old monk sips

white willow bark tea

the setting moon



old monk joins

 willows singing a praise song

 the rising Son


  I don’t usually explain my poems but today I am feeling the need to do just that.  White willow bark tea was used for centuries to relieve pain.  It contains the substance salicin, from which aspirin was originally derived.

   These two poems are linked in my mind because, in the first verse,  my ‘monk’ is  facing west, in pain, probably  sad.  In the second verse, he turns and gains a new perspective, of the sun rising.  And he joins the  willows in praising the (risen) Son, the One who does not always take away our pain, but presumably, offers us another kind of healing.

This is where the prompt ‘willow’ led me today as I prepare to celebrate Easter.  My wish for all is that you experience whatever peace and healing you need and desire, whether you are celebrating Easter or Passover, or simply the arrival of spring (or autumn)


©WabiSabi 2013

For Carpe Diem ‘willow’

Haiku My Heart – Open

the heart holds many things –
joy and sorrow sit together  –
nestled… inseparable
within the depths of each of us.
when we are privileged to hold
another’s suffering
the heart can feel as though it may burst…
but somehow it makes room……
and this space feels  sacred,
  indeed, it is sacred
coming, as it does,
 from the divine within us.

Grand Rounds

gods in white coats
walk up and down the hall
selling hope
the nurse’s hand
on his broken neck
sweating profusely
the needle slips in
carrying him from pain
to oblivion
the  sound
after the last breath
sigh of relief
renders her tongue useless
brain stormed
flying manic
look ma – no hands
high wire act

his appointment
tethered to dialysis
three times a week
close your eyes
walk  fifteen minutes
 in my blind shoes
 dont leave
this dreadful pain
alone with  me
what day is it?
do you know where you are?
who is president?
ninety- five 
fit as a farmer in spring
new pacemaker
new diagnosis
an ovarian monster
she doesn’t cry
through the windshield
pupils fixed and dilated
 first grader
which words
explain X-ray results
to stricken parents?
gods in white coats
walk up and down the hall
begging for hope
©WabiSabi 2013

For Recuerda Mi Corazon ‘Haiku My Heart’

I Should Have


It was  your hazel eyes that anchored me to that  day,
eyes grown so large in your ruined body,
pleading , begging me to leave the mask off your face,
you were dying and you knew it, 
even as we denied it,
burying that terrible truth in small talk
of train schedules and plans for tomorrow’s trip back to sit at your side,
when tomorrow was right there in your eyes.
 You begged for this bit of control,
knowing that the  oxygen was useless where you were going
wanting those last few hours mask-free,
Please leave it off,  you whispered,
your eyes widening into  gigantic pools of grief,
breaking my  broken heart.
The doctors never told us you were dying,
 maybe I should have known,
all the usual signs were there,
and especially telling, 
the nurses wouldn’t look me in the eye.
Putting the mask back on your sad face
was the right thing for them to do,
but your daughter who can still see your hazel eyes
whenever I look in the mirror
could have (should have) let you do it your way.
    Yesterday morning I read  this  poem  here: ‘Life’s A Bitch’  written by Viv Blake  and posted on her blog.   It greatly  moved me and   prompted me to write about my own  father’s last hours, something I’ve never been able to do. 
    If I knew then what I know now, I would have  let him call the shots.

December 14, 2012

punch in the stomach
knocked clear across the room
 struggle to inhale
heart dragged along 
this tortuous, familiar road
bleeding, broken
 mind numb
questions with no answers
can’t wrap around it
words turn to ashes  
live embers in my mouth
 choking tears
 the soul longs
to  erase the horror
protect the babies
 tied in knots
powerless to console
the inconsolable.
 cannot change what is past
what about the future?

   Friday’s events invaded my thoughts this weekend, pushing all else aside.