Category Archives: Loss

This category includes many types of loss: the death of a family member or friend; loss of a job or youth or beauty; loss of a pet; loss of a home; divorce.

Afloat

Afloat

A hand releases mooring lines and I go floating free.
Unmoored and unamóred, I float upon the sea.
Each time I find a tether, it lets loose of me,
for nature seems to be at odds with propinquity.

Nothing lasts forever or even long enough.
Each time the tattered sleeve of time shakes me off its cuff,
I am again amazed that the rules won’t change for me.
Each time I am newly surprised by mortality.

So many friends and lovers, so many family members
who once were bonfires in my life, flicker down to embers
then fade to ashes in a jar sitting on a shelf.
and once again my tether becomes only my self.

It is a cruel truth of life, this ephemerality
that severs every hawser as ones we love go free.
No matter what allegiance, what solidarity
is promised, still the vow that lasts is mutability.

 

The prompt today is “unmoored.”

NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 16: What I Do with Love Letters

 

What I Do with Love Letters
(Forbidden Love)

In them, I talk about his eyes.
What they say to me across the room.
His foot against my foot
under the table.
The rush of air as he walks by.
His body’s honest odor.
I can’t pull away,
he can’t look away.
And yet we do what is necessary.

When I write what I really want to say,
I stuff the pages in my shoes.
Limp over them.
Dance over them, too.
Let other gentle men
dance me over
songs of him.

 
I’ve folded him
a paper mouth
to house his tongue.
I want my words on his palate
where he can taste them
salty
fragrant
cheeks
gums
tongue.

I want his tongue to press
my words
against
my cheek,
tattoo them on my face
where I can see them in the mirror.

Instead, I fold them into origami castles,
set them on the sand,
hope the wind and seagulls free them
before beach squirrels
shred them
into their full cheeks
and carry them
to hidden burrows
in the hillside.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a letter in the form of a poem.  This poem is about love letters.

 

NaPoWriMo2017, Day 3: Reliquary

daily life color241
Reliquary

On Sunday morning under orange bougainvillea,
Your picture spills from an old album.
You were on a verandah under purple bougainvillea,
drinking the hot noon from your coffee cup
as I drank passion fruit and watched Lake Tana birth the Nile.

Later, kneeling by the river, I made my hand into a cup,

but you called out that slow death swam the blood
of those who touched the river,
while behind you on harsh branches,
black birds barked stark music.

Now, on Sunday morning under orange bougainvillea,
half a world and half a life away,
 I restore you to your proper place, remembering how,
when they laid you down to dream beneath the purple bougainvillea,
it was passionfruit’s sweet poison that flavored my life.

 

Please also see this elegy: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/10/11/look-up-poem-for-a-good-good-girl/

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write an elegy.

Shifting Fortune

DSC00960jdbphoto

Shifting Fortune

Once we’re accustomed to being kissed,
life forms itself into a fist.

All things don’t go as they should.
There is no perfect neighborhood.

Fate twists and wiggles, turns upon us.
What seems good fortune just might con us.

The only thing that really controls us
is how we deal with what life doles us.

When days turn into what you hate,
do not sit and equivocate.

Do not make life one long debate.
Do not turn martyr.  Do not hate.

When others bluster and incite,
do not join their fruitless fight.

When misinformation’s at its height,
take a deep breath and choose insight.

It’s true some have more luck than others—
have more beauty, more faithful brothers.

The power you have is how you’re driven
to make use of what you’re given.

Be they tragedies or fortunes,
deal uniquely with what life apportions.

 

The word for the day way fortune!

Loving Lee

flying-heart
Loving Lee

She was not the easiest one
to be around, but she was fun.
Her wit was sharp, also her tongue.
And yet, I counted her among
those dearest if not nearest to me.
It was she who chose to woo me
with books she thought me ready for
filled with strange and heady lore
of living by my intuition
through which I came to my fruition.
My whole life was changing then,
Buscaglia and Jung and zen.
I’d moved west and changed my thinking,
took up pot and gave up drinking,
decided that my thoughts on men
needed revising. Only then
did life straighten out for me—
and part of it was meeting Lee.
She read my poems, studied my art.
I dodged her tongue and won her heart.
As she won mine; yet other friends
rejected her sincere amends,
’til I was one of two or three
who chose to let our friendship be.
Yes. It was, I must confess,
because I saw her less and less.
When I moved off to Mexico,
our intercourse was rare and slow.
The one last trip I took her on,
quickly, truth began to dawn.
Her memory span had grown so thin
that barely did a thought begin
before it came around again
to the place where we’d just been.
Sometimes our world leaves bit by bit
until we are well rid of it
Not so the friends who leave us slow.
We still aren’t ready to let them go.
My world was better for loving Lee,
but with these lines, I set her free.

The WordPress prompt today was lovingly. I chose a slightly different approach to the word.

Cross My Heart

img_1476-1jdb photo

Cross My Heart

I’m counting steps from one to ten,
across my heart, them back again
to see the places it has been.
First loves were merely friends and kin
before my heart first snagged on men.
Then well do I remember when
the swell of love turned into wen.

The cure of it beyond my ken,
with all my pain I filled my pen,
then released it on the page again.
Once cured, I uttered an “Amen,”
discovered the i ching and Zen.
Turned into a comedienne,
and sought to leave love’s gambling den.

In truth, though, that was there and then.
So now, as through my heart I wend,
I wish that love might never end.
I seek once more its tricky bend.
To welcome in, the heart must rend,
which causes pain, but oh my dears,
a lover’s breath will dry those tears.

 

 

 

The prompt today is “crossing.”

 

 

Playthings

I have always found the below poem comforting and so, after quoting a line of it to Marilyn Armstrong just now, decided to share it with you all, as well. That said, I promise.  No more posts about death. For awhile

                       img_9427

                  Nature

                  by: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As a fond mother, when the day is o’er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted
By promises of others in their stead,
Which though more splendid, may not please him more;
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.