beginnings (troiku)


Birth and death, to me, are more similar than different. That first moment you learn you are going to have a child, you go through many emotions. You are shocked or surprised; you are in denial until you accept the fact you are, if you are someone who had not planned this and perhaps inadequately prepared at this time in your life, be it at 12, 16 or 20 years old, for example. You may be bargaining with your higher power or yourself that it could be a miscalculation or you may be a woman who has been trying to have a child for years. Maybe you do not want to believe it in case there is an error and you will be grieving a loss of that hope once again. You may even feel anger or guilt or both if it is consequences of a rape, a party gone bad, a foolish mistake…take your pick. Even if the pregnancy is planned, there are moments of sadness, of saying goodbye to the life as you knew it, the freedom and the fear of having an innocent being dependent on you for the next two decades or more. Every life transformation starts with saying goodbye to your past before hello to that new beginning.

Acceptance can be anytime throughout the gestation period or once that baby is born. And that very day you know that you are treading on unknown territory even if you are happy. That first child, the awkwardness and fear of not getting it right is ever-present. The apprehension mixed with the acceptance of this reality come together ….your new beginning.

I cannot help thinking as I am grieving my mother today, hours before that time she passed, relating death to birth or a new beginning. I am reliving each moment I was by her side that morning, afternoon, night. Even if I knew she was frail and consumed with dementia, the death…that total loss was a new sense of aching emptiness. It was shocking in the sense I had no idea I could feel this much loss at first.

As I sit here hours before her death a year ago, I cannot help but playback moments of that long day. I couldn’t go to work today…called in sick as I knew I would be of no service to youths or young adults in crisis…my soul was tired and my heart too fragile. I thought it would be the day of her passing I would feel this intense loss and need to revisit those last hours we shared together in love… symbiosis.

When I think of the time of her death being just minutes after midnight, it would make sense to be mindful of the day before. My mother would also retell me every year hours leading up to my birth which was minutes after midnight as well.

Thinking back on the births of my two children, I cannot help but be reminded of the day before they were born because those were the preparation hours, things we did not quite realizing when those babies would peak their little faces to the light and out of that warmth.

Every year I relive those moments before my children were born as I do for my grandson being present then as well.

Holding my newborn son years ago, I remember wondering (even if I was happy and had been waiting years to have this first child) how I will cope in this new beginning. Will I manage? Will I be good enough? What is ahead now is new territory I had never experienced before firsthand.

© Clr'15

© Clr’15

When you lose someone you love deeply, as I am feeling with my mother, I feel somewhat similar feelings…that awkwardness, self-doubt on how I will manage through the rest of my life without her. Not being able to phone her, visit her, tell her how much I love her…thank her for loving me and giving me so much all her life. No, this is new terrain at any age.   It is a new beginning of a life motherless, fatherless as well…a new experience as the next generation to pass on and see myself in that new role.

As I think of birth and death, the same exercise goes on in my mind…reliving those hours before that first cry, that last gasp.


Birth and death
time before a milestone
engraved forever

birth and death
ground breaking
both preludes

time before a milestone
unfamiliar ground
flashing by

engraved forever
first or last
intense synergy

© Tournesol ‘15/12/01

Haiku Horizons “ground”

Sadness (troiku)

– Zwobel


alone by the tracks
train toots planned arrival
her dad never comes

alone by the tracks
despair hits her hard
left with not a care

train toots planned arrival
her long awaited father
cares not to show up

her dad never comes
broken promises fill her heart
grief her middle name.

© Tournesol ’15

Written for MindLoveMiserysMenagerie “Sadness”

Holy C Melan

Her nickname is Melan,

she is of sly, slithering species

tantalizing in her distinct bouquet

mesmerizing in her discrete array

of victims of her choosing

dripping bliss as she`s oozing

her prisoners of despair

suffer anguish in her care.

Hallowed in her divine

prowess she will define

the true painful meaning

finds her prey ever demeaning

suffering the wrought of her ability

winning casualties of her torment

sinking teeth of Ms. Melan C. Holy

whilst innocent souls lament.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/04/05 All Rights Reserved

Too often the powers of depression or long dreaded visits of melancholy can bring a person down. Not everyone has to be diagnosed with clinical, situational or other forms of depression to relate to these feelings of despair and I thought this poem describes the tormenting visits of this Melan C Holy baby.

Originally submitted at Stigmahurtseveryone

You are stunning!

I looked at the clock and noticed there was an hour left on my shift. It was a busy evening alright. But I like that because time passes quickly.  I had done two hours of Live Chat and I was now back on the phones after my dinner break. It is odd to call our breaks anything but “breaks” because we can have lunch at 2p.m. and dinner/supper at 10 p.m. depending on the shifts we work and how we have arranged to make sure the service is adequately covered.

