glad I went to work today (free verse)

fatigue has been my albatross
of late. Fragile to colds and flues
wearily went to work today
wondering if I’d make it through
but lucky me, my manager
assigned me to web counselling
and in early evening Live Chat
sparing my voice due to my cough;

busy busy I kept myself
responding to the very young
and also teens and young adults;
a long busy shift I had indeed
feeling satisfied with my role
being there for kids who reach out
in times of total disarray
where no one might be trusted

topics of sex, too shy to ask
family, friends or the school nurse;
another talked of binge eating
nausea, purging and keeping thin
and what about secret violations
touching when you shouted no
kissing when you said no twice
now the fear, the shame the guilt
afraid he’ll come to ask for more
exploring other options
to tell or not to tell her mom
suggested to tell a grownup
the only way to keep her safe
she promised she,d tell her soon
I helped her with the words to say
no need to say much you see
just say “I don’t want him around”
and if she asks you why, just shrug.
don’t worry sweetie she will know
we women, we just know these things
and she’s your mom, she’ll know you’ll see
moms know more than you know for sure.

so happy I went to work today
feel good about the youths who wrote
asked for advice and safety plans
so happy I went to work today
I surely love my job, boy! I’ll say!

© OK ’14/11/21

Dear Emma,

© Clr `14

© Clr `14

It’s Wednesday…first day back at work in 10 days!  And still the cough is intruding when I least need it on phone calls.  Let’s pray for calmer chats, better nights where I can actually sleep and then, and only then, shall I be half human.

Now that the temperatures are colder, there is snow on the ground and it looks like it is going to stick around for a while, perhaps the cold will kill the bacteria in the air.  We would need a deep freeze…much colder than -7C…but I am hoping it is a start.

I have missed being among the living though and it was nice walking on the snow hearing that spongy crunch sound…and slippery in many places…almost the a little S & F (slip and fall) coming out of the Métro today but with a few choice swear words, I righted my body in time and walked much slower to work.

Ah, but I come prepared!  I bought those cleats to put on my boots. (I suppose it would have been smartER to have placed said cleats in my backpack in case I needed them.) Take note: put cleats in backpack upon arrival.  I should probably also get those spikes you can add to canes…that would actually be smart and IF per chance anyone tries to attack me late in the night, I shall fall on my backside and stick my cane &???% .  I`m just kidding…well, sort of.

Ah yes, the good thing about the snow we have had, is the bushes I walked through on my short cut path have been lain to rest…it is much easier walking on the path but for the ice patches. Yes, Yes, soon I will no longer be able to cut across there, unless….I try those cleats tomorrow to see if they are any good.

© OK 2014/11/19

Fading Gigolo…really?

I watched a Fading Gigolo today and was surprised when reading it was rated a Rotten Tomato. Well, I loved it but then again I do love most Woody Allen movies. John Turturro was adorable and to think he was also the writer and director of this film. Oh, sure, Sharon Stone was entertaining as she should be …gosh she is still gorgeous! But the part the gave it any substance was Vanessa Paradis and Turturro. It brings you back to basics…no, not just pure love…it is more than that. It paying attention to one`s needs…giving pleasure to self…and I am not just talking about sex (although that part did seem quite steamy!!).

When Avigail (Paradis) goes to Virgil (Turturro) for a massage…her reaction is genuine and not far from reality. Widowed for two years, this was the first time anyone had ever touched her…to see her weep at that touch was so moving.

I remember my very first (EVER) massage two years after my divorce…I wept! And no, it was not sexual, it was the need for human contact…to be touched. How I missed to be minouched (French for a light stroke barely touching the skin)!

Anyway, every scene with Vanessa and Turturro were real, touching and genuine.

© Oliana Kim ’14/11/18

Here is a clip of this movie with one of the songs from the sound track sung by Vanessa herself.

I will just leave this video of the entire movie soundtrack…it IS magic, well to me anyway.


new dawn (haiga)

(c) Clr '14

(c) Clr ’14

new dawn

gusts sank beneath horizon

sunshine beams


dawn ascends

gusty winds expired,

forgiven cool breeze

© Tournesol ’14

waiting for dawn (free verse)

© Clr '14

© Clr ’14

intermittent flash
signs of ill-health
power lines crash
eminent for sure
if these gusts continue
chorus of howls
like military troops
haunting yowls
beyond depths of

blow blow
blow wind blow
keep me awake
all night long
visions of buildings
crashing, floating,
hiding for cover
broken wail sounds

blow, blow
blow wind blow
you’ve not won
in destroying my home
power’s still on
I’m safe, I am warm
then why do I fidget
why can I not rest
in the dead of this night

blow blow
blow wind blow
the chorus has grown
no longer wind sound
but high giant waves
like tsunami like moan

blow blow
blow wind blow
fear not
I stand guard
awake thru the night
fear not
I stand guard
‘till the sun
shows its face gold
I shall wait for this dawn
neither tired or cold
I shall wait a bit longer
eyes open, alert
breathing slow , belaboured
suppressing a yawn.

(c) OK ’14/11/18

dream of blossoms (haibun)


Never lose hope and never stop dreaming….especially never let the child inside to grow up

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:


~~ Norman Vincent Peale

I read this quote while visiting a new blog at Moon over Spumoni.   It spoke to me. Quotes do that to us, don’t they. You may have heard countless quotes, proverbs, prayers or poetry most of your life and then, for the second or thousandth time you read it and it actually draws you in.

Imagination is the true magic carpet…indeed!  Like the caring doctor at Cedar House Rules, read bedtime stories to the children at the orphanage,  bedtime snack feeding dreams on their magic carpet.

Can you imagine not being able to drift off to dream land when you were a child?  What if you were going through a difficult time in your life?  You are perhaps grieving the loss of dear pet and you are too young to grasp the concept of “forever”.  But you can imagine…

View original 223 more words

winter symphony (haibun)


Ah, they are back!! the symphony commences…

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

© Clr ’14

It is 22:35 and the building is quiet. Most folks are getting ready for bed for an early rise, children are sleeping and the only sound I hear is the muffled roar of snow plows. It is almost a humming sound to me. Last year I remember referring these melodies as my winter lullaby. These huge impressive machines usually run in the middle of the night when only nighthawks like me are up, night-shift workers, or mothers  nursing their baby.

To me it is a symphony of sorts for nighthawks. The scraping of the huge metal plow booms onto the snow covered pavement drumming and shaking the earth; the motor roars and hums pleasantly putting me in a mellow mood…feeling safe and comforted in the wee hours of the night.

massive metal

imposing,  yet gently

lulls my nature

© Tournesol ‘14

View original

Dear Emma, (haibun)

Another sleepless night but thankfully when the sun rose, I finally found peace sleeping through the day…all day. A must needed rest but discouragement and fear flood my body. When am I going to get over this? “It’s just a bad cold,” I keep telling myself. “I have inhalers and decongestants, plenty of fluids and chicken broth coming out of every orifice.”

