haiku, love, photography

Haunted Without Ghosts

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My haiku in response to Ghosts ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #92 is third in a trilogy that began with 2 in the original version of a previous post.

Widower’s Song #3
 Ghosts do not haunt me.
 Remembered joys can often
 overcome regrets.

haiku, love, photography, serendipity

Lovers Watching a Sunset

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This post’s haiku began as part of my comment on Sieglinglungenlied’s beautiful and creative post Partners, Flying through Clouds.  I realized later that the haiku could live outside the comment with an appropriate title.  (I like titles for haiku anyway.)  Thank U, Sieglinglungenlied.  Thanks are also owed to photographer Dan Hahn, with details at the end of this post.


Lovers Watching a Sunset
 The clouds burn yellow,
 smolder red, and fade to gray.
 The love keeps burning.

Image Source

It would have been nice to illustrate the haiku with a series of 3 images that show the same clouds at successive stages of a sunset: yellow; red; gray.  Even if I shoot such a series in the future, I would never be able to get a series that includes the lovers.  So I did an image search, found many fine images of sunsets being watched by lovers, and found an outstanding one by Dan Hahn that showed all 3 color stages, in different clouds at the same moment.  Bingo.

The image as used in this post has been cropped to emphasize the clouds; U can see the original in full glory by clicking on the link in item #1 below.  Haiku lovers will also enjoy item #2, and there are other treasures on Dan Hahn’s website.  Prints can be bought.

  1. Lovers at Sunset in the Cape Cod gallery
  2. Dawn Zen in the Summer gallery
flowers, haiku, love, photography


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daffodils-closeEdith-1981I took my favorite photo of my late wife Edith in 1981, long before she showed symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease that would dominate our lives in the current century.  I cared for her in our own home as long as possible; I visited often during her final years in a nursing home.  This post is about one aspect of the endgame that may be helpful to others in a similar situation.

In Edith’s childhood home city, the Ohio River emerges from the confluence of smaller rivers.  Three streams flow together at the end of this post.  Please bear with me.

  1. The plantings around our house were few and scraggly when we moved in.  Over the years, I planted trees and shrubs while Edith planted bulbs.  Lots of bulbs.  She was especially proud of the many kinds of daffodil, blooming at various times thruout the season.  Long after she stopped gardening, she enjoyed the flowers every year.
  2. When Edith was in custodial care but still aware of who and where she was, the saddest moments came when she said she wanted to go home.  I distracted her as best I could, never said anything to indicate that her condition precluded that, and never said that I would “go home” when it was time to end a visit.
  3. Many years ago, we had seen ads for cemetary plots, discussed what was and was not a good way to use land, and decided that we preferred cremation.  When I began considering specific arrangements for Edith in 2014, I found that there are astonishingly many styles of urn available online.  Stardust Memorials had one that would have pleased Edith as a vase for a bouquet of her daffodils.  Packed carefully and shipped promptly, the urn was ready when the dreaded phone call came.

“Are you ready to bring Edith home now?”  The funeral director’s question at the end of the calling hours brought me a sense of relief.  She could come home at last, in our own car.  While she waited for reunion with her favorite flowers in the spring of 2015, I began what eventually became a trilogy of haiku.


Widower’s Song #1
|No haiku can say
|how strange this is: her journey
|ended before mine.

Widower’s Song #2
|Warm earth welcomed her,
|ashes among daffodils
|she planted and loved.

Widower’s Song #3
|Ghosts do not haunt me.
|Remembered joys can often
|overcome regrets.

Update [2017-01-15]

In response to Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge:

I scattered
her ashes
among daffodils.


(reblog), love

Holding On

Poet Rummager has written a splendid tribute to fallen soldiers, with a simplicity and directness reminiscent of Hemingway’s 6-word short story.

Am I the only one who was initially bewildered, having read “while” literally at first? The leave-taking and the funeral need not have been simultaneous. Time passed slowly while there was still hope that the soldier could return home on the scheduled date, relatively unhurt and relatively unhaunted. Then, suddenly, it felt as if he had left moments ago.

Poet Rummager


His wife was crying

He held her hand while his son

Saluted his tomb

(Photo from Definitivamente)

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