Faded numbers… (haiku)

 

faded numbers
tattooed on your arm
I slip back in silence
.

~Mary Kendall~


Published in Presence 58 July 2017
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Back story on this tanka. In 1972 I visited friends in Israel. As a tourist, I was eager to see the historical sites, one of which was Masada, site of a group suicide where a Jewish community was surrounded by Roman soldiers. The Jews chose suicide rather than be taken as captives. As I stood high up on the hilly site with other visitors, it was very, very quiet. It was after all a sacred place. An older man stood next to me, and I happened to glance at him also looking out at where the soldiers would have been waiting, hoping to starve out the isolated Jewish community. I noticed on his arm, faded numbers–numbers, of course, indicating he’d been captive in a Concentration Camp. The poignancy of him being there has stayed with me for over forty years. Never again, please Lord, shall we do such things to our fellow men.

Both pictures are from travel sites to and in Israel. Masada is located in the Judean desert, very close to the Dead Sea. Visiting these sites is like stepping back two thousand years. I am so grateful for having had this opportunity to visit.

A pile of ripe plums…(a tanka)

 

 

 

Photograph of plums by Renee Johnson

A soft rain…(a tanka)

 

Ribbons Spring/Summer 2017: Volume 13, Number 2

 

a soft rain falls
as you work in the garden …
what I’d give to read
the chapters of your life
you never share

 

 

tea and book 1

Cloud watching (a haiga)

cloud watching haiga 2

 

Published in Prune Juice, A Journal of Senryu, Kyoka,
Haibun and Haiga, Issue 22, July 2017

Queen Anne’s lace …

I am always thrilled to have a haiku chosen for The Heron’s Nest.  This is the first time a haiku of mine has been selected as an editors’ choice.

 

 

Queen Anne’s lace –
a childhood spent
in second-hand clothes

 

Haiku by Mary Kendall, published in The Heron’s Nest,  Volume XIX, Number 1: March 2017

queen_annes_lace_side_01-07-14

Here is a link so you can read the whole issue of The Heron’s Nest: http://www.theheronsnest.com/index.html

We stroll along … (a tanka)

Sunday Morning

The Ekphrastic Review: writing and art on art and writing, has published my poem, “Sunday Morning.”

Let me give you a brief “back story” on this poem. Many years ago, I stopped writing completely for around twenty-five years. Total silence in my life. I don’t know why it happened, but it did. After what can only be be termed a spiritual experience on a trip to the Fijordland in New Zealand, poetry somehow magically entered my life again. I can’t explain this. It just happened, and I know it happened for a reason. This poem was the first complete poem I wrote when my poetic “voice” returned, and it’s only been read by one other person until today. It’s taken me about fifteen years to gather courage to submit it anywhere. My deepest thanks to editor, Lorette C. Luzajic, for publishing this piece.

Here is the link to the journal: http://www.ekphrastic.net/ekphrastic/april-21st-2016

 

Rijksmuseum out the window

Rijksmuseum, Out the Window (c) 2013 Mary Kendall

 

Sunday Morning

 

Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I sat by the window and prayed
for forgiveness one more time;
one more time I begged.

 

Holding the cup of coffee in my hand,
I hoped the warmth would fill me
where your words had left me cold,
but I knew nothing could do that—
fire can burn for hours and be unfelt.

 

Hymns unsung, prayers unsaid,
I lay down on the empty bed, pulling
the blanket across my cheek, turning
from the window, from the sky
and the sun, praying for some rest.

 

 

 

Note: The window in the photo is not, of course, the window of the poem. I love taking pictures of windows when I travel, especially indside looking out. This photo was taken in June 2013 when my husband and I were in Amsterdam, visiting the beautiful Rijksmuseum.