cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Saying Goodbye

Belle died at noon on Saturday
She left in peace with family around
Her ninety-seven years a testament
To life well lived and loved.
A friend to us who knew her well
She left a vacancy not soon filled

This morning the swimming pool is blue
Sun and fair skies foretell a lovely day.
Belle loved the pool in Summer
And sunning on the patio in Autumn
When falling leaves transformed the color scheme
Before Winter sent Belle back inside.

We played our Scrabble-like word game Royalty
By the pool or in the Party Room upstairs
Belle was the queen who beat us all
At forming words some of her own creation
She seemed to pull letters out of nowhere
To fashion words sometimes bizarre.

Belle is gone and yet I see her everywhere
Dressed in her Thriftique classy clothes
Speaking out to bring justice to the world
Celebrating Seder with generations of her family
Including us as her adopted relatives
Teaching us the ropes to vote absentee

Belle has been freed from suffering.
It was a grief to see her bowed so low
My heart rises remembering the wonder
Of the very special person that Belle was
Now living on in vibrant memories.
I did not know loss could produce such gain.

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Legacies Passed Upward

Once upon a time I was mother of three sons
Fathers now who between them have four more
And two young daughters.
I never gave a thought to reaping
After youthful sowing bore its fruits.
Grandmothers receive gifts
Bounty never dreamed of.

One son recently shared the story
How heĀ  taught his son to shave.
Another son passed on the news
Son’s camp counselor summer job
Included learning leadership
Sharp skills to serve him well
In the wider world one day.

Two younger sons, cousins
Surprise us all with expertise
Creative eyes see like engineers.
Another son, the one who shaves
Is showing signs as a musician
Following his father’s dreams.
The little girls still lovely mysteries.

Mothers blessed become grandmothers.
A further generation bearing treasures
Returns its priceless gifts to me.
I watch my sons now fathers
Shape their children lovingly
Guiding them into a future
Unrevealed but which offers hope.

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Haiku: Respite in Time of Strife

Living in the now
Time of mind and memory
Not how clock tells time

Moment sweet to breathe
Feel the heartbeat of the earth
Sense deep wells within

This is nature’s gift
Peace, tranquility abide
Feathered hope also.

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Haiku: Redeeming Words

Depression’s gray clouds
Hovering weight overhead
Felled with word’s penning

Precious beyond words
The Word Press community
We can be healers

Hopeful, despairing
Angry, judging, lamenting
Words written freely

Speak into hearing
Allay fears for grim future
We are not alone.

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Haiku: Un-Frenzied

Time to take a break
Income tax and travel done
Day belongs to me

Sinking into peace
Precious gift a golden glow
Living in the now

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Journey to Israel: New Sights and a Back Story

After our morning at Masada we climbed back on the bus and headed to the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is 1,295 ft. below sea level, the lowest point on earth. And you can not sink in its salty water. I put on my bathing suit and waded in until the water was neck-deep hoping to wash the dust of Masada off. I let my feet rise and floated effortlessly. It was lovely. I came out of the water minus some of the dust but with my body covered in salt. After a quick shower I was ready to move on.

Our next stop was Jericho, located in the Judean wilderness. Some say it is 10,000 years old, the oldest city on earth. The old city and its walls which “came tumbling down” have been excavated. A fact of archaeology is that ancient places have many layers of soil deposited above them and to see very old cities you have to look down. It was like looking down a deep well and imagining a once-inhabited ghost city at the bottom.

I am seeing my journey to Israel with new eyes. I’m looking backward and finding fresh perspectives on a trip I took forty-three years ago. I did not keep a daily journal and no longer have the photo slides my husband took of our trip. After I returned from Israel I put together a slide show for my church. On two-and-a-half pages of narrow-ruled yellow legal pad paper I wrote (in long-hand) a commentary for the slide show. I have these pages before me now. The words are my guide for the stories I’m writing for my blog. The more I write the more I remember. I can visualize sights I haven’t thought about in years. I’ve forgotten some dates and facts about Israel but that is what Google is for. So much has changed for me and for Israel but words retain their power to stir my imagination and communicate.

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Alchemy

Imagine dawn sky dressed in pink-ribboned clouds
Trees green-leaved in summer
Changing colors for autumn
Sobered by stillness of bare-branched winter
Chilling cold and deep silence.

Imagine a mother of sons and grandchildren
Heart filled with wonder, love, joy
And trepidation
World is near changing
Beyond recognition.

Imagine aging a worthy challenge
Rich adventures and exploring
Forge wisdom a gift
Hard-won and enduring
Unknown roads lie ahead

But for today the sun is shining
Golden hours to seize and embrace.
Shadows, too, can be lovely
I’ll plumb them tomorrow.
Translating my life into poems.

