reflections on empowerment – daily moments Dec 7/19

A story keeps sneaking to the forefront of her consciousness. For 2 hours he talked about his plan that could be accessible anytime he wanted.   The scary thing about it was that he could make it look like an accident and no one would ever be the wiser. Writing about it today actually appeases her compared to last week. His plan scared her for days, lingering in the back of her mind but now she sees it more as his survival…empowering him.  He now has a choice, whether he executes it or not, and that, may be something he never had growing up…a choice.

Some young adults may finally have a chance to feel what it is like to be free from the clutches of their oppressor(s) and it might be too much to handle on their own…too much to process, let alone, heal. They may feel bombarded with too many  nightmares they have lived growing up.

And that is the part of her job that she loves…being there at a moment if and when the may feel ready to reach out and try and make some sense of their nightmares. Sifting through the memories and challenges together. She often feels like a silent sounding board but with a slight difference. “Kindness is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain

Maybe reaching adulthood actually means taking back what was rightfully theirs.

light finally shines
mysteries start to unravel
taking back the night

© tournesol ‘2019/12/07

The Fifth Floor by Julie Oleszek (Review on a book on life, death and living)

A great read!! I highly recommend this book and congratulate the writer for this first novel!

Stop the Stigma

The Fifth Floor by Julie Oleszek

A coming of age book geared to youths and adults of all ages. It this was classified under Young Adults, I would still certainly have read it because it interests me to stay “real” on issues that touch youths growing up.

Julie Oleszek’s first novel is a book that youths can relate to and any person of any age and especially who has experienced grief. I don’t want to say too much because the trials and tribulations of Anna, who is the ninth child of a family of ten are hers to discover along with the reader throughout this book. I think that is what I loved about this. I did not need to get a clinical analysis of why’s and underlying issues but rather to explore life, suffer, question and discover through Anna’s journey. I laughed when she was giggling and felt dizzy…

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do you remember when…(free verse – anything goes) Daily reflections – Nov 25 2019

 

Do you remember when?

 

do you remember when I fell?

i do…

do you remember there was so much blood?

i do…

do you remember when the police came?

I do…

do you remember how mad you were at ME?

i do…

do you remember when you lied to the police?

i do…

do you remember when the ambulance would not let you come with me?

i do… and I sighed with relief

do you remember when the doctors pushed you away?

i do…

do you remember when the security guard took you outside?

i don’t, because that’s when I lost touch with reality…

they say I went into a semi-coma.

it felt odd and if there is such a thing as heaven, I bet this is what it must feel like.

my head no longer hurt, my arms were all healed, my back felt smooth and all the bumps and marks disappeared. my legs were smooth and pretty and I felt like I was floating. my hair was thick and fluffy. It was a miracle that all the bald spots had filled out. i truly must have been in heaven.

suddenly I felt something licking my face. omg, Jamie, my Irish terrier was alive!! he was so excited to see me and me too!! it tickled me when he licked my nose that i could not stop giggling. it felt so weird to laugh but a good weird. oh, Jamie, i missed him so much. do you remember when he would bark at you to protect me. you really did not like that and then one day, he was no longer here. you said he got run over by a car. do you remember telling me that?

i could hear someone far away calling my name. there was a lot of beeping sounds and the voices came closer and closer.

and then I hurt again…

why does living hurt so much?

 

do you remember when I got out of the hospital on crutches?

i do…

do you remember the red brick house where I went to live?

i do…

the lady, there had a gentle voice and soft bulky arms she started to wrap around me. but I backed away thinking she wanted to hurt me and then her warm smile told me otherwise. it is odd how the body can speak too. every movement of her body spelled kindness and love.

do you remember that red brick house?

oh that’s right, you were not allowed near that house…

and that’s when life started to hurt a little less every day…

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘19/11/25

 

Reflections on what was and what could be…

mid-season travels ~ Troiku

Image may contain: tree, sky, bird, plant, outdoor and nature

squirrels scurry
birds halfway to southern plains
wish I were a bird

squirrels scurry
stopping to munch
and tease indoor cats

birds halfway to southern plains
balmy weather welcomes
feathered friends

wish I were a bird
soaring over lakes and meadows
poop on pedophiles

© Tournesol 2019/11/09

Image may contain: cat and outdoor

 

First snowfall – Daily Moments – Troibun

A disturbing nudge on her shoulder kicks her out of her sleep. Her longtime friend and foe is ever consistent. It’s November, and dawn has not yet shown its face. Her cold dark room reminds her of death. It is after all, the month of death. She hears a neighbour roll over in bed. The springs are probably as old as his grandfather but hardly a nuisance to hear. In fact, it’s comforting to hear the expected. There is life upstairs.

She pulls the duvet over her head and whispers her morning mantra, “Please help me be a better person and make this day slightly different…Amen.” Shuffling to the washroom, she peaks in the room at the end of the hall. Squinting, she sees her black feline sleeping soundly by the windowsill.

