Her safe embrace (troibun)

I realize at my age it may sound silly to say I am an orphan but when your last parent dies,  that is what we are regardless of our age. My father passed in 2004 and  I am without my mother since December 2014; however,  fate had it that I would never have to feel alone. After a year of writing poetry and blogging, I first heard of a very special and divine person through a writer in India, Sreejit Poole from TheSeekersDungeon who introduced me to his mother, Karuna Poole from LivingLearningAndLettingGo, who in turn told me about this famous Guru.   In the summer of 2014 I met this auspicious person who truly made me feel at peace.  This was five months before my mother passed.

Last week,  I traveled thousands of miles to  gather among devotees for a three-day retreat.  It was more than meditating at dawn; it was more than yoga stretches and poses.  It included waiting patiently for Amma’s Darshan, however in Sanskrit, this may mean an “auspicious sight”,  it was even more than merely bowing in the divine presence of Divine Mother, Mata Amritanandamayi who is known more as Amma (Mother). She is also known as the “hugging saint” and yes, she actually hugs each devotee who waits in line for her embrace, whether there are a hundreds waiting or thousands.  This selfless act of love and compassion, she offers to people all over the world.  I was fortunate to see Amma on her last North American Tour of 2016 before she returned to India.

Amma is known for her embrace but also for her compassion and humanitarianism


chants surround me
on bended knees
safe in Her embrace

love surrounds me
spirit lifting
with devotion

on bended knees
no longer an orphan
in Amma’s arms

safe in Her embrace
heeding  words
whispered in my ear


I found this music video sung by my favourite persons chanting mantras Deva Premal & Miten fit perfectly with this experience.

Amma – In The Light Of Love – Deva Premal & Miten

The first day of the retreat, I hesitated to kneel and was given a seat to receive Amma’s hug but the following days, I insisted on kneeling, telling myself, I can endure the pain for a few moments.  I had managed to concentrate on several weaknesses of my body during this retreat. 

For example,after responding to the 1000 names of The Divine Mother, we were led into a short silent meditation. The first day I had to use my inhaler to control my coughing but by the third day, I kept visualizing Amma’s face and telling myself, I can control my breathing if I slow it down, I will not be inclined to cough and it worked each time we meditated.  I learned to control the depth of my OM as well.  It was softer but by controlling the level of my voice, I was able to follow along respecting my limitations. 

It may seem like a minor accomplishment but for me it was astounding.  I talk for hours on the phone counselling youths nine hours a day, four day a week.  In the past year I have noticed towards the last two hours I am coughing more and find it difficult to talk for long periods of time.  I know now I am able to control the level of my voice…I will try to practice to talk slower and softer to take care of my throat and lungs. 

Some say when they receive Darshan, Amma gives them a profound and wise message.  I have never had one in person but each retreat I learn something and these past few days, I have received messages in silence.  I felt her presence helping me control my breathing.  There are other insights but I will share them on another post. 


Amma’s presence
healing and divine
gives me strength
unleashing unknown skills
mastering from within


Amma Darshan 

safely frozen (troiku)


lost love
under a sheet of ice
safely frozen

lost love
not shattered

under a sheet of ice
until spring

safely frozen
for a season
softening the blow


Haiku Horizons “safe”

A troiku is a new haiku form created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Daily moments Dec 4/16 moment of grace (troiku)

(c)Clr'16 coming Home
(c)Clr’16 coming Home

Light as a feather
saunters on a bed of waves
enlightened soul

Light as a feather
floats freely

saunters on a bed of waves
with His grace

enlightened soul
only Divine ears hear
singing softly

(c) Tournesol’16/12/04

Daily Moments Dec 4/16 picture of grace

mysteries of grief (troibun)

Grief can be quite mysterious. One day it can feel like you are wrapped in a prickly shawl that makes you uncomfortable only now and then, when the prickles pinch you. Other times it can weigh you down like an iron wrap and slow you down for no reason at all. It snakes around and hides a spell and you may think that all must be fine, until it crawls out at the most inopportune time.