I woke up at one point to call work to cancel a phone interview. It was going to be taped and I felt if they are going to save this for researchers to dissect…better to have a nicer voice. I then was awakened by another call.

“We are reviewing your request to be put on a list to find a family physician.” I was immediately encouraged…

“Yes, well, we noticed on your health card the name of a physician is already registered with the government.”

But I have not seen him in over two years and have no means to get there. (trying not to lodge a complaint).

Yes, well, I called to tell you we have refused your request. The government has strict policies about this. If you are dissatisfied with your physician, there are means to lodge a complaint and in the meantime you will have to find a physician who is willing to take you on as a patient.”

I am getting angry by now. I have worked in the health care environment for ten years and would have taken a different tone for sure. The patient is alright right EVEN if you think she isn’t. I mention that upon my return from another province I retained the services of a physician I had over 20 years ago (which I had stopped seeing as well but the other physician only works with senior patients now…I’m am soon getting there but not quite.)

I am regretting my move here with all these changes…knowing I had no problem in Ontario.

“Oh well, then, perhaps that is because our services are free here in Quebec.”

I repeat that Ontario is in Canada…she still didn’t get it.

“Oh, really, so you don’t have to pay to see a doctor in Ontario?”

I am fuming by now wondering how this person even got her job…or passed Grade 2!

Um, well, all Canadian provinces have universality…free medical services…Quebec is not unique of this.

“Oh, really, I had no idea…” her voice trails off and I am thinking perhaps she has realized she should have completed Grade 3!

Why, yes, indeed. It is in every province ONLY we just pay MORE taxes in Quebec.

She chuckles. I realize my health depends on this twit (I am sure she is a lovely person…forgive me for being a tad upset).

You catch me at a difficult time. I am sick in bed, am on a waiting list for 2 years for my bad knee and do not want to lodge a complaint about my former physician. I just needed someone to give me scribes for my thyroid medication. Now I feel trapped with a physician who does not follow up on his patients…why have one when you pass tests and assume you are fine if there are no phone calls. My ex husband had the same physician and they did not refuse his request to be put on a list.

Oh, well, this is according to the instructions of my boss. Your ex husband lives in a different region.”

Ah yes, “pass the buck”; reminds me of the saying about government employees, I am biting my chapped lips, “The right hand does not know what the left hand does.”

Frankly, I am discouraged. I am sick in bed right now and your phone call gave me a bit of hope until you tell me I am refused by the Quebec government health department to see a different doctor.

“Perhaps you could go to a clinic at *** and put your name on a list…you can still ask around to see if a doctor will take you.”

Does she not get it?! I have asked and they all tell me to put my name on a bloody list that our government will decide who gets a physician and when. (I am seeing flashes of that 60+ woman at a local hospital who died of a heart attack in the waiting room…so many hours later, the nurse discovered her body rigid and blue.)

I find this discouraging since I cannot get to this other doctor even if I want to because I do not have a vehicle…it has to be in this area or Montreal which is a WIDE area but with public transit.

“Well, perhaps you could call the government to ask to get your name off their list” (I am wondering if she means a black list…sheeesh!) “I am not supposed to give you this number but I shall…”

And so after 3 hours sleep in the past 48 hours, I get up, jot down the number and try to get back to sleep…waking up periodically to feel my anger…not anxiety…just plain pissed off. Eventually I got into a deep sleep, vacillated into REM sleep and have lovely dreams to wake up having slept a total (interrupted but still) of 12 hours.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with a specialist. A person I should have seen over two years ago when my former physician got the same results but did not see fit to inform me…also other issues in my blood work I happened to see on my copy I asked for because I wanted to see a nutritionist.

So far, not having a physician has proved to be better for my health actually. A doctor at emergency gave me meds I needed, blood tests to ensure the meds were still the correct dosage, they called me when it needed to be changed…another emergency clinic called me to give me a copy of my X-rays of my knee and advised me to purchase a CD of everything to speed things up at any hospital for later consultation.

All these things my former doctor would not have taken the time to do … .so I am probably better off for now and will discuss how to proceed in future with the specialist tomorrow morning once she explains my results.

For a while I was thinking I was going batty and that I am just exaggerating my perception of this doctor. So I fire up my laptop and check out for fun if there are any reviews on this former doctor…Oh, my there are and many faux pas he did with me, he has repeated with other patients. I felt better seeing that I had not made it up in my mind…that this “holier than thou” physician’s attitude is somewhat consistent and that gave me comfort. Misery does like company.

It snowed a second day in a row today…perhaps it is a sign…a new season is coming, new beginnings, and putting old shit to rest. (Somehow those last four words conjure up flashes of cleaning the back yard of dog poo in March when the snow was starting to melt…yuck!)

Ending on a positive note, I am…tomorrow is another day; maybe I’ll be lucky and see someone at a walk-in to kill this cold as well.

© OK 2014/11/17

© Clr '14

© Clr ’14

snow flakes fall

gently carpets my front lawn

new beginnings

© Tournesol ‘14

music appreciation thru children (haibun)

The prompt this week is to write a ligo haibun on guitar or mountain.

Montreal City Lights – Singer is a counsellor/colleague works with me      Facebook Page -

I love music even though I cannot carry a tune no matter how hard I try. As young as four I would give my family a show at GrandMaman’s, borrow mon oncle Bernie’s guitar, singing “You ain’t nothin’ but a houndog!” And so my career as a guitarist did not pass to fruition, but the world needs listeners and fans as well to balance things out, right?

At twelve, my father shouts to my sister and me to come down to the family room to watch this new group on the Ed Sullivan Show…and that started my first real crush (Bobby Darren didn’t count, he was way too old!)   The Beetles with their clean cut hair (to today’s standards, appeared then as scruffy hooligans. Ha! ) Of course John was my favourite, I loved hearing him sing, I bought his book of poetry…I wanted to be a poet…at least I don’t have to carry a tune! I did purchase a harmonica to mimic my idol but did not do well there either…gave it to my son much later.

The next famous rock band we all screamed at were the Rolling Stones and I had a crush on Brian Jones…yes, that is how old I am! It is the only rock concert I ever went to at 13 years old, in Montreal, well Neil Young in my 40′s but that is so not the same!  My best friend’s dad piled us into his station wagon 8 teenagers…we didn’t much use seatbelts then and a seat for one person was only a suggestion, right?

