echoing . . .

Ever since I started this blog three years ago, I’ve asked contributors to send me poems to honor their lost loved ones as part of a single All Souls Day/Day of the Dead post. This year, however, I’m planning something slightly different. During the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting a series of poems–my own as well as others–that relate in some way to the passing of life as we know it. (In Japanese short form poetry, there’s a whole genre dedicated to death poems, or “banka.” And Day of the Dead poets often eulogize their dead with satirical gems called calaveras–named after the whimsical skeleton figures that make their appearance this time of year in everything from folk tableaux to sugar skulls.)

If at any time during the next couple of weeks any of my readers would like to contribute a small poem in honor of a loved one, feel free to use the comment function on any of the posts leading up to All Souls Day and I’ll try to incorporate the tributes into my following post.

Below is the first installment in this series–a haiga I created from a street filled with funeral wreaths that I came across in Naples several years ago. It seems particularly fitting for me to start with this image, as I learned today of the death of a wonderful writer/teacher/adventurer named Bill Harrison, who (along with the late James Whitehead) was instrumental in founding the writing program at the University of Arkansas where I received my M.F.A.

Rest in Peace, Bill. Safe Travels.

Copy of haiga funeral wreaths

A Hundred Gourds 2:4, September 2013

About Margaret Dornaus

I’m a writer and a teacher, as well as a haiku-doodler. I live in a beautiful woodland setting, surrounded by native oak forests, that inspires me to record haiku snapshots of luna moths and our resident roadrunner, and even an occasional black bear as it hightails it across the top of my road, my mongrel dog barking at its heels as I watch with wonder. My work as a travel writer has appeared in publications from The Dallas Morning News to the Robb Report. You can find examples of my travel writing–as well as excerpts from a travel memoir I’m working on–at my other WordPress site, Travelin’ On. What more than that do you need to know? Only that I started this blog with an eye toward collaboration. Got a haiku? Send it my way. . . . I’m all about new visions & voices. Best, Margaret
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1 Response to echoing . . .

  1. janetld says:

    Poignant work, Maggie.

    I don’t have many short poems to offer relating to the passage of life of a loved one. But here are a couple:

    a cutting chill
    till the last rose is placed …
    through the ether
    he breathes words into me
    for his death poem

    —Ribbons (Tanka Cafe, “The Afterlife”), Spring 2013
    [L1 & 2 in italics]

    my baby sister,
    in this light older than I?
    how swiftly
    the creases deepen
    with the death of a child

    —Ribbons, Winter 2007


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