Chambly Rapids – Monochrome Wednesday


Chambly Rapids 2019
(c) Clr`19 Chambly Rapids

The above  photo was taken June 22nd when I spent the day at the Chambly Rapids like I do every year on my late mother’s birthday, sitting on a flat rock chanting my mantra thinking of her. This year, my usual spot was fenced in since the water is too high, so I found a log further down.  It was a glorious day and I even got to see a heron by the dam. What a treat!  The fence did not stop me from taking photos of that beautiful bird.  He lives on the island not far from here. It looks like he likes to pose or he was just a patient fisher [chuckles]

(c) Clr'19   Chambly Rapids - Heron
(c) Clr’19 Chambly Rapids/Richelieu dam – Pont Yule
This was posted for Monochrome Wednesday




 

la sage femme (haibun)

Weeping Woman by Picasso.

Art Image Publications PICASSO Inspired Art Projects  Weeping Woman – Pablo Picasso, 1937

After a long night sponging the sweat off her patient’s face, she felt her grip her brown spotted hand.  “Ne t’inquiète pas…ça ne sera plus long ma fille, pousse fort une autre fois à la prochaine contraction.” * But then her weather-beaten face frowned…a tear rolled down her chin.  The silence was deafening as she placed the white sweet smelling cloth over the young mother’s mouth while the father took the lid off the shoebox.

shuffling home
weather-beaten hands
holding a shoebox

© Tournesol’15

*translation: Not to worry,my child, it won’t be long now… push hard at the next contraction.

sage femme: midwife

This is one of many sad true stories my GrandMaman shared with us growing up.  I can’t imagine the sorrow she carried with her mixed with joys…

Inspired by our host’s meme today “weather-beaten” at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

Basho & Sora (Oku No Hosomichi)

Our host, Chèvrefeuille says: “This month our central theme is “on the trail with Basho”, because Basho was a traveling haiku poet as e.g. Santoka Taneda was in his time (1882-1940). This month we will (try) to follow Basho’s journeys through Japan. And this first haiku which I will share here is from one of his earlier haibun (or travel-journals), “The Records of a Weather-Exposed Skeleton” (Nozarashi Kiko) in which he describes his journey together with his disciple Chiri along the places described by Saigyo, Basho’s great role-model;”

weather beaten
wind pierces my body
to my heart

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Here is our host’s offering and he asks us to write with the Haiku Writing Technique baransu (in balance):

cold spring breeze
makes the cherry blossom shiver
one heartbeat long

© Chèvrefeuille

Tuesday s Tulips Daily Moments July 2 2019 Troibun

Image may contain: plant, flower and nature
(c) Clr’ 19 Mother’s Day Tulips

This passed winter was long and cold.  Spring came along mid-May.  It was such a joy to see those tulips sprout from the earth.  Reds, yellows and even white petals standing tall and strong despite spring winds.  Even the rain could not push them around!  Hope was painted on every smile when a passerby finally realized that summer was near.

And now in the heart of summer, tulips have been replaced by peonies and daisies…but still, she remembers with fondness, her Mother’s Day present…fresh picked tulips standing tall. If you take the time to notice, you might see one left standing…stronger than its peers.

last of the tulips
stands by the building
left with abandon

last of the tulips
longing for reds and yellows
waits for its time

stands by the building
scratchy and cold
bricks give no comfort

left with abandon
could stand up no more
feeding Mother Earth

© Tournesol ‘19/07/02

Daily Moments – June 2, 2019  Moving Day (troibun)

Related image
Photo credits: Home Depot

 

Moving day in Québec   has just passed in this part of her world like every year, July 1st when residents renew their leases.  When she was a young child it was May 1st and she remembers many new classmates arriving at the end of the school year.  It was not easy for the children to leave their friends and school and start anew in a strange school.    That is why the provincial government, in 1973 decided it was better to end leases June 30th so children would not be penalized leaving their school before the end of their year and that is when Moving Day changed to July 1st.  It is also a long weekend with Canada Day, so many renters who could not afford to take time off work had an extra day to move.

You will notice driving around urban streets in or near Montreal in mid-June to mid-July there are LOTS of junk, furniture, mattresses and many cardboard boxes on the side of the street.  I suppose it is a busy and demanding time for the garbage collectors too.  Notaries (in Quebec we have notaries and not lawyers to draw up house deeds) are very busy from April to July…well, more than usual.  It might not be the best time to draw up a will…if you’re not in a hurry, that is.

Living close to a Salvation Army depot near the bus terminal, she notices piles and piles of clothes and furniture dumped after hours every day for the past few weeks.  And, the curious and disrespectful rummage through the droppings, opening bags and pulling out garments and leaving them spread out in front of the door of the depot.  She shakes her head in disgust and feels bad for the employees who have to clean up the mess every day when they come in to work.  How discouraging is that? Some may argue, “Well, they are paid to do it.”  Sure, they are but the time wasted on this is wasting lots of donation dollars too when they could be doing something else.  Oh well, she can tsk tsk all day long and it won’t change people, now will it?

It is quite warm today at 28C and in the sun it is hot!  She was planning to go the Montreal International Jazz Festival with her grandson but he thinks it is only jazz music and he is not a fan.  She knows there is Blues, Reggae, Rap, Hip Hop and much more but it may be difficult to convince a teenager, so she will play it by ear.  Maybe they can just walk around the Old Port after a nice dinner and see a late movie. That would be cool and since he is a night owl like she is, lateness is not an issue.  Getting up the next day may be more problematic but she is off from work for two days and he is off for the summer.  How she remembers those summer months.  It was a perfect time to read a novel or two and work on your suntan.  How times have changed with the ozone and the sun giving her rashes, she avoids it now.   Well, her bikini body has gone and left her too!

It rains almost every day.  The rainfall has drenched her flower pots and instead of seeing wild flowers, she picks a mushroom or two and throws it on the lawn.  This is the first year she has set up so many flower boxes and pots filled with herbs. Well, Basil is looking promising…good strong plant, that one!