It is a slow process and not one person experiences it exactly the same way but the roller coaster of emotions can make you nauseous sometimes and other times angry, sad, guilty and salty tears return again cleansing your heart.

Sometimes I find grief is a bit like a leaky faucet. You know when, all you really need to do is change those worn out washers, but you don’t get around to it.   The water may start leaking when you least expect it.

Aw but laughter is cathartic and it can be a nice way to reminisce of past times, long ago and maybe an image will make you smile…a nice reprieve.

©Clr’16  First snowfall – November 21,2016


like the first snowfall
tender sorrows veiled
autumn leaves rest

like the first snowfall
slipping back in time
childhood memories

tender sorrows veiled
taking up too much energy
holiday seasons

autumn leaves rest
under fluffy white duvet
warmed by loving hearts


Daily Moments – November 22,2016  Mysteries of grief

Daily Moments reflections (haibun) November 18 2016


November has been more palpable than former years.  Once we passed a few weeks of rain, one gets the feeling that life is still hanging on.  There are the odd trees with colourful leaves hanging proudly on their branches.  It is almost as if nature is making a statement but it is difficult to interpret the meaning.

The other day I noticed one tree on my way to work with half of the right side full of yellow leaves and the other half completely bare. I smiled as I passed by the tree and wondered how the wind and the rain worked in tandem to catch ONLY one side of the tree.  “Nature works in mysterious ways sometimes”, I thought to myself, shaking my head.

Yes, November seems less dark.  Last week I looked out the window from my desk at work and I catch a glimpse of such beauty.  No time to get to the rooftop for I may miss those warm colours.  Yesterday, I saw this huge ball of fire dipping and the few seconds it took for me to aim my phone to that glorious scene, the sun had almost slipped completely below the horizon!

How blessed I feel, sitting at my desk, watching the Great Spirit paints different shades with each brush stroke on His canvas.  And despite listening to the struggles of youths on the phone, I am relieved we can give them a bit of hope and  I feel  the presence of something very powerful as I look out the window.

I am thinking of the approaching days and the anniversary of my mother’s death As we approach this date, December 2nd, I feel myself slowly replaying that night by her side … her last moments here. I cannot help but wonder if it is because it is my mother.  It is just as I replay the birth of my children the day before their birthdays even 30+ years later;  I find myself also replaying the end of life with my mother.  How blessed I was to be by her side.

ashen waves
sentimental currents
whispering despair
wind driving clouds away
making way for sunshine

I love remembering times with my mother and talking about her with my children. They too have fond memories of her. Every time they smile and laugh at how funny she was. She was a bit like Lucille Ball only she was not acting!


missing you
my new role in life
as an orphan
remembering you
showers of sweet blessings


Daily Moments reflections (haibun) November 18 2016

charm of depression (haibun)

Depression can mean many things.  We tend to overuse that word meaning, sad, moody, down in the dumps and wiped from work or school;  all these last moments to days or weeks but depression is not quite the same thing.

I remember seeing the face of depression when I was a teen for the first time.    I observed the grey tint to her face, the emptiness in her hazel eyes and that consistent  pout.  Of course, what did I know at thirteen?  I thought there was a cause and  that was the effect.  One person causing a broken heart, which in turn turned those hazel eyes into depression.

And yet, I know now that it is far more complex than that.  Yes, a broken heart is grieving a love that one had. I like to call all grief a “necessary depression”.    And that sadness can conjure up old wounds and offer an opportunity to reflect and perhaps heal some of them.

Depression does not have to be the result of a particular cause.   It can surface for no reason at all outside of the person.  “A chemical imbalance,” a doctor may explain.  I remember getting calls from youths shocked that they could possibly be suffering from depression when they were in a loving family, they had good friends at school and they were doing will academically.    But this does happen.  Sometimes there is a genetic component that may increase the risks of depression.

I also recall working in home-care and seeing some of my colleagues (nurses or personal support workers) who were suffering from “burnout”.  I had not realized how that can creep into your life like a snake…very slowly.

