Of A Female Voice Freely Given



Shahrazad by Sophie Gengembre Anderson – Public Domain

Shahrazad’s tales spanned a thousand nights,

Hero’s a hundred more,

How sad that life is such,

That women must such means explore


A Persian queen her life to save,

Had needs a king enthrall

One Hundred Nights of Hero’s tales

A suitor’s lusts to stall


Clever tales told – not from love or joy

But for survival or virtue driven

Patriarchal whims and claims to confound

Rather than facing such attentions unbidden


Let me hear a female voice pure

Her stories to me freely given

Not coerced or told as a ploy

But as a gift of an equal given




I love great stories and poems.  What I love most is the true voice of the teller, male or female or identifying as neither.  As such, constrained or compromised voices, like in these two tales, sadden me.  I hope and pray as a middle aged, middle class, straight, white male that I have been and will always be an audience worthy of hearing one’s true self and story.


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The One Hundred Nights of Hero

One Hundred Nights Of Hero – Review

One Thousand and One Nights – Summary





Life’s Journey

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Each traveller starts their path alone

Though they find companions along the way

Some accompany them for but a brief while

While others make long their stay


We each seek a road – our desires to fill

Whether they be base or lofty

To have co-travellers with the self-same goals

Makes the journey go by more softly


I have travelled with such friends so true

And without them I would have struggled

Some have gone on now – going ahead

Their path never again to be troubled


Not only these kindred spirits – do we have-

To encourage, build us, and share

For when these companions onward go

There’s One that will still be there


For those who seek destinations on high

Though the world oft makes hard our way

We have One of manger born – a guide

That will never lead us astray




Life can be taxing.  Struggles and trials may seem ever present.  Having ones of like spirit and purpose with you eases this burden.  My wife has been one of those persons, not only for me but for most people she has met.  She had a gentle spirit, and spent time in prayer for the needs of others.  She encouraged and built me up so I could in turn lift up others.  She like some other inspirational figures in my life has “gone on ahead.”  But one point she was unfailing in believing, is that we are never abandoned by God.  Those seeking Him are cradled in His presence and accompanied to His throne.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6).”




A Tearful Celebration

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Wedding Day


Today is our anniversary –

Though we had too few years.

You were taken away just days early

So now I celebrate in tears


But it’s still a celebration

For you are forever my loving wife

The vows I made to you on this day

Are binding throughout my life


So today I will celebrate you

I will hold your memory with all my might

I will make it a celebration

Second only to when we reunite




I love you Dianne


Posted on d’verse


Awaiting Reunion


You were (are) a woman of faith

Your belief sure and true

You have just now gone to meet your Lord

As you prepared your whole life to do


I too am a man of faith

And though the golden streets I have not seen

I will continue in faith and fight a good fight

Till I join you in Pearly Gates’ sheen


But for now I must wait

Spend each day looking to

That day of our reunion –

Sharing such anticipated views



Waiting for a poem… d’Verse


In The Face of Grief: Haibun

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image by Dianne 

My wife prepared me for her passing in every way she could.  She told me to keep on writing, and not to wallow in grief.  Her advice was wise and strengthens me.  In taking a moment to collect and recollect these words flow.

Wait, Pause, Take Breath, Breathe
A moment to stop, Collect
Letting Anguish ebb

Padre – in the second of my Dianne postmortem poems

My thanks to Chèvrefeuille for also for us to pause, it was a perfect word for my day.



Head Held Up: A Tanka of Hope

Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

Flood waters rising
Life pommeled on every side
In woe – senses drown –
But still in bloom despite it
Head held up against the flow


The tanka is a five lined poem with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable form.  It often centres on imagery, but today I have gone for emotive feel in the hope that the message that life’s pressures and assaults need not drown us.  There is hope, and we can stand against the pains and concerns life deals us.  Written on the first full day of my widowhood.


Her Request


In writing today I honour her,

It is the thing she said was to be done,

I am to continue to pen the thoughts of my heart

Even though she is gone


She worried so on what I would do –

Would I simply drift away?

Neglecting myself,  pushing all aside –

She told me to keep writing anyway


So though my heart is broken,

My mind only numb,

I have penned this first postmortem poem

It is the thing she said was to be done


Maybe I will be stronger now,

In my effort her wish to fulfill

I have focused on a purpose

In so doing she’s with me still




Thank you Dianne for loving me so much that you planned for everything.  I love you too.







What Smiles Hide

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A Smile Even in Illness

What Smiles Hide


“The cancer has grown,” the oncologist said,

“In eight months, or so, you may be dead,”

“You’ll be good till you’re not, this you should know,”

“Then you’ll swiftly decline, before you go.”


It’s a terminal sentence, but not plain to see,

As the tumor inside you expands by degree,

Tired but still active, trying to “live” while you can,

But the fatigue that is felt, eludes casual scans.



“But you look so well,” I heard him say,

The funeral director who came to visit today,

Yet we need – here and now, this funeral plan,

To speedily arrange it while we can.


Our smiles hide illness, our smiles hide fear,

We quickly don them, when others are near,

They are oft perceived to mean that we have no pain,

But the meanings behind them, are seldom that plain.



The poem was written a few months ago in response to an oncology consultation late last year, and a meeting with the funeral director for advance planning at the beginning of this summer.   My wife throughout all of this kept positive, and tried to be a role model for others.   Many remarked on her positive outlook.   But even when positive, it did not diminish the physical pain and the symptoms of a organ deterioration.   Let’s all try to remember that not every disease is visible, and that some who suffer silently do so with smiles.

The quotes in the poem are paraphrases or actual comments given by the oncologist and the funeral director.


Dedicated to my wife Dianne 1965-2019

Miscellaneous Prompted Micro Poems 14


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Cascading Waters
Nature’s Power Manifest
Mighty Pool-wards Plunge

Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille, August 28th 2019, waterfall

three line tales, week 187: two buddhist monks at a coffee shop

photo by Manthan Gupta via Unsplash

“Take only that which is freely given,” the precept’s clear you see.

So we may be here for quite a while,

Till someone brings us tea.

Three Line Tales, Week 187 29 Aug 19

Photo credit: © Pixabay.com

She waits impatiently
The breeze fresh upon her brow
When shall her love return?
She craves caresses even now.

Inspiration Call: Micropoetry Monday 9 Sep 19




Guileless Spirit

Dreamland, Angel, Fairy Tales, Woman

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay 

Bewitching presence,
Darting up through nature’s realm.
Pure spirit aglow –
Guileless apparition soars –
In an innocence complete.

Tanka is a classic form of Japanese poetry related to the haiku with five unrhymed lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables. (5, 7, 5, 7, 7)



FOWC with Fandango — Guileless