It is mid-day and as she sits in the warm shade, listening to birds chirping and negotiating with their moms for naptime and then the loud piercing shrill of the cicadas quiets everything!  It reminds her of the noon time fire siren that would blare when she was a child in her hometown. The cicadas have a way of mesmerizing nature to a long-awaited nap and humans too seem to find their eyelids heavier after a meal…siesta time.

peonies hanging
bushes cradling each flower
grinning at the sun

peonies hanging
heavy with morning showers
raindrops on petals

bushes cradling each flower
spill over with affection
madonna and child

grinning at the sun
stretching wide
in gratitude

© Tournesol ‘19/07/02

Moving day in Québec

 

Daily Moments – June 2, 2019  Moving Day (troibun)

 

times of beauty (haiku)

gushing beauty
peonies hang lavishly
that time of year

©Tournesol’16/06/15

Daily Moments – June 15 ,2016  times of beauty (haiku)
Haiku Horizons `time`

It seems to be about the same time each year those lavish peonies show off their stuff. Looking through an old poem, June 10th last year I wrote Heavy Blossoms.

Daily Moments, Jan 15 2016 – Haughty peonies (troiku)

http://carpediemtroikuworld.blogspot.nl/2016/01/troiku-challenge-3.html

like a starlet
peonies bow lavishly
in the limelight

like a starlet
serving admirers
with her beauty

peonies bow lavishly
soaking up praise
humility tossed aside

in the limelight
even with wilted petals
beauty in God’s eyes

© Tournesol ’16/01/15

Daily Moments , this will have to count for Jan 15 

Her Lines – A Song For the Mother

The words are moving, his voice is filled with love and passion for our mother, Amma. Beautiful song and if you listen to the version on Spotify, the quality is superb!

The Seeker's Dungeon

Each time we tell ourselves we know what we’re getting into, but then we can’t breathe, can’t form the words to bring back the meaning into – when the world doesn’t flow to our beat anymore and the darkness carries on, we must remember why we stay strong –

I walk her lines because they’re beautiful – to see the world as she lays it out, to play the game as she laughs out loud, to caress her name with a sin tinged growl – I walk her line because they’re beautiful.

Take two steps – won’t you take to steps for me – wanna feel like I am king. And she’ll take two steps, and she’ll run one hundred more, cause she knows what we’re striving for: a truth we can believe in, a world beyond fear, where tears flow freely overwhelmed by a love so dear, where brothers…

View original post 48 more words

heavy blossoms (Troiku)

white peonies
luscious  blossoms spill
over balconies

white peonies
memories of her youth
when Mother was there

luscious blossoms spill
spreading their fragrance
nature’s free scents

over  balconies
river breeze cools
unclad beauty

© Tournesol ’15/edited 19/17/02

today to tomorrow and back ~Troibun ~ Daily Moments June 25 2019

(c) Clr’19/06/22 Chambly Rapids, Chambly, Quebec This fella stood so strong for at least twenty minutes on those teeny tiny legs despite the strong current, then flew to his island.

A wide mist covers the entire front lawn and hangs in the air a few long minutes…steady, wet but light. Then the wind picks up and mist turns to raindrops and the city workers in front get soaked! It’s a grey day today and the streets are wet and filled with puddles. Pedestrians risk getting splashed as the cars drive by way too fast, impatient to catch the light five houses down the road.


My feline friends are taking advantage of my day off and sleeping near me. I have caught up on some reading or more specifically discovering new blogs. I wish I had the time to visit my friends more often but I don’t so I drop by now and then and admire their talents. There are so many amazing photographers in this community that it is such a privilege to travel to various WordPress Galleries.

Today I will stick with photography and discovered this amazing blog…check out this post for you bird lovers at TinyLessonsBlog.

Thanks to MichelleMarie at TellMeAboutIt who is also an amazing photographer. and poet who shared a list of great blogs to discover. Later I may read a few poetry and story blogs if I have time. My grandson is coming over but then again, he is a teenager and may be plugged to some game or two rather than chat with Nana. That reminds me, I must make those brownies , suggested by Janice who also has a few blogs but I`ll share her blog of birds today at BirdBrain


What is so unique about this WordPress community is that I don’t even have to purchase a ticket to fly to any part of the world and visit awhile and get acquainted with “their world”.


Travelling solo
Visiting tomorrow lands
Returning today

Travelling solo
Strangers becoming friends
One blog at a time

Visiting tomorrow lands
Jumping from summer
To winter

Returning today
Travelling coast to coast
On one free ticket

© Tournesol ‘19/06/25

embracing the joy Troibun Daily Moments June 24 2019

(c) clr ’19/06/22 Chambly Rapids

Sitting on remnants of an old tree, she stretches her feet and rests them on the flat rock. Her toes dip into the cool water and she closes her eyes, allowing the river rapids to draw her in. Rumble, rumble, splash, spray, whoosh…hypnotic rhythm of the current.

Her mind is still not quite clear and she chants four Sanskrit words softly over and over and over. Her voice becomes part of the summer breeze and echoes over the waves. Soon, her mind is filled with memories of her mother smiling and laughing. The children are young and giggle at their Nanny as she sings a song with lyrics she makes up along the way.

many days have passed
hanging on a limb
ruminating

many days have passed
sadness and joy
woven in time

hanging on a limb
rumbling with the rapids
ambivalence flows

ruminating
pausing to appreciate
breathing in the joys

© Tournesol ‘19/06/24

Summer Solstice ~ Haibun ~ Daily Moments June 21 2019

 

Another grey day and it’s the first day of summer [sigh]. She worries the skies won’t clear and again tonight she will not see that beautiful, humongous full moon. Well, no reason to fret all day and at least it’s not raining …yet. The weather has been unusual in the past few years. Extreme cold winters that last for months on end and no spring…well, hardly a spring that is.

People joke and say we only have two seasons now, but she thinks there are three…winter, sprummer and autumn. Winter lasts 6 months and sprummer and autumn negotiate every year for what they can get.

Tomorrow is her mother’s birthday and every year since her passing in 2014, she has a tradition. She goes to a town where she raised her children and where her mother would also come for picnics by the river rapids. She sits on a rock with her feet in the water and chants her mantra to the waves, remembering her presence. Tears of joy and melancholy run down her cheek and mix with the river’s splashing from the strong current, the rapids and the dam.