That may be why I never saw it coming for myself. Working at two part-time jobs, taking two courses per semester at university, member of school committees at my children`s school, along with other volunteer positions.   I learned what it meant to “burn the candle at both ends”.

Depression allowed me…no forced me…to take the time to reflect on my life.  It was like I was driving on the expressway and never taking the time to stop and visit the towns along that highway.  Depression forces you to take the scenic route, although you may not see it as charming at first. Truths are never too pretty to face sometimes but the weight alleviated makes your perception on life so much prettier.

depleting life’s fragrance
fetid black hole
semantics adorn truth
eau de mélancolie


rising to darkness
glare of the sun
struggling to decipher
imitation from realness


dawn to dusk
one long steady sweep
of grayness
children playing in a park
specs of colour start bouncing


my sunshine poking me
never giving up
finding my lost treasure
my self-worth


Written for Chèvrefeuille’s Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

This started off as a series of tanka and I decided to personalize it more and shall share it to my other blog StigmaHurtsEveryone

Daily Moments November 10, 2016 speechless

Walking home she lifted her eyes towards the sky and sighed. The beauty of that moon gave her energy despite the end of a long evening at work. She stopped, admiring this cosmic show and wished she could capture just once, with a photo. “Aw”, she said, “at least I have this imprinted in my memory. Perhaps if I write about it, whenever I want to be reminded of celestial beauty, the words may bring me back to this moment.” Just before walking into her home, she took one last look …

weaving through stray billows
 moon and I


Daily Moments November 10, 2016 speechless


dancing with the stars (haiku)

In a surprise episode of Chèvrefeuille’s Make the Haiku Complete, the goal is to add the first and third lines to the given middle line to complete the haiku.



dancing in the moonlight
seeking Eros

I thought it would be fun to choose two constellations that are best viewed in November such as Cassiopeia and Pisces. Cassiopeia, a vain beauty trying to catch Eros who is tied his mother Aphrodite…ha! good luck with that! I happen to be a Pisces as well and today is my son’s birthday.


Thank you, Chèvrefeuille for this fun prompt! CDHK


The following text is from Art of Manliness discussing 15 Constellations Every Man Should Know.

Pisces:  Latin for “fish” (plural) Best viewed in: NovemberThe two fish of the sky represent Aphrodite and her son Eros, who turned themselves into fish and tied themselves together with rope in order to escape Typhon, the largest and most vile monster in all of Greek mythology. (Art of Manliness)

No Latin meaning, it’s the name of a queen in Greek mythology Best viewed in: November

Cassiopeia, in Greek mythology, was a vain queen who often boasted about her beauty. She was the mother of Princess Andromeda, and in contrast to other figures being placed in the sky in honor, Cassiopeia was forced to the heavenly realms as punishment. As the story goes, she boasted that her beauty (or her daughter’s, depending on the story) was greater than that of the sea nymphs. This was quite an offense, and she was banned to the sky for all to gawk at.  (Art of Manliness)

time (troibun) Daily Moments November 7, 2016

(c)Clr’16 Olivier

The body remembers, they say. Last night after dinner around eight, her lower back was aching. They had just finished a birthday dinner one day ahead. Her son was born the following day at noon. When her guests left, she put an ice-pack on her back and rested on her comfy couch watching a new series “The Crown”. The series caught her attention in so many ways since her mother had her children during the same era Queen Elizabeth did and she was born in 1926 like her mother. Watching the children in those times, the fashion, the cars, brought her back to her own childhood. Reminiscing back and forth from her youth and bouncing back to when she gave birth to her firstborn was a memorable way to end her evening.

She remembers, long ago, that soft throb coming from her lower back every fifteen minutes on her lower back and increasing with intensity over hours until she realized after midnight that this must be the beginning of her labour. Who really knows when it’s your first?


Perhaps it is true…the body remembers and her backache was a subtle reminder of the joy of giving birth today to her son, thirty-eight years ago.

years go by
seem to vanish in thin air
like a shooting star

years go by
babe to boy to teen to man
life fast-forwards

seem to vanish in thin air
time at a standstill
snapshots remember

like a shooting star
beyond the milky way,
how time flies!