I was not the giddy, silly, girlie girl type but in a huge  setting of this magnitude, you can’t help it…I screamed like everyone else did and lost my voice for a few days, to my family’s content. I am a big talker!

screeching like monkeys,
pride by the wayside, hyped
getting our satisfaction

© Tournesol ’14

 A few months later a lead singer in a local band wanted to date me. Now he was 16 and I was 13. I had never kissed…unless you count Gordon Darby at five when we tried to imitate those mushy actors on the Guiding Light to see what the commotion was all about. But he persisted, his band, les Misanthropes,  was really great and they practiced right next door to my best friend…now how convenient is that? I think I said “yes” because everyone kept telling me how lucky I was dating a lead singer in a band.   I think I just liked the fact he liked this tall, lanky, flat chested like Twiggy girl with mousy blonde hair…wow! Needless to say, I broke it off two months later to his chagrin. I had no clue what love was…my hormones had not even kicked in yet! But he was genuine…for he still looked at me in that gaga gaze 30 years later at the hockey arena when our children were playing on different teams.

I met my children’s father at 15, engaged at 16…concerts were out of the question…we did not even listen to the same music. He enjoyed lots of French and Québécois music which I was not quite into…Michel Sardou and Gilbert Becaud came a bit later.

Then, eventually with lots of years of practice, we had our two children. My daughter had a beautiful voice…so nice, I would ask her to sing me stories; she was soprano one in her children’s chorus.


© Photographe: Caroline Michaud, Laurentides, Québgec

listening to her sing
like nectar to butterflies
thrills the senses

© Tournesol’14

Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Seasons – I Musici

My son between twelve and fifteen was getting into soft drugs…but still, I was a bit concerned. He said he wanted to learn to play the guitar, so off I went to see this amazing guitar teacher in our neighbourhood. Now she was a former hippie, had seen a lot and was an amazing guitar and piano player.

To hear her play Spanish tunes on her classical guitar was mesmerizing. So she was aware of my concern and she said she would encourage him to invest in music as a passion which certainly worked. She was like a social worker for my son actually.  He had to play classical guitar for at least a few years before EVER trying electric. He was a good student and within a year, he had purchased his les Paul guitar and was playing Zepplin, Hendrix soon after; all icons I never listened much to in those days because I was into Motown. Now I could really appreciate it.

But the magic of all of this…when I saw the prompt for guitar was my fond memories when my son, Olivier would practice very late at night, before going to bed stringing, Beethoven’s Fur Elise ,on his classical guitar and that was my lullaby every night for almost a year! Gosh! I loved hearing that!

bethoveen at night
he strings my lullaby
sends me to dreamland.

© Tournesol ’14

Fur Elise- classical guitar with Michael Lucarelli

I learned so much from my children. Being exposed to more classical music, my daughter as well was singing in concerts with The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, with I-Musici , my favourite for I have a penchant for violins too…or perhaps it’s the love for strings.  Violins sound like a human voice and sings with such heartfelt emotion.

So for someone who missed out on concerts, I made up for it seeing my daughter’s chorus perform and my son’s constantly exposing me to classic rock, alternative, grunge, and other genres I grew to love.  He was a bit shy to perform but did play one Bob Dylan song at a high school presentation. He has such a huge assortment of music and of varied tastes too. I am pleased I was given an opportunity to be exposed to all sorts of music through my children and they know what I like so they often download amazing mixes for my smartphone.

© Oliana Kim ’14/11/17

Dreams unleased (haibun)

In this prompt we are asked to romance the haiku.  Our host found a few haiku written by Tomas Transförmer while he worked in Hälby Youth Prison in 1959.  He published nine haiku in that time frame.  Here are two our host found.

Night—a twelve-wheeler
goes by making the dreams of
the inmates shiver

The boy drinks his milk
and sleeps cozy in his cell,
a mother of stone

© Tomas Tranströmer

Our host has written a few lovely haiku to complement this same mood:

ten p.m. – lights go ou
the inmates dream their dreams
a heart on the beach

© Chèvrefeuille

taking a shower
furtive glances exchanged
between cell mates

© Chèvrefeuille


dreams unleased (haibun)

Living in a prison is surely not a romantic place. What did inmates think of when they were alone with their thoughts, their imagination? Some may have fantasized about their family, siblings, parents…old boyfriends, girlfriends.  Working with teens for over 20 years, I have a hunch they thought of the same things we did as teens. Pop music, movie stars and celebrities even if one did not have a boyfriend or girlfriend. With Presley, Little Richie, Brenda Lee ,Bobby Darin and Neil Sedaka, to name just a few hitting the charts in the mid to late fifties, surely they may have been influenced as well. . These world famous icons may have been their sole escape. What an escape to just take off in a movie type fantasy. Perhaps they came from troubled homes, so what allowed them to survive? I think the worse thing of prison life is to never have privacy. Showering in groups, going the washroom supervised, eating in masses; the humiliating and depraved manner they are treated all too often as “non persons”. I like to think once they are in their cell, lights closed…there is some respite and they resume with the self.

clangs echo
lights out, freedom at last
dreams unleashed

dreaming, “Oh, Carol”
adolescent desires
raging hormones stir

soft moans escape
pleasant contemplations
silenced at last.

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Special, Tomas Tranströmer’s 3rd “a mother of stone”

Neil Sedaka – Oh! Carol (original version)

Listen to more? Click here for the list of the top 50 songs of mid to late 50′s(1955-1959)

Youtube link is here

Silent Sunday

© Clr Nov 16'14 First snowfall

© Clr Nov 16’14 First snowfall

Dear Emma

cropped-zipper-stuck-211.pngIt will soon be a week that I have been housebound due to a bloody cold. Today is the first day I sound like a woman who has been working late shifts in a smoky bar for 30 plus years but at least I have a voice notwithstanding the coughing that would get in the way if I talk for more than five minutes. Good think I saved some vacation time. I called work today to say that I still can’t get on the phones due to my voice and coughing…darn….so I am taking two more days, Sunday and Monday off. Tuesday I switched shift to work with Friday instead cos I have a doctor’s appointment and would rather be home the whole day in case I don’t have good news. If I do have good news, well, then I’ll just have to have a glass of chardonnay, with banquette and Camembert of course.   So I do not work until Wednesday…yay! It sure would be nice to fee good by Monday at least. I can’t visit my mom with a cold nor is it fair for all the other residents.

Lately I have been changing themes a lot on my blog. It’s like I’m antsy…like when I was younger and would change hair colour every other month. When I was really upset I would change furniture around, on my own if I had to, but I always managed. Something is bugging me inside and I change what’s easier to change…on the outside. The signs are all there, I know that but still not sure where to start? Ah, le cordonnier mal chaussé. That is an expression translated word for word is the shoeless shoemaker. It’s not always easy asking for help when you’re used to be the helper. I’ll figure it out eventually…writing usually helps, so I may check out more prompts that are not always poetry to tickle my muse a little…she has been my guardian angel for 2 years…oh, of course you are my number one, angel, though, Emma…oooops.