This year she will bring her grandson to the rapids. He’s almost fifteen, and may find it boring…unless, he brings his fishing rod [twinkle in her eye].

behind grey veils
hanging with humility
my summer moon

© Tournesol 2019/06/21

reflections on Father’s Day ~ That Split Second Wink ~ Free Verse

Mom June 22, 1926-Dec 2, 2014

Mom is like a duvet
puffy feather filled pillows
cotton candy and chocolate sundae,
her voice is like silk
mixed with sparkles and glitter
and when I am sad or sick
she’s like warm milk and honey

he is like a painting
handsome and colourful
but unfeeling and cold
scratchy like a wool blanket
on a bed of cockleburs
BUT once in a blue moon
a wink that melts my heart
too bad winks last a split second…
how I wish a wink was infinite
eternal … everlasting!
now there’s just a faint memory
of that split-second wink
that faint smile and husky voice
calling me “kiddo”
making me feel 10ft tall.

Grand Papa

when I think of Father’s Day
I see Grand Papa crawling on the floor
pretending to be a lion
making me giggle and laugh so loud
holding me in his arms
rocking me in his favourite chair
love painted on every surface of his face
watching him jigging and playing the harmonica
loving him for the short time he was in my life…

img_6491

when I think of Father’s Day
I think of Uncle Bernie
he would smile, tickle and tease me
take me in his convertible with the top down
splash in his cool motorboat
even saved me in the river one day
he walked me down the aisle
on my wedding day, and…
will always be in my heart.

Uncle Fred & Aunt Mae

when I think of Father’s Day
I think of Uncle Fred too
he watched me get ready for my dates
when I was forty-five years old!
an overgrown teenager, starting out
all over again
he hugged me and warned me
not to give up my heart too quick,
was there to comfort me
when I took back my heart…mending it
he pushed me to do better
and believed in me

©Clr;17 Mom & Fred A true love story

when I think of Father’s Day
I think of my stepfather…Fred
the love of Mom’s life…a true Love Story
just like the movie and more…
he came to my high school graduation
even came to my college grad too
he and Mom celebrated my scholarship
with my very first drink…
of course, a Tom Collins for beginners
he paid for my wedding ceremony,
paced the floor when I was in labour …TWICE
he loved my mom so much
and that was our common bond

How lucky I was to have so many fathers
loving me, holding my heart in their hands
believing in me, comforting me,
how blessed I’ve been all my life!

© Clr ‘2019/06

Is time measurable ? (troibun)


How does one measure time? Really! Is it like having a set amount of “currency” when each person is born? Does it accumulate interest if you invest wisely? How old do you start to know what to do? What are the profit margins if you invest/save wisely? Does your childhood have an impact on losing/gaining “funds”? So many questions and too many subjective answers according to each person’s perception but especially according to their life experiences.


I know a few people that keep waiting for their “ship to come in”. Does that mean they have badly invested? Or does it mean they are sitting on a “nest egg” that eventually dissolves? Waiting for that lucky opportunity to come by. Envying others who “appear” to be happy and have fruitful lives. How is “fruitful” measured? It is evaluated according to that monster house you have or the children you have and grandchildren? Is it measured by how much you have helped people in your life despite the fact you may live in a shack…you are rich!


I remember in my mid-thirties, peers telling me how lucky I was to go back to university. Really? You call that luck to go to university, part-time raising two children and working at one to three part-time jobs and volunteering on 3 to 4 committees? No luck there, but hard work and perseverance, lugging psychology books to hockey games and cramming in as much studying when I could.


Then there are people who fight for free daycare,(although I do believe in a pro-ratio system) free university and free this and that pointing ugly fingers at people in the corporate world and lawyers for example. I remember asking one former colleague who had no desire to work more than 21 hours a week at 30 something of age. I could not understand that but then again, I come from a different generation, I guess. Here I am 67 and just starting to cut down my work hours to 21.


I do not expect government to pay everything for me nor do I appreciate getting overtaxed like we are in this province. When I mention that some of these corporate lawyers or business people may work a 16 hour DAY, some people just don’t get it.


Now how did we get to that place of judging life’s accomplishments?! Oh yes, time and how one may measure it. Hmm, I suppose you can waste “time” and miss out on “golden” opportunities. Not everything is “handed down to you”. Not everyone wins the lottery and for those who do, so many end up right back their original way of living a few years later because habits just die hard, don’t they?


Time seems forever when you are a child. Your parents at 30 something seem old and your grandparents seem way too old to imagine you will ever get there and great-grandparents seem to be a wink away from death…to a child I mean, of course.


Last week I watched my uncle as he moved slowly filled with arthritis and osteoporosis. He is 91. His head moves forward and his back is completely bent over as he moves tentatively on his legs that may give way any moment. I am only 23 years younger than him and I wonder if I could live like that. He is so determined and resilient despite the pain he experiences each waking moment. He has his partner to help him. She is already 90 but physically in good form even though her mind may seem to be slowly fading but whose mind is not at that age! You often have to repeat to her but then again when she was 40 or 50 or 60, she did not always listen very well. Heck my mind trails off when someone is talking to me for a while…my kids hate it! They say, “I can’t believe you’re a counsellor when you can’t even listen to me!” Well, on my day off, I suppose, I allow my mind to wander is the only excuse I can give. [chuckles sheepishly]


Listening is not always easy for people. I wonder if my aunt had ADD like I do. Of course I was never diagnosed in the 50’s but just labeled as a dreamer in class. My dear aunt is an artist and creative people can be pretty unique. In the 1940’s to 1960’s, good heavens, most youths did not get diagnosed with any form of learning difference. Why, even people with dyslexia slipped through the cracks in those days. How awful for those people who thought they were just not smart enough to be able to read and savour books like I did. I was a slow reader though and my mind could drift and I would have to reread a page a few times to get the gist of it. It was as if my mind had two or three minds working at the same time in that brain of mine, and all the chatter cluttered that space. I think that is probably the best way to describe me.


If I had to measure “time” spent reading chapters for university, I would guesstimate I took at least three times as long to study and write papers. But I got there eventually starting a new career at 39 years old! All the years prior, I did similar work but as a volunteer…imagine the pride and joy when I got my first “paying” job teaching in a high school for five years! After that, it got tricky to get work and so my uncle and aunt who are now in their 90’s encouraged me to not “waste time” since I was getting older and to start my career over in another province where there were more possibilities and politics was not as much in the way as it was here.