(c) Tournesol’16-11-07

Daily Moments November 7, 2016

To learn how to  write a Troiku which is a new form of Haiku, Chèvrefeuille, who created this form, explains it on his blog Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Daily Moments – giggling leaves (Troiku) October 30, 2016



crackling  leaves
like children on the playground
spreading their joy

crackling leaves
crunching beneath my feet
singing their goodbyes

like children on the playground
autumn wind
whistling through the leaves

spreading their joy
naked branches welcoming
long awaited sleep


Daily Moments – giggling leaves  (Troiku) October 30, 2016

We are inspired by the beautiful words of Kala Ramesh at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai:

seeing the whole
blossom contained
in a seed
I look up to the sky
with all the stars

illusions ride
on a fast fading rainbow
somewhere there
I let go of my childhood…
I must have
© Kala Ramesh

I’ve written a Troiku inspired both by Ramesh’s words and the photo below.  To know more how to write a troiku which is a new form of haiku created by Chèvrefeuille, check on his website here Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

last rites (haibun) daily moments October 29/16

The colours will soon disappear and I look around at the maple leaves on the ground; some are red, yellow and amber. Walking through the thicket I try to slow my pace and take in the little green that is left and the grounds are muddy now and leaves are turning to mush. Still, I hope the Great Spirit will not wash it all away before its time. Last week we had five days of rain and this is day two of the five days foretasted again. Wind and rain seem to be the enemy in mid autumn for we are robbed of those last days of colour and beauty. In spring wind and rain turn into our gifts to clean the land and make space for new blossoms. I suppose there is a time for everything…this is the unsavoury part of loss, endings.

season’s rituals
Mother Earth goes to sleep
cleansing rites

Daily Moments – October 26, 2016 November gloom looms (troiku)

bouncy toddlers
soon approaching vapid days
adjoining nature

bouncy toddlers
a squirrel stops in hope for treats
giggles echo

soon approaching vapid days
darkness looms late afternoons
ghosts with skinny arms

adjoining nature
hunter spots from his hideout
doe eyes pleading

(c) Tournesol’16-10-26

Written for Three Word Wednesday :Vapid, bouncy, adjoining

Daily Moments – October 26, 2016  November gloom looms (troiku)

weather shifts (troiku & senyru)

Photo credits: Rick Clampini'16
Photo credits: Rick Clampini’16

temperatures shift
sitting on a bed leaves
first snowflakes

temperatures shift
wind blowing fiercely
scarf on a branch

sitting on a bed of leaves
jack-o-lantern treat
squirrel prefers tricks

first snowflakes
flutter ever softly
on running noses


autumn weather shifts
laying on leafed bedding
snowflakes on their tongues


Written for Haiku Horizons “shift”

Daily Moments October 24, 2016 Weather shifts

habits of the times (solo no renga)


echoes linger
mocking in the shadows
mid barren trees

tendencies of souls at risk
symbolic of this season

leaving far too many


Three Word Wednesday: symbolic tendency unhinged

Daily Moments October 21, 2016  habits of the times   Solo No Renga

broken (haibun)



waning moon
like broken souls of broods
kiss the darkness
daunting clouds still hover
robbing them of their youth

Walking home with heavy heart she thinks of her long shift. So much suffering, such turmoil, youths turning 14 going on 40…all the tears and moans linger in her heart.

(c) Tournesol’16

Daily Moments October 20  2016  Broken

hunting the moon (haibun)


Leaving work flirting midnight, she looked up at the sky and began her pursuit.  The sky illuminated at times showing off its teal blue and then she noticed patches of white and grey.  On she went aiming for the perfect spot…

(c) Clr'16
(c) Clr’16

weaving through
over and under
rain clouds
preying through black forests
chasing the glow

(c) Tournesol’16

Daily Moments October 19  2016  Hunting the moon

Daily Moments Oct 16/16 – Sunday’s Best (Haibun)

Sunday stroll by the river just before sunset.  She walks along the park alone;  summer lovers have deserted their summer nest and still, she feels a tingle of life, romance and sheer beauty in the air.

