Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Tribute Poem for J.Breen

MOTHER MINE           

A marker year, this very first, wherein I know your name,
I hear your voice and breathe the sound, grasp nothing is the same
And sensing this, a calmness comes, a self is realized
The hearts that beat our common blood, at last, are recognized.

It’s said there’s more to mothering than pushing out a life,
A cliché true but trite as well, when weighed against the strife,
Of shameful secret, darkly carried; then pain of pains and all alone
No one to care or even share, as life breaks free from blood, and bone.

Expected to cradle and nourish the life but, exacted payment still falls short; 
Don’t grow close though for in the end – well, ‘round your heart? Build a fort
Against the day of “handing over” the life, its fate, and all its years
Bury this forever, it did not happen—so dry your foolish tears

And never speak of it again, or let your feelings show
About the life, where is she now? You’ll likely never know.
Just get on with your own life, get married, have a family, forget that one
You tried your best and for the most part, were fine, it was over and done.

Then Goddess Serendipity gathered threads of lives played out apart for years 
She stretched every line to every other and sealed it there with tears
And fashioning a silver web — a safety net for fears, allowed the two of us to touch
Across miles of time and space — with pictures, letters, voices — we covered oh, so much

I still can’t quite believe it, I mean, the very fact of you
And that you want to know me and share with me, the things you do
I hope you’ll also share your feelings, your dreams, both bad or fine
Because I feel I’ve always known and loved you, mother of mine.

(written for Joyce Breen, April 1994 – our first Mother’s Day, May 1994 after being reunited 
via phone December 1993)




Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019? BRING IT!

                                               (photo - S.E.Ingraham)

My 2019 New Year’s Letter 

The following was inspired by a note I wrote to a group of poets I write 
with on a regular basis - this is a version of that note.

As we all perambulate or saunter (however you see it happening) 
into 2019 - as one of my online friends says, getting old is not for the faint of heart. Over the last few years, I've come to realize though, it is for the grateful, the ones
astonished and appreciative, just to be here.

Rather than bemoaning those who are no longer trodding life's paths with me, or even breathing the same air - I'm trying to form a different outlook - one where I value those who still form part of existence, whether it be in the here and now or in memory - and also, feel genuinely thankful every day when I wake on the right side of the sod.

With so much dissension swirling around - everywhere, it seems - I've made the point more than once that I know I'm lucky to have been dropped down where I am, and at this time in history.  I need to keep reminding myself of this simple fact. 

I also know how lucky I am to have found myself amidst a group of like-minded souls, many of them poets and/or writers, many, if not most, online.  And, by like-minded, I don't mean we agree on everything or even necessarily think/feel the same about things - merely that we're open to discussion, to compassion, to try to be there for one another - it feels like a serendipitous blessing. The fact many of us write together as well - that's a bonus, in my view.

While I live in a small family - some might even say tiny - I am fortunate in that they are all within reach. Our youngest daughter Katy, the love of her life Jordan, and their daughter Georgia - who just turned one - share our house and the granny suite attached. The love of my life, Terry, will have been married to me 49 years in February. This is indeed an embarrassment of riches.

2019? Yes! Let's hear it for another new year. May it bring us all things that make us feel wondrous, times that make us feel wonderful, and a year crammed with wonder.

With love and awe,
SE (Sharon)

Monday, October 15, 2018


lock, stock and barrel – along with thousands
of others, we were joined together over the
Seine – such a cheesy sentimental thing to do.
But somehow it felt portentous, important,
eternal – so even though the wind was howling
crazy like home, arctic-wolf colder-than-cold,
and snow was spitting sideways at us, we knelt
down and slid that sucker hasp through two
bars on the bridge, twisted it tight and clicked
it home – used the key to check for safekeeping.
Is it possible to lock love in place – in Paris?
You know it.

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem Wild Grass
  from the book Home of Sudden Service.


I get over the shock of being here. Being in Paris, 
being in Rodin's garden outside Rodin's house
– now a museum, and finally, standing beside 
a really large edition of Rodin’s ultra-famous 
The Thinker. It’s so big, it's surreal. I love Rodin
– especially because everything he did is larger
than life and he was never afraid to show 
all the warts and wrinkles on his subjects, so much
so, he took a lot of heat from the public. I wonder 
what Rodin had his Thinker thinking -- his art
was always motivated by deeper layers than what
shows. Or so it’s said.

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem 
Home of Sudden Service from the book of the same name.


excavation in the shadow of an extinct volcano.
Even in late afternoon, I can hear the ancients whispering
as the amateur archaeologists—we’ve nick-named them
crypt-kickers—begin shrouding the site, 
especially the graves, finished for the day.
I sit off to the side near the well,
writing in my notebook. From my vantage point, if
I look one way, I don’t even see the scavi**, only the farm-
land and off in the distance, the gentle hills that were
once volcanoes. And the ancients’ voices are filled with
quietude and peace as the shadows march longer across
the field.

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem Sometimes Boys 
  Go Missing III from the book Home of Sudden Service.

**scavi - slang abbreviation for excavation area in an archaeology dig


A common complaint amongst pelicans that
migrate from the Arctic Circle to Florida and
further south – every single year—then fly on
back again. They didn’t used to fly so far north
but food reserves are disappearing and the great
birds are in danger, their numbers decreasing
alarmingly. Birds are thought to be cold-blooded
(no blooded?) but you can see them shiver if you
watch carefully. It might mean they’re frightened
but it could also mean they’re cold…it could.

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem Petit Mal, 
  Petit Mort from the book Home of Sudden Service.


they be, these graceful as champagne flutes, 
drooping down in seemingly benign beauty – especially these—
these butter-yellow bells, their throats painted with a sprinkling 
of pale freckles. Such loveliness can conceal
lethal secrets: foxglove – known for its healing powers
is also renowned for being deadly poisonous. It grows
in an array of colours: purple, pink, white and yellow
but the defining characteristics are those pale freckles
coating their throats. 

*From Elizabeth Bachinsky’s poem At Fifteen from
the book Home of Sudden Service