Within a few years, I fast tracked, yes, I was able to be in a place that I would gladly have volunteered…I would have worked here for free because I believe in the service. How lucky is that?


So in the past two decades, “time has flown” by so quickly because I spent most of my “waking time” working in a career I have such passion for. I volunteered as well but always chose areas I wanted to learn, grow and enjoy myself. So when John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I suppose in my case, I am living the life I was once so busy making plans for. And in the process of studying to get there, I was still advocating and volunteering for things I believed in.


Hmm, writing this little piece has allowed me to realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.


time
endless – infinite
when you’re waiting

time
a wink away
death

endless – infinite
in a place called “pain”
or hell

when you’re waiting
the mind crawls
a snail’s pace
© Tournesol ‘06/11/2019

Daily Moments – June 11 2019

Thank you to The Muscleheaded for posting Tennesse Wiliams quote which inspired this piece. “Time is the longest distance between two places.”

Daily moments bittersweet encounter troibun

Celebrating his 91st birthday was truly special. She had taken the train early in the morning to make it to her uncle’s home for dinner.  She had time to change at her B & B and arrived for the birthday dinner her cousin had arranged. 

Heaviness weighed upon her seeing how much he had changed…so frail yet a mind still vibrant and brilliant.

 a father
like I never knew
slowly fading
 
a father
caregiver – nurturer
like none other
 
like I never knew
embracing precious moments
he was like my dad
 
slowly fading
body can stand just so much
trying to hang on
 
©Tournesol ‘19/06/07

Steel melodies (haibun)

(C) Clr’19 Brockville, On.

Riding on the train from Montreal to Toronto is a long ride but it’s a train and nothing is more comfortable for long rides up to 5 hours.

She was raised in a train town [hog town they called it for the railroad engineers]. Trains passed through her little town a dozen times a day. There were at least six passenger trains that went to Montreal which was about 40 minutes away and too many freight trains that passed, stopped, shunted and road at a snail’s pace every day.  The shunting could wake you up at night sounding like thunder booming in your bedroom…no kidding!

There were freight trains that could hold up the town forever and block streets and prevent people from getting home in time for lunch or home at night in time before curfew…if you had one of those.

Looking back at those days, she considered herself pretty lucky. Her mother would let her and her sister go out weekends and come home when they were ready. She would simply whisper, “I trust you darling.” And THAT killed any mischief they might consider.

So back on this train, she could not get over how comfortable the newer trains were these days. Wow!! So much leg room for an economy class and the seats were leather and sleek…real fancy! What she loved most were the panoramic windows where you could see forever and just stare off in the distance and let your imagination run wild.

She was going to see her family, celebrating her uncle’s 91st birthday today! He was like a dad to her. She had lived with them for a month twenty years ago so she could save first and last month’s rent and found a place less than thirty minutes from her family and fifteen minutes to downtown Toronto. She loved this city. It held so many memories, both good and tough times but still, it was a place she truly grew when she moved here in her mid forties. Now she was just visiting…she would stay in Oakville for a few days to see her family. She would be staying in a B & B just off Lake Ontario.

The rest of her trip would be be in mid-town Toronto in another B & B in the same borough where her dad live the last years before moving on to different dimensions. It would be nice visiting that neighbourhood. She had fond memories of a few places she loved to go dancing not too far from her dad’s complex. His apartment was called ” Montgomery Place” but he joked calling it “Montgomery Morgue” because everyone was over 65 and from the looks of many of the residents, they were well into their late seventies. Many turned in for the night before eight and her dad was a night owl like herself. She wondered if she could stand living in a place like that when life (to her) began after nine at night and ended just before the sun came out the birds started clearing their throats for the day’s concert.

She sat back and looked out at the trees rushing by and allowed time to stand still…

(C) Clr’19

Rumble of the train

Lullaby of her childhood

Mumbling “peace”

(c) Tournesol 31/05/2019

Daily Moments – steel melodies

ostinato purrs (haibun) daily moments

©Clr’16

Hearing an old song from the 1990’s brought her back to fond memories. She was back in her 1984 Renaud V driving one of her children from a sleepover. A song started that they both liked (correction, Mom loved) and arriving home before the song had ended, she puts her car back in first gear and drives around the block until it ends. A smile is painted across her face now as she thinks about those times.


Music has allowed her to connect in some ways with her children. Her son had a rich eclectic selection of music and one was 1970’s Rock genre especially when he was playing guitar. She grew up moving to the beat of Motown, and so getting a chance to appreciate Zeppelin and Hendrix twenty years later were some of the benefits of having children.


Her daughter had joined a children’s choir in her preteens and she too opened her to classical music and allowed her to share her love of musicals with her daughter. She remembers going to Les Misérables in Toronto when her daughter was sixteen and looking over to see her face, now and then, as she was silently lip-singing.


She remembers having a block birthday party for her son when he turned five and playing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” vinyl album and the kids thought that was so cool!


It is so amazing how music brings you back in time like that. She remembers lying on a blanket at her friend, Jane’s place, when she was twelve, studying for finals and listening to the hit parade on a transistor radio. They both vowed that day that they would always listen to the hit parade even as old as 40 years old! She chuckles at their perception of “old age” at that time.


Now she is a “senior” but still appreciates a variety of music. Indies folk acoustic is probably equal to her Motown love these days. Mainstream music does not attract her as much, so she probably left the “hit parade” scene in her early 50’s. Well, at least she kept her promise…listened to Mainstream popular music well passed her 40’s! [She smiles wondering if Jane still remembers that vow]


Music brings you back in time like the snap of fingers.  It is magic, allowing you to travel back in time on that musical flying carpet. She can remember what she was doing and where she was when an old song is playing…some feelings of joy or melancholy wrap her for the duration of that song. This is something she also noticed when visiting her mother at the nursing home those last years.


When she would walk into her room, her mother eyes stared at the blank wall until she popped in a CD of Oscar Peterson, Frank Sinatra or Judy Garland. When she was still able to walk, they would dance and her mother would lip sing the songs. How she loved those moments and that is why she decided to include a few items in her living will…music and books.