In the kitchen she starts the coffee. She grinds the coffee beans at night to ensure quiet in the morning. Pulling the curtain in the living room, she sees dark purple shades painted across the sky. What a gift to see this performance offering hope for a new day…yet, it’s all a lie, really. Nothing changes.
Tiptoeing to the washroom, she closes the door runs her morning bath while the coffee maker does its magic. Hot water oils her joints…sort of, at least to function, maybe enough to walk to the bus stop today. Lowering her body so her shoulders are covered in the hot steaming water, she lets out a soft groan exhaling the bad.

The last gasps of the coffee wizard announce the end of her bath.
Sitting in her mother’s old rocker, she sips her first taste of happiness leaning on two ice packs. The aroma fills the air. The ice slowly numbs the pain on her neck and lower back; the rising sun puts a smile on her parched lips. Who knows? Maybe today will be different.

For decades, she’s always told herself that pain is her friend. If she feels aches, it means she’s alive rather than paralysed and unfeeling. She has the energy to work, to love, the passion to care despite the lulls in the day or night, she still lives and feels.

Accepting her limits is the secret. Walking too far or housecleaning in one shot will force her into inaction for a day or two. On days she cannot function, she reads, writes, edits photos or binges on Netflix…always pleasures to take her mind off physical discomforts…the nagging, accusing poking of her stalker or long-time partner?

dawn squints
billowy shadows linger
first snowfall

dawn squints
cringing at intruders
morning strain

billowy shadows linger
shift in autumn’s speed
chasing winter

first snowfall
brightening muddy paths
cooling giddy tongues

(c) Tournesol 19/11/07

Happy Birthday Celestine

 

She writes words that move you; sensual, romantic and insightful. Like bees and butterflies producing beauty, she graces us with her haiku and cherita.

creates melodies
like blue breasted kingfishers
in her poetry
singing collectively
Happy Birthday, Celestine!

© tournesol ‘19/11/04

Publicaitons: Haiku Rhapsodies & Whispers at Dawn (a collection of Cheritas)
Follow her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/museonfirebooks/

Reading Julie Parenteau…haibun

Reading Julie Parenteau, Femme Cherche  Homme Aimant le Meutre

(C)Clr’9-10-16

The train moved faster trying to make up for a late departure. She leans her head on the window and watches all the colours of the season embracing her like an old woolen shawl…the one GrandMaman used to wear. The skies are grey and the fall colours flash even more through the mist of the pouring rain.

This is a time to bundle up on a comfy couch or chair and read a book. She turns the page on the mystery novel “Femme Cherche Homme aimant le Meutre” she started reading at the station. The author, Julie Parenteau begins the first page with a jolt inciting the reader to read more, more, more…unfortunately she must read slowly. When she reads in French, she has to sound out each word to understand properly and she sure doesn’t want to miss anything her new favourite Quebec author has written.

Language is so different written from spoken and she learned French on the streets. She had not read a French novel in a while her last one was « Sur le Seuil » by Patrick Senécal, another Québécois writer. His writing affects the reader like Stephen King does…no kidding! And she remembers finding this a real page turner.

After about twenty pages, she usually gets into a different mindset and falls into the world of the author where she no longer notices what language she is reading. How she likes when that happens…her curiosity and love of words take over as well as a thrilling plot!

The muffled sound of the train whistling as it passes through small towns, caught her attention and she looks out on the fields. It is late in the season and she notices the perfectly round bales of hay sitting in the meadow, waiting to bed their new home for the winter.

Mesmerized
A panorama of autumn
Slipping away
from a rear view seat
Nature bids farewell

© Tournesol’19-10-16

If you are interested in reading Julie’s newly published novel, check it out at Indigo, Amazon, Archambault and Renaud Bray. Also look up Julie’s Facebook page to get to know more about this talented writer.

https://www.facebook.com/Julie-Parenteau-auteure-279004306368883/.

authentic and compassion (troiku) Daily Moments 8-10-2019

grey looms within
searching for the sun
chasing blue rays

grey looms within
cannot seem to stop
raindrops tasting salt

searching for the sun
shining in the sky
yet, so faraway

chasing blue rays
just, what doctors order
“should” produce a smile


teardrops fall
like leaky faucets – yet,
no reason at all

teardrops fall
salt blending with sweetness
making all things real

like leaky faucets – yet,
overflows may be triggered
over-stretched soul

no reason at all
some folks are just born
caring and real

© Tournesol ‘19/10/08

Daily Moments October 8/2019   authentic and compassionate Troiku

reflections (haibun)

31,479 hours and still counting…

31, 479 hours to date, she has picked up the phone or sat at her desk replying to youths on the world wide web. She wonders how many hours one has to work before they start seeing pink rabbits and blue dinosaurs…

purple turtles
crawling ever slowly
weight on her heart

purple turtles
light and vulnerable
once upon a time

crawling ever slowly
feeding on every teardrop
nutrients within

weight on her heart
so called “innovation”
betrayed by giants

Giants make important decisions but may not have all the variables. Sadly, they are too tall and high, they cannot always hear the true believers…

hearts beating
to the sounds of their cries
fears, pain and suffering

Pushing the heart to beat faster, longer; lungs that sometimes collapse…not enough time to come up for air; maintenance does not seem to be the giant’s option. Push harder, drown, bury, replace, rebranding…looking to the future, they stick their chests out snapping their suspenders woven out of self-righteousness. Gatekeepers hold onto to their purple turtles so they don’t slip away. Hiding from poachers and giants who claim that Father Knows Best.

pink rabbits scatter
creating a diversion
blue dinosaurs roam

pink rabbits scatter
compassion their fuel
keeping turtles safe

creating a diversion
here, there, up and down
giants can’t keep up

blue dinosaurs roam
keeping watch night and day
the Universal Rule

when does an ideal begin to crumble?
what happens to noble dreams?
why do new stakeholders falter?
where have those primary dreamers gone?
when have visionaries replaced compassion and humility?
why have giants slipped away so far…from that Golden Rule?