I have been writing a lot of Japanese form in the five months and perhaps that has deprived me a little from doing my regular cathartic spilling my guts in poetry or narratives on this blog.

Writing about heart wrenching stories, edited of course, from work helps me to get it out of my mind sometimes…but lately I don’t even want to write about it…I want to forget it. Or writing is not enough…last week I had to debrief instead…there are so many calls now, this time of year that I feel like my head is spinning. I think that has been on my mind a lot the past month, bracing myself for the worst…suicide rates go up…some may be youths and young adults who have called us and I often feel powerless.

It is a time of year that I detest personally as well.   I am pretty sure SAD (seasonal affective disorder) may have something to do with it plus it has always been a tough time of year for me since I was a teen. Now THAT is a long time ago too.

Not having a car for the past 2 months is getting to me but I want to hang strong to clear off some debts until next spring or summer. But man oh man, not driving sucks! I can’t complain about access as I’m close to public transit, surrounded by shops and a huge mall and grocery store but not close to friends or family.

Working the late shifts is bugging me again. Like my son said the other day, I work when everyone is at home relaxing…even Sunday which is, to me, a family day. A day I can have family over for brunch and go see my grandson play hockey…things I took for granted years ago. A few men on dating sites I was on last year would make the same comment, “You are never available, so when are you going to find the time to date?” So true and most my age have retired or are semi-retired…glad I’m not wasting energy there. Frankly, I am feeling that I don’t have the time to invest in a relationship unless he’s …nah, forget it. I was imagining the times I was married and later in relationships, so often I felt more alone then living alone…stuck, just not connected. So I’ll keep that in mind when and if I do get “back on the saddle” that being in a relationship is fine…we don’t have to be together all the time nor live together. I am like an old bachelor now, not sure I want that unless of course, he cooks and is real sexy…just kidding.

I read a lot of posts on the weekend and tonight several from a new blogger I discovered at my first EVER blogger friend (we were virgin bloggers at the same time)Scottishmomus, who is am amazing poet and writer. Boy oh boy, if I could have 10% of her vocabulary, I would be happy.    Anyway, this was a guest blogger on her blog and his sense of humour is hilarious so I went on to his site and started reading several of his posts and was truly moved by the content and impressed by his style of writing…very real…raw and no bs which is what I like about it. Check out Trey’s blog here

Thanks for listening, Emma, as usual…nite or rather, good morning, it IS 5am. Oliana

(c) OK ’14-11-16

Element (Stream of conciousness writing)

I had no clue what to write about when I saw the prompt for SoCS except one phrase that kept popping in my head, “element of surprise”.   The prompt is  “element”.  We are asked to choose  one of the four: air/water/earth/fire or use the word “element” however we wish to define it, click here at Socs, Stream of Conciousness to learn more instructions.


Finally tonight, I sat down to watch a movie on Netflix with Sandra Bullock. Not the greatest idea to watch a thriller, late in the evening living alone but oh well, I did. The name of the movie is Premonition. Sandra discovers at the beginning of the movie her husband has been killed in a car crash. But, of course there has to be a but (like last week’s prompt but different). She wakes up the next day to her husband just fine. It is as she has had a very bad dream but it is worse than Ground Hog Day. And as it should be because it’s a “thriller”.

It gets weird, scary, creepy and less than halfway through I wanted to switch it off and watch some bloopers on Youtube instead .  I had wateched  Two and Half Men and The Big Bang Theory earleir.

I put the movie on pause, got myself a cup of tea and started playing around with theme appearances on one of my other blogs where I promote workshops I offer. It is sort of like doodling…passing the time and not getting TOO involved in the movie. I continued watching it. The mild distraction of my “doodling” with theme appearances was just enough to cut the edge off my nervousness.

In fact, it allowed me to appreciate the movie, the story, the meaning behind the movie, the various aspect one can interpret the writer’s meaning.   Once you get the impossible fear out of the way without being too calm, it is easier to focus.  What can I say?  I’m chicken!

Almostup to the end, I thought I was well caught up, and would be able to see an ending I might expect…but the writer was good alright…I wasstill shocked …I still faced that element of surprise which I will not share in case readers have not seen the movie.

No matter how much I try to figure things out some writers have figured out the roller coaster of thoughts readers and movie viewers go through and no matter what…there is always an “element” of surprise in a good thriller.

© Oliana Kim, ’14/11/16

bus ride (Friday Fictioneers)

The bus arrived at 5am. The fifteen year old climbed down the two steps with her backpack and felt so little. “Sure is not like back home in Bedford.” She had travelled for the past 5 days across the country. The only place they were held up was at customs where she held her breath, hoping police had not alerted customs she may have crossed the border.

She found a park and fell asleep on a bench until a young boy snickered, “Look mom, they have homeless people here just like in Montreal. At least they have warmer weather.”

(c) Oliana Kim, ’14-11-15

99 words Written for Friday Fictioneers where we are to write less than 100 words and the photo above is the prompt.

an angel stands in wait (haiku)

Being housebound since Sunday, I wondered how I could do this prompt and then I remembered a haiku I emailed to a friend and colleague a few weeks ago. For three weeks she was worried for her father who decided to visit his family in Iran and took seriously ill while there. He was in hospital and she would phone him every night at midnight to see how he was doing. She felt so far and powerless because he kept talking of dying. His health had not been that great in the past few years, having had surgery and battled a serious illness. She knew it was not safe for her to travel alone to Iran as a young single woman and it truly wrung her heart. They had such a beautiful relationship. Three weeks after his hospitalization, her uncle phoned her to tell her that her father had passed. We spoke one night and some of her thoughts and fears I wrote in a poem…a series of haiku in honour of her father. I emailed her the poem the next day. She said that she wept through the reading but felt touched by the words.

Due to circumstances beyond my control…this is the haiku I “dropped” in her email box and posted on my haiku blog, Tournesol dans un Jardin,  here.  If I manage to get out and “drop” a haiku before next Wednesday, I shall still try.

© Oliana Kim, 2014/11/13

an angel stands in wait (haiku)

her sobs echo
across the Atlantic
a long journey

Caspian Sea and
Arabian Gulf imbibe
salty tears

the skies rumble
iridescent light,
safe passage

pain free at last
an angel stands by, waiting
in white light

heavens whisper
the last chapter,
Rumi stirs

© Tournesol ‘14

Written for Heeding Haiku with HA at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

Bathed in absence (free verse)

so tired am I
so listless I am
reading feels like such a chore
muse escapes me evermore

languid body
still feels sore
not anything
like  aching soul
feeling lost
in this deep void
echoes at me
absence of life
absence of me

what is the purpose?
where is the meaning?
so tired am I
so listless I am
feebleness inhibits me
rifling through old wooden chests
dusty memoirs I’d laid to rest
so tired am I
so listless I am

might it be this doleful season
hinders thoughts and all my reason?
in this month of all dead saints
holiness and pure, are they?
must we all be martyrs then,
solace found merely this way?
is heaven gained only this way?

one faith might say
suffering is your cross to bear
might one feel blessed
only when existence is aware
anguished pain be recognized
by one sole G-d and finally
heaven is their sole reward?