She listed artists from the 1970’s up to the 1990’s to create a playlist if EVER her mind did drift away. As for books, well there is a list of English and French authors she likes (such as Atwood, Chaim Potok, Michel Tremblay, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Khaled Hosseini, Lawrence Hill, Anne Rice, Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hill, Julie Parenteau, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, Sreejit Poole) and a note to get a volunteer to visit her at a nursing home once or twice a week to read to her.


She created this to make her life tolerable and sometimes even enjoyable but mostly to try and avoid having her adult children feel obliged to visit if they are too busy and not to feel guilty because she wouldn’t know the difference as long as she had her music and her books.


Music, hopefully would cradle her like her mother’s lullabies when her time comes…if not, she has also a few mantras on her playlist…soothing songs in Sanskrit.
Her feline friend snuggles up close to her as they both relax to soothing music…


ping of a guitar
ripple of ivory keys
ostinato purrs

© tournesol ’19-05-25

all in a day’s work (troibun) Daily Moments May 17 2019

Today was the day she was having  minor surgery on her big toe. Oh boy, she could not help but worry about the pain. She really hates pain. She has been tolerating it throughout her body for decades but her big toe…oh my, that was such an acute pain. She remembers when she was pregnant for her second child, she had a plantar wart under her big toe. Her doctor tried to remove it unsuccessfully with dry ice…OUCH…burrrrn!! Then she heard about a surgeon at a local hospital did this regularly. Why not? It would be over and done with for good since surgically the doctor would see the root of that sucker.

The needle to freeze her was brutal and the doctor lacked compassion. The weeks following were very uncomfortable. She could feel her heart beating in her big TOE! Thankfully she had her two-year-old son who brought a cane to her when she needed to get up. He was such a great helper all throughout her pregnancy.

Now today she kept thinking of that damn needle and it worried her. So what do you do when you have 5 hours to kill? — clean the apartment. May as well get it ship shape so when she returned if she needed to keep her foot UP, her place would be tidy and dust free.

She really liked her podiatrist. Last year when she was on the verge of burning out and her work refused her doctor’s letter for time off…she would go for a pedicure and cry throughout the appointment.

Today, she felt she would not need that kind of support and she felt much stronger emotionally. Nah, she would not be crying today.

The podiatrist pricked her toe once, twice and then three times. It hurt but she did it slowly, just like her dentist does. Yeah, she is special. After twenty minutes, the podiatrist returns ready to snip away but she could feel the knife…nope, one more needle here and then one more there. After a few minutes she tried and nope, the bugger still felt pain. Darn! After two more shots, she finally was able to get it done. And yes, her toe is quite big!

During the procedure she talked about how her work had celebrated a 30-year anniversary last night and yet she felt sad. She had read about a young boy who had ended his life despite having given all his friends virtual messages that he would no longer be in this world. His friends told their parents, but nothing was done. She could not help but think of him yesterday when they were cutting that anniversary cake. Somehow it did not feel celebratory.

Suddenly, she felt tears running down her cheeks. The podiatrist asked her if she may be suffering from PTSD hearing so many traumatic stories. “No,” she said, “I think today I was thinking of my friend whose son took his life 19 years ago today. I met her over ten years ago and I find when it is personal, close to me, it is harder to set boundaries.”

As she was doing her “thing” or “magic” on her big toe, she was thinking about Adam. Gee, 19 years ago is when she started working at this helpline. People often tell her how great it is what she does for a living. She cannot help thinking of the ones who did not make it and hope there will be a time where there is not one ounce of stigma on mental health. She dreams of a time where a complete medical check up includes a mental health check up and that when a youth misses school for a week or two or even months for mental health reasons, it is not misjudged but treated by society as a broken leg that gets treated, goes through physical rehab and in time gets strong and sturdy again. And for those fractures that may cause rheumatism and long-term treatment, that too will not be criticized.

After big toe procedure completed, she limped to the pharmacy to get some items and on her way back to the bus stop, she noticed her bandage somehow, just flew off in the wind. Good thing the bus came early! What a day!

Looking back on her day, she wonders if perhaps her work may be pulling on her heartstrings more and more in the past few years. The productivity is so overwhelming that now there may be casualties on both sides of the lines.

playing catch-up
only keeping them at bay
putting out fires

playing catch-up
“Hello, how can I help you?”
twenty wait in queue

only keeping them at bay
child abuse, grief, depression,
suicide taunts them

putting out fires
spreading like wildfire
one at a time

Who can see
beyond the flames?
hell populates

© Tournesol ‘19/05/17
Daily moments all in a day’s work Troibun May 17 2019

Originally posted at StigmaHurtsEveryone

trust your instincts haibun

They called her Wolf Girl on the psych ward at the hospital . No one had been able to approach her …much. She was like a wild animal. If you came too close to her, she would howl; if she was hungry she would stand at your table, looking at your tray with the puppy dog eyes, no one could refuse her. The staff was curious about her but all, without exception, fell in love with her especially when she would curl up into a ball in the fetus position on the centre of her bed…thumb in mouth, lights ON. If ever a staff member felt pity for anyone sleeping with those bright neon lights and turned it off in her room, she would sit up, howling, eyes wide, holding on to her blanket for dear life. 

Her name was Torey.  Child services brought her in 3 months ago to Emergency for a check up and after examination by doctors as well as the psycho-educator in chief, they assumed she would get her discharge no later than 3 days (which was customary in “those” cases). But she never got that release and Dr. Shelley, the Psycho-Educator in chief would not release her. She had a different reason at each court hearing…this last one was selective mutism, and that this youth was sexually assaulted multiple times for years.

Torey was 11 by now but what did,   “hell did multiple times for years” even mean?  Dr. Shelley just knew that this child should NOT be placed in foster care without guarantees she would be safe.   The system had failed her in the past when this child had put her trust in adults who should have kept her safe.  Dr. Shelley knew there were NO such guarantees.  She  took it upon herself to ensure she remain the ward of the court and in the children’s psychiatric ward indefinitely.  She had hope that some day soon, she just may make a breakthrough. Torey may decide to talk.

