Monasteries of the Heart

Mary Lou OSB's blog

Journal Entry 241

Here is the poem for Tuesday, April 13. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

The mare’s vigilance:
watchful while her foal drinks
deeply from the spring
--Issa

Journal Entry 240

Here is the poem for Sunday, April 11. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

Look, look, look!
These are the violets
Left by last night’s rain
--Richard Wright

Journal Entry 239

Here is the poem for Friday, April 9. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

In my dream I saw
The spring wind gently shaking
Blossoms from a tree;
And even now, though I’m awake,
There’s motion, trembling in my chest.
--Saigyo

Journal Entry 238

Here is the poem for Wednesday, April 7. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

A good day begins
with charcoal popping hot
and a good deep cough
--Issa

Do you like this poem? Why or why not? How does it make you feel?
Prompt: Use Issa’s first line to capture your good day.

Journal Entry 237

Here is the poem for April 5. To celebrate National Poetry Month, I am posting a short poem, a question and prompt every other day during the month, starting on Easter Monday. Mostly they will be poems by my daily companions, the ancient Japanese and Chinese poets. I will do the prompt myself, either in prose or poetry, and invite you to join.

April 5, 2021

Only a memory!
A neighbor’s tasty rice cakes
At our gate as before
--Issa

Journal Entry 237

I got to hear one of my top three Gospel stories twice this week, once on Palm Sunday and again on Monday of Holy Week. It’s the story of the woman who bathed Jesus’ feet with perfume and is chastised by the apostles because the money used on the nard could have been given to the poor. Jesus, however, sides with the woman. Since the event gets tied in with passion narrative, the church explains Jesus’ approval by saying the woman was prophesying his death and anointing him in advance. That’s not why I like the story.

Journal Entry 236

I finished my daily conversation with Issa—I read one of his haiku in the book, The Spring of My Life, and then wrote a response-- and decided to have the next confab with Richard Wright, one of the pioneer literary voices for black Americans. He’s known for his groundbreaking books, of course, --Native Son, Black Boy--but also has a book of published haiku. In the year-and-a-half before he died at the age of 52, Wright began an almost obsessive writing of haiku, composing 4,000 of them in that period.

Journal Entry 235

My writing is mostly fueled by what I read. Now I find my life-long reading lust is in freefall. For most of my adult life, I prided myself on starting the morning by reading sections from four books—spirituality, writing, poetry, memoir---but no longer. Even my novel reading has dropped drastically. Magazines pile up. I’ve attributed it to a normal malaise following my cancer diagnosis and put it on the back burner to simmer until I figure it out.

Journal Entry 234

Maybe I wrote too much about dying and death because every time I picked up a pen in the past few months it seemed futile. Not that anything dire happened. The surgery they had planned for my liver cancer couldn’t be done—blood vessels were too close to my heart--but the doctor went to Plan B and removed all the large tumors there before gluing me back up. Now, it’s a matter of targeting with chemo the smaller tumors—two much simpler procedures. And this hope from the doctor: “I think I can give you at least two more years.”

Journal Entry 233

Ah well, I’ve had to make the decision of my life, literally. My options for ocular melanoma that has metastasized to the liver and failed to respond to the test drug are: a risky treatment that injects chemo into my liver or let nature take its course.

I was convinced that I would opt for the latter and been preparing for three to six more months on this lovely earth.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mary Lou OSB's blog