Buddha simply and modestly
whispers wisdom respectfully
having lived experiences,
tells us to embrace  suffering
in time will bring you to the light
of lessons learned and clarity.

watch me now
as I embrace
this prickly cactus
of despair
shedding blood
droplets staining
heart and soul
with every meaning
lessons learned
once all is read
and interpreted
when all is said
insights are shed
within the glow
of mystery’s light.

so tired am I
so listless I am
I must suspend,
extend this journey…
though meaningful
it’s time to rest
this emptiness
a moment longer
short breath in time

so tired am I
so listless I am
bathing  in this worthlessness
soak in total emptiness
lurking soul of total darkness
screaming in such nothingness
echoes lost in weary bliss
time will heal the obvious
death will cure and put to rest
uncertainties … ambiguous
time will heal the obvious.

© Oliana Kim 2014/11/13

Netflix and me

Day 4 and still no voice…well,  I sound like I spent the week in a smoke filled bar or I’m a rock star and had a concert last night…yeah, I sort of have a voice but definitely not to take phone calls at work.   I called work yesterday and told them I wouldn’t be in the rest of the week. Even if my voice comes back, with the coughing and sinus headaches keeping me up all night, I would not be able to get through a shift. Fortunately I still have vacation days so will use some of that.

Reading and writing is very slow so Netflix occupies my mind. I have to say that no matter which movie I choose, I seem to always select tear jerkers but such good movies too. In the past 2 weeks here is a list of what I have seen:

Violette –French – Impoverished writer Violette Leduc finds a friend and mentor in best-selling author Simone de Beauvoir, who champions her work and encourages her art.

Remembrance -   (Die verlorene Zeit) A married woman faces an emotional crisis when she learns that the former lover who rescued her from a concentration camp 30 years earlier is alive.

The Lunch Box – ( Dabba) A young housewife and a lonely widower begin an unlikely correspondence when Mumbai’s eerily reliable lunchbox delivery service makes a mistake.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – A sheik with a love for the sport hopes to introduce fly-fishing to the Middle East and turns to an uptight British fisheries expert for help.

The Book Thief – Young Liesel steals books to teach herself to read, giving her refuge from the horrors of Nazi Germany and her cold foster parents

Labour Day – with Kate Winslet – On a fateful Labor Day weekend, giving a lift to a bloodied man turns into a life-changing event for a divorced single mother and her 13-year-old son.

The Face of Love – with Annette Bening – Years after the death of her husband, Garrett, Nikki begins a romance with Tom, a great guy who looks almost exactly like

 The Invisible Woman – The remarkable true story of author Charles Dickens’ long-time clandestine mistress, with whom he happily spent the final years of his life.

Last month I also enjoyed:

On my way (Elle s’en va) Prompted by a post-midlife crisis, Bettie goes out for cigarettes and decides to keep on driving, on a quest toward reinvention with Catherine Deneuve

Beautiful lies (French) with Audrey Tautou – When she receives an anonymous love letter, salon owner Emilie pretend it was intended for her forlorn mother in the hopes of cheering her up

The Wedding Guest – Asked to treat a young psychiatric patient who’s been living in utter isolation, a doctor from a wealthy family forms an unusual bond with her

Larry Crown – Laid off from his longtime job at a soulless retail giant, an average middle-aged guy heads back to college, where he finds romance with a professor.

There are many movies I start watching because they had great write ups like Blue Jasmin but you have to be in the right mood, so I will revisit those later.

There are so many movies, it’s hard to choose from and I often want just a nice light comedy or true stories. Psychological thrillers and suspense I enjoy reading more than watching.

So my week is writing a bit, reading a bit and Netflix a lot.  Life could be worse.

© OK 2014/11/13

goddess of revenge (Light Years Away -5)

Stella dragged her feet home after Sister Mahoney’s punishment. On Fridays, her mother worried a bit less if she arrived later for she thought she was playing with her friends in the park. How could she tell her mother that she did not have friends? That would mean she would have to confide in them and she saw too often at school how cruel some of the girls were among each other distorting and spitting on precious secrets. No, she kept to herself, I’ll not have them blacken my only respite away from my home life; school was a place to get away from the darkness of home. Her friends were books and stories.

It was warm for this time of year and the fallen leaves had dried. She walked slowly through the leaves in the park…stopped now and then to listen to the echo of their crunching sounds underfoot.

She put her trench coat on the grass and lay on her tummy and inhaled nature`s beauty. A crow was cawing and bullying a few wrens. She stared at the crow for a long time…

then there was blackness

lulled by the cawing

until her eyes opened,

a black mount of sorts

a volcano with black smoke

replacing lava, flared up

in gusts, roars and more gusts

she was frozen in space

her legs felt like mortar

her body felt limp

except for head and neck

turning left and right

watching out for

the dark substance

fearing it would reach her…

bury her with soot

she sighed with relief…

waiting for her end

finally life of torture

would end…obscurity

her new-found security

and saviour to lend

her freedom at last!


just then a dark maiden

raving beauty she was,

hair blacker than coal

shimmered hints of navy blue,

skin ivory and flawless

eyes, black pools that shimmered

turning blue when she spoke

a witch, demon of sorts?

how could she be evil

with such beauty? thought Stella.

as if on cue,

this fine maiden

responded in chant

“I am not evil, but only

seeking revenge

and retribution

for acts of evil that are handed

chiefly onto children.

Fear not, my child

I inhale the vile poison

that`s poured onto you

in hope to relieve

you of some of your pain.

My name is Nemesis,

I know of your plight

I shall teach you how

to defend and to fight

not to worry my dear

you`ll be safe with me here

I`ll not leave you a day

you’ll soon sleep in the night

trust in me, dearest Stella

I promise. I’ll not let you

EVER out of my sight.”

Stella filled her lungs with the potent energy this goddess was sending her; she closed her eyes and fell into a deep deep sleep…no darkness this time but she felt her body floating with the clouds, free of pain, warm of heart.

“Caw Caw”…she heard a crow blaring near her ear, waking her up from a most fascinating dream…or was it a dream?

© Oliana Kim, 2014/11/11

Sequel to Light Years Away (5), Goddess of Revenge

Written for Photo Prompt challenge at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

Light years away (4) The Whipping

Light years away (4) The whipping

Poor Stella arrived in her dreamy state once again this morning after the bell had rung. Sister Mary Mona was away on a retreat and would not be there to scheme something once again to save her from getting her punishment. She had no choice but to swallow her medicine this time.

