Monday, February 22, 2010

Ash Moon Anthology

Today I stumble upon the lovely Ash Moon Anthology: Poems on Aging in Modern English Tanka

Published by Modern English Tanka Press out of Baltimore MD, edited by Alexis Rotella and Denis M. Garrison, this book is available in print (ISBN 978-0-6151-9641-1) or it may be viewed in its 315 page entirety online ( Reading these evocative poems about aging, I am reminded how precious our time is.

in a reverie
at the long traffic light
it occurs to me
why would I want
to do more, faster

We – as parents, teachers, family members, and caregivers – often have to “go to bat” for our children to protect what they so richly deserve: a childhood. Although we can’t ourselves fully remember what it was like to be in that sacred state, we can see from the clarity of those further down the path that it is a time to treasure. I found this anthology of poetry to be reinvigorating, renewing, and inspiring. Instead of sadness, reflecting on the end of life, I found my deepest feeling was a fierce stirring inside me, a desire to SEE those little moments before they slip away, to keep life from passing quietly unnoticed.

a lifetime passes
how many years have gone by?
how many full moons?
twenty million years ago
the valley was filled with ice

the winter wind
swirls a light brown leaf
the color
of my mother’s shawl…
I can still feel its softness

sacks of leaves –
a tale for the grandchildren
about bonfires;
so much forgotten
with progress

sleep and snow falling –
before we leave, sage advice
from our children;
in this progression of life
when did we switch roles?

All the memories
I chose not to make
out of shyness
or afraid what someone
would think.

after teaching
my aunt photoshop
all her images
have become
ten years younger

Do you
remember all
the things we planned to do,
the places we would go some day?
Did you?

a Shakespeare volume
its woody pages
curling with age
I remember saving
my pocket money to buy it

warm, still day –
our daughter expecting
her first child,
love growing each month
inside each one of us

today there’s an hour
you want to catch
and linger over –
mulching the garden,
toes gripping the earth

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