Nostalgic (tanka)

Castles and lockets:
the makings of childhood dreams –
I wander pastures
of blue-tainted memories,
see patterns on regret’s wings.

(Tuesdays, I borrow from Twitter @ Vjknutson. Image my own.)

Shoebox Dreams

A simple shoebox, repurposed
with plastered images of dreams –
paper affirmations of aspirations –
shelved and forgotten, its contents

snapshots, faded and torn, remnants
of another time, a different future –
captured when potential was prime
and possibility untainted by illness

This one was retirement – a supposed
celebration – but note how the colour
has drained the cracks obliterating
pride of accomplishment; and notice

how this one crumbles to the touch –
the fragments dissipating even as
my life has dissipated, the image
lost before memory resurfaces, so

much loss when circumstance dictates
direction, overpowers will, and plans
like snowflakes, vanish in the heat
of reality – pain and insult burning

But wait…this one looks promising –
the edges only slightly torn, the image
discernible – could it be that there is
hope yet – a future author I might be?

That’s the thing about times to come,
we fill them with imaginings, and pray,
our hope, like balloons set free in a sea
of unforeseen challenges, and seldom

does the end result reflect projected
plotting, and yet, there is power in
the dreaming, and so I’ll replace the old
with new photographs to store away.

(This is a rerun of a rerun. Still resonates. Image my own)

Absence

Slippers, perched at night stand,
twitching impatiently,
mark the absence of feet,
cannot appreciate the meaning
of unruffled bed covers.

Abandoned, a coffee mug
bemoans its curdling contents,
complains of thick brown lines
contaminating its porcelain shine,
has not noted absence of hands.

Chair, pushed back from desk,
in partial rotation, sits awkwardly,
commanding attention, disturbed
by its misalignment, has not thought
to ponder absence of body.

House, uncomfortable with silence,
creaks unnaturally, loudly voicing
objections to the absence of footfalls,
automated machinery and incessant
rings, beeps, and chimes of technology.

I try to reassure them that the absence
is only temporary, that the man whose
presence so strikingly fills this space
will return, hope they cannot read
the apprehension in my tremulous heart.

(Absence was written six years ago, while my husband recovered from a triple bypass. Image my own.)

Childhood Home

The place remains in my dreams
like a movie set preserved…

Have assigned each room
a critique – disclosed the crimes

Yet, it remains, like a beacon
draws me to it, begs reflection

What if I could go back
now that I can breathe

Now that I’ve laid claim to maturity;
would I discover a sudden windfall?

Makeover conditioned motifs;
reevaluate ceiling heights?

With resources to remodel
heart open, connected

might I uncover abundance
like a personal embrace.

(Childhood Home first appeared May, 2020. Image my own)

Present Distance

I’ve lived the fog of distance –
life’s highway a series of dips,
destination without promise

Learned that acceptance gains perspective
that climates change, and hope sustains,
and that in the stillness dreams renew.

I travel quieter paths now; appreciate
space – have surrendered to present distance,
certain that this too will change.

(Borrowed from One Woman’s Quest II, April, 2020. Image my own)

Do Not Tell

No one told me,
in my haste to grow up,
that adulthood, awash
with responsibility,
would also be lonely

And, no one told me
that the days and nights
of sweating over lessons
would likely not lead
to the life imagined

nor that commitment –
the kind portrayed in movies –
does not exist – the word itself
bearing more substance
than the act, fickle as it is

No one told me that
motherhood would change
my reality permanently,
colouring it with unfathomable
pain and joy – such juxtaposition

And, no one told me that
every battle I ever arm myself for,
regardless of its justification,
is really a struggle with self –
inner demons the most menacing.

I never imagined that age,
with seismic force,
would alter my perspective so –
leave me barren and yet enriched,
enthralled with the ordinary
and unfazed by the rest

And, in the end, as I watch
the vernal rains announce renewal,
in the quiet of my solitude, I am
amazed and grateful for all
that this crazy, driven life has become
and that no one ever told me.

(This is an edited version of a poem published in April, 2019. Art my own.)