At three o’clock she was called down to the basement so the other girls did not see and it was done at the end of the day, so no one would notice that Stella was unable to sit down. Sister Mahoney whipped her twenty times with the leather strap. Stella wept silently at the crucial agony she was enduring feeling the fire from her buttocks; she knew she would not sit the entire weekend. How could she go home like this? Her step-father would want to crawl into her bed again tonight and she had no where to escape for two days and three excruciating nights in that house. This was not a home for her since he infested the home that was, into a prison of perversion and anguish.

Her heart wailed at the unfairness of her life. She was still too young to escape without the police catching her. They would want to know why she ran away and she was too ashamed at the sinful behaviours of her step-father who made her his victim and accomplice.

Never, never, could she tell anyone least of all her dear mother, of the sick, malignant yearnings that enticed her step-father to torment her. She had no choice it was crucial she return.

© Oliana Kim 2014/11/11

 Prompt at Three Word Wednesday – crucial - malignant - yearning

never give up (haibun)

Wise Old Owl Rhyme

Wise Old Owl Rhyme

I remember graduating from Concordia University and the assembly was at Place des Arts. I wouldn`t miss this for the world. After all, it took me nine long years as a mature student to achieve this degree. After the undergrad degrees, they announced the Masters Degrees and then the PhDs. One man, who was 94 years old, walked across the stage with cane to received his PhD degree. His whole persona exhaled integrity and tenacity. He received a standing ovation. That encouraged me so much to never ever give up learning throughout my life. You can always teach an old dog new tricks; it is what differs from being among the living or the dead.

always learn new tricks,
studying words of the wise
snowy owl hoots

(c) Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Tackle it Tuesday Tenacity

Do you remember?

d’you remember your firsts?
that first day at kindergarten
walking alone like a big girl!
I recall my first kiss at five
wondered what the fuss was all about!

I recall being the tallest
in my class, way up to high school
and even then the cutest guys
were always up to my darn chin!

do you remember your first crush?
I do…’twas Kevin in grade 4
he’d write me sweet love notes in class
I often worried  we’d get caught
teacher might read a note out loud,
how embarrassing that would be!

memories entertain me…
keep me company.


(100 words)

(c) Oliana Kim ’14/11/11

100 Word Challenge – Prompt “remember”


catch-up time reading (free verse)

catching up on reading

at wordpress or blogspot

uniting with some friends

I’ve missed a lot of you,

and wish I had more time…

great feeling visiting

just like when I come home

from a social outing

or dinner with a friend,

yes, indeed, I’ve had a

pleasant journey tonight

reading some of your posts.

© OK 2014/11/11

full (haibun)


© Clr ’14

Driving along the highway many times, I am mesmerized by the full moon. I can’t wait to stop so I can try and get a shot and know that no matter how much I try, I cannot capture that view, that moment staring at it’s fullness through bare branches on my front lawn.


nature’s mystery
I feel such magnetism
  this full moon

© Tournesol ’14

During the 1998 Quebec ice storm, there were many people who had to move. Some remained in the affected area which was where my family and friends lived. My mother moved in with my cousin who had a fireplace; another friend had her adult children and grandchildren and a few neighbours stayed for 6 weeks in their home because they had a generator.  Generator suppliers hit an all time record that year!


during the ice storm
in front of a wood stove,
full house

Of course when I see the word Full I think of a heart filled with love…Although I worked when my first child was born, I was fortunate enough to see his first steps on the weekend…

baby’s first steps,
mother beams
filled with pride

© Tournesol ’14

I spent many evenings watching Law & Order with my daughter late in the evening, when she was pregnant…such special moments and when she was in labour, we both went to hospital together, I was her labour coach and given the honour of cutting the umbilical cord!  I was the exact same age my grandmother was when she delivered me from my mother (beaming)


through me she came,
blossomed with grace,
giving birth
a new generation
a grandson.

(American sentence)

A mother is filled with love and yet, a grandmother bursts at the seams.

© Tournesol ’14

Haiku Horizons “Full”

mother and daughter (haibun)

To follow the mood of this prompt at Carpe Diem, our host has discussed the symbiosis of the birch tree and the mistletoe.   Of course when one thinks of mistletoe, we are reminded of kissing during the Christmas holidays.

dew fresh mistletoe
her sweet scent warms my heart
my first kiss
© Chèvrefeuille

Here is my attempt of joining 2 separate things that form a synergy of sorts.

perfect mate,
peanut butter and jelly
© Tournesol ‘14

However, when I first saw the word “symbiotic” I thought automatically of emotional symbiosis. Having been so close to my own mother, hurting when she hurt, she, suffering if she knew I was in pain I am inclined to share a short story.

We could not hide anything from each other…we just knew. I remember when she was going through a depressed stage {most of her life consisted of ups and longer downs}, I arrived for a visit. She was in bed in mid afternoon when I arrived. My step-father told me he could not coax her out of her funk. He was convinced there was no way I could change my mother’s mind. He was a bit possessive of my mom. She was such a social butterfly and loved by so many people; and our close knit relationship made him a tiny bit uncomfortable at times.

I was in my early 40’s then but never too old to crawl in bed with her. She was always a light sleeper. She lay on her back staring at the ceiling. I lay on my back and did the same…sighing now and then a bit louder than needed. We started chatting about nothing and everything…whispering as if we were planning something clandestine. Within about fifteen minutes, we were giggling and getting out bed. Mom was already dressed, and just had to splash some eau de parfum, Escape and lipstick; and out the door we left giggling, shouting, “We’ll be back later…we’re off on a ‘nowhere’.”

mère biche avertit
son faon d’une cachette,
d’un braconnier


mother doe
warns her fawn,
poacher’s cache


mother goose
heading the flock waits,
honk of her gosling
© Tournesol ‘14

Photo taken a year ago at my mother’s nursing home:

© Clr March 2013

© Clr March 2013

© Oliana Kim, 2014/11/10

N.B. You may have noticed that some of my responses to Haiku prompts are sometimes more detailed in Traces of the Soul. If the content is a bit more personal, I will post it here and only post the haiku at Tournesol dans un Jardin.

city wrens (haibun)

I have wanted to do some of these prompts at Ligo Haibun but either I would forget to look or feel not quite skilled to write something deserving of the prompt …video. This is such a lovely and moving story about this writer. Such a lovely presentation for this prompt. After hearing the first video I was pretty sure I would write on that one but as soon as I heard the second one, it spoke to me. Oliana 2014/11/10

  City Wrens (haibun)

This song spoke to me. It brought me back to my lonesome days in Toronto, 350 miles from home, knowing hardly anyone and not feeling at home at all. My children were 16 and 19 and the guilt and loneliness I breathed each day was painful.   My reasons for the move was to finally find work in my field of study…a degree that had taken me nine years, part time, working and raising my family. Racism woven in our Quebec politics made it difficult to have my BA recognized and rather than lick my wounds and feel sorry for me, I moved to Toronto where opportunities were less scarce and open to all cultures.

