• POETRY CORNER

      Mom with goslings (Photo - Marilyn Ashbaugh).

      Mom with goslings (Photo – Marilyn Ashbaugh).

      – 5/09/18

      Hosted by Kathabela Wilson

      We all need to laugh. As my mom, Mary, used to say “we’ve had such great times together.” And lots of them were funny. In fact, one of the best gifts she gave me was that she laughed and laughed at the poems I have written and read to her about herself and our childhood. She managed to keep her sense of humor and encouraging ways towards me and everyone else until her 95th year. So, I am hoping that these unusual, interesting little poems and stories by our poets today will ring a bell and make you smile, laugh and remember.

      ~ Kathabela​​

      Maureen Sexton's mother as a child.

      Maureen Sexton’s mother as a child.

      Maureen Sexton

      late Spring drive in the country

      mum often interjected
      with funny, out-of-place comments

      “look out for the peaches and apricots”
      she suddenly called out
      so we all ducked … then laughed

      Ο Ο Ο

      Donall Dempsey

      she smiles
      just like the girl she was
      before she was my mother

      Ο Ο Ο

      Julie Bloss Kelsey

      Mother’s Day …
      the dog brings me
      another chew toy

      Ο Ο Ο

      Pat Geyer

      late summer mom went fishing

      at Lake Wallenpaupeck
      caught a minnow put it in a jar…

      left it on the porch for air
      but oh, oh no no no
      that night there was an early f​​reeze

      Ο Ο Ο

      Drawings and notes by Erika Wilk's mother.

      Drawings and notes by Erika Wilk’s mother.

      Erika Wilk

      bacteria and mold

      gothic art
      and literature

      all notes my mother took
      while watching TV
      come alive for me

      Ο Ο Ο

      Nan Rae

      A Little Parisienne Adventure with Mom.

      Having no basis in reality, my mom thought I could do absolutely anything. On a trip to Paris to see my work being exhibited at the Grand Palais. We arrived tired at the Hotel Mansart on Rue Des Capucines, where I often stayed, and my mom informed me she wouldn’t stay there. ​(​It was not up to her st​andard​s).​ “No problem mom. I’ll be right back.”​ ​Totally clueless, I stumbled around the corner to the concierge at the Ritz Hotel and slammed my hands on his desk saying, “I’m a desperate woman and you’ve got to help me!” As he picked up the phone, I had visions of being carted away by the gendarmerie.“Madame, your hotel is waiting for you. Here is the address.” Somehow​ ​my usual hotel had already solved this problem? By overhearing mom’s distress? We arrived at The Ambassador Hotel on Boulevard Haussmann and after settling into our suite, a knock at the door revealed a white gloved gentleman with champagne, followed by a second with a tray of miniature fruit from Fauchon! There was no way my mom would ever understand how utterly impossible, how miraculous this was. On the other ​hand, ​maybe ​her faith in me…​

      Ο Ο Ο

      Sigrid Saradunn

      My mother’s sister dealing with life’s vicissitudes, the problems of life at 101 years of age.

      first Great Grand
      due months away
      when told
      Grandma growls ,”Oh hell,
      I have to live for that now.”

      Ο Ο Ο

      Stevie Strang's mother seeing the new baby that she talks about in one of her poems​.

      Stevie Strang’s mother seeing the new baby that she talks about in one of her poems​.

      Stevie Strang

      Notes on Mom
      Mom met her new great grandson today. She was alert,
      knew who Jeff was, remembered his wife’s name, commented
      on how tall their first son had grown, and then hugged this new
      little boy until her arms could no longer hold him.

      dementia
      on a clear day
      my hands can still hold you
      my heart can still love

      Mom didn’t want to do her physical therapy today
      until she found out that her new PT was a guy.
      When he pushed her pant leg up to her knee and
      helped her exercise her leg she rolled her eyes
      and undeniably said, “I used to have dancing legs
      you know.”

      progressive dementia
      some memories
      never go away

      Every time I take Mom’s picture she says,
      “Oh, that’s horrible! Who’s that old lady?”
      “Mom, it’s you.” I tell her.
      “Well, how old am I anyway?”
      “You’re 88 and you look great!” I assure her.
      “Eighty-eight? How did I get that old?
      I didn’t have an answer for that.

      Mom brushes her hand across her forehead,
      pulls back a strand of hair and smiles, “Well,
      I’m going to tell everyone I’m 27 because I just
      do not feel 88.”

      deep in the heart
      of all that is
      promise of spring

      Ο

      Mom and gosling (Photo - Marilyn Ashbaugh).

      Mom and gosling (Photo – Marilyn Ashbaugh).

