pictured words

a simple pairing of pictures and poetry

Tag: Loss

ROCKS, STREAMS, AND STORYTELLERS

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Photo by Keith R. Good

End-of-life
for those with whom we are particularly close,
seems to bring out who we are at our core.

Some of us are rocks.
Unbreakable.
Pillars.
Feeling the need to hold up all around us.
Or,
perhaps,
we just can’t let our surface crack,
lest we fall to pieces.

Some of us are streams.
We go with the flow,
while staying our course.
Occasionally we pick up others in need,
and carry them along.
But sometimes a stream’s flow
is fashioned from tears
that even a dam can’t contain.

Then some of us are storytellers.
We talk.
We laugh.
We reminisce.
We play familiarity like a piano concerto –
every part by heart.
We connect to those who are listening,
and telling stories of their own.
But can it be that we need to get lost in a story,
because the reality at hand
is too painful to fully embrace?

Let the rocks be strong.
But if they crack,
help them pick up the pieces.

Let the streams flow.
And if the tears run,
let them –
even as God collects
and records each one.

Let the storytellers recount,
and their experiences, count.
And if the present moment breaks them,
hold their pain
as a book in your embrace,
and help them tenderly
turn another page.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

LINDSAY ROSE

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It was early fall.  She was young and animated.  The baby girl who had cheated death had become a young woman full of soul, and bright as her favorite color.  Her palette was in hand. Her imagination as open and vibrant as changes soon to grace the trees.  Camaraderie, harmony, and laughter were yearnings, with promise of fulfillment.  Until, on her way to a weekend of music with friends, her song was silenced.

she laughs with Jesus
as they paint the sunset with
orange Crayolas

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

(I wrote the 17-syllable ending in September of 2011, on the anniversary of Lindsay’s car accident, and her passing from this life to the next.)

FOR POETIC BLOOMINGS AUTUMNAL POEM-A-DAY CHAPBOOK CHALLENGE, 2018,  DAY 6:  ORANGE

SAVING SOUNDS

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They’ve not been gone long.
Just a few month’s time.
Sometimes I hear her laugh.
His voice, singing,
“I don’t buy sugar  —
Just touch my cup.”
Her coffeemaker’s sizzle.
His, “Go Bucks.”
Her, “I love you.  —
You know that.”
His drums.
Her sigh.

I clutch these sounds —
Secure them to my heart,
And listen to its beat.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

PUNK

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I sat at the left end of a long
cafeteria-like table.
No food before me,
no scent of food.
My eyes focused on something
in my hands, which
I cannot now recall.

Forward and to my right,
old fashioned, quilt-look, diner-style
double swinging doors
open.
I glance up
smile
glance back down,
before my heart quickens in my chest
and I look back up.

“Punk!” barely escapes my lips –
more air than voice
as our eyes engage –
His,
smiling, crinkling at the sides.
Mine,
misting as my lips quiver.

He comes to me,
his cadence the same as my heart
remembers.

“Punk!” barely escapes again
as we hug.
His scent and chuckle,
unchanged.
His breath moves my hair.

His familiar voice in my ear speaks only a few words:

“What do you want to know?”

An unexpected question.
My heart quickens again.
What do I need to know?

“Punk, I just want one more hug.”

He backs up
just enough for me to feel his warm hands
on my cheeks.
I can see only his smiling eyes.
I look into them, and see
everything.

It can’t be explained any other way.

Everything.

In less than a moment.
Everything that ever was
seen
felt
heard
known
unknown,
is now
ever will be.

The beauty of it all filled me full.
Left me no words.

He gave me one last hug,
walked to the double doors,
glanced back with those smiling eyes,
and walked back through.

And the living live the here and now,
but those who have passed
and are alive in Christ,
know.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

MOM

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Patricia A. Fagnano:  March 16, 1931 – February 9, 2018

 

You walk into a room full of people and you ask

who has the best mother

and you can’t see faces in the crowd

for all the raised hands

but mine isn’t raised

 

it is grasping for Mom’s.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018

ANDREA

 

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A people-person and poet,
she learned to write
in a language not her own.

Alone, and on a small Danish island,
she yearned to connect.
To greet poetic kin.

In time, she braved the barriers
of language and space,
embraced globe and all therein.

Within her lay a yearning.
A burning desire to know You.
To believe in Your existence.

But the distance seemed too far,
and far-flung stars, more personal
than the God who hung them.

How often did she ask to unmask
the key to faith in a God who hears.
Loves. Draws. Speaks.

Yet I believe. I believe You
who knew her heart from the start
ran to greet her.

Mit barn! My child!
I believe she recognized You at once,
whispered tenderly, “Min far. My Father.

Never again will language be labored,
and never again faith
a far-flung star.

© Marie Elena Good, 2017

Sadly, our Poetic Asides family lost our Danish friend, Andrea Heiberg. She died of cancer Monday. Andrea never let language get in the way of relationship, clear across the globe. Her presence will be missed by so very many.

Next Stop:  Sejer Island.
   By Andrea Heiberg

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12381964-next-stop

 

UNTITLED

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Photo by Keith R. Good

Loss can be peculiar
Sometimes trading nothing
For something

OF LORD AND LOSS (a Sonnetina Tre)

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When depth of pain has plunged to ocean’s floor,
And memories seem to marinate in tears;
When anguish tries to overtake your core;
When every conscious thought confirms your fears,

I stand in awe of what I see in you –
Your joy in Christ still manages to shine
Despite the flames of hell you’re walking through –
The fruit of lives abiding in the Vine.

Our Father fully comprehends your loss –
Your son now lives, because His bore the cross.

Meet Me

Photo by Leland K. Good

Photo by Leland K. Good

BURY AN ANGEL

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Tell me, please, just how to speak
To pain that dwells within hell’s flames
And taunts a further depth to seek.

(Prayers, please, for a young teen mother who found her two-month-old baby dead in her crib this morning.  Prayers also, please, for the pastor of her church, who is in such pain for her that he does not know how to give her any comfort and answer her sobbing pleas of “why?”  Just heartbreaking …)