blessing

blessing s

We gather together. We close our eyes, unlearning the darkness.

We are listening to what happens. When we don’t interfere, when we let go, unbe, untry.  When we release our expectations.

We hold everything as if it weighed nothing, as if it could fit into anything at all.

What we are.  Not what we think.  Not what we want.  Not what we fear.

The stillness of grace,
carried by stars on the wings
of birds.  We listen.

For a trio of prompts–Frank asked for thoughts about Thanksgiving in his #haikai challenge this week, and for thoughts about gratitude in his haibun prompt for dVerse.  Colleen  in her #TankaTuesday prompt also referred to the theme of Thanksgiving.

blessing close up s

Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ was loud and chaotic–numerous adults and sometimes 11 children vying for attention.

But we never ate any meal at their house without first becoming quiet and giving thanks.  It’s a ritual that perhaps deserves a revival.

Veteran’s Day 2019

dad and grandpa s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fathers of fathers
a photograph, a silence—
echoes enduring

My father and his father drawn from a photo–circa World War II.  Must have been right before my father left for Europe.  My grandfather remained in the States for the Second World War.  He also served in WWI.

veterans day 2015 2s

We clothe our dead from the two World Wars in nostalgia, but conflicts since then have become more frequent, and murkier, and today’s veterans have suicide rates that keep rising, despite sporadic efforts to find a way to help their troubled lives.

“More than 45,000 veterans and active-duty service members have killed themselves in the past six years. That is more than 20 deaths a day — in other words, more suicides each year than the total American military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.” (NY Times, November 1, 2019)

veterans day 2015 1s

I wrote about this issue for Veteran’s Day in 2015 with the embroidered newspaper article about one Marine Regiment and the mounting suicides among its members.  It was a heartbreaking read, and I made a nonet from phrases taken from the text.

veterans day 2015 4s

He was doomed. Doomed to watch his friends die.
Life seemed increasingly bitter.
He never mentioned the war.
The funerals after.
He was still alive.
He did not care
to try to.
Gave up.
Scared.

Eyes
empty.
What they saw.
Directionless,
but what choice was there?
It becomes part of you.
He never mentioned the war.
Life seemed increasingly bitter.
Only regrets and flashbacks remained.

The very best way to honor our veterans would be to find a way to avoid the need for their sacrifices in the first place.  But given the likelihood of that occurring, we can at least acknowledge their pain, attempt to support them, and try to find a way to return some source of connection and meaning to their lives.

veterans day 2015 5s

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.

Linking to Frank Tassone’s #haikai Challenge #112 for Veteran’s Day.

 

 

Contingencies

contingencies s

Enmeshed by expectations, I keep spinning into tangles of self-imposed tempests. Where is the thread that will uncoil the gyring currents and release my thoughts into exhalations that echo with waves of light?

spirit of the wind
zephrean lullaby
dance me with dream dust

contingencies close up s

A quadrille haibun using dVerse host Kim’s word “keep” that considers the withering wind of Frank Tassone’s #haikai challenge #111.