midwinter

midwinter s

this persistent grey
magnifies the compressed dark–
dawn heavy with dusk

squirrels search for buried treasure–
seeds in wait for light’s return

midwinter close up s

For Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #117.  I was going to do a completely different collage, but once I pulled out the handmade paper, I decided that stitching some together was what was needed.  I haven’t done any stitching for awhile, and it was good to get back to it.

The squirrels have been very busy lately.

 

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.

 

 

Reticulaton

reticulation s

Reassembling themselves,
they are closing the gaps,
weaving the severed limbs
into an approximation
of their original form–

 Crazy quilt rag dolls
taking deep breaths–
as if returning from a long dive,
as if tossed ashore
by the rhythm of the waves–

As if what was taken away
could be returned complete,
restored–as if the worn skin
could become brand new again–
smooth, unmarked by the usages

 Of time–the eye brightened,
cleared by swimming in seas
of remembered beginnings–
immersed and baptized, forgiven,
and then reborn again

This is a response to one of Sue Vincent’s photo prompts, above, from May of this year.  I’m not sure why I never finished it, although deciding I needed to embroider the mandala was part of it.  But I also only just revisited and revised the poem.

reticulation close up 2s

I have many many unfinished projects, and it always feels good to take one off the pile.  Now will I have time to do this weeks’ prompt?

Also linking to dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Grace.