It was December 24th,  three and a half months since Torey’s admission, and she was in her daily interview with Dr. Shelley. This therapist had a unique approach with youths with selective mutism.  Her past 10 years of experience working solely with teens who had autism spectrum had given her a new skill…EEP.  Her colleagues, mostly professors at the local university scoffed at her when she said it was actually a skill that had to be learned with working with “exceptional” youths.  EEL stands for Exceptional Empathetic Listening skills.  Dr. Shelley had a knack of drawing out the most difficult and resistant child into trusting her enough to start talking…even if it was one hour a day, that was a miracle in many cases she had worked on.

Torey was different. She was brilliant. She had a way of knowing what adults were thinking and what they needed. This is how they discovered her exceptional talent or sixth sense you. 

One day, Nurse Grant, who had been working on the pediatric ward on the psychiatric section for 20 years,  walked on the floor with a limp wearing tinted glasses.  Staff all inquired with sympathy what had happened to her over the weekend and she just brushed them off with a, “Ah just clumsy old me bumped into the glass bus shelter. With the darn sleet and snow mingled, I could not see an inch in front of me and I banged the corner of my left eye and slipped and sprained my ankle. Enough said, no need for pity from anyone, so I got these glasses to avoid your mushy sad looks. Now ya’ll get to work!”  She did have a bit of a bark and everyone went back to work. No one asked her again and most of the staff avoided looking at her in the eye…or rather, glasses…except for Torey.  She looked at her suspiciously, sucking her thumb. She circled around her looking up at her and raised her eyebrow. 

Then she followed Nurse Grant into the nurse’s lobby and sat right next to her on the couch while she sipped her coffee. Torey looked up and did the most surreal thing…she spoke! “He gave it to you, didn’t he?” she said  in a raspy voice. Nurse Grant almost spilled her coffee and looked at Torey wide eye, in shock.

“What are you talkin’ about young lady?!”

But Torey did not balk nor did she feel intimidated by Nurse Grant’s harsh tone.  She just looked up at her with those puppy dog eyes and gave Nurse Grant a hug, whispering in her ear, “I know what them do to you.”

Nurse Grant froze at first, then relinquished to this precious moment because she had a feeling that Torey did, in fact, know.  Torey’s compassion melted her heart.

Later that afternoon, Dr. Shelley was advised about Torey’s first spoken words in private by Nurse Grant who had to come clean of her own personal circumstances. 

Dr. Shelley, called Torey to her office.

“Well, now, Torey. You certainly gave us a bit of a surprise today and I have to say a very nice surprise. I want to thank you.” 

Torey had arrived arms crossed, ready to keep her silence but was cut off guard when Dr. Shelley was thanking her.  She dropped her arms to her side and raised an eyebrow and waited…she was the prize of detectives…she had to know for sure…

Dr. Shelley continued, “Torey, Nurse Grant has been in an abusive relationship for years and no one but no one has ever had the courage to confront her and plead with her to get out and to a safer environment. Today, Nurse Grant came up to me asking to live in the nurses’ quarters for the night staff temporarily until she finds a new apartment.  I want to thank you for doing something not one counsellor, nurse, doctor or psychologist was able to do until you did.”

Torey stared at her, sizing what she had just heard, and took her usual seat in front of Dr. Shelly’s arm chair and said, “Yeah, well, it’s about time she left that f…..g loser. She deserves better.”

That was the first session Torey felt she could trust Dr. Shelley and started disclosing the sexual abuse she had been exposed to by her father from the age of 7 to 10 and the abuse in foster care the months following her removal from her home.

Trust had to be earned.  Torey was not fool enough to trust just anyone; she knew who could be trusted and she chose to speak to Nurse Grant because she saw an ally…a soldier in the fight against abuse  in her.  As for Dr. Shelley, well, Torey, knew she had an exceptional way of listening and she was just waiting for the right moment to feel she could actually trust her.





 the frog tries to help
a scorpion cross the river
an act of kindness

halfway to the other side
scorpion shows its true nature

smell cunning cruelty
even words soaked in honey
instincts are wiser

©Tournesol 2016









free rides to Kerala Troibun

Images floated in her mind of travelling from Nepal to the South of India to Kerala. Visiting Amma at her ashram would be her last stop. She could feel a smile form on her face visualizing her warm embrace whispering in her ear as tears of joy rolled down Oliana’s cheeks. That image made her feel at peace.

floating by lagoons
soaring over mountaintops
magic carpet ride

floating by lagoons
rivers and lakes form paths
on the way to joy

soaring over mountaintops
dipping in the saltwater
Arabian Sea

magic carpet ride
free and fancy as can be
in her mind’s eye

© Tournesol ‘19/05/14

Daily Moments May 14 2019 free rides to Kerala

music in her ears (solo renga) daily moments May 6/2019


Rediscovering
Melodies coming back home
Shrill of cicadas
 
Chicks nestling for midday nap
Hear the chirps of resistance
 
Smile upon her face
old woman sipping java
her first spring concert

(c) Tournesol ’19/05/06

Daily moments music in her ears. May 6/2019

reflections ~ a cherita

A kilo or two of oversights 

Ten thousand grams of mortar 
Ten thousand grams of sand 
 
hundreds of buckets of dirty water 
Cleansing unforgiving sins 
Absolution weighed in stone 
 ~~~

People gathered with shredded tissues 
 
lip-syncing foreign prayers 
Mea culpa misunderstood 
 
A generation passed 
another cycle of life 
continues 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn '19/04/27
daily reflections April 27 2019

Daily reflections April 27 2019 a brick of guilt A Cherita


 
Missing two years of her life feels like an eternity 

Losing those first kisses and breaking curfew
Butterflies and broken hearts 
 
Can never recapture those years 
Guilt multiplied by a ten 
Remorse will weigh her to her grave 
 
~~~ 
 
Feeling her rage bubbling under-skin

Passive aggressive innuendos 
Violence escalates in overindulgence 
 
Never a confrontation 
Too scared to fess up and break in pieces 
Still ignoring that fucking elephant 

(c) Cheryl-Lynn  27/04/19
 
 

Easter Chrysanthemums (troibun)

(c) Clr Easter 2019

The family gathers together celebrating Easter with a traditional French-Canadian meal. Children are nearing middle age and grands are teens, too cool to laugh at Nana’s silly jokes…the stages of life surround the dining table. Erickson would have a thing or two to say about this. A daughter who never forgets her mom’s favourite flowers, tying the feast with a ribbon of love.