I saw it as concrete city at first. Tall buildings with little style compared to our beautiful architecture in Montréal. Homeless people downtown were at so many corners and in between. Yonge Street and Queen Streets made me feel a bit at home as they displayed a mix of rich and poor blended together…unfortunately the homeless going unnoticed. Yonge reminded me of the eastern part of rue Ste Catherine and Queen felt like rue St-Denis. The restaurants and cafés seemed to breath an energy St-Denis had, eclectic and alive.

After a weekend visit from my sixteen year old daughter, I had just dropped her off at the bus terminal which is close to Yonge Street. My heart started cracking painfully saying my last tearful goodbye. I walked down Yonge Street towards the lake. I needed to just walk. It was busy on the street, with so many people doing their own thing appearing content. My gait was weighed down by my sorrow and I shuffled down and suddenly I heard a gruff male voice, “Hey, smile! Tomorrow will be a better day.” I turned around to see this homeless man, scruffy and smiling with a few missing teeth and nodded to him. As I continued on my walk, my heart was filled with such warmth, to have been “noticed” by this poor man…he saw my pain and for that precious moment, I felt my burden lift a little…enough to get me through the day.

désespoir m’accompagne

roitelets gazouillent gaiement

jardin de mortier


despair sits with me,

wrens chirp merrily

concrete garden

© Tournesol ’14


© OK 2014/11/10

waiting (free verse)

ring ring
phone call
alerting to my woes
more worries
my deathly foes
I had thought
I was free of doubts
but now I must
jot down the date
worry worry
needless worry
women worry
all the time
it`s not knowing
because such angst
causes such worry,
I`m at their mercy
bulshit in bussels
but here I am
I am, am I
for an answer
to my thousand questions
waiting for explanations
before knowing a prognosis
And so
humbly I wait
feeling like a tiny morsel
not worth bitten by a mongrel
waiting, anxiously

© OK 2014/11/10

Unforgiven (free verse)

I was once unforgiven

in my own family

`twas such a calamity

but school, social networks

concealed me

with such disparity

people stabbing,

poking and jabbing

enjoying their cruel taunts

trying to slip from their jaunts

their powerful embrace

that hugged me to death

choked me with their breath

of vile condemnation

and finally I slipped away

long enough

to slip to my array

of splendid repose

death by selection

killing my sole option…

death my own, salvation

compared to this rat race

good lord, deliver me, yours,

from this disgrace

and worthless behaviours

lead me not into their degradation

filled with vile humiliation

I have integrity

refuse to commit

to their duplicity

I am me

I am one

I am proud to be me

if I cannot breath my air

unforgiven, unforbidden,

in my own vital space

let me leave this cruel race

let me leave this cruel race.

© Oliana Kim 2014/11/09

Oh my I struggled with this one. I read so many posts and found them so  poignant and deep. Then I listened to Unforgiven II and III and preferred the voice and song of II but the words and depths of Unforgiven I. I love the music Yves enjoyes especially Damien Rice. Would love a prompt with Accidental Babies for example or anything form 9 Crimes Album…I always feel he is speak to me personally in all those songs. Written for MindLoveMiserysMenagerie The Unforgiven I Metallica

kissing après-ski (free verse)

skiiing all day

sweating in the woods

peeling our clothes

when we arrived

never fast enough

our breathing short

and excited

our bodies clung

to each other

hot, sweaty

hearts pounding

we kissed

oh, he knew how to kiss

so beautifully

so erotically

the perfect foreplay

and then there was bliss…

© OK 2014/11/09

après-ski (haibun)

We cross-country skied all afternoon, my falling so often, he laughing lovingly. Le Mont Bruno was a Christmas card perfect scenery and the descent was so much easier, wind blowing in my hair and my face. We arrived home flushed, sipping red wine in the music room.

making love

listening to Michel Sardou


© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem Kamishibai Extreme Winter Feeling

Write a haibun story with a winter feeling within 55 words including the haiku.

P.S. I remember like yesterday, this “après-ski” moment that our first child was conceived in our music room

moon salute (haiga)

Carpe Diem Special Thomas Transtromer

Oak trees and the moon.
Light and mute constellations.
And the frigid sea

© Thomas Tranströmer

© Clr November 2014

© Clr November 2013 to the East

 These two shots were taken on my way to my mother’s place last November. I stopped my car on the highway to take a shot on my left, this is the moon and on my right the sun was setting in splendour…cold evening but stayed out long enough to get a few shots.


Early moon rise
salutes shimmering star through 
naked trees

© Tournesol ’14


© Clr November 2013

© Clr November 2013 to the West

day of rest

© Clr `14/11/06

© Clr `14/11/06

Sunday is a day of rest
not for all like me for sure
heavy feet that drag me on
out to catch my bus right now
still I wish I’d sit all day
reading lovely poems that say
Sunday is a day of rest.

© OK ’14/11/09


by the river (trochaic & shadorma)

Down by the riverbend she waits
watching the sun set, she sits alone
singing a song by the water
a raven sings along with her
ensemble they sing in harmony
until a strange howl stops their chant
she froze in silence, no longer sings

in the woods
a small pack of wolves
howling at
the full moon
Springwater fears for her life
alone in these woods.

hears the howl of wolves
sees them there
aims arrow
saves his love from these creatures
under moonlit sky.

© Oliana ’14/11/09

We were to write a trochaic or shadorma or both with this photo as inspiration. Ì’m not sure if I succeeded with the trochaic but the photo inspired me to these verses. MindLoveMiserysMenagerie – BJ Shadorma photo prompt

yurixy dark forest at

yurixy dark forest at

blind faith

© OK May 30 2014

© Clr May 30 2014

Emma was saddened to lose her last friend in her village. She said she had found The Spirit and had to follow her path. Emma had heard most of her friends say the same thing in the past 100 years. She would soon be 101 in a few months and not a close soul to celebrate her birthday with her except her mother.

She wished she had found a spirit she could follow blindly without any limits but she had not. She was always guarded, expecting the worst. After all, she had lost her planet when she was four and her parents shipped her on to this tiny village on planet Foi. It was similar to her parent’s planet but not quite as hot. She missed her parents. She was raised by Foians here who treated her like their own. Her adopted father had passed a few years ago at 138 but her mom was alive and well at 130. People didn`t look their age physically here but their voices altered…the tenor changed every twenty years. It was a simple way to get respect from the younger generation…they just heard an adult speak and the deeper the voice, the older they were. Men and women all had the same tones as women increased in testosterones after they passed the age of bearing children.

