spirit is infinite (haibun)

© Clr `14

© Clr `14

The only death I truly accepted and understood the infinite journey was my grandfather’s death. Although I was only six, I was blessed to be in a family that was open about life and death; my grandmother being a midwife, talked often of the births she assisted and it did not take away my youth as so many of my Anglo-Saxon raised peers felt…French Canadians kept many European mores I think. And so I remember going to hospital to await the news the doctors would pronounce of the impending fate of my GrandPapa. We often sat by his bedside holding his hand daily for a year, as I lived with my grandparents that year. My sister and I saw the priest perform his last rites, Extreme Unction and his last smile at me surrounded by his children the day he passed.

So for me, finite meant my favourite person had an expiry date to his suffering; he would be in a place where there is no pain, where he could run freely …and yes, I believed this and to some extent still do.

At my age, I have lost many relatives and friends to death and more recently a friend and colleague for whom I have shared a series of haiku; unfortunately there are many I have not quite accepted…sudden deaths, people too far for me to go to their service are mostly the people I still struggle to accept and sometimes I feel it was all a dream and they are still here.

How often I wanted to dial the number of my friend, Janet, who died suddenly when I was far away. The only person who read my mind, felt my emotions; our signal to chat after midnight…one ring…we both knew was the other who wished to talk until dawn. I still don’t accept the infinite passing of this friend.

(American Sentence)

Grandpapa, tu es toujours près de moi, dans mon cœur, ombrant mon âme.


humble corps affaibli
enfin libéré
douleur fini

âme pétillant
pure et infini
les cieux attendent

yeux brillants
plonge dans l’éclat céleste
lumière blanche

lumière blanche
le séduit à l’éther

âme sans âge baigna
grâce devin


weary body
humble and finite
pain-free at last

soul lives on
infinite and pure
heavens await

eyes dip in hallowed glow
white light

white light
seduced to the ether

ageless soul bathes
celestial grace

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem “accepting the finite”

Road Trip (sedoka)

When I lived in Toronto the first few years, I would drive down to my home in Quebec which was a 6 hour drive. Leaving in the morning driving east, I would follow the sun all the way to Montreal. They were long trips alone, so singing with the radio blaring was the only way to stay alert.


(c) Clr ’14

single girl road trip
driving back to the country
winter wind at my back

chasing golden sun
singing old high school songs
on that long lonely highway

(c) Tournesol ’14

BJ Shadorma & Beyond at MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie

a lotus blossoms (haibun)

I 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 becomes stronger forming a bud that pushes its way to 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
ignorance and bigotry
 lessons learned

knowledge stems growth
building strength and wisdom
seeking clarity

reaching for the sun
budding above water
a lotus blossoms

(c) Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Haiku Shuukan

paradise recalled (haibun)

What is paradise? Is it a place we pray and hope to reach some day? Is it a moment of total bliss, joy and exaltation? I think it depends on where you are in the cycle of your life and where you are in your life. If I were in a war zone, fearing the death of my children and grandchildren, paradise to me would be a safe refuge. A camp with enough food and shelter…safe from harm’s way would be paradise.

If I think of all the “Have’s” we have here…I have here, the luxuries, the comforts, the warmth and living without the threat on my life or my children, family, friends and country…I am really in paradise, non? And yet, we search and crave more.

Walking down the street to work and seeing the sun peak at me through the clouds, is not that a moment of grace? A rainbow an autumn evening in the city at rush hour, what a way to end a busy day…pedestrians looking up in exaltation…the smiles on their faces warm with delight and childlike wonder…those are moments of paradise.

Naive and innocent was I…we were such young newly weds, years later I remember thanking G-D for allowing couples to visit paradise in those intimate moments reaching nirvana.

My babies nursing and looking up at me with their huge baby blues, one hand gently stroking my cheek…paradise in all its splendour.

The soothing purring of my cat when I wake up from a nightmare, she has rescued me and brought me to a heavenly place…a moment of bliss.

To feel comforted, to be worry free, to reach your destination after driving in a blizzard…to arrive in a warm home, with a warm cup of tea…paradise.

I believe writing has allowed me to appreciate more, take note and savour more the moments that we are blessed with every day.

They are accumulations of moments too often missed…not stopping to relish, take a snapshot of those moments …it is the memory of those moments of bliss, paradise, that get me through the sullen moments. So, STOP, slow down, listen, bathe in it and store it forever in the attic of your brain.

(c) Clr '14

(c) Clr ’14

a fleeting moment
hark! you’ll miss it
paradise lost

genuine joy
souls joined in concert

at long last
barren mother hears bliss,
“It’s positive”

nursing my newborn
stares into my eyes,
lost in paradise

those first steps,
first time hearing “Mama”…
rise to Nana

sun and wind
commune with the lake
blissful sailing

intimate lovers
matching their rhythms

muse murmuring,
writing poetic prose
paradise found

enticed by nectar
butterfly kissed buds
heavenly blossoms

echoes in biting cold (haibun)

WIN_20140127_083618 (3)

(c) Clr Snow Day – ’13

After a snowstorm, it is like walking on another planet. The sounds are varied…I don’t need my earbuds…the winter air provides a concert. Hearing the muffled sound walking through fresh powdery snow …30 cm or more. Along the way you hear a flop and look around to see the weight of the snow on pine tree, flop, flop falling to the ground.

Hearing a crunchy sound on spongy snowy surface…makes you want to stop…when my children were little, I would lie on my back on the snow and wave my outstretched arms…we had made our first snow angels on this soft fluffy snow.

If it is warmer weather, the snow will be sticky and heavy…wonderful time to make a snowman or two or nice big fort!

Last winter we had such bitter cold days, not that much snow…well, for our standards in Quebec but the cold…brrrrr… the loud echoes of crunch crunch when walking is so vivid…I love that sound walking home late at night. It keeps me company walking alone.  Wrapped in layers starting with cotton long johns, gloves covered with mitts, lamb lined boots, topped with duvet lined coat, my pilot hat, over a ski mask the air too cold to breath, cheeks prickling from the biting cold. Greeting other pedestrians and we can only see each other’s eyes, masked for warmth.

Of course I cannot, not mention, the unnatural sound but still, the sound that lulls me to sleep or puts me in a mellow mood, the concerto of snow plows part of the night across the street from my home is a huge shopping mall. And then the thundering boom of the road snow ploughs clearing the roads for morning traffic.

ice draped branches
shimmer with radiant glow

crunch echoes in biting cold
warm breath forms cloud puffs

whiff of burning pine
recalling romantic evenings
roar of busy ploughs

(c) Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer