know
a whole person?
a closer understanding
a woman is a galaxy
a mother is a universe
so is a daughter
“How would you say this more simply and more haikuey” –
“Spring Sunset Gold-Yellow Song Upon The Sky Trumpeting Daffodils?”
How would I? (turn this observation and string into a haiku), is the question asked of me about eight years ago when it was queried, and almost five years since she passed and crossed over the rainbow bridge. I may have tried once, however I was none-too successful. She was my favorite poet, even though she hardly wrote any tailored or even casual poetry. Her words just flowed into “raspberry and tangerine images.” Ours was a forty-year correspondence with a shared love of nature and the arts.
I rediscovered the question on a sticky note in her very distinct handwriting this morning and decided to sit down and finish the conversation. I hope that I can do her proud and know that she is smiling anyway.
For Robin, forever friend – I miss you and your words:
sunset’s golden song ~
a listening sky
ag ~ June 2017
I hope the stars appreciate your special beauty.
storms of tweets
somehow Stella makes the storm more neighborly
sometimes it takes a storm to bake cookies
Wet With Rain
My heart mourns
the loss of words
once ribboned into poems
now empty – a clothesline
between two poles.
My throat lumps
at the muddle of notes
no longer giving voice
to windstorms or the sky
holding its breath.
My eyes mist over
when twilight offers its nakedness
on a purple breeze
and wild bergamot wet with rain.
And my lonely heart,
lost in a mulberry thicket,
longs for the night when the moon’s halo
no longer lingers, long and sweet
on your lips.
The garden is glorious. More so as
early clouds pearl the earthy color.
Hummingbirds, butterflies and all sorts
of winged and waddling critters
are hard at work on the Sage, Snapdragon and Angelica
that gently ripple and titter in conversation.
Such a poppy of delight! I do my best to savor
what we shared in the garden, and it helps to remember
that your hands and fairy blue eyes
also loved to caress the Calendula, Cleome, Rue
and sweet September mornings
such as this.
We often give very little consideration to those people who live toward the edge of our lives. They’re not part of our inner circle but orbit somewhere on the far circumference – so much so that we hardly pay attention to them until they disappear. Usually for me this means they move out of my figurative or literal neighborhood. When this happens, their presence comes into sharp focus because of their new or pending absence. It does not matter how little contact I really have with them – it’s always more than enough for some tearful grief.
news of her moving flashbacks to winter in fourth grade
ag ~ 2015