Saturday, June 16, 2018

This Poem is a Broken Heart



This poem is a father, sitting in the sun and laughing.
This poem is a sunny summer's day,
the day before his world collapses.
This poem is a boat sinking,
along with  his brightest hopes.

This poem is a father, sitting in the sun,
laughing, on a day when all is well,
when life is as it should be.

This poem is a sunny summer's day,
just one day later,
the sound of helicopter blades whirring,
and many boats searching the shorelines
from dawn till dark.

This poem is cries for help in the night,
a boat sinking, one man plucked from the water,
one swimming to shore, three young men missing.
This poem is the village
collectively holding its breath,
waiting for word,
keeping hope alive.

This poem is the family,
grouped on the dock,
waiting for their young men
to come home.

This poem is 24 hours later,
still searching, still waiting,
the helicopters making fewer passes.
This poem is a father's aching heart,
praying for his sons' safe return.


At two in the morning on Friday, a small boat went down off Tofino with five young men on board. People on land heard cries for help and the Coast Guard was sent out. They plucked one man from the water. Another swam to shore. Three men are still missing. They searched with helicopters and many boats all day yesterday along all the shores, and a scaled back search is going on today. This father's two sons are among the missing. I dont yet know who the third man is, but in this close-knit community, this is heartbreak all around. It is beyond imagining, what this family is going through. In just an instant, everything can change. Appreciate the ordinary days, my friends. Life can change in an instant.

I adapted Hannah Gosselin's Boomerang Metaphor Form for this poem.

shared with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United. Come join us on Sunday. And for Brendan's prompt at Real Toads - fathers and sons.


29 comments:

  1. A magnificent version of the Boomerang form, the best I've ever seen – and oh, how sad and terrifying that you had occasion to write it! You have placed the whole event vividly in my mind, and I – far away and unacquainted with anyone concerned – am in tears. How much more those families and community members! A sobering reminder. Yes, the 'ordinary days' are precious, to be cherished.

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  2. Oh, Sherry, this poem is a heartbreaker. Yes, all can happen so fast. I cannot imagine the anguish this father feels, the pain, the knowing. You are right....we do have to treasure our ordinary days, never taking for granted that there will be a tomorrow.

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  3. The poem had me thinking about refugee boats, especially the one currently in the news. Wherever it happens, under whatever condition, hope land and refuge and safety is always available to those in need...

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  4. It must be so hard on the families. Indeed life is fragile and we should not take anything for granted.

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  5. This is such a story telling of sorrow... there is always a father, a son (a mother or sibling)... love how your focused on the fathers in this case.

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  6. Oh Sherry this poem is absolutely heartwrenching.. life can be harsh and unpredictable sometimes.. :(

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  7. The sea is everything -- mother of life and father of destruction. What is it when a father loses a son, when a community loses its promise of future? On Iona -- where villagers up to the last century threw wheat to the wave in honor of Shony, the sea god -- recently four young men were boating back from a dance on Mull when a wave swept them away. For a community as small as that island, it was like everyone died. And how does one revere so terrible a hand? Thanks for bringing this to the Imaginary Garden and allowing us to grieve with you.

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  8. A very sad account of tragedy and despair. That father has died a thousand deaths and must continue living. We never know what’s around the corner. Beautifully done.

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  9. Oh Sherry! How tragic that the world needs this poem in Tofino and elsewhere. How skillfully you wrote it, planting the images as prayer in our minds and hearts. Poetry has power.

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  10. Readers will read this trying to anticipate the outcome and in the end they too are bereaved that three men lost their lives. Beautifully written Sherry, as you always do.

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  11. Every word is like a drop of tear with the hope fading away. I've been to this space. This is the only form that can hold the content so well.

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  12. A poem filled with heartbreak and anguish--not quite your typical Father's Day (in the U.S.) poem. But there are heartbroken fathers all over the world, and they need to be recognized. This poem holds their anguish to the Light.

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  13. Pure heartbreak... and so close to Father's Day. Not that it would be easier at any other time, but... now seems to hurt even more.

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  14. Knife-edged between beauty and heartbreak.

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  15. The sea is a terrifying dangerous beauty with a mood change in a heartbeat. Very sadfor the families and the community. You are right...enjoy and appreciate every day. I will.Thank you for the reminder. I am going to make a double hot chocolate and sit in bed and read the Sunday paper and with any luck I will awake tomorrow. Nite.

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  16. This is heartbreaking, Good use of the form Sherry

    much love...

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  17. There is sadness everywhere. Men at sea drown, children cry, women wait, the world knows the sadness. Yes, life can change in an instant, then the rest of life is trying to put Humpty-Dumpty together again. A task impossible.

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  18. A poem of effective and poignant contrasts Sherry - I enjoyed it very much.

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  19. a poem can be so many things. This is a wonderful reminder of the incident that inspired this poem. So good !

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  20. heartbreaking. In one instant everything changes. Prayers.

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  21. Oh dear, so sad. The poem is good, but the story is awful! Life can't be taken for granted. Thanks for the reminder. k.

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  22. Such heartbreak and tragedy happening so fast....worlds collapse and we must remember to live in the moment and live life to its fullest.

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  23. This is a wail set to poetry. My heart aches for that father.

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  24. This poem is a father's aching heart,
    praying for his sons' safe return.

    To lose two at one time is sad to bear. A father's loss is hard to imagine, so sudden and tragic!

    Hank

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  25. And he lost one other son eight years ago. Truly, too much to bear, Hank. From the day I saw him laughing in the sun to today - he looks a hundred years old. Just terrible. Three days, and they still have not found them. I worry.

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  26. You are sooo right, Sherry. Our children are at the mercy of many forces. They leave and we worry until they return. Some don't, I feel sorry for your families involved.
    You are right too, on my grandfather, it could just as well be a grandmother. We grandparents have a lot of influence on the grandchildren, AND their friends.
    ..

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  27. This is such a sad, terrible tragedy. You wrote about it so meaningfully, Sherry.

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  28. As this story was breaking on the news, I thought of you - all those miles away - and sent out prayers - for all.

    You've written about this from a personal perspective that offers us more than just a glimpse into such loss - and it speaks with hope and offers us the gift of understanding, of how community is family, relationships develop, foster, grow - even if not always perfect - and however the natural order of things will unfold and come to be - ultimately, people are the lifeline in times of celebration and trouble. And we need to remember that when one bleeds, grieves or smiles, we all do. We're all related.
    (sending out light for hope and peace, and may all souls find respite and their way to Spirit)

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!