She remembers going to see a new mechanic in Mississauga in 1997 when she had just moved to GTA. Her car had just passed the five year mark and was no longer on warranty. She had a list in October…to change the spark plugs, oil and filter and clean or change the brakes. She had her winter tires (which very few had there but she was from Montreal…better safe than sorry was their motto).

Mike, the mechanic (Yeah, I know like the song) did the oil change and put on her snow tires and told her everything else was fine. He told her that always cleaned brakes when doing an oil change; he said, “A garage will never make much money from a customer like you, Cl. You come in October to prepare your car for the winter…most people come around in at the end of November or even December and often when their car won’t start…prevention and good maintenance is the key to keep your car for a long time.” Of course, the winters were not as cold and snowy as in Quebec and that car held on up to 2008. The motor was still fine (thank you Mitsubishi) but it was not as safe to travel to visit her family in Quebec…her ailing mother and beautiful grandson merited more visits now.

She required a more dependable vehicle to manage the trek from Toronto to Montreal. A humble 4 cylinder, Eagle Summit was still working after 16 years, however. It felt as if it was time for retirement, but she would not be able to visit it as it; it would now be running slower and less frequently. Just like we do when we retire…we put less demand on ourselves, stretching our lives with quality time and less stress.

Isn’t that how dependable and high functioning people should be treated in a workplace? Maintaining their overall health which includes physical and mental wellbeing is crucial. Is she wrong in believing this?

pushing
faster, harder
dropping like flies

© Tournesol 19-10-08

Daily Moments  October 8 2019

Daily moments September 25, 2019 “missing Dom’ ” ~Troibun

 

You know how the smells of certain food, the images of certain things like flowers or sounds like a song all bring you back in time reminding you of that special someone?  Time stops for a moment to allow you to place yourself back with that person. That is what was happening today as she waited by the stove preparing her lunch. 

The eggs were simmering over roasted garlic and rice.  It would take a few minutes longer, she knew, but they would be “just right”, like that amazing omelette she had years ago in her friend’s kitchen in St Basil le Grand.  She remembers sitting at the counter and chatting with her as she would go back and forth leisurely but expertly, to the stove, preparing their brunch.

miss her smile
warm and genuine hugs
shimmering baby blues

miss her smile
sharing joys of music
blues and indie songs

warm and genuine hugs
former colleague that became her friend
on her first shift

shimmering baby blues
telling so many stories
spill with emotion

© Tournesol ‘19/09/25

Daily moments September 25, 2019  missing Dom’   Troibun

Godspeed Stéphanie!

rooftop sunset
(c) Clr’19 Rooftop sunset on de Gaspé, Mile End

Another person’s leaving and I can’t help but feel sad today, thinking back on that sparkle in her eyes when she first started. Watching the complicities and banters her night team had together was touching. Enjoying her photos of vacation spots exploring the world with her partner, was my way of living vicariously through a select few people I admire here.

And as if, those eyes could not take ‘shimmer’ to another level, blossoming into a beautiful woman and mother. For those who ‘get it’ when you look at your child and your heart wants to burst through your chest, there is so much love there, one could see this so clearly on her whole being as well.

Something changes dramatically when you have a child. Seeing her reminded me how those days when I returned to work with my first born. Work took second place and slowly I became to carve a new path for myself… a turning point that took a long time but brought me to my place, my passion, I still have today.

Over time, that sparkle dimmed in her eyes when she returned and I could see how she too was slowly weaving a new tapestry that would include her true self, her family and her passion. A place to breathe and feel valued and recognize the light around her again. And so, selfishly I am sad to see her go, I truly, get it.

This time it is not a new chapter but a new book. Remember how those first pages are gleaming and welcome a new story?  This is her new narrative etched with her passion and dedication to herself, her family and to those new souls who will benefit from her professionalism, her expertise, her savoir-faire and mostly her kindness.

summer waves goodbye
autumn announces change, yet…
vibrant and alive

Godspeed, Stéphanie!

© Tournesol ‘19/09/20

September 20 2019 Daily moments, Godspeed Stéphanie Haibun

ladies are wild Haibun Daily Moments Sept 11 2019

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting

Some people have friends over for coffee or tea; others meet at a coffee shop or restaurant. But today, these lovely ladies met at a food court to play cards. How sweet is that? Once in a while another group of women would pop by their table to talk and laugh. She couldn’t understand because they were speaking something other than French or English but they sure were having a grand time!


kings, queens
party at their weekly haunt
jokers are wild

© Tournesol ‘19/09/11

True beauty comes within(a cherita & memoirs) Daily reflections

How many more need to go? Who else will leave her on her own?

