In Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Chairs in Luxembourg Gardens, Paris by Mary Kendall

Chairs in Luxembourg Gardens, Paris by Mary Kendall

In Luxembourg Gardens, Paris     

A stairwell of shadows invites us to sit.
Empty chairs bask in the late spring sun,

Waiting for readers who choose to sit,
slipping into the borrowed lives of books.

Waiting for lovers to pull two chairs aside,
stealing time away from the world.

Waiting for an old man with a limping dog,
passing time away from his silent rooms.

Waiting for the widow who longs for the sun,
savoring the warmth like a delicate embrace.

Waiting for the disheveled girl who waits,
sipping a café crème with a guarded look.

Waiting for a businessman to eat his lunch,
savoring silence, no rumble of demands.

Waiting for the grandpère missing his children,
wondering what it is they do continents away.

Waiting for weary tourists who sit and rest,
whispering in languages you don’t speak.

Waiting for a tumble of clouds to sweep the sky
just as this sweet day slips into the waiting night.

Time passes.
People pass.
Memories pass.

Another day will come.

faded beauty…

faded beauty haiga

Acceptance

Acceptance, photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

“Acceptance”  Photograph by Iosatel (c) 2015

Should you wish to listen to the poem, click on the link below. It will take a few seconds to begin.

 

Acceptance 

There—on the far side of memory’s window—
You stand there on the outside looking in.

Distanced, safe from the rawness of our lives,
You are given a choice whether to judge us

Now or see if we try to make amends, to heal
The hearts that have been torn at the edges,

Frayed by the refusal to forgive, and let others
Move on, a final repentance, a simple lesson

Of learning to forgive our own mistakes, our
Choices or the decisions we came to regret.

Life is not all black and white, but endless shivers
Of grey, silver, and ebony; hues of cream, ivory

And moonlight, and beautiful colors begin to bleed
Into our fabric when we accept others as they are.

Paths get worn by walking, grass just wears away.
Road crosses road, briefly intersecting, and then

Leading to new and unexplored places where
There might be answers if we put aside our slanted

Views and look well beyond our differences.
Beneath this fragile shell of life we are the same.

Why is this simple lesson so hard to learn?

 dove and monkey

Note:  The main photograph (at the top of this page) used with this poem is a beautiful piece by the photographer, Iosatel. It appears on his photography blog, The Obvious and the Hidden, http://theobviousandhidden.com.

His black/white pictures are both beautiful and mysterious. Along with the intriguing pictures are his titles, which never fail to interest his many followers. This photo was entitled, “Acceptance.” It was this that began this poem. My warmest thanks to Iosatel for allowing me to use this photograph with my poem, ‘Acceptance.’

Forget Me Not…

Forget-Me-Not by SarahharaS1 (c)2013

                                       Forget-Me-Not by SarahharaS1 (c) 2013

~

Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone

~~

Don’t forget me when I’m gone.
I’ll be there thinking about you.

Don’t forget me in my silence.
I’ll bring you back a poem. 

Don’t forget me when you’re sad.
I’ll be ready to understand your tears.

Don’t forget me when life is good.
I’ll be happy to laugh along with you. 

Don’t forget me if the glass breaks.
I’ll be there to sweep up the shards. 

Don’t forget me when you doubt.
I’ll listen to your words spill out.

Don’t forget me in the dark.
I’ll bring you a small violet star.

Don’t forget me when I leave.
I’ll return. I always will

Forget-Me-Not, photograph by Flowers HD.com

Forget-Me-Not, photograph by Flowers HD.com

Once

Old home in Eland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

Old home in Efland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

Once

The door is ajar, waiting for someone to come in,
But no one comes now except for you, you who
Climbed through overgrown grasses circling the house.

Wanderers like you come sometimes, looking for things
They once knew, remembering those they have lost, and
Places that they once loved, places they called home

Once this was home. Families lived here, died here.
Brides moved in and babies came, some were lost,
But most grew into fine young folk. Wars came, and

With them a generation of men might disappear. Yes,
Sickness came but so did love. Life was full then. Every
Home is made of lumber and nails, people and dreams.

Once the fire would have been lit on short winter days,
Keeping us warm, the heat drying wet wool mittens and
Mended socks. Flames burning so hot that our cheeks

Grew red while ice-cold winds knocked on the walls.
Flames burned down to chalky ashes during the night,
While we slept two to a bed and sometimes three.

Father was up early to stir the embers, add hickory logs,
Small broken branches and sticks the children gathered.
From this, he coaxed new flames to burn again all day.

You stand here now today, a cold Saturday in March,
Camera in hand, waiting to capture something, but
What that is you don’t know. Not much is left to share.

Once there were so many stories about the families—
Brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts. Their
Stories are gone for good but once they were here.

Without warning, memories of your own childhood
Rush into these walls, so real you can almost feel them,
They come so fast—an unasked for surprise.

If you listen hard enough, you hear children laughing
At the three young pups who are worrying the chickens,
And momma running out to chase them with her broom.

But it’s the inside of the house that pulls you back.
Looking up at broken rafters, you study the timbers:
Was it was fire or ice that brought down the roof?

Look hard and you might see momma sitting there near
The fire, the flames giving her light to do her mending.
Here she would sit and work. Sometimes she sang,

Her voice a clear soprano, ours a mix of everything else.
Daddy might take down pawpaw’s fiddle, and begin
Tuning it slowly string-by-string, note-by-note.

If you were the lucky one that day, he might ask you
To rosin the bow for him. Those were the good days
When they’d play our favorite songs or hymns.

But the best part was always the last, when they played
Old timey tunes, foot tapping music we loved.
We’d start dancing together, our shoes pounding hard

Like wild thunder on the old wooden floorboards.
It would echo so loud, we’d dance even faster
And then, exhausted, we finally had to stop.

A small redbird perches up on the open eaves,
Straw in its beak. It is nesting here in the house.
Can you hear its mate singing an ode to early spring?

If you listen to the silence, you might hear the whispers.
Or maybe it’s nothing, lost memories, old stories and
Wind blowing through the open roof, the broken floor.

~ ~ ~

Old Home in Efland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

Old Home in Efland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

Photographs by Gary Brichford © 2015

Note of Thanks to Gary Brichford, I am honored that you’ve allowed me to use your beautiful photographs of this old house that still stands in Efland, North Carolina. Your pictures make the past so real. Many thanks, my friend.

Old Home in Efland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

Old Home in Efland, North Carolina, photograph by Gary Brichford (c) 2015

 

 

cardinal nesting

Blood Moon (Tanka)

Blood Moon Tanka

A plea for ending hatred:

This week the news was filled with the grand and rare beauty of the appearance of a Blood Moon eclipse and the absolute horror and non-sensical murder of Christian students in Kenya by Islamic fanatics. When, oh, when will the world stop hating?

“Early Thursday five shooters from the Somali-based al-Shabaab terrorist organization swept through a university in the Kenyan town of Garissa, shooting Christian students. They knew who to kill because they ordered students to recite an Islamic prayer. Those who could were spared. Those who could not were shot dead, about 147 so far. Police killed four of the terrorists and captured the fifth.”    (from the Wall Street Journal)

Note: This beautiful photograph of the Blood Moon is not mine. I found it through a google search, but it’s exact origin is unknown. I thank the photographer whoever he or she is for creating such a beautiful capture of this event.