Monday, April 6, 2015

PO-EMotion -- Sadness

seven paper boats
a single candle in each
flotilla of grief

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Carol, at Carol's Corner, will join me again this year as often as possible.

Kimberley, at iWrite in Maine, is joining me this month. 

Kay, at A Journey Through the Pages, is joining, too!
Kay ponders the place of giggles in the midst of sadness.

Steve, at inside the dog, is sharing his poems 
in the comments at Poetrepository.

Heidi, at my juicy little universe, will join us when she can.
Her poem is "Why I Keep a Diary."

Linda, at TeacherDance, will join as often as she can.
Check the comments at A Year of Reading or Poetrepository for her poems.

Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind) is back this year,
leaving poetry trax in the comments.

Jone, at DeoWriter, is doing a "double L" challenge. 
She and I are cross-poLLinating our challenges whenever possible. 

The roundup of 2015 Poetry Month projects throughout the Kidlitosphere can be found at 


  1. Ah, yes: "A flotilla of grief." This line offers that twist that I so love about haiku. Well done.

    "All sadness is is a way of sensitizing you to what really matters, what’s really meaningful."

    Here's a poem about the expansiveness that sadness can sometimes bring.

    Paper Flowers

    If you were there
    with me in the high desert
    near Caspana, you
    would have felt
    the wind on your face,
    thin and persistent;
    heard it rustle the paper
    flowers mourners stuck
    in the fence on the day
    their dead were borne
    from the church;
    seen them, too, their color
    drained under
    a relentless sun:
    red to tattered pink,
    pink to shredded white.

    So wide this sky.
    And so simple this wind
    that erodes lives
    like paper flowers
    stuck in a fence, that
    scatters pieces across
    the high desert. If you
    were there with me
    near Caspana, you
    might have felt the grit
    in the wind, and the
    roughness of your own skin
    under the arid sun,
    and, like me, offered
    wine and coca leaves to
    their scattered souls.

    1. Thanks for noticing the twist. I'm trying really hard to move my haiku from 5-7-5 to something more true to the emotional truth of the form.

  2. Mary Lee, that is beautiful and wrenching and also peaceful. Wonderful. And Steve, you are right about that surprising expansiveness that comes of sadness, where you'd think it would bring intense focus in one small empty space.

    I had a serendipitous thing happen this morning I was saving a cleridoubledactylhew that I'm working on for the DMC Challenge in my Poetry Stretches folder when a doc called "Sadness made me keep a diary" caught my eye. I'd totally forgotten about writing such a poem. It needed more work, but here it is.

    Why I keep a diary

    She was withering,
    I was blooming. I visited,
    sat in a familiar wing chair
    in an unfamiliar room,
    looked through a box of her papers:
    calendars, church bulletins, a little locked
    five-year diary marked 1943.

    "July 14:
    Fell down the basement stairs
    carrying a bushel of peaches ($2.15).
    Broke my ankle.
    Tried not to cry in front of the children.”

    “September 9:
    Collected rents today (sunny, 79*).
    Made black-and-white cookies
    for the Ladies’Aid meeting.
    Charlie & Lila growing awfully fast.

    “November 21:
    Find myself talking to Arthur’s
    picture too much.
    Took it off the piano today
    and put it away.”

    All my gramma’s sadness—recorded
    in brisk, cheerful lines, hidden
    under a bushel, now unlocked.
    At home I began my own little
    five-year diary, so that someday
    my children might understand
    why sadness is hard for me.

    HM 2015
    all rights reserved

    1. Oh, Heidi. This is such a wonderful poem. Your gramma sounds like she could have come from my family, the stoicism combined with the almost poetic noticing of some of the smallest details ($2.15 for a bushel of peaches, for instance.)
      Some favs of mine were about pairings:
      Withering and blooming

      And also
      hidden under a bushel.
      Wow. This was really powerful stuff.

  3. Oh these are all so beautiful, so sad. The honesty and simplicity in the lines, the small scenes we want to cup our hands around even through our tears... Thank you, friends, for these. Poetry makes us whole somehow, even in our grief. x