A Hole in the Sky

sky hole

For Laura Boss

“Every living thing is turning into something else.” – Ovid

All of your poems that remain unwritten.
Promises to and from family not kept. 
Urn of ashes on a son’s mantle.
Things read aloud to laughter and tears,
now lost in the country of time.



Laura Boss was an American, award-winning poet and a friend and mentor. She was the founder and Editor of Lips poetry magazine for four decades. Laura died on April 9, 2021, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Mourning Cloak

underside

A mourning cloak on a cool morning
on a walk through the cemetery.
It is quiet but for whispered prayers.

She touches a headstone in the sun.
Her yellow skirt escaping the dark cloak.

top view

Nymphalis antiopa, the mourning cloak, is a large butterfly native to Eurasia and North America. The immature form of this species is sometimes known as the spiny elm caterpillar which has a toxic substance in its hairs or spines that can cause a very painful reaction if you touch it,

These butterflies have a lifespan of 11 to 12 months, one of the longest lifespans for any butterfly.

Ash Wednesday

I hope to turn again one day –
turn from dark death thoughts to life,
to rise from the fire into lightness,
floating like the ashes that rise above
the flames and escape to the sky.

I hope to return to this time
lent us, because I hope the garden
will return from under snow, because hope
is dusted upon the slender one standing
in the distance, haloed by the sun.

 

palms to ash

This double Ronka poem owes something to T.S. Eliot’s poem, “Ash-Wednesday”, which begins:

Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn

listen to T.S. Eliot reading the poem

Fin de siècle

Born at the end of a century,

she knew only this one, not even

for two full decades. Too brief.

Fin de siècle, closing one era, onto another.

A brief summer. Winter without a spring.

graves snow


Fin de siècle is a French term meaning “end of century,” a term which typically encompasses both the meaning of the similar English idiom “turn of the century” and also makes reference to the closing of one era and onset of another. It is often associated with the end of the 19th century.