No more tears (haibun)

A widow and her sons gathered with their cousins the evening before…reacquainting with each other, reminiscing their childhoods…remembering their father, their uncle, her life long partner of 68 years, who passed. They laughed, they danced, they ate a feast cousins had ordered for the family; they drank and remembered a wonderful man who touched so many friends and family of all ages. One cousin was up late downloading music her cousins had chosen to be played at the burial. Another cousin went to the florist to get roses and rose petals.

The next morning, she woke up early and went to the coffee shop to have breakfast and listened to her muse…in two hours her uncle’s ashes would be interred at the family graveside. It was cloudy but not raining and clouds were making room for the sun’s rays…

grey skies
beckoning
no more tears

grey skies
casting shadows
under their eyes

beckoning
softly whispers
please don't cry

no more tears
like dust in the wind
smiling from above

(c) Tournesol 2022-10-18

and then the sun appeared as if he was smiling ...




Songs:

Wish you were here – Pink Floyd

Father & Son – Cat Stevens

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton

My Way – Frank Sinatra

Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke

Dust in the Wind – Kansas

Poem read:

In Loving Memory of a Wonderful Man

Hello Autumn (haibun)

It’s been 10 to 12 C the past few days and today, she could actually feel a shift in the air. Windows were open all day and her two felines slept on their  carpets by the open patio door. By late afternoon, she could feel a chill and she closed the windows except for her bedroom where she enjoys the cool air under her warm duvet.

silky soft
stretching along her chest
scent of autumn
Inhaling freshness with a sigh
remembering their runny nose

nose peaking
above down feathers
breathing in crispness

© Tournesol ‘2022-09-23

Daily Moments Sept 23/22

Reflections on Grief (Free Verse)

We hear of endings
the last time
that last moment
saying goodbye
and yet,
no warnings of “firsts”
first Christmas
first New Year
first birthday
and many other firsts
who would have known
the last would turn full circle
to the first
being as tender as that last day
bittersweet in many ways
ingredients of woe
are recipes of grief.
how to separate sorrow
from blissful memories?
you don’t
it’s not planned
it’s processed
it’s lived
it’s worn
like an old hoodie
fitted like a soft duvet
feeling like a heavy blanket
struggling with the heaviness
of fond narratives of a past

ah but the weight one feels
of such collections that we sort
but carry oh so selfishly
letting go is not a language
yet understood…
hanging on to each noun, pronoun,
verbs and oh those adjectives!

Time does not lighten this quilt
but our heart becomes accustomed

weaving heartfelt stories
every shade and colour
securing them with bonded yarn
strong, everlasting scripts
never-ending stories
our heritage woven lovingly
… a family heirloom.

(c) Tournesol 2022-09-23

Mid-morning calm (haibun)

(c) Clr'15 Chilling in the shad

(c) Clr’15 Chilling in the shade

I’m in the country this week minding my son’s dogs and cat. Heidi (German Shepherd) and Mia (Golden mix) are sisters and they are like two giant peas in a pod. They play together, sleep together, eat together but compete to get petted of course. And GiGi, the Persian could care less about those giants. She does her own thing. She loves jumping on the kitchen counter and drinking water straight from the tap and pleads with me daily. My son warned me NOT to do that since it took him months to have her finally drink out of a bowl. Since he leaves the kids for ten to twelve hours, he would not want her to dehydrate. It is so tempting  though to indulge the little thing, like Nana giving too many sweets to the grands…that is exactly how I feel with these pets.

It is a long trek to get to work for me but the peacefulness here is palpable.

birds muted

soft breeze pacifies

mid-morning calm

mid-morning calm

after canine game of tag

shadow bed

(c) Tournesol ’15

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Dear Emma,

Dear Emma,

Day 5 and I am still not able to talk …much.  It starts off hoarse, then disappears completely.  So naturally, I cannot work since I counsel on the phone.  Too much time to think.  I think about what I would  do when I do retire.   It has to be planned…a bit of travelling, volunteering, taking courses I’ve never had time to take, learning a new skill, dusting off and perfecting an old skill and all of this is done with human contact.  So you can see my dilemma, right?  For over two years we have been living in a world of no contact whatsoever to 2 metre human contact. Face masks are being removed tomorrow and I don’t see why except governments just want to appease the “fed-ups” and try to establish some form of normalcy.  Yes, masks do protect…both you and me.

Last week we had our dryer vents cleaned in our condo building for all 27 co-owners.  The 2 workers walked around with no masks, then saw my colleague and I had ours on, so one put his on and the other took a good 2 to 3 minutes searching for his ratty old cloth mask (to me did not give me confidence one bit).  And at each condo, the fellow would ask if he had to wear his mask.  Of course the answer was, “Yes, please and I will wear mine as well.”  I shook my head in dismay and made faces that no one could see thanks to my mask. Haha, there are good points to wearing a mask!

Speaking of masks and the reality we all live in, I try not to watch the news lately…makes me weep hearing anything bad and let’s face it, Emma, 99% of the news is bad. Correction, the media reports bad news in huge proportions.  It is interesting that we complain how governments have held us hostage for two years…but what about the media?  Have they not enjoyed this control? this total attention especially during total lock downs?  Anyway, to do the work that I love and to be able to have the strength to hear challenging true stories of pain, abuse and despair, I need to cut off the bad news, thank you very much.  The only news I can read about now and then is politics because that does not make me sad…it angers me and I feel a little less powerless….I can always vote, right?    I could protest as well but that means I may be putting my health at risk since, after all, I am of that more delicate generation where health is a bit more fragile.  So I sigh and give in to my fear of getting sick and stay home and shout at the tele and  swear at politicians.  I have given up writing to them because I never even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement.  I’m of the anglophone population, so they (all political parties) don’t really care.  We are such a minority that politicians are sucking up to the majority, the nationalists and the xenophobes.   The nationalists don’t scare me because many have a view for a separate nation but do not hate anglophones or allophones.  There is a difference, I think.  Most of my friends are francophones and nationalists but I don’t feel any animosity towards me.

It is interesting that the media talks about how my province has little tolerance to other cultures but that is actually a “condition” many people have all over Canada.  We like to look towards the South and see how our neighbours cough up venom towards  liberalism and democracy and acceptance and multiculturalism.  But Canadians are not lily white…not pure and innocent, I am afraid and this pandemic has brought out the true colours of many people.  The virus of intolerance we see in the South is here as well and that worries me. NO! That scares me.

I’m a baby Boomer and have much less time left on this earth than many but I worry for my children and their children.

Oh for goodness sake, Emma, this is turning into a sappy Dear Abby letter.  What was really on my mind when I started this post was after reading a headline this morning.  “Covid Numbers are going down in Quebec, 25 deaths”.  How is “25 deaths” supposed to make me feel relieved.  Every day I see similar headlines but it is the last 2 words that hit me each time.  “xx deaths”.  People are mourning their loved ones; each day there are still deaths and that is what saddens me. We no longer hear the premier saying, “sorry to the family and friends of xx deaths”.  That stopped a long time ago.  Why? Are these deaths less hurtful?  It’s all a strategy to focus more on the positive because people are depressed.  I know that! I hear the stories 3 days a week from youths and young adults…I know that! But still, each day there are losses. A person has lost a friend or relative.  They are mourning.  I wish I could say, ” I see you, I’m sorry for your loss.”

The CBC used to give space to people who had lost a family member to talk about their lives the first year of the pandemic and now…we no longer celebrate their lives here?

My thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of those 25 deaths today …

Clr’2022-05-13

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

(c)Clr17

It’s Mother’s Day and I keep thinking backwards and then forward…I miss my mom but i see her in me, and through me and through my children and love her for keeping her spirit alive in all of us. She is in my children and grandchildren…loving them so so much.