Blossoms reminisce
Travelling through time
Mums the word

Blossoms reminisce
Recalling
Her first step

Travelling through time
Entertaining her with love
Brother and sister

Mums the word
Stretching their necks
Beaming with pride

© Tournesol ‘19-04-23

Daily Moments  April 23 2019

Classic Editor PLEASE, WordPress!

I know many may enjoy the Block editor of WordPress but I only like it if I am writing ONLY a poem…in general I do not like it. I have tried it. I have familiarized myself with it and seen the positive side of it BUT I STILL PREFER CLASSIC EDITOR

What I find frustrating is that I do not seem to have the option to keep it ON CLASSIC.  I do NOT LIKE IT AT ALL!!

THERE..[huffs a long sigh] I’ve vented.

THE END

When it ain’t broke
DON’T
fix it!

blowing in the wind (troiku) Daily Moments

 
weaving all night long
elements rip it apart
hanging by a thread
 
weaving all night long
bedding for her offspring
youths are worth the risk
 
elements rip it apart
claiming better policies
hot air in the wind
 
hanging by a thread
knowing what truly matters
bleeding is the heart
(c) Tournesol '19 04 17

who said life’s even fair? (free verse)

Painting by Mae Giroux, Oakville, On. (my dear aunt)

 
she must get to sleep! 
in less than an hour 
bloody birds will peep 
chirping away with joy 
waiting for a new dawn 
but, 
for an insomniac 
their fervor makes  her yawn 
sometimes makes her go mad! 
 
still 
she must sleep 
in four hours the alarm will buzz 
grating at her every pore 
beep beep beep beep beep 
digging deep under her skin
annoying bleeping thing! 
 
today she returns to work 
a five day break she took 
away from tears 
away from pain 
away from fears 
abusive grownups 
hurting them in vain 
controlling 
and narcissistic 
crushing vulnerable souls
killing all their hopes 
sometimes they want to die 
it seems 
their only way  
out of such misery... 
 
unless 

her colleagues and she
together with the youth
they choose  
another plan 
they’ll live on one condition 
those bleeping grownups 
will be reported 
 
the cops will come 
and bring their troops 
youth workers and the like 
 
 
and yet, 
 
more time will run its course 
over days and weeks and months 
until this youth is truly safe 
from physical, 
sexual 
and emotional harm
 
but n’er from their nightmares
and not from all their wounds 
no, indeed that takes 
an entire lifetime 
they’ll start the healing process 
a little bit here and there 
a break for a while 
trying to ignore the pain 
reprieve from all those memories 
 
and on and on it goes 
the victim pays a lifetime 
assailant n’er enough time!
 
who said life’s even fair? 
the wounded try to mend 
their broken and bruised souls 
abusers lick their wounds 
playing victim of their sins 
pleading time they've served,
too bad, they'll usually win!
who said life’s even fair?

...one last yawn,
reciting her Hail Mary's
an Act of Contrition
and prays for a better day.
(c) Cheryl-Lynn '19/01/06
edited April 17, 2019

things that make me smile (troiku) CDHK

amma mom
(c) Clr ‘157Amma,(Divine Mother) Mom, GrandMaman

TROIKU

song of a skylark 
echoes from heaven’s meadow 
wind in my hair 
 
song of a skylark 
even robins stop to listen 
sweetens the air 
 
echoes from heaven’s meadow 
imagine her lip-singing 
mes chères mamans
 
wind in my hair 
one dove in-flight, startles me  
heart skips a beat
 
© Tournesol ‘19/04/16 

This TROIKU is a new form of haiku created by my mentor, Chèvrefeuilles at CDHK
http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com

French translation of Dove is Colombe which is my late mother’s name 

Written to the prompt on my mentor Chèvrefeuille at CDHK Carpe Diem #1648 skylark (hibari)


Soul train (troiku)

Troiku

Life is a journey
Cruising on different tracks
riding your soul train

Life is a journey
Slowing down on bumpy rides
samsara

Cruising on different tracks
Fleeing from suffering
Albeit — still attached

Riding your soul train
Wrapped in mute introspection
Finding your ‘self’

© Tournesol 19-04-16

Daily moments of painful contemplations April 16 2019

 

TROIKU

pain Ponos
daughter of strife Eris
My life companion

pain Ponos
Relentless suffering
Scent of samsara

Daughter of strife  Eris
Agony your dowry
Attachment my foe

My life companion
Mangled and entangled with me
learning to let go

© Tournesol ‘ 19 04 16

 

different journeys (SoCS)

” Gracie, what ever happened to our friend in high school, Sally whatshername?” 

__Hmm, Salleeee, Oh, yes, Sally Witherall.  I’m not sure, Georgie.  I think she went to California somewhere. Oh my, she was a fiesty one!

“Oh my, yes!  She was always in trouble with the sisters, sneaking out at night to Boy’s Town.  What a scandal she had stirred at on prom night!” 

__Oh my, lord!!! Yes! I remember how Sister Dufferin nearly had a heart attack when she saw her prom dress!  There was not much left to the imagination I dare say!”  

“I read in the paper the other day that her brother passed and Sylvia said she was at the funeral.  She did not recognize her one bit!  In fact, the only thing resembling her now was her voice.” 

__Oh my, has she aged that much? I mean even at 67 people can still recognize you and me, Sis.  Did she have an accident or what? 

Georgie lowers her voice almost to a whisper so the world would not hear her in their living room, “Well, apparently she has had many Joan Rivers.” 

__What’s that, Georgie!  What d’you mean?… 

Georgie stares bug eye at her sister and there’s a long pause… 

__Oooooooh!! Really?! I guess she must have been in Hollywood, California then. So, no one could recognize her, you say? 

“Apparently, her body was still trim after all those years but rumours say she had lipsuction several times.  No wonder! Imagine going through menopause without gaining an ounce…really! “ 

__But what does that have to do with her not being recognized, Georgie!  You can’t suck fat out of your face…” she stops to think about that a moment, “…or can you?  What is it with these people in California putting so much bother on the face and body.  And where does it really get you?” 

“Well it did get her four husbands and lord only knows how many lovers.  And after each divorce, apparently she acquired a sizeable fortune too!” 