The phone rang…

“Hello, you’ve reach a counsellor.”  I could hear faint sobbing, soft whimpering…

“Take your time, it’s okay; just take all the time you need…are you safe?”

I hear a weak “yes” and she tells me her story. She was just discharged from hospital for her eating disorder. She weighed well under 100 pounds…I winced at the thought of her wasting away and thanked the Great Spirit that she was, in fact, alive. “They fattened me up so much I can’t stand it!” she wailed.

The change for her was difficult to bear. She needed support in slowly accepting her “healthy” body.  We talked a bit about what she could do to distract her thoughts and then she shared some sad stories of her past. Such sadness I choose not to share here, but this is what I wanted to remember …  her fight to live even if for a brief dangerous time in her life and how she tried to become invisible…literally.

We explored her passions.  She was an artist and singer/song writer. I was blessed hearing her sing briefly and for a fleeting moment, I could hear her smile…what an angelic voice…such beauty, it managed to transcend through the wires of telecommunication.  She promised to try to focus on her beauty…voice, passions, art, inner and outer beauty and would call back if she felt overwhelmed.

When got I home late that night,  I could not help but imagine this beautiful person and wrote a brief message I imagined sending to her:

Image source:

Do you know that you are stunning?

the last few years, I could barely see you

so frail were you, hugging seemed daunting

what if I’d crushed your bones,

you were really so very tiny;

I remember seeing you back then…

the wind was blowing and I could swear

it was pushing you farther from where

I was sitting on the park bench waiting

watching, silently observing you wasting

away and praying for a miracle.


That was a while ago my friend,

now the miracle did transcend

you are beautiful just as you are.

Pity you don’t yet see that far long

but hopefully in due time

with your gifts of beauty and song

you will sing the words that rhyme

and you will finally see

what’s so clear to me.

I pray someday your insight

will see your beauty transcend

as well as in the light

of day…blessings, my dear friend.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

 Inspired by my original post at StopTheStigma You’re Beautiful

Criticism (haibun)

“Hello, you’ve reached a counsellor. How can I help you tonight?” I waited.  I heard soft sobs; he spoke so fast, I could not decipher his story. “Are you safe right now?  Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am safe. I’m at home alone.  My parents are at my school meeting teachers. It’s the parent-teacher meeting tonight. They are going to kill me when they get home!” His voice reached a high note and he sounded more like a young, scared child…not his fifteen years.

He called out of helplessness…a last resort.  Wishing to protect his family as youths usually do, he needed to get this off his chest for the first time.  Tonight, he wept on the phone for the first time a practice he was accustomed doing privately … his nightly lullaby.

He was worried about his parents’ reaction on their return. He had an  82% average and usually he got 90+  He talked about his listlessness and difficulty concentrating lately, his insomnia, his depression…

“I can’t remember a night I have not cried myself to sleep since I was 11. My  parents say I exaggerate and that I’m just going through adolescence.”

We talked about  these “depressed” thoughts and I suggested a doctor could help to ensure he had a proper diagnosis and address his melancholy and  his insomnia;  I asked him to describe what  it was like for him to feel sad every day, how did he interact with friends, was he involved in sports.  He said he wore a mask at school.  He quickly added his parents were not abusive and  supportive. “They always tell me they love me and want me to go to them if I need help.” He broke down sobbing again.

I asked him what he was thinking…I wondered what triggered the sobs. He hesitated,  “Well, I know my parents mean well but they always criticize me and tell me it’s for my own good. But I am so tired of hearing them talk to me like that…it hurts so much.” He sobbed softly.

He told me what his parents often add to their supportive messages, my mouth dropped as I heard it, “We love you, we care, what are you STUPID?!”  I was silent.  I felt like I’d been kicked me in the belly. I could not imagine how hurtful it must feel hearing such  “criticism” day after day, for so many years.

We explored which trusted adult he could ask for support. Someone who  might be able to help his parents understand how he feels. He thought of a family friend, his father’s best friend.  I asked him if he would consider seeing his family doctor.  He seemed wary about seeing his doctor without his parents knowing even if he was permitted at his age but would consider emailing his father’s best friend after our phone call.

He sighed and said he was very tired now but would call us again. “It feels good finally getting this off my chest. Thank you.”


True criticism

appraise and appreciate

does NOT denigrate.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/17

Photo credits: Psychology and Astrology

Something about Criticism.

Is compassion enough?

it seemed so hopeless
and hard to see the light
walking in the darkness
having lost sight
blind to any likely hope
focus only on despair
not seeing some DO care
that love is everywhere
one may just not be aware
misery is tormenting sometimes
but still … temporary…
suicide is tragic every time
yet still … permanent!
somehow we must try
somehow we must speak
somehow we must hear
somehow we must help
somehow we must never
stop trying, reaching, talking, listening
and above all caring.

by Cheryl-Lynn Roberts,  originally written September 7, 2013