It’s that time of year again 
remembering uncooked chocolate pudding
and toast in bed
each grain of powder saying, “I love you Mom”
ceramic paper weights
paper doilies
macaroni necklace…


I remember picking dandelions
and drawing pictures,
gluing absorbing cotton clouds
hearing her voice singing songs with made up words
laughing with delight and childlike joy
running her fingers in her curly hair
hugging me, whispering “I love you, darling”

(C) ClRoberts 2022-05-08

the devil incarnate (haibun)

Remember when we had to get used to saying “The Artist- formerly known as Prince”? I was trying to find a way to name that Russian president [what’s his name] similarly. I wrote several forms. I was still not satisfied. Then I looked up some names he is known for today…”Dickhead” is one that caught my attention. But the only one that seemed to fit how I felt about him today is “Devil Incarnate – formerly known as Putin”.

dogs howl in mourning
baffled by the devil's work
longing their masters

echoes of rustling leaves
trees shudder with grief

midst the smog of war
clouds form from malice and greed
STILL - Ukraine's heart beats

(c) tournesol '2022-04-03



embracing moments of joy (haibun)

 

(c) clr’2022

As we hope to approach the end of this pandemic, a month ago the world witnessed an explosion of chaos, of violence, of trauma, of one of the worse assaults against humanity…I’m not an expert on this.  I am but an ordinary person who is in her late autumn years…or is it winter? Well, it is not spring or summer, so you figure it out.

Watching the news is a cat and mouse affair for me.  I want to be in the “know” but most days I can no longer handle it.  I know I need to be fresh and together so my heart is open to be filled with trauma, sorrow and the multiple questions from a confused generation of youths and young adults.   And so I watch the news 3 days a week to keep some balance in my heart…my mind.

I cry for youths.  I cry for my children and their children…heck, I cry for anyone who is younger than me and so many of their dreams are in question.  I weep out of fear, worry, disappointment with the world and how we have become split in so many ways…more than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

I have lived a long full life without the chaos we are faced with now but my heart aches especially  for children, teens and young families all over the world.

I have been trying to  embrace brief moments of joy…I heard a flock (gaggle)  of geese honking over my building at sunset last week…the sound made my heart beat just a little faster. My geranium is blossoming so much as it stretches out towards the sun in my bedroom window…embracing moments of joy, my feline stretching in the sunshine and my granddaughter talking to me in “her” language that is music to Nana’s ears.

 

don’t cry little one
the sun is shining today
hear the geese honk

April rains wash pain away
the sun will dry your cheeks

chin up little one
skipping rope and chanting rhymes
oh! sweet merriment

(c)tournesol ‘2022-03-30

Friendships (haibun ~ troibun)

Valentine’s is supposed to be about love and couples but since I had my children 4 decades ago,  it was more about LOVE for anyone who is very special to you, especially my immediate family. 

I remember cutting out Valentine cards to share at school to those “special people” …if it was someone, we had a little crush on, we did not sign it. I also helped my children cut theirs out as well and in this generation, they seem to include more people.  I am hoping that is indicative of the world we now live in…to be kind to one another…to show support and caring.

The media shows us the opposite because unfortunately “tragedy sells.”  Yet, with all that has been going on in the world in the past two years, I am sick of giving attention to sadness, cruelty, and hardships. I am not saying I want to live in a bubble, but I/we DO need balance…knowing about kindness and how wonderful many people have come forward to help one another warms my heart and that too should be in the media…not just an addendum at the end of the news.

One thing I have loved doing in the past few years is writing my own greeting cards and sending them out to some friends far and near…mostly friends who live alone like me.

I do not know about you but when I get something in the mail, I get so excited…I run upstairs and put the envelope on the dining room table and make myself a cuppa tea and then I sit down and savour it. Sometimes it is one line and other times it is a bit longer but the fact that someone cared enough to write something on paper, put it in an envelope, sealed it with love, addressed it with care and attention, put a stamp and walked or drove to drop it off in a mailbox means so much!

I had another selfish reason to do this as well. It inspires me to write a poem and talk in writing to a friend, and forcing me to walk to the nearest mailbox which is 1 km away…so it is also beneficial to my physical and mental health to walk which is something I have not done much this winter especially since my fall early in January. It made me wary of walking on icy sidewalks.

I often try to spread out the cards so I have to go out more often. 

This is a troiku (new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille, at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai I wrote a few days ago, that made me think of my friends this valentine week.

 

greyness lingers
lockdowns hold us prisoners
when will winter leave?

greyness lingers
looking for a bit of light
shining in my heart

lockdowns hold us prisoners
soon the days shall pass
Oh, see the light shine

when will winter leave?
thankful for a caring friend
brightens every day

© tournesol 2022-2-11

 
la grisaille s’attarde
les confinements emprisonnent
l’hiver nous quittera quand?

la grisaille s’attarde
mon cœur s’alimente à la poursuite
de la lumière

les confinements emprisonnent
bientôt le jour va paraitre
voilà, luminescence

enfin l’hiver nous quitte
enchantée d’une amie dévouée
égaiera chaque jour

© tournesol 2022-2-11

 


			

From the mouth of babes ~ Haibun

She hears stories from those who have lost a parent to Covid since 2020.   At that time we lost so many seniors here in Quebec…the most deaths in this country are in this province.  She hears people say, “Oh, it’s mostly folks in their 80’s” as if that makes it less painful to families who have lost their parent or grandparent and not have the privilege to be by their side.  Her heart bleeds when she hears this and she’s so grateful her parents passed before this pandemic.  She feels blessed to have been with both her parents when they died. So many families did not have that privilege. Some said goodbye on flat screens, others never did. And too many died alone or if they were lucky, alongside a compassionate health care worker.

Her worse fear was for her grand daughter, a Covid baby born in 2020, would not be strong enough to fight this virus.  Two weeks ago, Covid visited her daycare and she also tested positive.  Fortunately she weathered through this virus very well as did Papa and  Mama.  Her prayers were answered…her family is still safe.

The world is at crossroads. Families and friends are arguing.  Families are not visiting each other…adult children are pushed away from their parents…the vaxed versus the unvaxed.  It reminds her of hostile political times in the 1970’s here…the separatists vs the federalists. It feels the same way it is destroying relationships among friends and families. However, it is different because people are dying…on both sides…the vaxed and unvaxed are getting sick and the health care system is cracking. Over 20,000 health care workers are off sick or have resigned!

She fell on the ice the other day on her way to the bus to get her booster shot (3rd dose). It was icy and even though she had cleats on her boots, she still tripped over a big chunk of ice under the snow.  She could see herself falling and in that split second she told herself, “Oh, thank goodness there is a young woman a few feet away”  she was hoping she would help her up.  She had actually turned her head to see her fall, but just walked away.  She wept from disappointment …it hurt more than her bruised ribs.

She feels blessed that she can still work from home…counselling youths and young adults especially during these challenging times.  It is the first time since 9/11 she hears calls from youths worried about their future …just as we are all worried.  In fact it is the first time that she feels a solidarity among humans who are struggling…a worldwide shared compassion.

She limits her personal contacts to family and a few older friends who live alone like her so they can encourage each other and regardless of the content of the conversation, they always end it with something positive and sometimes funny.  Laughter is contagious and therapeutic.  The sound of a person’s laughter lingers in their memory and makes them smile.

Photos on her smart phone, videos of her grandchildren and video chats sustain her these passed two years.

A toddler smiles
A new treat with three layers
Unravels her treasure
Licking precious sweetness
Her first Oreo cookie

Daddy’s smartphone rings
Baby rushes eagerly
Nana’s visit!