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Eighty Candles

Way back in the early summer my sister Sally from North Carolina asked my sons how they were planning to celebrate my eightieth birthday in December. And the seed was planted. And the roots branched out. Fred was a substitute teacher with one of my friends from church. He asked her for names of people to invite. My son Bob contacted a friend of mine in the Greenbriar Apartment building where I live who supplied him with more names. My sons asked my sister who had given them the idea to drive to Cleveland for the big surprise. She and my brother-in-law Tom planned to give my other sister Brooke, also from North Carolina, a ride with them. My son Donovan who lives in Minneapolis arranged to fly here with his wife and two children. In the middle of summer I remember that my son Fred tossed out the idea that we really should plan something special for my big 80 but nothing else was said. I had no clue of the blossoming plans.

A couple of weeks before my birthday my son Bob called and asked me to save the date. He said he would pick me up around 3 PM and I should wear nice clothes. Well, that tipped me off that something out of the ordinary was going on. He and his family have me over to gatherings often and never mention what to wear. I thought maybe they planned to have a photographer take family photos. A week before my birthday my son Fred invited me out to lunch. He told me he would pick me up around 1 PM and that Bob would join us. We had a lovely lunch at a favorite deli of mine. It was special to be with my sons without the rest of our family. I loved just listening to them discuss various aspects of their lives and work. I enjoy being with the men they have become. Then Bob excused himself and went off to complete a work project. I thought this was a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday.

Fred said he needed to stop at the grocery on the way to drop me off at my apartment after lunch. I needed a few things, too. After we finished our shopping Fred asked me about the possibility of renting the Greenbriar Party Room for a block party with some neighbors. He said he’d like to take a look at it. I agreed.

To back up a little. When I was pondering why Bob wanted me to dress up and be at his house by 3 PM on the day of my birthday I imagined a surprise visit from Donovan. Yet when Donovan called me that morning to wish me happy birthday I realized I got that wrong. Donovan often calls me on his way to work in Minneapolis so he couldn’t be in Cleveland. My sister Brooke also called me in the morning to say happy birthday.

Meanwhile Fred and I arrived at the Greenbriar. We stopped off at my apartment so I could put my groceries away before I showed him the Party Room. Then we took the elevator to the fifth floor and walked up the stairs to the Party Room. I noticed that there were quite a few people up there. I realized they were my friends from the Greenbriar and from church! They all stood up and shouted “SURPRISE!” I couldn’t take it in. I was truly flabbergasted. The surprises kept coming. From out of the crowd I saw Donovan walking toward me. But he was in Minneapolis! His wife Rama and children Kieran and Leela were right behind him. Then I saw my sister Sally, and Tom her husband! And there was Brooke! But I had talked to her in North Carolina that morning. Turns out the out-of-towners had arrived in Cleveland the night before – I just assumed they were at home. And my son Bob was not at home working on a project. He was here helping his wife Linda set out the birthday cake and refreshments. Fred was right beside me. My former husband Bob, who lives down the street from my apartment, was there to celebrate also. Now I know what people mean when they say “I could not believe my eyes!!” More than that there are no words to express the love I felt bubbling up and overflowing all around me. Who needs champagne?!!

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Passing Strangers

On a sunny day in Mexico
Sitting on a high stool at a high table
Eating a delicious morsel, savoring solitude
I noticed a man walking toward me
Vintage-aged and lost in thought.

Lazily I noted his white t-shirt
Imprinted with an Indian in a feathered head-dress
Cleveland I immediately concluded
Then corrected myself
Chicago Black Hawks! Aha! I was a hockey mom.

The gentleman passed by
I spoke quietly “Go Black Hawks”
He looked at me, blue eyes now focused
Responding in kind, “Go Black Hawks”
He smiled, said “Thank you” and moved on.

The sunny day in Mexico
A beam of human interaction
Warmed my soul I feel it still.
I pray our fractured world
Will be surprised to recognize such commonality.

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A Rose By Any Other Name

In June when I visited my son Donovan Hart he gave me a remarkable gift. He put in my hands a book titled Enscribing the Heavens from This Side by Ina Hamilton Hart. Donovan had collected Cronechronicler posts written by Vivachange77 from May 2014 through April 2016 and had them published by Amazon. He wrote the pieces about the book and the author on the last page and on the back of the book. My granddaughter Leela contributed her drawing of a crone.

Over the summer we made a few edits. In September Donovan published the book in paperback and on Kindle. Last week Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer reviewed my book on her blog and posted her review on Amazon.com. So far so good. I wanted to shout my news to the blog world but wasn’t clear how to do this. Then I discovered that Amazon.com misspelled Cronechronicler on their website in a subtitle they added. Amazon made the correction for me. When I checked, I was dismayed to find that now capital letters were missing from the main title. Twice I’ve talked to someone at Amazon who promised to fix the problem, but to no avail. It is like a Rubix cube puzzle I can’t solve.

I began my blog with the intention of creating a legacy of family stories and writing new stories and poems revealing the woman I am becoming. I am delighted to have a real book to give to family members and friends. I don’t know a sleek way of inserting a blue link in a blog post to let my followers know where to find my book. If you go to Amazon.com the old-fashioned way and write Enscribing the Heavens from This Side it will take you to my book. Disregard the absence of capital letters and some weird punctuation. It is still a rose.

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