Fado, Tempura and Tulips

January 14th, 2012 by Karen

Joel
We’ve been back from Vegas for a couple of days and, with the exception of a profoundly upsetting dream (so fun!), it’s been a great week. We had a lovely time with our entire team in Vegas, we’ve landed two new clients since January 1st, and it was great to see all my friends. I do wish that everyone lived closer to each other, but I suppose that if we saw each other more than the handful of times every year, all our livers would explode.

Today we took the kids to the movies which was great fun, mostly because we had them convinced that we were NOT going to the movies. (It’s our M.O. of course with them…though they’ve been more and more interested in actually gong to Alaska of late, so maybe we’ll have to change that up a bit.) Now, I’m sitting in the kitchen, listening to some glorious fados, watching my sweet hubby make tempura for dinner and enjoying the tulips I treated myself with today.

Oh how I love tulips! They’re definitely in my top 5…along with daffodils, lisianthus, heritage roses, and wisteria. It’s a bit early for tulips, so these are probably hot house, but they’re still very lovely. Now I just have to clear my desk of the things I brought back from Vegas to make room for them!

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March 19, 2011

May 13th, 2011 by Karen

spreading red
screams my silent failure to the world
bereft of a gift made of sand
slipping through anguished fingers

unspoken
unmourned
unnamed
a nothing
a noone

to everyone
except my soul
who counts the exacting toll
like thorns shoved deep in a palm

the wound mends
yet the rent and rendered flesh is never again whole
forever mismatched
cobbled together with unevenly spaced stitches

thousands before and thousands after
stars that gutter and fade
there
blink and they’re gone

but one
this one
briefly mine
left a spreading stain
on my heart

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Stephen

November 21st, 2009 by Karen

Today, was a difficult day. By far one of the hardest days of my adult life.

Today we buried Stephen.

He was my brother’s very best friend, so much so that Stephen was the brother he never had and vice versa. They brought out the good in each other and he’s been around for so very long that it’s hard to believe he’s really gone. Last Thursday evening, with his beloved wife Rosemary by his side, Stephen lost a long, hard fought battle with cancer. He leaves a hole in so many hearts…a testament to his undying and unwavering love for others.

Personally, I’ve always had a difficult time with my tears. I admit it…I cry easily. Part of it I’m sure is inherited from my mother, but part of it is that I can feel the grief of those around me profoundly. At times, I have set foot in hospitals and simply burst into tears from the overwhelming emotion that washes over me. Sometimes this is a blessing…I can tell when people are hiding their grief, but sometimes the constant tide dashes me against the proverbial rocks and I find it difficult to maintain my composure for any extended period of time.

This morning at the graveside, was one of those moments…from the first second I saw Rosemary until I got back in my car, there were tears on my face. I cried for her…for the loss of her beloved husband, that she won’t be able to grow old with him, that she has to experience widowhood at such a young age, for her broken heart. I cried for his mother and father, Marlene and Dave, that they had to bury their only son who brought so much joy to their lives, that they would never again go golfing with him or be able to hug him tight. I cried for his little sister, Christina, for the loss of her big brother, her hero. I cried for his grandparents, who I’m sure never considered that they would ever be burying a grandchild. I cried for his in-laws, who grew to love him as a son and a brother, for he filled a special place in their lives too that will forever now be empty. I cried for his adorable nephews, E and Marsh, who are so small that their memories of their uncle will be smudged by time. I cried for his friends, Charlie and Kate and Andrew and Daniella and Nathan and Eric and so many others, that they have lost their friend and confidant and with his illness and passing, some of their own innocence. And finally, I cried for my little brother, for his loss of his best friend, his brother by choice, his golf and baseball buddy and for his own unexpressed bottomless grief that I can see in his eyes and for my inability to do anything to fix it.

After Stephen’s funeral and memorial today, I had the long, quiet drive home alone in the dark to think. Upon reflection of this morning’s chilly mourning, the following words filled my heart and brought me a modicum of peace…I know Stephen is home. And in time, we will see him again.