Looking in her eyes
Filled with life and purpose
Hope fills Nana’s heart

© tournesol ‘2022/01/15

Inspired by Chèvrefeuille’s haiku – Restarting

a world in flames
reaching to regain freedom
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille ‘2022

Grief etched on faces ~ daily moments

It's week two of our partial lockdown, curfews and life in this fifth wave.  My heart goes out to people living alone, especially seniors who have no family or few friends.  And then I feel for youths.  How do they see the world these days, having been robbed of so much these passed two years

underlining grief etched upon faces
woven in the fabric of their souls

upside down smiles
not knowing why, how, when
will life feel moderately
tolerable
again

trying to pull away
feeling bits of freedom
independence
rebellious 
teens being teens

but not now
stolen pockets of time 
laughing with friends
no one sees their smiles
masked with triple layers
no one sees their frowns
no one hears their truths
crying silently in their dreams

underlining grief etched upon  faces
woven in the fabric of their souls

a time to make friends
meet new people
parties here
get-together there

finally find that special
person
who gets them…

and yet, all those
experiences pre-pandemic 
wishful dreams
unrequited loves
unfulfilled aspirations

isolation
desperation
precious paltry moments
facetiming, 
echoes of a video chat

working part time
everyone under pressure
bosses seem demanding
clients irritated
parents stressed and worried

cabin fever breaks
time for a walk
bike ride is always safe
winter sucks these times
holding them hostage
reality biting with a vengence 


underlining grief etched upon  faces
woven in the fabric of their souls

© cheryl-lynn ‘2022-01-07  

Daily Moments  Jan 7 2022

14 beams if light

In memory of the 14 women who were killed Dec 6, 1989 there will be a tribute planned for the victims of Ecole Polytechnique shooting.

The women killed in 1989 were Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.

Fourteen beams of light will be projected into the sky from Mount Royal where  Prime Minister Trudeau, Quebec Premier Francois Legault and Montreal Mayor, Valerie Plante are set to be present.


14 beams of light 
reaching to the sky
tears  in heaven

14 beams of light
14 innocent women 
hear their cries

reaching to the sky
pleading for answers
still …feeling their loss 

tears in heaven
forever
we remember

(c)  tournesol 2021/12/06

Tributes planned for victims of École Polytechnique shooting on 32nd anniversary - The Globe and Mail

Miss you Mom

 
 
7 years passed
missing her each day
like it was just
yesterday
 
miss her scent
rich and heavy
animated laughter
flirtatious smile
uttering  her sweet “darling”
with a British accent
 
7 years has passed
miss her like
it was yesterday
 
Love you Mom
now and forever
a timex love affair
keeps on ticking.

(c) tournesol 2021-12-02
(c)Clr’14

november rain (senryu)

Waking up
To darkness
Filled the day with dread

Sombre
Contemplation
Filled her living room

Thoughts of tomorrow
Same ol’, same ol’
Hope too far to see

Thankful
For digital distractions
Turning minds to mush

Breaking the numbness,
The sun began to rise
Oh! So round and bright!

One hundred & eight
Minutes of glorious sunshine
…phonecall from a friend

rays of true friendship
always pierce november skies
set her heart aglow

© tournesol ’2021/11/13

Daily Moments – November 13 2021 November rain

Dear Emma,

I heard it was World Gratitude Day today, on this 21st of September 2021

World Gratitude Day on this 21st of September 2021.

1- it is my hairdresser’s birthday today, so I am very grateful to have found her
2- I am grateful to have a purpose every morning I wake up and have work that I embrace
3- I am grateful having amazing managers and  an supervisor that allow me to be who I am and support me when things are tough
4- I am so grateful for my adult children who have also given me amazing grandchildren
5- I am most grateful for the friends I have who are far and near and some  are my colleagues as well.
6- I am grateful for my health especially for my sight , so I can read, and soak up all the beauty around me
7- I am thankful when my muse comes for a visit and I can create a poem or story
8- I am so grateful for my ears and voice so I can continue doing what I love best
9- Of course I am thankful for my bff’s (best feline friends) who adapt to my lifestyle (or maybe it’s the other way around…)
10- I am grateful for my peers who are my siblings and cousins…a supportive family who can laugh and cry together.

© Clr’16 Hopeful moments

untold futures ~ free verse

untold futures 

so many changes,
scent of decay
necessary losses

autumn leaves
waving like there’s
no tomorrow…

unknown destinies..
are they really?
darkness looms
ever so cunning

coloured leaves
giving notions of joy,
 and yet, 
life’s on pause…

trees shedding
life- one by one…
on a sheet of rot

children unaware
seeing only beauty
prancing, giggling
jumping into piles
staring at the sky
until they’re all packed
stuffed in paper bags
carted off -- interred

some buried 
in their gardens
rest through the winter
bringing life to earth
in the spring

how I love the different shades
this  bittersweet season
the freshness 
of the air
and yet,
the scent of death
pierces my soul
my joints scream
my heart is heavy…
wondering if spring
will ever come again… 

©cheryl-lynn  2021/09/21

Daily Moment Muse – Free Verse

wind in my face ~ Troiku

Daily Moments - September 21 2021...the wind was blowing and the curtains were covering my screen and this is what my muse picked up.



wind in my face ~ Troiku a new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai


flaming Flamenco
dancing feverishly
my lace curtains

flaming Flamenco
filled with heat and seasons
summer loves end

dancing feverishly
like the last race 
to the finish line

my lace curtains
waving faintly
adieu

© Tournesol 2021/09/21


vulnerablity ~ Troiku (daily moments Sept 3, 2021)

Yellow lines forming
leaves of the elm tree
autumn’s warning

yellow lines forming
open to a new season
falling leaves

leaves of the elm tree
shading my living room
holding my secrets

autumn’s warning
bare branches will soon
colour me naked

© tournesol’2021-09-03

(Troiku is a new form of haiku created by Chevrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai)

Nature weeps – (free verse and haiku) Daily Moments July 30 2021

Clr’2021/07/30

Nature weeps – (free verse and haiku)

written after reading the untruths of Rhéal Forest in Manitoba – a man of the cloth

…and I cried

I listened with apprehension
to a man of the cloth
not!  a man of God
because a man of God
does not judge
a man of God loves
unconditionally

and I listened
my mouth agape

this man filled
with self-righteousness
callous and vindictive
defending other men and women
of the cloth

and the more he professed
his twisted truths

I cried…

and the more I imagined
those who do not want to believe
and judge and blame the victims

I cried…

and the man of the cloth
spoke with a twisted tongue
filled with venom
like a snake…

and I cried…
for the first brothers and sisters
of their native land
who have nourished this land
and taught us how to survive

where grand-maman fed my mother
where my mother fed her children
and where I fed my children and their children
I struck my chest
with my fist
again and again and again

and I cried…

for the untruths
from this man
of the cloth
who is not a man of God

and I cried…

© cheryl-lynn ‘2021/07/30

(troiku) a new form of Haiku

leaves flutter
gentle breeze underneath
blossoms shudder

leaves flutter
speaking softly
fledglings nestle

gentle breeze underneath
vibrant colours
sway

blossoms shudder
nature
cries softly

© Tournesol ‘2021/7/30

Daily moments July 30 2021

Happy Birthday, Mom (troibun) ~ daily moments

On the 2nd day of summer, a baby girl was born.  I wonder why they did not call her Summer but of course it did not translate well in French.  And so, Colombe (Dove in English) was born.  She was planned, so I hear from stories from my GrandMaman, on one Sunday afternoon.  How did they manage to have the house to themselves and what on earth was on their minds, coming from Sunday mass?

My grandparents had a flat on the 2nd floor of City Hall at the time, because my grandfather was Chief of Police.

My grandmother often said that out of all the children there was always one that was chosen to take care of their parents in their old age.  My grandmother used to call Colombe,  “Mon baton de veillesse’’ (old aged stick…which really means ‘old age crutch’.)

But you must remember in those days in 1925,  good Catholic families prohibited from family planning…this baby was planned.  GrandMaman used to say a baby planned on a Sunday was ‘’un bébé d’amour’’ …I am not sure love child means the same thing.

And so June 22, 1926, Colombe was born…the fourth child, the middle child of seven.  Of course this was a small family compared to other good Catholic families back then.  My grandmother was fortunate to have learned young, as a midwife, when a woman ovulated…and so she found her way to plan her family despite the sin she may have committed.

I wonder how they spoke about this plan coming home from Sunday mass.

Mother:  I think it’s time to plan for a child that will take care of us in our old age.

Father:  Okay [with a twinkle in his eye and skip in his step.]

Mother:  Yes, this afternoon would be a good time while the children are at the cottage.

Father:  I aim to please, my love.