A friend once said, it is like being in an abusive relationship. Yes, sort of, but she sees it more as living in a huge family home with extended family…you know, moms, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunts and children which include all the siblings and cousins. (Most of the children are pretty consistent with their values but there is always a bad apple…un cousin de la fesse gauche sort of.

You get her drift? Nod twice if you do and stop reading if you don’t because if you don’t get it, the rest of this will be way way over your head.   You know, those who no longer know right from wrong or blinded with the public image and their vanity.

It is like living on a farm with many different houses…but ONLY the parents, grandparents and uncles and aunts run the show. Okay, there may be “in law” that can also poison the crops…this is possible.

Some of the adults were nice but most (not all) of the nice ones died and went to heaven. Now the evil ones remain because they thrive longer feeding on indifference, vanity, ambition and greed.

Fortunately, the children were raised in the back fields to fend on their own and the opposite is what they live which is compassion and selflessness. Their goal to be there for the younger siblings…to fend for them, be their voice and if they leave, they must find a stronger group to replace them and continue the war on crime between compassion and apathy and other battles between truth and deceit.

She thinks of the people she can count on and there are a few uncles and aunties that do “their godlike thing” in the shadows…being there to support the young so the true field (frontline) workers can have the tools to persevere. It is an important job…a “must do” job. She is still at “can do”…for now.

Life drops obstacles along your path but the challenge is to do the best you can while you are still in this vicinity and then leave. Your mark, your values and your inspiration will linger and continue help those remaining …giving them a model and this will go on and on and on …

Even if there are fewer and fewer, good souls do not have to change…you need not let the evil change you to be like them…when you find yourself slipping into moments of apathy and numbness, fickleness and weakness, then it is time to leave. Your goodness will still enrich the earth as the children till the soil in the backfields (front line) of the farm.

(A cherita ~ micropoetry)

From the bottom of the muddy waters, a lotus rose

Such delicate beauty shall not be defiled
Thick muck remains at the bottom of the pond

Strength stems from truth
Compassionate petals of perfection
Such real beauty is divine

© Tournesol ‘19/09/10

Daily Moments September 10. 2019

cousin de la fesse gauche: an expression meaning a cousin removed so many times, they are no longer really related.

Nirvana (Daily moments) Haibun

Finally! She sits motionless to savour the moment exhaling slowly…relief, at last. The night was long waking up to hammers in her head. Finally by the end of the day, knockers slowly left, one by one.

She remembers reading that heroin users are often looking for that high…reaching nirvana. She read that there were many ways to reach this ultimate summit of pure bliss. She was a bit shocked when a monk listed orgasm on his list of “highs” but thinking about it now, that did make sense along with reaching spiritual enlightenment.

Demerol was another drug that brought some to nirvana after hours of labour in childbirth. Her grandmother was a midwife and many mothers would ask for a second “shot”…she smiles at the memory of her grandmother telling her birth stories.

It must be like this for people who use opiates for painkillers as well, she ponders. She always steered away from that because she knew how easily one gets addicted. Her doctor once prescribed a procedure that would relieve her of her neck pain for about one month. It was very costly but it was not the cost that turned her off. She lives with chronic pain day and night. For the past three decades it has married her by now. To separate the pain only briefly, might be a relief…even heaven but hell would surely await after the effects wore off. No, she thought, that would be worse. She preferred to endure the soft murmurs of her partner who drummed on joints and bones and off and on would invite his knockers for a poker game in her head and neck. But when that game ended, guests left one by one…the relief swaddled her…the other joints dulled in comparison to that last performance…a concert of sheer hell.

Right now, at this very moment, she is drunk with this relief she calls, her nirvana.

Steel drums echo

Beating to a steady rhythm

Repeating an angry verse

Robbing her of any comfort

In the name of pain

© Tournesol ‘19/09/06

miracles of nature (haibun) daily moments 9/5/19

As a young child, she kept hearing aunts and uncles saying, she had so and so’s hair, and so and so’s smile and what’s her name’s eyes. It puzzled and frustrated her so much. It made her feel as if every part of her was second hand. Who want’s a body and personality that’s a hand-me-down? So one day she got so fed up, she blurted out to her mother,”What part of me looks like me?!”

each design unique
even with one small detail
phenomenal snowflake

(c) Tournesol ’19/09/05

Inspired: Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken. OSCAR WILDE.

Labour Day (haibun) Sept 2/2019

Labour Day Haibun Sept 2 2019

Labour Day makes her reminisce. School around the corner, many hoping for a better year. Some are anxious to meet old friends and make new ones. Others wary and dread to walk alone in those busy halls filled with hundreds who ignore them. Taunting and bullying is sometimes better than feeling non-existent.

Teachers worry too. Will they have what they need to help their students? Will they get the support? Will they be able to keep their head above waters sometimes boiling with oppositioins? And then there are some who look forward to feed the hungry minds or help a student find their path and thirst for even more.