~Karen

Stephen’s Goodbye

widow’s weeds
of grey and tears
glide quietly through the crowd of somber faces
weeping silently for vanished years

of tea and coffee
of crooked smiles
of grass and sky
of embraces
of growing old
as so many do
and some may not

grief etched deep
sleep lost
and ache more plentiful than clouds
heaped on empty bellies
and broken souls

Angels weep soft tears of their own sorrow upon
wife, mother, father, sister, brother, family, friends
and icy wind rips the unspoken scream
from dashed hearts

resounding across the empty sky
with a whispered wail
tempered only by the final sound

of God’s soft breath on chimes
carrying him home
on a single sweet tone

Posted in Family, Life, Poetry & Writing | 0 Comments

Rage

November 5th, 2009 by Karen

My heart screams in anger
caught in the web of deceit
thrashing against the barbs
bleeding like so many times before.

Never again! It rages like a caged beast
beating itself senseless against the bars
knowing its futile vows are just that
useless against the inevitable.

Scuffed and bruised,
torn and bloodied
in the gutter of its own making.

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Surface

March 1st, 2009 by Karen

floating
like a forgotten blossom
on a wood ringed pond

making nary a ripple
bobbing slightly with the breeze
as the mist swirls tightly

all promise of life
lost in the chill of evening
and the depths of oblivion.

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Cycles

January 8th, 2009 by Karen

I’ve been rather introspective lately…thinking about life and the dynamics that cast eddys and waves across my existance and I’ve started to notice I have cycles of creativity. I’m sure everyone goes through patches of writers block and such, but right now, I simply long for more. To do more, to be more.

Yearning
I want to wander into the woods for an hour simply to listen to my heartbeat and hear my breath mix with that of the trees.

I want to dance free and vibrant like I was 5 and didn’t care what anyone thought.

I want to break out my acrylics and delightedly fingerpaint.

I want to spin florid words across crisp linen with purple ink and a fountain pen.

I want to listen to jazz all day long and sing and weep.

I want to sit in a meadow and eat fresh picked blackberries that stain my fingers.

I want to wander through antique stores and smile at the trinkets and forgotten memories of souls long since past.

I want to sit in silence and weave stories from the depths of my being.

I want to cast hugs and kisses upon old friends.

I want to cry out the joy in my heart from the highest mountain and whisper it to the lowliest pebble.

I want to ground myself to the earth and strain to kiss the sky.

Posted in Poetry & Writing, Random Thoughts | 0 Comments

My Chaucer

April 4th, 2008 by Karen

When I originally had to learn the Old English pronunciation of the first 42 lines of Geoffery Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales in Kathy Kernberger’s Honors English class at college, I wasn’t really sure when or if I would ever find it useful again. You’d be surprised at how many times this seems to come up in my life.

When one of my friends on The Cape Radio hosted the Poetry Slam last week, it only seemed fitting to record it and send it in as my offering.

(Siderant… the general media enjoys portraying gamers as uncouth, slovenly idiots not fit for public appearance. In my three years of playing City of Heroes / City of Villains, I have found quite the contrary. The folks I play with are incredibly educated, successful, well read, well traveled, artsy people who often simply feel isolated from the lack of reasonably equal companionship locally. The amount of real-life related information that is shared in private conversations in game is massive. We support each other’s business endeavors in impromptu brainstorming sessions and resource referrals. We let others know of job opportunities in their areas of expertise. We comfort each other’s sorrows and rejoice in each other’s joys. We are not pasty, sun-deprived, pimply 14 year old boys living on Doritos and Mountain Dew, tyvm. )

As I noted below, I was really worried about how well it would be received and I was ecstatic at the response. Take a listen for yourself and tell me what you think: 

[audio:http://karenmichelle.net/files/soundbites/Intro%20Canterbury%20Tales%20by%20Geoffrey%20Chaucer.mp3]

Excerpt from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer

Posted in City of Heroes / City of Villains, Gaming, Poetry & Writing | 0 Comments