haiku: flickering memories

haiku: flickering memories

Totties’ white crochet
in Fall’s dancing light adorns
the royal blue chair

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
October 31, 2022

photo by author

author’s note: remembering my maternal grandmother, Aline Feustel Martin (1889-1979), who we grandchildren called Tottie all her life.

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved “3:00 A.M. humor at the porta-potty”

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved

“3:00 A.M. humor at the porta-potty”

her hair stabbing wildly
this way and that
brushing it out of her eyes
and softly smoothing it
around her face

very seriously she asks,
in a bright, clear voice,
“do you like my hairdo?”
to which I answer, “well Yes,
I have always liked a French buffont”

silly laughter ensues,
she has always loved my jokes

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
July 20, 2022

photo of my beloved circa 1963

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved ‘keeping safe’

serial poem: the caregiver and the beloved

‘keeping safe’

there are dangerous places
in a home where the risk are high:
the bathtub, poorly lit spaces,
slippery floors, and the
dreaded stairs

listening for her to roll over
or feet hitting the floor,
ever alert, I write downstairs
in the early morning
before she rises

suddenly appearing before me,
without a sound, as if teleported
down the stairs, her visage startles me:
no cane, no glasses, no shoes,
jumping up to make sure she is whole

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
June 25, 2022

Photo by author

‘Checking on My Beloved’

for our beloved Cat, daughter, sister,
wife, mom, grandmom, sister-in-law,
aunt, dear friend to so many

haiku: broken ankles and dreams

haiku: broken ankles and dreams

toe nails painted pink
a pedicure on her feet
she dreams of dancing

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
May 14, 2022

photos by author

Author’s note: The physical therapist
working with Cathey is the best. Very
professional, highly skilled, and a
great motivator, with excellent rapport
with the patient. We are so grateful for
his presence. Oh, and yes, I did the
pedicure and nail polish.

poem: where is everyone?

poem: where is everyone?

the ninth of ten siblings,
high school cheerleader,
dancer in the band,
friend to all she knew,
aunt, wife, mother, grandmother

her dreams and memories
are filled with people
which she often
vividly remembers today
feeling their close presence

she will often ask:
where are the young ‘uns,
is everybody upstairs,
didn’t so and so spent the night,
isn’t there thirty in our group

beloved, just us two
old folks living alone;
others out on their own,
some living alone, others passing on,
where is everyone indeed

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
February 18, 2022

photos: 1) the cheerleader
2) one of ten siblings front
row center (only nine are pictured)
3) Grandmomma

Author’s note: The elderly in our
society face multiple challenges
when it comes to remaining socially
engaged as we age. Perhaps first is
that our culture idolizes its’ youth and
encourages maintaining one’s youthful
attitude as long as possible into old age.
This negates the value elders may bring
to our culture such as seeing the world with
spiritual maturity and offering their wisdom
from long experience. Additionally, for many
as they age, there are factors leading to
increasing loneliness and social isolation.
Some of those factors include cognitive
conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers,
other worsening health conditions of
aging, living arrangements, and lack of
transportation, among other factors. We must
do better at forming inclusive, intergenerational
societies that value and bring dignity
to all regardless of age.

poem: a sweet visit to Toddy’s house

poem: a sweet visit to Toddy’s house

exiting Toddy’s house
through the large kitchen
onto the screened porch
down the steep back stairs

across the backyard
out to the alley
then right four blocks
to the corner bakery

peering in the huge glass front
with the huge glass display cases
always filled completely
with cookies, pies, cakes, and rolls

entering the store
with its colorful display
and comforting aroma
enveloping all

with a pocket of change
one could buy a white paper sack
filled with their delicious
pastel, buttery, shortbread cookies

and for a bit more
the whitecake with creamy, white icing,
a chocolate meringue or chess pie,
or some fresh Parker House rolls

then on the way back, stopping
by the corner drugstore, its doorbell tingling,
and its wood slate floor, and high ceiling fan
hanging from the tin roof

buying an ice cold bottle of Coke
to wash it all down, a sugar high,
before the hike back up
to Toddy’s kitchen

there one would always find Toddy
in her apron smiling widely, knowingly,
preparing food at the big sink
as steamy pots cooked on the cast iron stove

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
December 2, 2021

images family photos of Toddy
Becker’s Bakery unattributed

Author’s Note: Toddy was my maternal
grandmother. Everyone called her Toddy
which was a nickname from her childhood.
The bakery us grandkids visited was
Becker’s Bakery founded in 1925, which
was one of Nashville’s best bakeries for
decades until closing a few years ago and
always one of the most popular. Getting
something there was always a treat, and we
were close enough to walk when at
Grandmother’s (Toddy’s) house.