I don’t know if she carried her to term of 40 weeks, so I imagine this discourse took place sometime in September or early October…oh my!  I wonder if it was on my Grandmother’s birthday, October 13th….[rushing to check 1925 calendar…okay, so let’s add a bit of imagination to this story] 

On October 11, 1925,  GrandPapa asked his spouse what she wanted for her birthday October 13th.   And that was her present!  I bet GrandPapa wished he could gift her like that more often…[chuckles]

Colombe certainly became a special “baton”…when her little brother was only one, he had TB and she had to quit school having completed Grade 9 to take care of him for two years while he had a body cast. 

From there she later went to Montreal at Hairdressing school at Morgan’s (The Bay).  She stayed at her sister’s who had a baby and a toddler and became a live in Nanny when she was not in school because her sister like to wine and dine with the rich and famous and her husband.

She never really got to live life on her own freely…and when she met my father, who was auditing a company in her small town, they married six months later.

I’m glad she did because I wouldn’t be here today .There is a story to tell on that day forward but suffice to say the best part was having moi and my sister, right? [smiles]

She was an amazing daughter, friend, spouse, sister, mother and the most loving and fun Nanny as well.  I am so glad my children have fond memories of her.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Even in heaven, I bet there is some heavenly celebration you so deserve.

autumn love
sowing seeds in fertile ground
June blossoms thrive

autumn love
embryo warm and safe
winter womb

sowing seeds in fertile ground
praying for a good harvest
faith, hope and love

June blossoms thrive
Creator’s love in abundance
reaping virtues

© Tournesol ‘2021/06/22

P.S. Dear Mom. Please sprinkle your magic down here tonight so the Montreal Canadiens can beat the  Vegas Golden Knights.

Daily Moments – Happy Birthday Mom - Troibun

summertime (troiku) daily moments June 20/2021


at the seashore
wind of summer through my hair
the shortest night

© Chèvrefeuille

At the seashore
Roar of rolling waves
Squeals of excitement

Wind of summer through my hair
Toes quickly turning blue
Summertime in Maine

The shortest night
after honouring fathers
summer solsltice

© Tournesol ‘2021/06/20





Written for Carpe Diem 1845, a troiku about summertime.

…Mom (tanka)

se souvenir
ce rire contagieux
parfum de Givenchy
pincement passionné des joues
chuchoter, “Je t’aime ma chérie”

Mom June 22, 1926-Dec 2, 2014

reminiscing
that infectious laugh
scent of Givenchy
passionately pinching cheeks
whispering, “Love you darling”

© Tournesol ‘21/05/10/09

a Big covid day ~ Daily Moments ~ Haibun Apr 8 2021

Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s done!  I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.

Okay, that is now but last night I was worried.  I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night.  I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.

So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it.  I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked!   I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.

By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate.  There were 5 lines.  I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500.  There were more single people than couples.  I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this.  I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life. 

As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe.  I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!”  I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned.  Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!

As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask.  Then I was told to get in the line and follow.  I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart.  The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”.   Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner.  I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing.  But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come. 

One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me!  I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.”  I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others. 

I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.

By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!!  then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station.  A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off.  Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting.  I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain.  I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious!  Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!

I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this.  However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up.  Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place.  I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health. 

I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived.  I can talk myself out of negativity.  Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time.  I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away.  It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.

I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are.  Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine.  I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy.  I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any  kind of health coverage.  So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.

I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.

I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity.  I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.

plants forming buds
others are late bloomers
still… feel the movement
life is slowly awakening
beauty once again

© tournesol ‘2021-04-08

flowers for valentine? ( haibun) Daily Moments Feb 14/2021

The earth has been diseased for decades and now for over a year, the world is still held hostage by a virus that has no mercy and gets stronger over time. Humans are at war with a trillion drones hiding in wait…yet, they are invisible! And so we walk around with the only protective gear possible even in this high tech era that we live.

Social distancing
Wearing a mask
Washing your hands

Social distancing
Preferably
STAY HOME

Wearing a mask
When you can’t social distance
Forget the lipstick

Washing your hands
BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!

Scientists working tirelessly to give humans ammunition but it’s a slow,process to gear every human..

In the meantime, is nature really healing? I mean aside from seeing a bluer sky, is it really? When things get safer, how many humans will revert to old, damaging patterns? This “time out” is perhaps an opportunity for humans to change. Here is one way to hear from a long time environmentalist David Suzuki 

A bud
Struggling to blossom
Needing air and water

A bud is just a bud is just a possibility …

© Tournesol’2021-02-14

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

 

It’s finally dark…

Wake up with the sun
feeling like a prisoner
another long day

Looking for excuses
to stay safe inside
it’s too cold,
it’s too icy…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

feed the cats
my prime concern
then grinding java beans
fragrant and delightful
a lift that makes me smile

lifting the blinds
just a little
just enough
felines sun bathe
yet not enough
to peek inside my lair

just enough to see outside
watching the same people
day after day
day after day
walking their lady lapdogs
jogging to the park
some walking hand in hand
day after day
same old shit,
different day

one, two, three hours pass
still finding reasons to stay inside
brushing my cat
petting the other
blessed my friends are here
keeping me sane

binging today
on SVU…Law and Order
stories about perpetrators
victims of abuse
tales remind me sometimes
of stories that I’ve heard
the only consolation on TV
the bad guy may get caught
the victim may finally heal
live sort of happy ever after.

another hour, it’s quiet
the cats are sleeping
bellies full
the streets are empty too
no walkers now
just cars parked in front
a visitor here
another guest there

not sure if it is illegal
but keeping someone sane
outweighs any Legault law
so long as curfews followed
such visits heal the soul

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

it’s finally dark
yet not too late
last minute souls
who brave the streets
to get a dozen eggs

it’s finally dark
we’re all shut in
it’s passed eight o’clock

it’s finally dark
survived another day…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

 

(c) tournesol ‘2021 -02-13

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

 

Today as my colleague was describing a counselling process, I was visualizing a collaborative partnership…like creating a tapestry. Each yarn, unique in its texture and colour; each row adding to the complexity forming; client holds bits and pieces of yarn, varried textures from thin to soft, soft to thick and coarse of so many colours; counsellor holds the loom and together a new story unfolds.

Wrapping yarn
Bulky, soft and unique
around each nail

wrapping yarn
attentive and respectful
to each detail

bulky, soft and unique
weaving each new syllable
tapestry of life

around each nail
exploring – discovering
options unfold

© tournesol ‘2021-02-09

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

Who am I but me? (written 2014)

I am me, none other,
not my mother’s weaknesses
nor the sins of my father
but the qualities of my mother,
strength of my grandmother
sometimes tenacious,
impatience blessed
my fortitude
and sometimes
with  some solitude;
when o’er the top
kinsfolk distressed.

I am perfect
in my imperfection
I’m an ordinary human being,
doing the best I can
with utmost dedication.

I love to  help, care
listen with compassion
giving, feeds me double rations
so much more do I receive.

I am female
woman, all the time
insisting I be true
to my heart’s desires,
my need for intimacy
my thirst for sexuality
if society permitted
I would not have to store
said desires in a drawer
No indeed!
they’d call me an exciting player
rather than promiscuous stayer
and…
I’m also a lady the rest of the time;

I am not English
nor am I French
I am Canadian,
then I’m Québécoise
I am a product of my ancestors
woven of the best of tweeds
in French, Irish, Welsh, English
like most Canadian tapestries.

I’m independent
but not unfriendly
embrace my solitude
which toys two camps
of loneliness and isolation
ambivalence ascends
with feelings of worthlessness,
aloneness then transcends.

I love my mother,
and all my children,
and my children’s children too,
my sister moreover-
cousins most times,
my friends… true siblings
soul mates, by design.

I love with abandon
sheer lust and passion,
not always guarded…
but, ill prepared,
which sometimes breaks
the heart in two,
Lord Tennyson
seemed to know this pain
as quoted saying:
‘Tis better to have loved and lost,
than never to have loved at all.’

I want to wake next to a lover
but not lose me along the way
so much explored of me, discovered…
I learn to love me more each day.

