Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Single Impression: Rest

Please scroll down for Project Black...

This week's prompt for One Single Impression was "rest." I've posted three haiku and one VERY long poem that needs polishing. I decided to post it anyway. Eeek.

Listen carefully
The rests between the notes
Add their own music

Resting my body
Is easier than my mind

Which shuns the stillness

Wrested from my arms
Most beloved companion
At rest in the arms of God

This one is very long and I just wrote it. It needs polishing, but I've decided to post it anyway, for better or worse. I don't have a scanner so the photo is pictures of pictures. The black and white is with me in about 1952 or so, the top left is holding her third (I think) grand child, and the last was on her 50th wedding anniversary. She was already quite ill at that time.


Ah, mother
I hope you are at rest now

Shed of the dark cloak of shame and sadness

That you wore like armor against my love

I don’t know why you couldn’t see

The radiance I saw when I looked at you

But then I can’t see my own either

I learned from the best
To be unsure, ashamed, afraid

Though I know that wasn’t your intention

I realize writing this

That though I know/believe

Death has restored

The light of who you are

What I remember, what I cling to

Is the hurt and the rejection

How sad is that?

Especially since I saw beyond
I swear you radiated light some days

Even as you shunned me

Even as you judged me

Even as you pushed my love away
The first time I timidly offered the words
“I love you, Mom,”
You replied – I laugh about it, though it hurts –

“I don’t mind you so much either,”
It was the best you could do.

I understand that

Your wounds were too deep for anything more

Later, when you too could say the words to others
To me you responded still

“You say it too much; I don’t believe you,”

And maybe I did
I just wanted you to know

I wanted you to see yourself
And I wanted - oh so desperately, agonizingly wanted –

You to see me also

But maybe we were too much the same

Maybe even though I wanted you to see more

(So I could see it too)

Maybe all I was able to let you see

Was the shame you heaped on me

From almost the minute I was born

So afraid you were that I’d be hurt

So afraid that I’d embarrass you

So afraid of what others thought

So afraid

So afraid

So afraid

So ashamed

So ashamed

So ashamed

I know it’s past time to put all that to rest
You are in God’s light now

Where Love is all there is

And I’m here
Clinging to your judgment

Because that’s how you gave your mortal
Earth-bound love
Maybe it’s time to put that past to rest

And open my heart

To know my fat, my dusty house
Are not deal breakers In God’s eyes – or even your new Heaven’s eyes
Maybe it’s time I put that wounded you to rest

Forgave her for not loving me
Not seeing me

I still don’t know quite how

This old way of thinking and feeling
Runs deep in my bones

But here and now –
I kiss that tired old woman

Gently on the forehead

I loved that you too
Wanted to comfort and mother you

As you couldn’t mother me

But maybe it is time to let her rest

To forgive us both

For being human and afraid

Katherine E. Rabenau


SandyCarlson said...

You sure do capture the pathos of mother-daughter relationships! I felt that one through every line. Been there!

I love the first one, too. The rest in music--an image that came to mind when I thought about this prompt. I'm glad you used it!

Geraldine said...

The poem for your mom is so sad and so profound at the same time. Sending you both a hug and wishes for healing for both of you.

me ann my camera said...

This was a wonderful read...
"This old way of thinking and feeling
Runs deep in my bones"...
I recognize the familarity of familyness in those lines, for haven't we all felt the return, to who we once were, when we are with family again.

the teach said...

Katherine, I feel your pain and recognize it...

Geraldine said...

PS: Thanks for the heads up re: the icons. WP is 'acting up' and picked these for me, go figure. I've fixed the glitch I hope.

Hugs, G

zoya gautam said...

Ah, mother _ a very spiritual poem that i liked very much..many thanks
for sharing it..

WillThink4Wine said...

Oh, Raven! Your pain is still so deep. I pray you will give it God and rest your spirit.

Roswila said...

"I kiss that tired old woman
Gently on the forehead
I loved that you too
Wanted to comfort and mother you
As you couldn’t mother me
But maybe it is time to let her rest
To forgive us both
For being human and afraid"

Thank for this ending, and for everything before it. I am with you in learning how to let go, to give rest to others, to ourselves. As much as I've done, there's so much more to do. Maybe at the collective deep levels of our spirits we will help each, me, those we wish to come to rest with....

Amber Star said...

your haikus are great...and your poem about your mother...well, it may be universal for those of us who weren't all that to our moms. It may have been a blessing in disguise that she took her life when I was 19. Nearly killed me, though.

About the crow totem...My totem isThe Bear Totem
I've known forever.

And I've told you a lot about me, now.

Bob-kat said...

You have a way with words :)

Pam said...

"Resting my body
Is easier than my mind
Which shuns the stillness"

I find this so true. Let me count the times I have tried to still my mind unsuccessfully.

April said...

The ones who have gone before (the ancestors) see us, know us and love us. I hope the poem you wrote for you and your mother has brought healing. All the best,

Edward S Gault said...

First, your haikus are amazing, I agree with Pam in liking the second one. The poem about your mother was excellent, and when you have worked on it more and are satisfied with it-try reading it at an open mic sometime. It would be a very powerful spoken word piece.
Thank you for sharing all of these.

teric said...

Gosh, these are all great! You are the second one I read with musical overtones, something I never thought of. All good reading.

texasblu said...

Oh I'm with Edward. You Mother piece would be a wonderful, loving performance piece.

The haikus are divine - I loved all three of them - they spoke to me.

tumblewords said...

Your haiku are wonderful and your poem to/for your mother is resoundingly forthright. Too bad we don't all come with instructions and warranties... Nice work, for sure!

gardenpath said...

Well damn, Raven, we are all the same! But only a few can express the words, thank you.

Sian said...

Your 'ku are outstanding as always and if I am silent about the poem for your mother that is only because I don't have the words apart from to say...well done.

San said...

Raven, the piece inspired by your mother is so heartfelt and honest. Blessings to you.

I too like your musical rests. And the rest/wrest play on words in the second haiku is clever too.

Sorry I haven't been around in a while. Summer is keeping me busy. For the most part, "good" busy, but after a while busy is just busy and I am needing "rest."

Quiet Paths said...

The musical rests was awesome. The mother poem instills in me further my belief that passing on only continues the story of which you have written. May light perpetual shine...

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I like your haikus but your poem to your mother is powerful. I truly believe she knows now and if she could fill you with the love you deserve. I also hope you find peace knowing this.