leaning on his cane . . .

leaning . .

leaning on his cane
he looks like a character
out of Bashō . . .
weighed down at end of day
by the weight of his shadow

–for Larry

red lights 11:1, January 2015

Some of you might know that my husband, Larry Chapman Kelly, passed away suddenly a week before Thanksgiving. Others, who know my work, know that Larry was frequently the inspiration for and subject of my tanka, and will surely continue to be so. During the past year of his life, Larry used a sassafras walking stick he had inherited from his father in order to remain mobile, and the sight of him returning home from work each day made me think of my poetic hero Bashō, who traveled on foot to record his world at the end of his life. Like Bashō, Larry often documented the world around him–through pictures rather than poems; the barn featured here is one of many he encountered and photographed on his travels.


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
This entry was posted in Family, Larry Chapman Kelly, red lights, Tanka, Winter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to leaning on his cane . . .

  1. A beautiful and very moving tribute!

  2. Beautiful words, Maggie. Larry’s photos were really stunning and it’s wonderful that you continue to draw upon them for inspiration.

    marion x

  3. haikutec says:

    Lovely tribute. I’ve enjoyed tweeting this tribute so that others may appreciate too.

    warmest regards,


  4. Mary says:

    A lovely and loving tribute – and am so sorry for your great loss.

  5. Very beautiful and moving.

  6. susandiri says:

    thanks, Margaret, for sharing all this! I so well know how the deceased beloved will continue to inspire poetry & more poetry!! may peace accompany loving memories!!

  7. Dear Margaret, I am so sorry to learn of the passing of your husband, Larry. Sending love and prayers, Ellen

  8. sanjuktaa says:

    Such a wonderful tribute, Margaret!
    Love ~.sanjuktaa.

  9. Adelaide says:

    Dear Margaret,
    I am sorry for your loss. Although gone, his memory and photos will surely continue to be an inspiration for your tanka.

  10. janetld says:

    A stunning tanka, photo, and tribute, Maggie. May he forever inspire you.

  11. Mary Kendall says:

    What a moving and loving tribute. I’m so sorry for your loss

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s