Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Days That Will Not Come Again



Where there was something and suddenly isn't

- a beach, a forest, the song of the surf,
the crash of the wave on the shore,
sunset sinking below the horizon,
and a big black laughing dog -
absence becomes a presence
that fits into a corner of our hearts.
Heart walls expand to make room
for the memories, watered with tears,
that come, unbidden, at random moments.
There is an ache, a missing, that feels somehow
stronger than the presence did,
for we are remembering Joy
from a place of less-than-joy.
We are remembering love
from a place of loss-of-the-beloved.
We are remembering companionship
and feeling the pining of our solitary soul.


Where there was something and suddenly isn't

we have to work hard to 
remember gratitude and enough-ness,
remember to look up at the sky
and trail the eagle's flight with our eyes,
to seek out riversong in place of salt and sea.
We somehow learn to make a space for sorrow
inside our aching chests,
and place our love and remembering there,
glad that we recognized joy
and fullness of soul when we had it,
though everything after has been muted,
tinted grey and sepia,
compared to those golden,
radiant, long-gone days
that will never,
     will not ever
         come again.



for Mary's prompt at dVerse, to take one line of the poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, Burning the Old Year , and write our own poem from it. The two italicized lines are Naomi's.

I wrote this poem before reading a few lines in Julia Cameron's memoir, Floor Sample,  that resonated: "Missing a place creates a slow and constant ache. The body goes into mourning as if it had lost a lover." Yes, she has it exactly right. The beauty of Clayoquot Sound has always been my lover.


Shared also with the Tuesday Platform at Real Toads


35 comments:

  1. Oh, Sherry, this is so so so very heartfelt. Yes, when there is something and then there is not, there IS that missing that is stronger than that presence was. I GET that, and I know you feel that way. And when one feels that way, it IS so hard to try to feel gratitude and enough-ness even when it is just so darned hard. I hear you. It IS just so darned hard.

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  2. This is incredible, Sherry. Really masterful work.

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  3. There is an ache, a missing, that feels somehow
    stronger than the presence did

    So very very true.. what a sad sad truth... we do sometimes forget to value while we have it...don't we..?

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  4. Made me sprout tears for tis one. You had me at /the big black laughing dog/. Terribly sad, yet rife with hope & accommodation. For, hey, without loss & tragedy, how could our poetry have real flesh on its bones, or touch others? I like your lines /absence becomes a presence/that fits into a corner of our hearts/.

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  5. "absence becomes a presence
    that fits into a corner of our hearts."
    Oh, Sherry this poem is so tender and true. Love

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  6. So beautiful and heartfelt, Sherry. Sigh.

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  7. YES. So much yes to this. Lake Tahoe is my lover. ;)

    This punched me right in the gut:
    "for we are remembering Joy
    from a place of less-than-joy."

    Whew. So, so true.
    Wonderful piece, Sherry. I felt this, deeply.

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  8. When you write of that wonderful dog, the loss you feel, it makes me ache and think of all my dogs that have moved on. Having probs commenting on blogger accounts today. Victoria

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  9. Beautifully moving Sherry ~ This part struck me most:

    There is an ache, a missing, that feels somehow
    stronger than the presence did,
    for we are remembering Joy
    from a place of less-than-joy.

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  10. Such a wonderfully profound write..!!

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  11. This is one of my favorite poetic styles Sherry. Poems about nostalgia and loss, and that beautiful but sad realization that everything is always somehow slipping away. I enjoyed reading this.

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  12. Beautiful Sherry..especially liked absence becomes a presence
    that fits into a corner of our hearts.. so completely true. Like a palpable live thing.

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  13. How true, Sherry! I had never looked upon absence in that way before but it does become a huge presence. What an amazingly, eye-opening piece that reminds us to feel gratitude in the face of our losses.

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  14. I liked that line too but was not sure what to do with it. You have used it in a very efficient way, Sherry, and have certainly conveyed the pain of nostalgia powerfully.

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  15. That picture of a dog gambolling through a beautiful landscape fits in so well with that paradise through words that you've created and that you (rightly) miss. I too feel that way about certain places. Such a wistful poem. I particularly liked your use of 'enough-ness'.

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  16. Oh yes, you have captured that dis-placement sorrow brilliantly.

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  17. i see my boy every time i turn on my computer because his beautiful picture is there by default. i can feel his warm soft hair, smell him, feel his beating heart, his tickling tiny tongue when he would lick my cheek, my eyes, my ears. he'd lay on my chest when i was on my recliner. i miss him so. i so hope he's playing with 'PUP'. wonderful write, mi amiga

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  18. absence becomes a presence
    that fits into a corner of our hearts

    One suddenly feels the emptiness especially when it concerns a loved one when one is faced with trying times. Beautiful and exhaustive take Sherry!

    Hank

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  19. Your poem even looks like the sound, Sherry. This is so beautiful.

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  20. This is stunning! My favourite lines are "for we are remembering Joy
    from a place of less-than-joy."

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  21. If you were on Wordpress, I'd reblog this right away. I love these, "Absence becomes a presence" and "A space for sorrow" Sherry, you've outdone yourself!

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  22. Absence becomes a presence is to hit the nail on the head. It's so hard to describe the feelings of grief and loss and you did it well.

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  23. Oh so beautiful...like the "deep song" of the Gypsies, which comes from loss and sorrow.

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  24. Sherry, your poem really gets to the heart of how you feel when a loved one is no longer there. I do see the similarities in our poems, and yours says it so beautifully! It is a hard thing to do, to feel that empty space, when nothing ever takes the place of them, even though we try, but not to forget.

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  25. Sherry, you & I took the same line, but I like how you repeated it. You & I also know the wrench of the heart when a dog leaves us. This was very well done.

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  26. Loss comes in so many shapes and forms, and each year they become a little harder to bear.

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  27. "absence becomes a presence
    that fits into a corner of our hearts" Wow Sherry this line is so true and utterly breathtaking! The losses we face in life do become a heavier piece of luggage to carry on our journey.

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  28. I remember the terrible noise of the quiet after my first dog died. I thought I'd go mad with it.

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  29. Good to be reunited with your work, Sherry! Highly emotive, heartfelt and anguished! Excellent! Walt Wojtanik

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  30. Oh wow! This was like a comforting hug.

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  31. Thanks, Sherry, for putting the ache into words...I had another random memory today of my dog who's absence (since last July) is a presence. Bittersweet!

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  32. This is absolutely true ... strange, how as we age its the absences which become our familiars, we have a more living relationship with the dead than we do with who remains.

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  33. sMiLes.. Hurricane
    named Ivan blew
    away my favorite
    tree.. finAlly..
    i lEarned
    to Love the Sky..
    no longer am
    i a leaf..:)

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