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21 June 2019

On today, which would have been my sister's 72nd birthday, I thought I would reprint some of her poems.  We found a collection of them after her death and I retyped them and had  them bound in a book to give to my parents.  She had a lot of emotional pain and disappointment in her life and most of them reflect that, such as

Ridding oneself of loneliness
  is a life-long process.

Occasionally a warm puppy
   dulls the pain
   of loneliness

But in time he too leaves
and the emptiness left
   by his departure
Soon fills again --
with the loneliness
   he sought
   to drive away

She also loved the sea the way I do and had a lot of sea-related poems.

The surf pounds and pounds against
   the shore--
Never ceasing, onward rushing and
Engulfing the sand, eating it up
   swallowing it down, spitting it
   out again
A tree stands proudly, towering, its
   limbs swaying in the sea breeze--
Half in sun, half in shade.
Sunset is approaching--the shadows grow
  and grow--
Soon will come the night--
A willow weeps in darkness

This is one she wrote after visiting our grandfather, who died in a rest home.

You lie, old man
With your eyes turned inward
And your hands outstretched
Gasping for breath
In the foul-smelling bedclothes

And I wonder
   as your hand clenches mine,
What thoughts are running
   through your mind.

What do you think about
   from day to day
Lying in the same position,
In the same bed,
With no one around
And no way to communicate
  your thoughts and feelings
If there should be people with you?

A strange existence!
And yet, you linger on
With death's rattle in your throat,
And the look of a corpse on your face.

How precious your life must be
That you are so unwilling to give it up!
What must be going on
Behind those closed eyes!

She had a lot of relationship problems, which are either addressed of hinted at in most of her poems, like this one

To see a face
To know that face
To love the person connected
   to that face
And yet not know what goes on
   behind it

or this one...

Ashes--Remnants of what at one time was
No longer is, and can never be again.
A life in ashes of blacks and greys,
Blowing away with the threatening winds -
Never to be regained
A spent cigarette sits abandoned in an
Ashtray - unrecognizable.

Happy birthday, Karen ... wherever you are.  I hope you are finally happy.



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