Originally Published:  © Cheryl-Lynn R.’ 2014/05/14

Oh my! How life has changed since I  wrote this…but I have not…I wonder what verse I could add to 2021…something to think about…

while the world waits ~ Troiku ~ Daily Moments ~ January 30 2021

 

while the world waits Troiku Daily Moments January 30 2021

scrambling for vaccines
not enough to share
while the world waits

scrambling for vaccines
generate new variants
politics and greed

not enough to share
countries forming cliques
survival or greed?

while the world waits
use your mask and wash your hands
and stay the feck home!

© tournesol ‘2021 – 01 – 30

 

A slow bleed Free Verse

A slow bleed ~ Free Verse

a slow bleed…

at first the world was shocked
like being on a ship, discovering a leak
but then there were too many …

like a kitchen fire
putting out the flames
until it spread too far…

winter, spring…
the world looked in shock
watching overseas
knowing what was to come

so many deaths
so many losses
too many mourners
robbed of saying, ‘goodbye’

and then summer arrived…

leaks seemed under control
fire was a constant simmer
‘Summertime’ in the air

most humans still followed rules
…except
those wrapped in self-righteousness
their stole of complacency
those screaming for freedom
claiming their rights and liberties
defying laws that protect humans
laws to allow essential workers
do their job
to keeping the sick, alive

healthcare workers hold a screen
a dying patient says ‘adieu’
from afar, loved ones mourn

a nurse steps out for air
in shock, so much despair
sees marchers scream unmasked
claim threats are just a hoax
deaths only media hyped
they see not what they do
but only their umbilici

under its watchful eye
coronas sneer at their prey
multiply to centillions

autumn’s expectations
children, youths, essential workers
vulnerable and at risk
coronas’ tempting hosts
spreading more and more
coronas hanging on

essential workers stock our shelves
food for demanding bellies
barter with the devil
should they get tested and miss work
or work to feed their family
should they risk to lose their homes
their families on the street?
no benefits protect these heroes
what else can they then do?

winter locks the world
…again
this virus holds them prisoners
scientists work around the clock
companies start producing
new remedies for the world
but…
our fears and egotism
controls human behaviour
politics gets in the mix
add greed and nepotism
all powerful yet fatal

leaders and wealth
put the world at risk again
the rich’s win will be short lived…
the poor …we’re still not sure…

I wonder which is worse
which virus is more contagious?
which germ destroys the most?

corona or inhumanity?
who cares…
they all  are now bedfellows.

the world bleeds…

© tournesol 2021 01 30

Lean on me (troiku)

(c) clr’21 Richmond Hill, On.

a new dawn
daisies lift their heads to the sky
shimmering star

a new dawn
heart fills with butterflies
quiver with joy

daisies lift their heads to the sky
searching
morning promise

shimmering star
butterflies sip sweet nectar,
spreading hope in gold

© Tournesol’ 2021/01/10

<

(c) clr '2021 Lake Wilcox, Richmond Hill, ON. Canada

Dear Emma – Decemember 24, 2020

 

Image may contain: cat and indoor

(c) clr 2020 Bette and Kali

Dear Emma,

It’s Christmas Eve and here I sit reflecting on my life during this global pandemic. I think I must have a few more wrinkles since March. I always used to say my lines were signs of life because I was very expressive. I laughed from my belly [sometimes too loudly], I smiled a lot in public even to strangers, which of course, add more lines around the mouth and eyes and I cry A LOT. I cry when I laugh too much; I cry when I am moved by beauty [my daughter singing in a choir as a child, my children driving 6 hours to visit me, my grandson’s birth, my son receiving his first award in primary school, my son’s first child born in a time of despair bringing hope to us and unity to the family, my mom coming to visit me after a long absence and any movie and touching commercial…the list is far too long].
This year, I have bursts of tears when I listen to the news, watch children walking with their family and distancing themselves from strangers, children in the park with masks and mothers who look so worn and tired…moments of reality like that open the flood gates and it lasts a few seconds until the next outburst.

So much has changed and yet has not. We all are experiencing Covid Fatigue [Yes! that’s a thing and it includes Zoom meetings fatigue for remote workers. I hear the difference on the crisis lines from March to December… it has changed. I feel fortunate to be able to hear their stories from youths from 5 to 29. Such a heavy load to carry at their age. I imagine the 20’s, 30’s and 40 somethings have an unknown future. Jobs will be changing for them and I imagine colleges and universities will be developing new programmes to fit with the new “times”. The saddest part is that they will be carrying the burden of our nation’s debt for many years to come. In Canada and even moreso in Quebec, social benefits are so different than our southern neighbours and other parts of the world…but we may be more aligned with European countries where health and welfare of all citizens is accessible. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to live in a place where health care is not free and only the “haves” have a better chance in life but the “havenots” are left to their own means which means not very much. It is inconceivable, no shocking and shameful in industrialized and rich countries,  to see how access to good health services is not a right.

I remember when we started paying the government for our universal health care when it started…oh, we grumbled for sure if we were the lucky ones who were never ill and did not have to go to hospital and many ordinary people had Blue Cross which helped for hospitalizations. I know my sister paid her OBGYN after she gave birth for several years! But the first ten or so years after it was put in place, hospitals would send us a bill that we did not have to pay but it was a statement listing all the costs of our time there. It was shocking to see how one hospitalization could put a person in debt and how a surgery would force some to sell their homes. Yes, this is something we have come to expect…it is a right and I am grateful for that.

With the realities of what we are living, at least I don’t have to worry about how much hospital costs will come up to if ever I get sick. 60 to 80% of my medication is paid…sure I pay every year to the government a lump sum because I am still working part time but when I am no longer working and living only on my old age pension, I will not have to worry. Now if only dentists were part of the deal…[sigh]

I had not connected with friends for a few months when I lost my voice in November. I had to preserve it and when I started back to work on 2 hours a shift on the counselling lines. My GP and ENT both say it was due to my chronic sinus problems and GERD. Who knew that your digestive system could damage vocal cords? Okay well, I had no idea and my ENT also added that clearing my throat like I do so often is very damaging. I don’t want to blame it on the virus or stress because these are things that have been going on for years and I had no idea it could damage anything…I just thought it was uncomfortable and I bought a special pillow to prevent  problems. Yeah, yeah, I know that my weight gain surely has not helped. In February with my busy months preparing for the move to my condo, I managed to lose 10 pounds just by being so busy and then I “found” them…I guess my body missed them. [chuckling]
I like to walk a lot but with this virus, I got a bit paranoid and limited my walks which then affected my health both physical and emotional. I needed to start practising what I was preaching.

Family and friends tell me it’s because I have a sedentary job but actually, the three days I DO work, when I get a call I usually walk around my dining room and living room and manage to do 5,000 steps easily. Of course I do believe it is the routine of getting up mornings, rushing to walk to the bus stop, walking up and down the stairs at the Metro and then walking to work…those were regular healthy walks twice a day. I keep telling myself, “Tomorrow, I’m going to pretend I am taking the bus and walk to the bus stop and then walk around the perimeter until I have done my 2 to 3 km and then start my shift. But do I do it? No, I sleep in longer because I get to bed too late and struggle to fall asleep so after 4 to 5 hours of sleep, I roll out of bed about 45 mins before I start taking calls. This is NOT good…I know.

It’s cold outside now and if I do go out like I did last week to the park at -22C and good lord, it takes about 15 mins to get dressed with all the necessary layers and then attach my mask to a special tie I purchased to slip under my chin and scarf once I am alone outside. I suppose walking in winter is a good idea since less people go out.

I have to say I am proud to see so many seniors walking their dog two to three times a day like clockwork…I bet dogs have never been so happy this year. My cats are happy to have me with them and Kali, my youngest cat who is so soft and silky I loved stroking her fur but she would bite me due to overstimulation but with my being home all the time, she has learned to crave my touch without biting…ah, to sit in my arm chair with Bette on her bench next to me (does not like to be held) and Kali draping her long slender black silken body on my chest, neck or lap (she decides, but of course) and relaxing to the purrs. That surely is a stress reliever…who needs medication?!

My goodness, I am going on and on again, Emma, and the first thought I had before starting this journal entry has not even been addressed. I guess I needed to talk in my mind and let my fingers tell you a thing or two that has gone on in my life lately.