(c)Cl Roberts'16
(c)Cl Roberts’16

dressed in autumn’s best
preening at their reflection
one last time

© Tournesol’16-10-16

Daily Moments October 16, 2016

semantics (haibun)


Late at night after she has arrived home and settled on her comfy couch, her bff (best feline friend) snuggles on the back of the couch near her neck. Such a lovely way to end her day. She wonders why on earth the English language chose “purring” to emulate the sound. Yes, definitely, she thinks to herself, the French word has coined the perfect match.

savourant le calme
bercée par son ronronnement
paupières s’alourdir

basking in stillness
lulled by her purring
eyelids weigh


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 8/16

Daily Moments  October 13 2016 Semantics  Haibun

follow the leader (troibun)

Last weekend she spent time in the country at her friends’ home.  They had just received their puppies for breeding and family and friends came over to see the puppies run freely.

Life as it should be
siblings bonding

life as it should be
two sisters and two brothers
running freely

healthy fun
pure and innocent

siblings bonding
as one



30 days of haiga, September 27 at 19 Planets Art Blog, Prompt: directions or maps

last mission (troiku – haiga)


season’s last mission
spinning faithfully
a spider’s lace

season’s last mission
a labour of love
writing her jisei

spinning faithfully
each phase

a spider’s lace
the main foyer

(c) Tournesol’16

September 24, 2016  30 days of haiga at 19 Planets Art Blog

whispering autumn (haibun)

First day of autumn and she wondered if we would get relief from the heatwave.  It was so unusual for this part of the country.  Well, just on schedule, the temperature dipped just a little but enough to wear a hoodie…well, others did. It took her a lot cooler weather to warrant a sweater.  But she did bring it in her backpack and she shoved her rain hat and trench coat just in case it did rain later after her shift late into the night.

Aw, autumn did not disappoint for sure…leaving work, she had her hoodie zipped up nice and snug and once outside, she had to take out the rainwear.  She loves walking in the rain.  No need for an umbrella…her hands are in her pocket with the hood of her trench coat keeping her nice and dry as she walked the 2 km to the Métro.



soft breeze
autumn’s here


September 22, First Day of Autumn – 30 days of Haiga at 19Planets Art Blog

Daily Moments – whispering breeze (haiga)

tranquil moments (troiku – haiga)

autumn pause

mid-day pause
hours before
school’s out

mid-day pause
earl grey

hours before
when all you hear
autumn breeze

school’s out
slipping back into the living
laughter and bedlam


September 21 – 30 days of Haiga – Prompt: tranquility or peace at 19 Planets Art Blog

Troiku is a new form of haiku created by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai


Niagara Falls (troibun)

red rock waterfall
into emerald pools
cedar incense

water blackened rocks
falling with the waterfall
some of them

chipped rock
the shape of water

white rim
on black rock light falling
with the water

© Jane Reichhold

Image result
(c)ShutterBox – Niagara Falls, Onatrio

The first time she visited Niagara Falls, she was a teenager, visiting him. Returning thirty years later, brought back old wounds not quite healed. The falls were famous for honeymooners and lovers but that day, they were more…

rumbling falls
pouring out her soul
mist shielding tears

rumbling falls
rainbow curtain
above white ruffles

pouring out her soul
melting cruel memories
softens the heart

mist shielding tears


Shawbridge creek (haibun)


summer creek
the fish in me getting
fish kisses

summer-hot hills
folding together
dry creek beds

without a boat
crossing the creek
pine shadow wind

© Jane Reichhold

Artist, Mae Giroux, my aunt
Artist, Mae Giroux, my aunt

She has such fond memories up North in Shawbridge, now called Prévost at the family cottage. It was built by her great grandfather who arrived from Ballybunion,Ireland in the late 19th century. They called this summer place, Kilarney Cottage and it could house at least twenty people with nine bedrooms and only one bathroom in the kitchen downstairs. The house was next to a clear water creek. Children as well as grownups loved to skip the rocks in the creek. If you slipped, you got a startle from the frigid water. She remembers screaming with delight when she managed to skip more than ten rocks. Tucked in bed late at night, the adults still partying downstairs. The fresh cool air and sound of the running water from the creek muffled the laughter and clinking of glasses.