__Well, what has that got her except for foolish life choices and destroying her body.  Now, tell me, what about her face? I am curious as to why no one knew her when she came to her brother’s funeral.” 

“Well, apparently…” Georgie whispers now as if the walls could hear, “…Sylvia says she had lots of procedures done to her body and she had botox treatments to her face for years.  The last procedure was a lip Aug-Men-Ta-Tion and tucks here and there around her eyes and cheeks.   She had run out of money, Sylvia says, and she had it done in another country and the results were not very good.” 

__Really?  That is so sad!  What a waste of money as well as time, pain and suffering.  Imagine all the wonderful trips you could have with that kind of money, eh, Georgie?” 

“Looks like she travelled one too many times to EgoCentreVille.” 

They both start chuckling and then quickly cover their mouths, as if Sister Dufferin was spying on them. 

Life is a journey 
Cruising on different tracks 
Riding on soul trains
 
© Tournesol 19-04-13 


The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 13/19

Coming back home ~ Haibun

Such a glorious day today and even warmer than the past few days!  It almost feels like spring.  The snow has melted on her front lawn and one would not even believe that it snowed all day two days ago and the lawns were all white yesterday on her way grocery shopping.  She can’t wait to get out and walk to work and if she can manage to leave extra early, she might even sit in the park near her work.


Sitting in the park
Searching for buds here and there
Inhaling scents of spring

Closing her eyes she listens
First season’s concerto 

Swallows have come home
Checking out the neighbourhood
A place to call home

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11
Daily Moments April 11 2019 Coming back home Haibun

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11 

Daily Moments April 11 2019  Coming back home   Haibun 

mid-day lullaby (haibun)

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, cloud, outdoor and nature
midday lullaby – berceuse de midi (c) Clr’19-04-09

Rocking in her chair, her head starts to lean forward, growing heavy to the sounds of the snow plough becomes a mid-day lullaby.


 
short afternoon nap 
purr of the snow plow 
midday lullaby 
~~~
petite sieste 
ronronnement des chasse-neige 
berceuse de midi 
 
~~ 
(troiku)
 
Dancing fleetingly 
in the corner of her eye 
Could that be fairies? 
 
Dancing fleetingly 
Visions of a debutante  
Movements in her dreams 
 
In the corner of her eye 
Chubby hands sneaking cookies 
Mother always knows 
 
Could that be fairies? 
Pulling up that warm duvet 
on heavy eyelids 
 
 
~~ 
 
Dreams are gifts 
refuge from reality 
The Great Spirit gives 
 ~~~
imagination 
Drugs could never compete 
Everlasting dreams 
 
© Tournesol ‘19/04/09 
 

April showers Troiku Daily Moments April 9 2019

Image may contain: outdoor

April snow showers
Looks like magic fairy dust
Canadian winters

April snow showers
Mother Nature’s silly joke
Roll over in bed

Magic fairy dust
Tickling their cheeks at recess
Someone’s having fun

Canadian winters
like a scorned, jealous lover
just cannot let go

(c) Tournesol ’19-04-09

Daily Moments April 9 2019 April showers Troiku

The guest that never leaves Haibun Daily Moments April 6 2019

That relentless guest that entered decades ago,  knows not when to leave or when it is time to sleep. Lately it has risen with such vigour as it gnaws its way in private rooms where it does not belong. Kneading ever slowly, it spreads its venom throughout its host.  No drug can lessen the power of its fists as it insists on making its presence known. 
 
jabbing in her sleep
kneading ‘til she gasps in pain
wakefulness befriends
 
ice packs try to soothe
inflamed neck and shoulders 
healing’s no recourse
 
ice to heat to ice
embracing fleeting moments
chasing small comforts
 
 
© Tournesol ‘19-04-06 

Suddenly Awakened  ~ Troiku ~ Daily Moments Apr 5, 2019 


Lazy afternoon 
Refrigerator humming 
Eyelids giving in  
 
Lazy afternoon 
Purring loudly on her chest 
Worries melt away 
 
Refrigerator humming 
Cars pass intermittently  
Rhythmic melodies 
 
Eyelids giving in 
Measured, dull and hypnotic 
Startled by her snore! 
 
© Tournesol `19-04-05 
 
Daily moments – Suddenly awakened (troiku) 
 
 
 
 

all one and the same (haibun)

Awakened by the lovely sound of birds chirping made her hope it might be sunny today.  It is! Her friend meows in protest for having shut her bedroom door earlier in the morning.  She chatters away expressing her discontent with a hint of hope to be stroked, fed and stroked some more.

The sky is a darker blue than most seasons…not quite cobalt but close with pearly billows drifting by accentuating the hues of this majestic sky.

sea of blue above
islands shaped in pearly greys
beg my surrender

She had moved her laptop in the living room so she could watch a movie last night and fires it up always curious to see the haiku prompt of the day at Carpe Diem Haiku kai.   In the past few months she has not been as regular contributing and she misses her haijin family.  Yesterday she took the time to visit a few siblings and cousins homes around the world in the blogosphere.

Her thoughts wander to a friend who is in San Ramon today and will be seeing Amma at her retreat. How she misses her warm and healing embrace.  Some call her a guru, others call her a hugging saint…she feels she is all of these and more. Her healing touch, her soothing smile, her words of wisdom and mostly her way of living by loving, giving tirelessly to humanity makes her heart swell.   Amma has a way of looking at you and making you see the beauty within. How she does it is a mystery or is it?  She does not preach laws but models compassion and asks us to see the light we all have within.

Her mind drifts off to sounds of various bhjans songs and the tabla drumming to her heartbeat.  Its echo makes her feel the divine beauty reflected from within.   So many instruments mimic nature and human sounds;  her Celtic spirit awakens with strings,  flutes and drums that soften her heart.  Drum circles come to mind and First Nations People who have become her conscious, reminding her to be good to Mother Earth.

© Pinterest

She looks at her mala beads and remembers hearing Amma say last year, “We are all beads strung on the same string of love.”   She tries to remember this daily.  The image of several homeless people who sit along her path to work come to mind.   Some speak French, English, Créole, Arabic or Spanish but she knows they all understand the same language…compassion.

sound of the drum
listen to the heart beat
all, one and the same

© Tournesol’15/11/14

Carpe Diem Extra Shaman