Oh, yes, this is what I meant to start off my narrative…I was speaking to a friend this week and telling her that I reflected (a year of reflection is an understatement!) on how I felt. I asked myself, is this really the worse time of your life? And it dawned on me that there have been certainly other times in my life where I was much more stressed, depressed and felt so alone in my suffering. There were times I felt like I was drowning and only touching the surface briefly to take in a bit of air of sustenance and back down that black, cold hole at the bottom of the ocean. When I think back on those times, I realize I am truly fine and fortunate. I have a home, enough money to pay for the hiked up grocery bills, I am healthy and lucky enough to work remotely a few days a week which allows me to sleep nights not worrying about food and shelter. Yes, there are things I may have to change…like the humble amount I put aside to repair and remodel my bathroom (the shower will do) because I realize I may have to put thousands $$ on my teeth when I feel safe enough to take public transit and see my dentist next year…I was very upset and angry at times because I felt I only had about 2 years left to be able to travel a bit before I retire on my old age pension and 2 yrs is what will be the time before it will be safe enough to travel…so I need to be content with what I do have. I realize my life has had many hiccups and changes and I adjusted, and the most important thing is that now is a time to truly be mindful of each day and embrace what I do have. A new grandbaby and I have purchased items for when she can some day sleep over with Nana, my grandson who has his driver’s license already! can come to visit me and his school is just around the corner, so I may be blessed with more than I can handle [I can’t wait].

During boxing day week I plan to get a decent gaming monitor wich will be excellent for me to work with/writing and company gaming;  I want to slowly clear out the guest room to be multifunctional…bedroom/tv room for kids/ craft room. I know that is a lot but I have had time to save lots of DIY’s on YouTube and purchased some tools to try and do it myself. I have lots of projects I started in March and come May I lost the motivation and slipped in those dark waters for a while. I need to and want to try to get back into this frame of mind of working on projects.

Lately, I have done some knitting and crocheting projects…I knit like a six year old…so everything is simple and most times I have to redo them multiple times to come up with something decent. With Covid, I have not been able to shop and touch yarns and ordering on line is not recommended if you’re an amateur like me…[did I mention I don’t know my stuff?] but now, I have about 30  balls of yarn for future projects. I did have to put some on hold when I fell down the stairs and sprained my wrist but hey! I could have banged my head, broken my arms or legs…I was pretty darn lucky, hence the safety of my extra padding that may have saved me…so there are some advantages of being extra curvy [mischievous smile].

I am hoping to continue on this path of looking forward to day to day blessings rather than look too far ahead. A video chat with my grand-daughter so I can make my silly faces, a time to visit virtually with my son so he can tell me about his stressful day teaching at his elementary school, a wonderful chat on the phone with my dear friends…laughing, venting, crying and always ending with a belly laugh. I am blessed and 2021 will be a year, I think for me, to let go of old dreams to make room for new (more attainable) aspirations.

I wish you, Emma, and all my readers a safe holiday season…hoping people will not give in to COVID-19 fatigue and fall into complacency…that ugly invisible enemy is just waiting for us to slip and fall. Don’t give in…I am refraining from giving my 2cents to non-believers and anti-maskers, Emma, because I want to end on a hopeful and calmer note. Happy Holidays!

(c) Cheryl-Lynn 24/12/2020

Where is that darn magnet?

Image may contain: cat, table and indoor

I just published a troiku (4 haikus piggy backing on one another) here in describing my daily thoughts and that inspired me to write a bit more, so I looked up Linda G Hill’s Saturday prompt of Stream of Consciousness and I decided to free flow write now before turning in and will post Saturday…

There are so many deliveries these past months that I cannot keep up with cutting up boxes to put out for recycling. My guest room is part library, part Kali’s room (my beautiful black cat) and where I have a make shift pantry where I put non perishable food that I don’t FEEL like WASHING the containers so it sits there for at least a week. It is enough that I wash anything new that comes in the house…I have become the twin sister of Detective Monk. I think the world has turned to Monk [chuckles]

I have received a few Christmas cards but yesterday I did receive a beautiful “first time ever” family Christmas portrait/card…homemade of course but still. My son, his beautiful wife and baby Lara sitting on mama’s knees. Well, let me tell you, I made room right at the centre of my fridge door and placed the magnets properly to ensure it does not fall. Then I notice a few picture needed shifting a bit to the left and others a bit to the right and then I heard one of the tiny round magnets fall to the floor. I got on my knees…and lordy lordy, getting on my knees hurts even more now that I have added more pandemic weight but search under the fridge, under the stove…the sink…nada! I sure hope it went far far so Kali does not try to swallow it. Of course I know her, she would just play with it like a hockey puck or soccer ball. If any cat could join a sports team, it would be Kali. She just moves those two front paws at such speed and finesse too!

So now that I have written this, I feel a bit guilty and worried and will pull the fridge and stove to find that darn magnet.

© Cheryl-Lynn

Written for The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday) Dec. 19/20

9 months later…(troiku) Daily Moments Dec. 18 2020

hearing the murmur
interrupt my worry mind
from my laptop

hearing the murmur
soft moans sounding like snores
my big fat cat

interrupt my worry mind
blare of the condo buzzer
Amazon delivery

from my laptop
sixty faces staring into space
another Zoom meeting

© Tournesol ‘2020/12/18

Daily Moments – 9 months later – Troiku

Dear Emma, Friday 13th Nov 2020

 

Dear Emma,

It has been months since I have written on a regular basis.  Many respond to sudden changes in their lives to comments like “Life happened” with all the busyness one may be exposed to.  But like the entire world, my only excuse is “Covid-19 happened” and it just took me a little longer to react.

Sure I was stressed and scared in the beginning but I was so busy putting out fires working on the crisis line three days a week, I would take four days to stay busy…distracted with still settling in my new condo since February…and yet every midday there was a press conference and I would freak out in my own little home.

I would rarely show my concerns with family or friends because they had enough to deal with.  At that time I was worried for my future and the unknown but like I said, I was also busy trying to reassure, comfort and listen to those calling our youth line that, that kept me focussed.  It reminded me a bit of a mom who is trying to tend to the family when they have an illness that is contagious.  Chicken Pox comes to mind as I had to stay quarantined for three weeks with my son and THEN on the third week, my daughter caught it…so six weeks quarantined.  Wow! I thought that was pretty tough then!  How naïve I was!!

In March and April and early May I was still counting the days since our lockdown and now, I have given up counting.  What used to be days, has turned to weeks and now turned to months.  Actually now the thought of counting any amount of time has a bad ring to it…yep, when you start hearing that things will get back to normal…or sort of normal in 3 to 4 years…I dread even thinking about that…my future is much shorter than my clients and my peers, working in an environment where the average age is 25.  So yeah, I’m probably the age of their grandparents.  I wonder how my last decades will be.  I had hoped to travel the first three to five years,  while I was healthy enough and still working to afford the expense…now I don’t know anymore.

In the beginning I mourned the future of youths and anyone 20 years younger than me; I felt so bad for them.  I was worried about my son and his wife and wondered if my son would be allowed to assist in the birth of his baby due in mid September.  I worried about his return to teaching elementary school and putting his family at risk.  I worried for my daughter and her three boys who were 12, 14 and 16, living in dullsville and wishing they could be with at least ONE friend other than each other.  I worried about the sanity of my daughter and her partner working from home with extremely stressful jobs that has increased since the pandemic. 

In May, George Floyd’s murder hit me more than Covid-19…one was a virus and difficult to contain, the other was an act of malice that could have been prevented.  And so I mourned for his family and friends, I mourned for past, present and future people who have died maliciously. It took George Floyd’s death to finally have the entire world acknowledge and listen to people protesting in the streets about systemic racism for black , racially marginalized and indigenous people  ALL over the world.  The finger was first pointed at America and finally we all looked humbly in our own back yards at the injustices that have been going on for decades if not centuries.  White privilege is finally being understood slowly…systemic racism is being acknowledged and recognized…notwithstanding our stubborn premier here in Quebec who will NOT use the word systemic racism pretending NOT to understand what it means…even if many have explained it perfectly in French for any bozo who pretends not to know.  If one does not acknowledge it, they can give that as their excuse to NOT begin to resolve the problem.