Parents running around, trying to find the extra dollars for this and that. Another pair of shoes, pants that are too short…growing children and teens, all their needs and then desires. Will they all be met?

Trying to balance work and family and school demands…such a busy time. Dreading for that first phone call, hoping for something new and positive.

Jody’s first day of kindergarten, Mommy walking home, a tear upon her cheek.

Daycares singing, shouting, playing…rooms of so many new playmates!

Empty shopping malls
Deserted streets
Workers’ day of rest

Even nature rests
Clouds that spill on tired lawns
Trees bow in thanks

Youths play distracted
Excited, anxious, worried
A new school year

A new school year
Anticipating bullies
Finding a new friend

First day of school
Etched with cool graffiti
Teens’ brand new notebook

Learning something new
Adapted to your unique style
Needs are met- at last!

© Tournesol ’19-09-02
Daily Moments – September 2 2019

simmering memories Haibun Daily Moments August 27 2019

© clr Grand-Maman 2014

After spending a relaxing day reading, she decided to prepare her dinner.  Looking in the fridge, she was  lacking inspiration.  Groceries were in need, she sighed, yet she wanted to wait since she had busted her budget already two weeks ago.  She found broccoli stems she had saved, a bag of baby carrots, left over small potatoes that would spoil soon and of course her trusty jar of minced garlic.  Looking up at her vegetable and fruit basket hanging next to the pantry, she took two onions.

She fried the garlic, then onions then filled the pot with water and the chopped vegetables added several heaping tablespoons of beef bouillon, adding spices here and there and let it come to a boil.  Of course she added Worcestershire sauce…it was one staple in her recipes along with a dash or two or three of curry.  She stirred, adding more spices but thought she might wait a while to allow the ingredients to savour the concoction she was making.  She preferred to call it ETF (Empty The Fridge) soup.  But in the past few months there was less and less to empty.  Her fridge was sparse and that was partly trying to follow her more humble budget and also she was tired of throwing away food if she had not got around to cook.  Living alone means not over buying and calculating just enough “in case” family drop by.  Although, her timing was never that great either in those instances.  She tried to keep some things she had cooked in the freezer since she usually cooked enough for at least eight persons.

She stirred the bubbling vegetable liquid and lowered the heat to simmer.  She realized she needed to add more water so she transferred the pot to a bigger pot and then she added lentils she had rinsed several times to the stock.  As she added a few more dashes of this and that, she could not help but think of her GrandMaman.  How she wished she would have been more interested in cooking as a young adult and spent more time cooking with her.  She saw her cook as a teenager but once she married and left home, she rarely watched her do her magic in the kitchen.  She was such an amazing cook too.  The only thing she got down almost perfect was her turkey dressing.  And that was just by tasting, adding this and that and tasting over and over until it tasted like Christmas a long long time ago growing up.

She stirred absent mindedly, rapt in her thoughts that  brought her back in time. Perhaps that was why cooking was so comforting for many people.

swirls of broth
waves in a tin pool
bubbling with stories

listening to her old stories
turn of the last century

washboards and lye soap
horses pulling bread and milk
times of yore

© Tournesol ‘19/08/27

this side of the glass Haibun Daily moments August 23 2019

Funny how insulated one becomes when confined indoors. Insulated rather than isolated because it feels safe. Only the hum of her air purifier and soft snores of her cat keep her company. Looking out the window, leaves flutter with life, birds communicate from tree to tree and yet here, it’s like a different world. It’s safe here and no expectations from anyone.

She was up most of the night coughing and once that was calmed temporarily, little hammers started doing their thing just to make her life less boring. She finally managed to sleep a few more hours in the morning and her hacking cough startled even her. Another week before any doctor would consider giving her medication or believe that her lungs were clogged. She could hear a rumble when she inhaled and a faint whistle from her chest when she exhaled. She wasn’t too worried but annoyed that it had been disturbing her sleep all week.
Fortunately, she had been on vacation this passed week, so rest was the main remedy and she took advantage of that.

a different world
moving outside her window
rushing here and there
I spy with my little eye
on this side of the glass

© Tournesol ’19-08-23

tragic losses (troibun)

It is tragic when depression wraps a person so tight with layers and layers of prickly wool. A person falls victim to that predator who distorts their lens and forges their vision seeing no way out.

lost in the darkness
never sees the right bend
veiled from the light

lost in the darkness
never thought there was help
suffering alone

never seeing the right bend
turned to the left
that cul-de-sac

veiled from the light
obscurity snickers
`til that last breath

© Tournesol ’16/05/10

Daily Moments ~ tragic loss May 10  2016

hope for our future ~ August 21 2019

where has all the passion gone?

values and ideals
pushing you forward
once upon a time
you made a difference
where are you now?

ads boasting
a cause
a service
actors pretending to care

where has all the passion gone?

hungry children
desperate mothers
parents searching answers
ALL
represent our future
where is all the help?

I can’t help notice
posts on social networks
where agencies show off their deeds
I recognize some of these people
and wonder,
Do they really fucking care?
If they were paid just a little less
would they still be so impressed?