icy water flows
fish splashing at sundown
roaring creek lulls

© Tournesol’16

in the dead of night (troibun)


midnight blue ink
river flows
writing sorrows

midnight blue ink
mocking muses
running off stories

river flows
blending old and current
muddied waters

writing sorrows
drowning at dawn
so boring and trite

Writing about twilight inspired her stay in that moment and wait by the river as dusk turned to twilight and twilight turned to midnight…the wee hours of the night when thoughts rushing in the mind seem to take over and rambling reflections start shouting and the subconscious takes on a life of its own.  Yet, wisdom deciphers what is and what is not…


Where dusk meets twilight (tanka)

melting blues to greys
halting presence
life’s mysteries
lovers anticipate


Inspired by Jane Reichhold:

darkness slipping in
water that cannot be still

nautical twilight
the sea gives its last light
to the sky

among early stars
sea bird’s cry

© Jane Reichhold

Mathew Billings – Where Dusk Meets Twilight

Your Responses: Senryu vs. Haiku

A beautiful post with stunning senryu included by Alan Summers…must read!

Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog

Here are the responses from “Senryu vs. Haiku,” a recent post. The responses were brief with the exception of the one by Alan Summers who was obviously impassioned by the topic. Please read until the end, as there are many large spacing gaps in WordPress.

David Boyer:

Personally, I think the senryu designation is unnecessary. After all, it’s all nature, human or otherwise.


I often have problems distinguishing between the two, Charlotte (as I did here on your blog last week). I am sometimes concerned that I will label a poem incorrectly and look foolish: you have now given me a license to stop
worrying about this!
I enjoy writing both forms, but find haiku slightly easier as I feel a senryu has to contain an element of wit, irony or dark humour, and this can often take some work to get right. Although I’m sure it’s…

View original post 838 more words

30 days of haiga September 18 to 20th

sunflowers 2016

autumn harvest
apples and pumpkins
my city sunflower
blossoms mid September
I wait so patiently

(c) Tournesol’16

18- 2016-018-30doh Prompt: apples


linger on her kimono
scent of lavender


19- 2016-019-30doh [for Sept. 19]prompt:  blue or lavender


memories drift
first red record player
melancholy stays

(c) Tournesol’16

20- 2016-020-30doh [for Sept. 20] prompt: red

30 days of haiga with Rick at 19 Planets Blog Art

30 Days of Haiga (September 11 to 17th)

30 Days of Haiga – Sepbember 11th to 17th at 19 Planets Art Blog




stubby fingers drop a stitch
Grand-Maman soothes

(c) Tournesol’16

September 11, 2016 Prompt: grandmother, grandfather or grandparents


a mother’s keepsakes
from her children

(c) Tournesol ’16
September 12 ,2016 Prompt: cave paintings or painting or painting tools

reading my tea leaves
in the kitchen

(c) Tournesol’16

September 13, 2016 Prompt: found in a kitchen


setting sail
looking for lost promises
autumn breeze


September 14, 2016 Prompt: from the movie “To Catch A Thief”  or boats


exploring paths
wind at my back


September 15, 2016 Prompt: (felt) hats or hats

Harvest Moon

Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

above the smoke
the moon

above the smoke
peering over steel wings
harvest moon

daunting darkness shields the moon
my heart stops

the moon
not above, but just beside me
brings me home


daunting darkness shields the moon
my heart stops

(c) Tournesol,16

Sept. 16, 2016 Prompt: full moon—without the word “full”
[in haiku the word “full” is rarely used because it is understood. in other words when you see the word “moon” in haiku it means “full moon”. all other kinds of “moon” are given a specific name: new moon, super moon, three quarter moon etc.]



nature’s silent concert
on the shore


September 17, 2016 Prompt: on a coastline or shore



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