Mid-May, I finally bought an inexpensive home antenna and caught the news on several American, Canadian English and French channels…so now I could watch a summary rather than the whole press conferences that I was getting to dread.  I dreaded Zoom meetings and the echoey sound it had and would rarely attend to work meetings and rather chose to stay on the crisis lines. I am still not able to watch for long periods of time, shows that have Zoom…it just reminds me of a new world I dread. 

I worried I would never be able to hold the newborn baby when my grandchild would be born and then July came and I had my very first outing with the family…we were allowed to meet with our 2 bubbles…so my son, his pregnant wife, and my daughter’s family,  celebrating my grandson’s 16th birthday and finally saw everyone.  We had not been together since Christmas 2019. 

I was still scared walking outdoors and was not familiar with my surroundings.  There is a beautiful gigantic park 5 minutes from my condo with an artificial lake that runs a mile and a half long.  I was too scared to go but in August I decided to check it out. I hated walking alone all the time and not having a goal or destination, so I started talking to a friend in Toronto on my walks.  I tried to go for a walk during my lunch time as well to get away from watching the news on YouTube, not having cable, I was stuck with only streaming information. 

On August 20th, the Great Spirit answered all our prayers and my grand daughter was born three weeks early!  My son was permitted to stay with his wife the three days in hospital and I even spent three days the week after helping mama and baby Lara with this new transition.  I treasure those days I was blessed to hold Lara in my arms, soothe her and help her sleep.  The week after school started, I had to stay away from family….AGAIN.

And then the lows hit me. It felt like I was buried alive sometimes. I hardly went out for walks, would binge on mystery channels and Netflix and had a hard time to concentrate on reading…someone who used to read 3 to 4 books a week…my mind seemed to be slipping.

Work was getting heavier…calls were abundant and intense and although I was relieved youths and  young adults were reaching out, once off the phones, I was back in that dark hole. 

I tried anti-depressants for three months and nothing seemed to change and then it was increased and after two days of that awful feeling, I called my pharmacist to ask if I could quit cold turkey…it happened to be a medication that had little to no side effects if stopped suddenly.  That was the same day I heard from a dear friend who was caring for her son who had a terminal illness…I think that is what woke me up.  Life is still going on…cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating diseases are still around…in fact, it is even harder for them with all the restrictions and precautions due to this pandemic.  No, that was like a slap in the face for me…I wanted to try something else to get out of my dark hole.  It was time to start practicing what I preached to so many of my callers.

But two weeks ago I lost my voice. Well, you cannot answer calls on a crisis line with no voice and even if this week it is raspy, my vocal chords still need a lot of healing due to a couple of reasons. Reflux was the main culprit as that damages vocal chords a lot!  My  doctor gave me a three month treatment and warned me it would take time.  And so here I am,  trying to write again.  Today,   I was admiring some of the posts  my colleagues submitted on our internal Slack showing their hobbies.  That reminded me how much I had changed.

In March and April I was writing a little more, refurbishing furniture and getting into artsy things like water colouring, colouring and considering oil painting.  I was plugged into YouTube so many hours a day learning new DIY’s from makeover rooms to arts and crafts and then summer came, and I stopped.

I picked up knitting but within a few weeks my arthritis warned me painfully not to overdo it and so I picked up crocheting and with the help of YouTube learned new stitches or how to improve what little I did know.  I just finished crocheting a shawl for my daughter in law, almost finished knitting a throw and almost finished knitting a long, long scarf. In the summer I had purchased over $100 worth of yarn for a baby blanket but every time I start knitting something, it takes too long and hurts my achy body and I get discouraged and take it apart.  I knit a bit, then crochet a bit….that way I don’t overuse my body. 

Oh, and in August, I slipped down the stairs of my condo on wet steps the idiot janitor did not put a sign it was wet and there I flew right into a wall. The only thing that still hurts is my left wrist which does not help with crocheting or knitting.  But then again, those are things that may be soothing but they are passive…not helping with my dark moods.

Today, I logged onto WordPress and checked in my Reader to see who I was following and the first post that caught my attention was Linda’s.  Gee thanks, kiddo!

So here I am trying to get back into writing. Oh, I have written similar posts like this one before but after an hour or so I would just delete them.  This time around, I am hoping on this Friday the 13th, it will bring me good fortune and back to my old passion that has always been so therapeutic…writing.

© Cheryl-Lynn ’2020/11/13

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 14/2020 Ring

a new beginning (haiku) Daily Moments Nov. 13/20

 HAPPY DIWALI💕 – Happiship
 (c) https://happiship.home.blog/2019/10/27/happy-diwali%F0%9F%92%95/

  
 shaking in the quake
 uncertainty
 prayers interrupted
  
 obscurity reigns
 then -  rising from the darkness
 Amma’s smile
  
 sneering in her sleep
 monsters gaining speed
 Kali wins the fight
  
 fear turns into hope
 cruelty turns to compassion
 darkness turns to light
  
 © tournesol’ 2020-11-13
  
 Daily Moments   November 13  2020  New beginnings (Troiku )
Celebrating Diwali - festival of lights 

New sounds of silence (troiku)

New sounds of silence – Troiku – Daily Moments Oct 29/2020

😢
sitting in silence
Playing a game of Solitaire
Dropped the nine of Spades

Sitting in silence
Peering through the window
Folks with hidden frowns

Playing a game of Solitaire
All her hopes and fears
In one deck of cards

Dropped the nine of Spades
Far too many ghosts moaning
Breaking the silence

© tournesol’20

https://www.985fm.ca/nouvelles/sante/343640/chsld-sainte-croix-de-marieville-importante-eclosion-de-covid-19

https://cafeastrology.com/fortunetellingcards.html

 

A cherita – a tragedy and a crime

A mother of seven suffers abdominal pains

A family entrust a loved one in the care of health professionals
health care providers who should care with respect 

Suffering woman wails and pleads
attendants curse and denigrate the patient
forever silence her with an overdose wrong meds

&&&

government officials offer their sympathy

Shocked, they fire one nurse and orderly pending investigation
Media probes the premier if he’ll admit existing  systemic racism

stubbornly shaking his head says, no
tsk tsk tsk, how can he fix a problem when in denial

&&&

seven children  and a husband grieve

a community of First Nations mourn together
Indigenous people raise their voices nationally

Sadly I sit,
Wrapped in despair and umpteen questions
Shaking my head, when will this ever end?

© Tournesol’2020-09-29

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/indigenous-woman-who-died-at-joliette-hospital-had-recorded-staffs-racist-comments

https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/sante/2020-09-29/mort-d-une-femme-autochtone-a-joliette/une-infirmiere-qui-a-tenu-des-propos-racistes-congediee.php

Staying safe inside ~ troibun

Stats read 896 positive cases today! Families are cycling; couples are walking hand in hand; can’t see the smiles of solo walkers.

Sunny skies
Autumn breeze
summer’s hanging on

Sunny skies
Keep on taunting me
But I’m safe inside

Autumn breeze
Swaying branches
Wave at me

Summer’s hanging on
Knock knock knocking at my door
can’t catch me in here

© Tournesol ’20-09-27

the lotus (haibun)

(c) Clr’2020

I just love the story of how a lotus starts off.  Such a beautiful flower, appearing so delicate and yet it is so resilient.  This flower grows in ponds and lakes where water does not move much, hence it sprouts first under water in mud and murky water. Just as humans go through life facing loss, sadness, death, and dark moments, hopefully we become stronger and our mind is awakened, acquiring wisdom.  The lotus stems become stronger, forming a bud that pushes its way towards the light, above water and only then, free of dirt and mud, opens one petal at a time …just as humans open up to spiritual growth.  How fascinating!

In Buddhism the bud of the lotus represents potential. We have the potential to spiritual growth  and  awakening,  and enlightenment. As the lotus flower emerges from the water clean, this represents purity of body, speech, and mind…an awakened mind.