I look at ads and articles
media coverage of this and that
important people
acting like they care
they have a cause that counts
but is that just an act?

What drives these people
IF it’s true?
can dollars barter with passion?
what drives people to act and help?
what truly motivates?

Is the passion still there?
or are all these people who I see
like minions on political campaigns
do they even fucking care?
where are their values and ideals
what truly pushes one forward?

once upon a time
some of you actually made a difference
where are you all now?

am I blind or just too synical?
perhaps a bit of both
why do the ones who care just leave?
do they pick up a brand new cause
invest their heart and soul…again?

I hope this is but a halting spell
to catch your breath
start over again

I have to believe in this way
so I can live another day
with faith in our humanity.

those values and ideals
that keep pushing you forward
once upon a time, will come back
a time you made a difference
I have to feel you will come back
because all life form matters.

                     weeping
                    seeking hope for living
                     under the willow

(c) Tournesol ’21/08/2019

Daily moments – August 21, 2019

endings and losses Free Verse

Today I learned that a very special person in my life will be leaving…going far away and it saddens me very much. Loss is part of everyday life. I know that but it doesn’t make it any easier. My first reaction is sadness, then anger at whoever pushed someone away, then sadness again and I swim in that for quite some time. Sometimes guilt creeps up if I think of what I should have, could have sad when he was in my life and then I dive back down to sadness…so as I wallow in my grief this is what I have to say…

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

we experience loss every day, every minute
ooos there goes by a minute already!

spiritual gurus keep telling us
to be present, remain in the now
it takes many losses and defeats
to come to a place of now
to finally understand what the gurus say
enjoy each precious moment of the day

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

tell your friend she is pretty
thank your colleague for their support
tell your manager how helpful he has been
just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break

tell your son how special his is
tell your daughter how
you wish you were strong like her
thank your mother for everything
that you have taken to help you strive
tell your father how you feel
just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day

remember the good times
you’ve shared with friends and family
discard the bad times
once you’ve learned from them
even when you say goodbye
to a dear friend
their memory is always with you
right there in the crux of your heart
no one can take that away from you
even after you’ve said goodbye

losses and endings not easy to take
saying goodbye makes my heart break
so just don’t waste precious time away
enjoy each priceless moment of the day
embrace your loved ones
like it’s your very last day.

© Cheryl-Lynn 20/08/2019

Pleased to make your acquaintance! (prosery)

Jacques reflects back on this past year.  It felt more like twenty!   Detox was just a  little taste of his journey that lay ahead.

How he loathed himself and now he had to face all this sober. His mentor and sponsor, once said, “You will love again the stranger who was your self.”

No one told him the first step started within and not pointing fingers. Improve what you need to improve but do the work yourself.  It was so much easier to blame someone else for his misfortunes.

Accepting responsibility for his actions was  probably the toughest pill to swallow.    He has finally forgiven himself even if some still cannot. He’s accepted that truth too.

He sits in the front row at the legion hall, waiting to be called up to the front to share his story  and accept his one year chip.

© Cheryl-Lynn ‘20/08/2019

 On Monday, August 19th, Kim is hosting  Prosery at dVerse.   This prompt is where you write a flash fiction using a maximum  of 144 words including that line of poetry.

This week the line is “you will love again the stranger who was your self” from Derek Walcott’s poem Love after Love.

Daily Moments ~ hear the breeze ~ troiku ~ August 16 2019

Tween seasons are the best…end of summer opens windows and turns off air conditioners, reminding us of the beauty of natural sounds [minus the cars during rush hour].

finally
listen to the wind
softly whispering

finally
open windows
fresh air

listen to the wind
cicadas do their shrill
how peaceful!

softly whispering
“remember your Hail Mary’s”
can’t help but smile

© Tournesol ‘19/08/16

Daily Moments hear the breeze troika August 16 2019

Chapter 2 of Emily’s autobiography (troibun)

Emily does not remember much of the unpleasant and scary for some reason. It’s like ghosts in the back of her brain. The good, happy, loving images are so vivid and when the ghosts try to poke at her and get to the forefront, she is never sure what is real. The details are blurred. She sees a little girl sitting on the steps at the back of her house, sulking or weeping for “no reason”.

“I’ll give you something to really cry about!” screams in her brain…a buckle on a belt flashes and then blackness.

Recalling unpleasant and scary is like trying to pick up a lost penny on the pavement with your toes.

Then feeling the warm, loving hugs and her soothing voice…remembering her comforting embrace is her safety net.

memories
floating in and out
dream catcher

memories
fragmented stories
and blurred lines

floating in and out
latching on like…
bloodsuckers

dream catcher
recalling soothing hues
tangible – love

(c) tournesol ’19/08/15

What would you write in Chapter 2 of your life story?

on letting go …a cherita and haiku

(a cherita)

piling into tired vessels

inequity tears the sails
weary canvas fails

sea engulfs each evil deed
greedy and voracious
quenched with every nightmare

~

aquarius moon so full and bright

beams light up the sea
watching ancient sins

sinking to dark depths
way beneath the sea
labroides feast

(haiku)

nightmares capsize
into the cold dark sea
death becomes them

(c) Tournesol ’19/08/15

 

Daily moments – reflections on letting go and change – August 15th, full moon

 

Cotton candy hands ~Haibun ~ Daily Moments August 15 2019

No photo description available.
(c) Clr ’19

Walking from the mall today, I noticed the rides were back on the property. They are a team from the Beauce and they are here about 3 or 4 times a year. They set up at the front of the mall and usually when I walk home from work late at night I use the back route since my home is behind the mall. Still I see five or six vans and trailers parked on the back side, so I know the fair is back in town.

