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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Haiku: Commencement Procession

Time to celebrate
Earmarks of accomplishment
Footsteps on your path

The neighborhood pets
Your special menagerie
You fed and you walked

Learning a new skill
You looked after the swimmers
A stalwart lifeguard

Veterinarian’s
Assistant you tackled next
Skillful shot-giving

You were on a roll
Becoming camp counselor
And learning to drive

All the while at school
Mostly sailing through classes
Sometimes you floundered

Previous learning
Folds now into Commencement
You begin again

College in Autumn
Time of leaves turning and change
You are on your way

Dear grandson Bobby
March to your chosen drumbeat
You’ve got what it takes

Dedicated to my grandson Bobby upon his graduation from high school June 2, 2017

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Haiku: Quiet Movement

Day after Solstice
A plain ordinary day
It strikes my fancy

Globe keeps on spinning
Days begin their lengthening
Promise of more light.

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Haiku: Then There Were Three

One in each corner
Trees grace gray stone patio
Squirrels summer playground

Autumn leaves glory
Arched cathedral of beauty
Warmth before winter

Noise of buzz-saw
Sounding grave interruption
Felled one dying tree

View from my window
Surprising inheritance
Broad city-scape scene

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Clipped Wings

Bright hopes tarnished unfulfilled
Time for letting go of vows
Moving on from being two
Decided then to live as one.
I prayed only to be free.

Made new home to start again
City of my children’s birth
Loving space for family
My grandchildren came to play.
I sighed and breathed in peace.

Still I traveled heart’s desire
Fired with energy explored
Tried on other ways of life
Filled to brim cup overflowed.
My heart filled with gratitude.

Three short years passed
My wings are clipped
Spirit strong, body weak
Old dreams drained.
What now?

Morning dawns and I awake
Day offers me an empty slate
To fill with possibility
Surprises fresh abound for me.
And so I pray for joy.

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A Confession

Today is one of those changeable days. It has been warm, sunny and quite windy with rain showers predicted this evening. I prayed for joy on Saturday and had a lovely surprise on Sunday. My son dropped off groceries while I was away from home and left a note wishing me Happy Sunday. He signed it with a whimsical name he created as an undercover follower of my blog. I could feel the love.

I awoke this morning feeling like “God’s in the heavens All’s right with the world”. In that spirit I wrote my poem “Clipped Wings”. Now for a confession. When I was in Junior High friends said I believed we live in the “best of all possible worlds”, like Candide. Or that I was a “cock-eyed optimist” like Nurse Nellie Forbush in the musical South Pacific. Truly, I am in mourning as Autumn moves toward Winter. It mirrors my letting go of my wanderlust and settling for home fires. I believe that serendipitous joy awaits me in months and years ahead. For the present wishful words will have to lead the way.

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Writing 101 – Haiku – Fare Forward

Glass raised high in toast
Course of writing comes to end
Day to celebrate.

After glass drained dry
Live into new words and tales
I’ll be filled again.

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Writing 101- Signposts

I have loved books and reading as long as I can remember. As an English major I studied English and American literature. At the time I wasn’t conscious of how much of classical writing is in the form of poetry. I prefered reading novels. Years later I became aware of the power of poetry when I read a novel whose name I don’t recall that quoted T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets repeatedly. I bought and read the book of Eliot’s poetry which presented me with a fork in the road. I began a new journey guided by signposts of meaning I found in the poems.

Books of poetry were not foreign terrain for me. My mother had a copy of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s A Few Figs From Thistles that I liked to look at. However, only two short poems held meaning for me as a child. This small volume of poetry has been among my books ever since my mother died.

My copy of Four Quartets is well-worn. Narrow pieces of lime green construction paper mark passages I like especially. The theme of the poems is beginnings and endings in time. T.S. Eliot’s poetry makes spiritual and practical sense to me. I have adopted as a mantra these lines from the poem “Little Gidding”.

What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from….We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And to know the place for the first time.

Several years after encountering the poetry of Eliot I went to a Women’s Study seminar. There I was introduced to the poetry of Adrienne Rich in her book The Dream of a Common Language. I have book-marked her poem “Transcendental Etude”. I included these lines as further guideposts for my living.

No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history or music, that we should begin with the simple exercises first and slowly go on trying the hard ones, practicing till strength and accuracy became one with the daring to leap into transcendence.

About ten years ago I went to a seminar called Body and Soul where I heard David Whyte read his poetry. In the poem “The Journey” included in his book The House of Belonging I found lines that further traced my path as I am beginning to understand it.

Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart.

Whyte’s words are the theme of my blog. My previous theme was the Ghanaian saying ” You don’t know where you are going. You don’t know how to get there. And you arrive just the same”. I experience this over time ¬†as how things fall into place for me in ways I would have never imagined.

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June 6: Ghost of An Anniversary

Washed up on the shore
Of Sea of Matrimony.
Natives friendly here.

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An Existential Trilogy: Haiku In Three Parts

At a turning point
Possibilities abound.
Shall I go or stay?

Dreams dissolve in shreds
Imaginings fall apart.
Old loves comfort still.

Ponder future scenes.
Time to take a daring leap
Who knows where I’ll land.

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