Sunday, 14 October 2018

Frail



The ivy doesn’t look too well and I wonder if I have watered it too much or too little?   Its leaves are soft fading and curling.   It looked healthy before as did you. I wonder if my efforts to nurture have been in vain and that somehow I have missed the point, the point of survival.  Is survival to merely exist or to live life to the full or to just survive whatever the cost?  What worth is our history if we just die, the memory of us diminishing across generations, words on a headstone, nothing more.

You are frail now my love, yet I don’t understand how a sixteen stone man can be described as frail – it just doesn’t correlate.   Frail to me is a stick-thin person teetering on the edge of life and death.   Rest is rust they say as if somehow these words of wisdom will raise you like Lazarus from your bed, strengthen your atrophied muscles, reactivate your mind.

I feed you thickened fluids from your sip cup and you drink with a want.  I wonder if you thirst too much or there is just never enough.  Is this your way of hanging onto life or do fluids bring comfort?  You smile at me and grab at the cup sipping on blackcurrant goo.  I love you so much you know – I will quench your thirst forever.

How the wind rages,
precipitating the storm,
winter is coming.

Anna :o]

Shared with the good folk at Poets United, hosted by the lovely Mary - cheers Mary!

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads, hosted by Vivian.  Cheers coming to you too Vivian!

23 comments:

Julian said...

"Rest is rust" I would never have thought of describing, rest, with rust, however, I must say for me this really works in your writing. But what I think is clever is how your Haiku says everything, and in just 3 lines, too.

ADDY said...

Beautiful words. I assume this is about someone very close to you. Sending (((hugs))). x

Sanaa Rizvi said...

"Is survival to merely exist or to live life to the full or to just survive whatever the cost?" Sigh.. truly something to think about!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

The winter of our lives is an unsettling time, yet we have no way to stave it off. It comes as it will.

Mary said...

This is a very poignant poem. Indeed one wonders sometimes how something / someone so healthy can change so drastically. I hear the wondering about what life is - merely survival or something richer than that. This poem makes one wonder about the quality of life, whether being co close to death is indeed just a hanging on. It makes me wonder what life is all about, what I would choose for myself. This poem shows me what love is. You have it!

brudberg said...

My mother cling to an existence that seems to be mostly drained from smiles that could be anything, and that fluid eating...

My mother in law is totally clear in her head, but many days she seems to be looking forward to dying...

our parting is such a painful process.

annell4 said...

A sad poem for autumn. I hope your ivy gets better...I, of the brown thumb, know the problem of nurturing the ivy, never had much luck.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A sweetly sad and loving poem. Even so ill, the joy he takes from the blackberry juice makes this a gift you give him.....that, and your standing by, your being there, and your love.

Vicki Rogers said...

Lovely and heartbreaking.

Toni Spencer said...

a lovely and sad poem and yet....I love you so much you know – "I will quench your thirst forever. How the wind rages, precipitating the storm, winter is coming." these lines are worth the whole haibun. A testament to love. Beautiful.

என்ன said...

I love this:

"as if somehow these words of wisdom will raise you like Lazarus from your bed, strengthen your atrophied muscles, reactivate your mind"

~Ali

Wendy Bourke said...

The details … the layered ruminations ... the aching poignancy and love you have so beautifully expressed in this tenderly drawn haibun. Everything about this piece speaks to my heart.

rallentanda said...

He is so lucky to have you care for him. Life can be very cruel. He knows he is loved and I bet that helps a bit in his suffering.God bless you!

Thotpurge said...

Oh that haiku is heartbreaking.. beautiful haibun!

dsnake1 said...

this is a beautiful haibun.
the comparing of the care of the ivy to the person is so poignant. as if the narrator is at a loss to what to do...

The Bizza said...

Winter is coming for us all. These are heartbreakingingly brilliant musings. Hugs and blessings to you and yours.

Brendan MacOdrum said...

My turn to effuse ... I've never read a haibun (right?) with such emotional power. It's like a charging freight train completed with a twisty twirly dust mote of its passing. These houses, domestic spaces, ivies, interiors, world, poems, loves we tend with love and exposed emotion -- are they only magical and wondrous in passing?

Jenny Woolf said...

That is very tender, and beautiful.

Vivian Zems said...

Thank you for this. It was almost a carbon copy of the scene between my brother and his wife....in his last days. Utterly beautiful

WildChild47 said...

Life can certainly change in a heartbeat - and it never does necessarily make sense; how does one understand and resolve ideas like "frailty" or "loss" or "smiles" or "want" ... and this haibun is both a keenly observed notation, but filled with the personal touches that are of the ordinary - yet they are anything but; isn't it extraordinary when we realize, often in the hardest, most critical times, how so many of our "life lessons" are standing before us, or perhaps, we are already and have been in their midst and life's natural pacing (I'm thinking of the note of the ivy fading" - and how hard it can be to understand, to try to relate or figure out what any of this means. But apart from the fierce tenderness you offer in the poem, what I really appreciate is how the voice of narration comes to just know the one truth - some things we can never truly grasp - and all we have is the now - so best to be getting on with "it" - which in this poem, is about continuing to love and care and offer all the support possible.

Very striking and powerful poem Anna.

Pat (using my other sign in name)

Anmol (HA) said...

It's beautiful how in touch you are with the human condition, of its passage and the ensuing frailty that overcomes all — it is such a heartbreaking rumination of our passing histories and if they matter at all when they will eventually be forgotten down the line. Your beginning with the ivy and its condition and your role in it make me wonder.
This is so significant: "and that somehow I have missed the point, the point of survival".
What is the role of surviving, especially when it comes to helpless conditions of pain and suffering — is it humane to let go or keep on with the support to extend the number of breaths? It is such a difficult question.

Such a heartrending haibun — the haiku provides the much-needed certainty of what is to come and there is some peace derived from its acknowledgment. "winter is coming": Indeed. Wonderful writing, Anna. :-)
xoxo Anmol

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Ah, I know this all too well! Been there, done that. The detail of the thickened liquid hit home particularly. And yet, it was somehow a kind of solace to read your heartfelt, beautiful words. I have lived to be glad of my own survival and all the good memories – though it took time to stop dwelling on those painful last ones such as you describe. Six years later I am left with the conviction that life is a great gift, and it doesn't matter if we leave a long-lasting legacy: an ordinary, loving life is enough, and indeed great riches. The journey you are on now is not easy; may you continue to navigate it with grace, moment to moment.

Mama Zen said...

This is exquisite, heartbreaking writing.