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