      Maureen Sexton lives in Perth, Western Australia with her little dog, Buddy. She hopes she’s as quirky as her mother was. Her mum was always coming out with sudden announcements that had nothing to do with what was being talked about at the time. She and her siblings called it ‘popping corn’.  Julie Bloss Kelsey likes to write poetry from her home in suburban Maryland, when she’s not chauffeuring her three school-age children. Julie is also mom to a dog and three fish.  Donall Dempsey is an Irish poet living in Guildford with an English wife! One half of Dempsey & Windle Publishing. He says of his mother  “her name was ita and when she smiled I could see all the ages she was before she became my mother. It made me aware that as well as being my Mam she was once only her self and had all the dreams ahead of her. She was always plural even though she was a very singular woman. I loved her for all the selves she was but especially that 9 year old girl shining out of her eyes.” ​ Poet Pat Geyer​ lives, writes and photographs creatures large and small, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. She says her “kinda large mom liked climbing over the rock beds of Lake Wallenpaupack​. ​Almost falling in​,​ she caught ​the​ ​tiny ​minnow​ and wanted to keep it for a friend.”  ​Erika Wilk​​ traveled from Saltzb​u​rg​, Austria​ to ​the ​U​SA with her mother ​in 1958. Her mother learned English by reading the New York Times and LA Times, She said: ​”​She was always interested in learning and loved history​. I didn’t know she made drawings, but she started painting after she retired, so she must’ve been doing it all along. ​I treasure these notes.”  Nan Rae​ is a California based, internationally exhibited fine artist ​and teacher of Chinese Brush painting. You can find her classes in the Huntington Gardens and in her studio. Her amazing long-lived mother, Rosella, celebrated her 100th birthday in 2012, and lived to 102.  Maine poet and artist Sigrid Saradunn laughs as she tells the story of her mother’s sister and the “vicissitudes of being 101 years of age.”  Stevie Strang cared for her mother​ and her dementia​​ “for​ 12 1/2 strenuous years​”​​. She now writes volumes about what she learned in poetic and prose forms. Here beautiful photography includes her mother as a subject as well as the many wonders she finds in the beach town of Laguna Niguel and beyond. She ​says: “​I​ miss my Mom so much and when I’m down, which has been too often especially on holidays, I remember the humorous side of Mom”.

      Ο Ο Ο

      We welcome and encourage your response especially in the form of short poems. You may reply by leaving a comment below.


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      Contributor

        • Kathabela Wilson

          Kathabela Wilson is a local poet/writer/artist and musician. Her Poets Salon has become an international respected must read in the poetry world. She's the creator and host of the Pasadena-based group, “Poets on Site.”

          Colorado Boulevard is your place for enlightening events, informative news and social living for the greater Pasadena area.
          We strive to inform, educate, and work together to make a better world for all of us, locally and globally.

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      Comments

      1. Sindhi Poetry says:

        This is very informative post… thanks for sharing this info!

      2. Stevie Strang , Maureen, Donall, Nan,Rae Kathabela Wilson
        Julie Kelsey Pat Geyer Erika Wilk
        thank you for sharing … great memories that always
        remind others that
        “mothers are/were people too”.
        .
        I really wish my Mother was one to share thoughts and ideas, what she was like as a child and adult since I only “know” and remember her as” Mother” .. she seldom shed that private role to see her as a person.

      3. Kathabela .. I always love to read your poems and writings about your mother. She was so unlike my Mother whom I seldom saw laugh, and never at herself, children or grands. There was humor that others could see and it will be her legacy, the stories of her expectations and comments. Writing this brought to mind her love of music, singing and dancing … alone to the radio when she thought no one was watching.

      4. Nan Rae your .post brought back to mind … I posted it in comments..my mother who loved city living, and thought my quaint bungalow home in DownEast Maine was below her standards ( it would not be allowed in my neighborhood… there’d be complaints 😉 ).(actually most of Maine was beneath her standards ! ). The memories are family lore in a loving way … often quoted her eccentric comments or expectations of the family (male cousin: “I only wore a suit and tie to please your Mother” told me. Thanks for the throwback Thursday memories.

      5. Stevie Strang for 35 years I worked with the aging population that always included some people with dementia… our 2 floor private nursing home could only keep track of 4 at time before alarms were installed. Then I worked on a locked dementia unit for Veterans (not the VA, but run by Veteran’s). Your post brought back so many memories of people and their families … thank you for sharing.

      6. My mother, Mary, eccentric ideas at times
        that some times came into vogue.
        Real food facial’s, skin care and medicines.
        Crisco with Merthiolate for sun tanning
        drew the comment “not to stay too long
        in the sun”. She just ignored the comment.
        Exercised with Jack LaLanne for decades
        even on her own.
        ( Mother never knew Jack took simple yoga
        and called it “exercise”).

        Mother liked fine china from France
        and Waterford crystal especially for her evening
        “high ball” of VSQ Brandy and gingerale.
        or as my father called it,
        “Champagne taste, on a beer budget.”
        .
        ===== tanka ~ cherita form
        .
        “Champagne taste ~ beer budget
        .
        shopped best stores ~ high class names
        loved fancy restaurants where she could dance
        .
        open toe high heels any weather
        strands of real pearls ~ true red nail polish
        white silk blouses with leather skirt
        .

        .

      7. susandiri says:

        Thank you, dear Kathabela & Poets-All, for such a warm and sweet Mothers’ tribute–in laughter, in jest, in need–blessings!!

      8. Inspirational poetry!

        renovation work…
        back at Mum’s house I revert
        to the teenage me

      9. alexnodopaka2 says:

        For 63 years

        we were friends but
        on that terminal year
        we stopped laughing.

        I because I lost her
        and she because
        of dementia.

        The reason I chose to write a sad one is because it’s the opposite of laughing.

      10. Congratulations all!

        • Maureen… thanks for sharing .. it brought back memories of my Mother’s quaint (to others) remarks that she was serious about, but we chuckled at and remember. We lived in a Minneapolis suburb and one day she told me she called “Betty” to find out how to make tomato soup from fresh tomatoes… I said “Sister Betty, Ed’s Betty”…she said “No, I called Betty Crocker and she told me.how.”

      11. Pat Geyer says:

        Congratulations to all the Children of such wonderful Mothers!

      12. Congratulations Dónall!!

      13. Donall Dempsey shared a post to Dónall Dempsey Poems’s timeline.

      14. Delighted to be found in such company!

        • Donall Dempsey love to see generations together of a family and see the facial expressions of the same family and how they are similar in body and facial language.
          Now I need to go find a photo of my mother to see the little girl smile ..
          .. her Mother smile was “faked” for the camera … I have a photo I love to call “Mother smiling” … she said she was when I told her to smile. Thanks for sharing.

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