 

murky waters breed
good and grueling times, and then
a lotus blossoms

© tournesol ‘2020-09-23

This haibun is honouring a dear friend and colleague who celebrates almost 3 decades helping youths through the most difficult times one could not imagine. Happy Anniversary, dear Lotus.

change ~ haibun ~ Daily Moments September 1 2020

(c)Clr’16

 

The grey haired lady walks her dog at the same time after eight this morning, one hand on the dog’s leash, the other leaning on her cane. I look across the street and the elderly couple are not up yet…the patio blinds are still shut…soon it will open and the couple will sit outside to smoke their morning cigarette with their cuppa.

It’s different today. At six I could hear so many cars and a few busses ride down our boulevard. At three in the afternoon I see a yellow school bus stop in front of my building. A teenager with a heavy backpack, still wearing his mask, walks alone to his condo. Within an hour, there are so many people walking their dogs…ah, yes, many are back in school and back working outside the home. No wonder everyone is out at the same time…I’d better not go out at this time…not yet.

It is life back to normal…or is it normal? I decide I will go out to mail a parcel tomorrow when there are less people I might bump into. Yes, I have an idea of the time slots where I may be free from wearing my ask outside walking to the pharmacy. I don’t mind wearing my mask outdoors as well as indoors but I have to walk so much slower when I wear it outside but if I must, I shall. Maybe during lunchtime I will walk to mail my parcel. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Fifteen minutes one way and fifteen to come back. Great idea!! it will be healthy for me since I am indoors so much listening to people in distress.

Now I wonder how my grandsons are feeling…what was their day like in high school? What was the bus ride like? Are all the children abiding by the rules? What is it like during their lunch hour…such a sad reality they must live.

My son is a teacher and today children are starting back to school for the first day; from kindergarten to grade six…only the Grade 5 and 6 have to wear masks. I wonder what that is like for the children…for the teachers. How are the parents preparing their children so they are not freaked out? Life is back to normal…yeah, right (shaking my head in dismay). What have I to complain about, sitting in the comfort of my home?

unremitting change
no need to feel discomfort
caterpillar waits

© tournesol ‘2020/09/01

in loving memory of a great man (free verse)

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Can`t seem to find the words
the mind is just so numb
cracks etched upon my heart
memories start to form
lines on every vein
telling each a different story
good, caring, funny
warm, loving, happy
smart, wise and witty,
A hundred and one adjectives
Never enough for this fine man

that time he whispered softly,
“Now be careful when you date,
that no man breaks your heart”
Handing me a tiny teddy
That held a great big heart
he gave me one fine Christmas
My first, away from home

Oh! Remember my first date
At Phantom of the Opera!
so frazzled on what to wear!
Fred and Mae just sat down calmly
on their maple Vilas couch
watching the little fashion show
helped me choose what to wear

those nights coming home
after a date with so and so…
a bottle of Kahlua
a shot glass and a note
“Hope you had a nice time,
Here’s a nightcap for you,
before you go to bed”
that time that we three had dinner
and then he smiled and asked
smacked his lips mischievously
“Wanta share a joint with me,
It’s one of Wardy’s homegrown?”
I thought about it
mulled it over
and said to myself,
“Why not?!”
I felt very safe
with Mae & Fred
and was plenty curious too!!
Had not experimented
In my teens with LSD or pot
a goody two shoes I was a lot
the sixties and the seventies…
never dated much either
I married my teenage sweetheart
When I was just fifteen.

I think mid-life made me daring
at forty-five I was bold
I tried my very first joint
just a few puffs here and there
and off to Disneyland I was!
Guess I was not a good candidate
or as my cousin Ward would say,
“Cuz, you sure are a cheap date!”

He was there when I moved
five hours away from home
he and his wife made sure
I was safe in my new home
He pushed me to exercise
Walking a mile after work
Then we’d eat that chunky soup
Homemade by Mae each week

We talked about life and helping people
Psychology and mental health
he understood me and my work
I could feel his fatherly pride
His heart that swelled inside
for all that I have done
and I’ll cherish all those times
he gave so selflessly
altruism his middle name

We both loved to read
And when he finally retired
He joined a book club
The only male reader there
But Fred was so accustomed
Exceptions were his ordinary

We shared a few novels
Discussed them for awhile
I wish I’d had more time
Discussed with him Green Mile
Those stories that made you think
I treasured his insights and wisdom
His thirst for learning
Never quite quenched
There was so much in life to learn
Feeding on medicine and therapies
nothing was beneath or above him
Except of course technology
Computers did drive him mad!

a loving and generous man
how could you not admire
A man of such great depth
quick and clever
kind and compassionate
he never missed a beat
devoted… compassionate

Until we meet again
Uncle Fred
I so hope you are dancing
Speed walking and jogging,
free of all aches and pains
walking up, one by one,
those golden stairs beckon
you to heaven

© Cheryl-Lynn August 7, 2019

embracing the joy Troibun Daily Moments June 24 2019

(c) clr ’19/06/22 Chambly Rapids

Sitting on remnants of an old tree, she stretches her feet and rests them on the flat rock. Her toes dip into the cool water and she closes her eyes, allowing the river rapids to draw her in. Rumble, rumble, splash, spray, whoosh…hypnotic rhythm of the current.

Her mind is still not quite clear and she chants four Sanskrit words softly over and over and over. Her voice becomes part of the summer breeze and echoes over the waves. Soon, her mind is filled with memories of her mother smiling and laughing. The children are young and giggle at their Nanny as she sings a song with lyrics she makes up along the way.

many days have passed
hanging on a limb
ruminating

many days have passed
sadness and joy
woven in time

hanging on a limb
rumbling with the rapids
ambivalence flows

ruminating
pausing to appreciate
breathing in the joys

© Tournesol ‘19/06/24

Daily Moments – silken blessings (troibun)

She saw an ant by the living room window…a sure sign spring is nearing summer. The heat is already getting to her with the ragweed gnawing at her sinuses. Her chest is heavy although she blames the pollution and the pollen of the old oak tree and ragweed.  Yes, that’s it, dust and pollution.

(c) Clr '15My grands, Mia and Heidi (sisters)

(c) Clr ’15My grands, Mia and Heidi (sisters)

In July she will be house and pet sitting for a week in Rougemont, a small village known for its apple orchards. In the back yard there are very berry bushes, three apple trees, lilacs, rose bushes and a long yard for Mia and Heidi to run. The end of the yard is lined with various trees that give an illusion of being in the country by the forest. She likes to sit there at mid-day in the shade and cool breeze the leaves offer her. The girls have their spot in the shade after they’ve had their time to play tag and play wrestle. They are sisters but fraternal twins. Mia is a Golden mix and Heidi is a German Shepherd mix. And she, is their Nana. 

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apple blossoms
blessings in many forms
fingertips on silk

apple blossoms
fruitful
promises

blessings in many forms
Golden licks a hand
that pets her

fingertips on silk
under the elm tree
spellbound

© Tournesol’16-05-14

Daily Moments   Silken Blessings  Troibun May 14, 2016

Split second escapes (haiga)

Soul Sisters © CLR 2013

Soul Sisters
© CLR 2013

 

(haiku)

Inhaling
nature, green beckons
childish fun.

&

Clicking on the menu
to start a new contact,
the story will ensue
we form a first contract
I listen and care too,
sometimes it gets sad
need to find a bit of glad
to maintain my strength,
then, my heart fills
with feel-good thrills…
soak up a fond venue
screen portrays this view…

Two soul sisters
in more ways than one,
resting on the stairs
soaking up the sun;
just seconds before,
they make a dash for
a game of
Tag! you`re It!
and Catch me if you Can!
a little friendly wrestle
growling in their
rounds of muscle
all in sisterly
canine fun.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/05/30

Submitted for: PookyPoetry Prompt #30 – Screensaver. I often alternate with a screensaver at work from family photos of my mom and me, my grandson, my children, lovely street photos I took or loving pets. These are two sisters my son owns, taken on the back steps of his Rougemont home. I call these split second escapes when counselling on the phone to maintain a strong, comforting and engaging stance.