Image may contain: sky, night, cloud and outdoor
(c) Clr’19

Today, I wanted to take a few photos to savour some of the summer images we long for during those long frigid winter months. I like to pretend that I’m a kid again and going to the fair with my mom and sister. Just an image here, another there and I am back in time decades ago. I can even smell the food!

ferris wheels
roller coasters
screams of joy and fear

sticky fingers
smacking lips
pink cotton candy

hot dogs
dripping mustard
candied popcorn

sun setting
speakers blaring
hip hop

flashing lights
screaming children
one last ride

© Tournesol ‘19/08/15

Cotton candy hands Haibun Daily Moments August 15 2019  Daily Moments

Life is not timeless…

Happy Birthday, Aunt Mae!

Celebrating
90 years of true
living

(c) Clr ‘August 13, 2019

 

Originally written August 12, 2013

Art by Mae Roberts Giroux

Returning from a lovely birthday celebration for my Aunt Mae, my head was swimming with thoughts on my return home by train on this 13th day of August 2013.

It is a solemn day today;  I’ve felt blessed being with people who changed my life; people who encouraged me when no one else did; people who believed in me and offered me the sanctuary of their home  so I could save first and last month’s rent when I started a new life in a new city 400 miles from home.  People who had not been in my life for almost 30 years and yet never hesitated to offer their unconditional support! They never judged me; nor did they expect anything in return!

They invented “paying it forward”!

Meet my Aunt M who is my father’s sister; she lived too far most of her adult life to be privy to family drama and stories;  she was busy raising her family, making her way and a wonderful way of life she did as well.

She is an amazing mother who raised three fine sons…3 fine men…3 fine cousins…three fine creative souls!  She is an amazing wife, who followed her husband across the country and enjoyed every minute with the man she loved. She encouraged and supported his decision when he too returned to university so he could change his career for the second part of his life.  She is a grandmother, aunt, wife, artist, mother-in-law, model and mentor in life.

She is an amazing friend who never forgets any friend she has encountered along the way on her life’s travels…just check out her monthly postal and cards’ expenses!

She is an amazing person who embodies goodness…volunteers, is always there to help, contributes for events that entail fun(oh, how she loves to play) she is always available to chip in at potlucks, bring the best peanut butter cookies to friends and friends of her children who have to move; she is there to help at parties, special events and people of all ages just love her!

Mae Roberts Giroux,
Oakville, On.

© Painting by Mae Roberts Giroux,

One of her very first paintings by Mae Roberts Giroux

Mae Roberts Giroux
https://www.facebook.com/mae.giroux/photos

 

Photo: CLR – art by Mae Giroux, Oakville, Ontario

She is an amazing “ma tante” who gave selflessly and proudly…merci, Ma Tante!  She is an amazing and accomplished artist …creating beauty for the past 70+ years The profile pic on this blog is ONE of her many paintings she has created, she sculpts as well, draws, does stain-glass, teaches art …multi-media and so much more!


To my amazing Uncle F (Mr. G) who is an amazing father!  He raised 3 sons to be 3 amazing husbands, 2 amazing loving fathers! He nurtured them, played with them and gave them guidance…he is a father, a dad , grandfather, uncle, friend, and a mentor.  I always envied my cousins for having the most amazing dad on this planet…and I am thankful to have been blessed with his tender love, wise guidance and fatherly support…he was the dad who loaned me his shoulders for support when my heart was broken, and his insights when I was at a crossroad. Thank you, Uncle F!

He is an amazing husband who encouraged his wife to grow and develop her creative side at an art college in her middle years, and as well, later on, he pursued a second career in improving the lives of people, who volunteers to this day and continues to help people in need. He is a loving grandfather, father-in-law, uncle and model/mentor to look up to.

I love them so much and today we had a pleasant and sombre rendezvous.  I was looking at two people whom I love very much… aging…and yes, it is part of life’s cycle…I get it!

I choked with sadness and longing as I heard my uncle comment calmly, rocking in his chair, “We are getting closer to the summit of our horizon”.  I looked at him in awe…maybe I saw an aura…this warm kind man radiating so much wisdom!

Later during our lovely lunch I was thrilled listening to my aunt giggle to a comment I had made.  She was still 16 inside that body…this body who still swam twice weekly doing 42 lengths each time…this woman who did her 15 minutes of exercises every morning she was still swimming at the age of 84!  {Yes, I have so much to look up to and learn from and have yet to get off said lazy butt and do some of this to stay healthy!}

How I loved to discuss issues of medical or mental health nature with my uncle.  To discuss books he has read…he who is still a member of book club at the age of 85.  This man still volunteers and reads and is so vibrant and alive despite his frail body that refuses to retain iron and whose bones are so fragile…and yet, he still pushes himself to stay active.  How I love him and admire him.

Uncle Fred & Aunt Mae

How I loved to attend art shows where my aunt hung several pieces of her art and she still continues to expose her art this week at 3 places in the city including City Hall.  What an amazing artist! How I loved to go shopping especially taking advantage of those “great sales” on shoes!! She always made me feel like her other daughter…so much more than her niece. And to Uncle F, he too made me feel like his extra daughter…somehow there was always room in both their hearts for me…and that makes me weep happy tears.

And so I am soaking up this unique and special  love I feel for them and they have for me…and know I want to try to come more frequently to see them…for the days, the months, the years are limited …

my heart swells
thinking
people who matter

© Clr ‘2013/08/13

A haibun and a Dear Emma journal…just thinking on paper

 

It’s driving her bonkers visiting so many condos. She is working still but this new place should be affordable when she no longer works and accessible to basic needs. Public transportation must be achievable so she can still get around at all hours of the day and evening. She loves the city for the culture, education and so many interesting events. She loves to read and if her new location does not provide what she needs in books, she wants to be able to hop on a bus and go to her Alma mater, having access to it’s library.

visiting
searching
a place to call home

visiting
private homes
of strangers

searching
impossible dreams
peace of mine

a place to call home
yet, fearing isolation
single … not alone

(c) Tournesol ’19/10/30

Yesterday she heard a radio broadcast of a man who retired. He talked about how it was a terrible shock to him. She has been planning to write more and teach English part time on line or in person when she retires. She planned on volunteering doing group work like she did a few years ago but somehow she did not feel “at home” in community outreach programmes like she did in Toronto. Why was that? Was she tired of volunteering in the mental health world where she has worked for almost 4 decades, volunteering and working? Well, that would make sense. Even if she offered workshops, she knows she would still be drawn into their narratives that pull at the heartstrings.

And, to hear this man voice his misery with retirement, jolted her. She thought about the time when it will be an END…rather than her usually way of thinking that it will be a new beginning. Even if she got certified to teach last fall, she never really grasped the idea of cutting ties to workforce. She remembers not working for one year when the children were little and she found work to do from home to keep her sanity. Somehow, being productive AND connected to people was a need and not just a desire.

How did she get here? She has always talked about volunteering and working part time here and there to fill her time. She has relished the idea of going to a library or coffee shop with her laptop and writing to her heart’s content. And yet when it is a choice and something in the future, it looks like a dream come true. When it gets closer, it feels like a death sentence. Oh my, why is she seeing her future so bleak? Is it that time of year?

November approaching is like opening your heart and home to death. The only good thing about this month was her first child was born on the 7th. She feels herself slipping into the darkness of despair and numbness. Knowing it is going to happen; understanding the why’s and how’s makes it even more frustrating because that mood just takes control over her. It snickers and sometimes bellows at her weakness. It weighs on her like a heavy duvet with iron fists keeping her under, and all she can do is concentrate on breathing…waiting for a break in that dark sky. Until then, she will go through the motions…work three days a week; listening to the darkest stories from callers, searching for hope. She sometimes, feels like a hypocrite not being able to take her own advice. She can hear them, feel them, open her heart to them and engage them and help them get to a safer and lighter place even if it’s just for a night, one more day, one more week. If only she could have someone like that to do the same for her.

It is probably one of the toughest parts of being in the service profession. Police officers, first responders, nurses, physiotherapists, massage therapists, doctors, teachers and social service workers and any other outreach career, have the same risks of slipping. Some take comfort with their family, friends and balancing self-care. Others drink too much or eat too much. The things they see or hear are not things you can share and vent with a friend.

In Toronto she had a great therapist (doctor/masters in social work) covered by healthcare. She was even her doctor and her support was helpful and refreshing. Even her doctor would pick her brain on ideas for clients she had who were parents.

She doesn’t feel it really matters where you live. It is how she feels inside…the heart of any home is the soul of the person living there. The living space can be spotless or cluttered, shiny or dreary, quiet or noisy, it all depends on what is going on inside that person. However, lots of windows make a huge difference…just being able to look at the sky; looking out and also seeing life around her like pedestrians, cars, squirrels and chipmunks. Seeing life is vital…it is a connection to the living and she can relate more and more to older people she worked with years ago. She is minutes away from any of these persons now.

She so admired their energy and persistence to keep moving and staying involved with social events. She wonders what their secret was when that heavy duvet weighed them in the morning or when it hurt to move a muscle or hurt even more to open their eyes. She did get advice from her 90 yr old aunt one time. Roll out of bed, shuffle to the bath and run a nice hot bath to oil the joints; then you can move!
She does this on most mornings now.

Maybe she could learn from more retired people. Experience is worth its weight in gold…now she is feeling a bit more hopeful. Thanks, Emma, for listening.

Daily moments Oct 30 2019, clr