Louisa arrived early for her going away party. Emma had invited friends and relatives of Louisa to formerly say goodbye. Her friend had a microchip she gave to Emma and told her to view it on the computer after she left. Everyone was so gracious with Louisa although some were sad to see her leave even if it was for a better place, it was still a mystery to those who had not found that “spirit”.

When everyone left, Emma, inserted the chip in her computer and the screen lit up. She could see Louisa kneeling at the river down the hill. It was almost dusk, the sun had not completely gone down. She heard Louisa chanting something in a language she did not understand and swaying her body with her hands and arms raised to the sky. Suddenly she saw a white dove appear on the riverbank a few feet in front of Louisa. It seemed to be saying something to her for Louisa kept bobbing her head…The sun suddenly came back up and shone over the river. Emma was sure she could see odd looking people with wings hovering over the river, all dressed in white. They looked like human birds. Louisa took up her chanting again and swaying and the screen became very dark.

So, thought, Emma, this was her visitation. This was the sign she received to follow to another planet without question. Emma wondered if she would ever have such an encounter here on planet Foi. Time would tell, she thought. She still had hope.

(c) Oliana ’14-11-09

Written for Prompt 33, Fairytale “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders.”

Silent Sunday

© Clr '14 Sketched 1997

© Clr ’14 Sketched 1997

BUT is sometimes a dirty word (SoCS)


The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness is: “bat, bet, bit, bot, but.” Focus on one, use them all, or simply include one of these words in your post. It’s up to you!

Have you ever noticed how loosely people use the word “but”? I have. Anything you say to a person before you said BUT, is totally erased, flushed, forgotten, most of the time if you are trying to tell someone something nice.

Last year I was going into one of my clinical supervisions with my supervisor. I dreaded it with this particular manager for she had a knack at making me feel like shit. Yep, she did it with other young colleagues with little experience and yet, she still managed to do a great job of this with me too.

We listened to a call that I had offered to other managers for training purposes. Yep, I chose a grrrrrreat one and I knew it was good and that I did great! She took notes and started telling me how she thought I did a great job BUT…blah blah blah…which is not important what she said because it was bogus. The good stuff and the bad stuff were bogus to me. In the past twenty some odd monthly meetings I have heard a sentence sounding like a compliment separated with a conjunction…BUT…and then a negative comment. Not a constructive comment either…just BS comments because some managers have this false idea they have to give criticism to help an employee stay on their toes and try harder.

I suppose some need to go to manager school to learn what “constructive criticisms” mean and what is their purpose. In my almost fifteen years working at this same place, I had more good feedback with constructive comments to improve my skills. So these past few years, I’m hoping will pass eventually. It is a good thing I love what I do. I continue taking professional development courses on my own time because I feel it is necessary to keep me on my toes and be the best I can be.

This is a time of year many corporations are also preparing for yearly performance evaluations. In government jobs it is often in March like my agency but for the most part it is December.

Men and women who have families are under a lot of stress and if they are lucky they will have a good manager who went to Manager school to learn how to work with people and not just manage numbers and quotas. Kids call us this time of year for stress and worries about their school, friends and yes, their parents too. They feel the crunch; they smell the fear and they hear the stress in the voices of their parents.

Kids and teens and young adults too are exposed to many evaluations at home, in sports, at work (if they work) and at school. They get comments like, “Well, son, you did pretty good on the ice there today but on the third period you could have ….and should have ….” Well, believe it or not chum …yeah, that’s you, the parent or coach, the kid just retained the negative comment and did NOT even remember a word of the positive comment.

So the next time you EVER start a sentence with something positive and you think that it will reduce the sting of the negative comment followed by the word BUT…well, it does not…BUT, hey, don’t take my word for it, just ask the person you are talking to what they heard what you just said…I dare you!

© OK 2014/11/09

Shadow visits (free verse)

Shadow people Hypothetic at deviant art

Shadow people Hypothetic at deviant art

Shadows blur my vision
cast darkness on my thoughts
who are they?
what are they?
Am I growing old?
senility down the road?

Maman, is this
how it all began?
silent shadows casted
on my path,
first at night
when I am sleeping
sneaky and sly
so no one will see
only ingrain
in my feeble mind.
shadows at night
howling in silence
laughing and mocking
into senescence…

At first there`s only one
a silent shadow
I thought my angel
but it had an eerie
feel about it
could not be an angel
and then more intrude
pretending to come for tea

Maman, what was it like
for you in the dead of night
when you phoned me
you really weren`t kidding
someone was really there!

Forgive me, Maman,
I see them now
I hate their visits
I stay awake to ward
them away,

and still they invade
my mind, my soul,
and my sanity.

(c) Tournesol’14-11-08

MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie Tale Weaver, Shadow People

yahoos marching (free verse)

we scoff at soldiers
how they march in union
always furtively whisper
about Nazi Germany
hypocrites are we…
in such circumstances
we visualize Russia
Germany and Islamic
and yet, look very carefully
at rush hour travellers
bussing and subways
walking, pushing, marching
we are ALL so blinded…
minions, ignoring the homeless
not seeing them anymore
not seeing a pregnant woman
an elderly person
a disabled person struggling
in their gait
we pretend to listen
like a bunch of yahoos,
to fucking music on smart phones
or reading newpapers
we care little about
blindly obeying our order
to get to work, our sole goal,
marching, marching
in subliminal stance
I am sickened by our
blinded daily trance.

© OK 2014/11/08

Inspired by the scene in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, londoners marching to work by public transit.

Shadows light years away

I’ve decided to keep writing on Light Years Away, where Stella lives a life of torment and abuse at home.  Each time I get a prompt that may spark another sequel, I will add to Stellas saga.  I dont like writing long stories as I usually get stumped or bored with my topic. So with Friday fictioneers, amazing prompts at MindLoveMisery’sMenagerie and Five sentence fiction, I just might get enough to have a complete story. At least it would be a first for me…so here’s part 3 of Light Years Away. It is not  according to the photo  but the animé included in Yves’ prompt. It is only 23 minutes to view and well worth it. It gave me many ideas of future shorts and poems.

Stella left the park a bit too late and walked in the school yard as the bell screamed. “Oh shoot, Sister Mahoney is going to get me for this. Shows me I should have stopped envying that little girl. God is punishing me for my sin.”  She rubbed her neck gently where her stepfather had left his mark. She shuddered at the thought and smiled faintly that Amma had brought her to a nicer place during that ungodly ordeal.

Last night was different. She was not in her special brightly lit paradise this time. She started there but soon was back in her bed and only saw dark shadows walking around her. She couldn’t feel or hear her step-father as he reeked his cheap whiskey down her neck but the shadows and the darkness had such an eeriness that she wished Amma had brought her to a nicer place. She hoped the next time she would be back in her haven light years away. She sighed and stopped walked suddenly.

She noticed another shadow next to her and wondered if it was Sister Mahoney chasing her. She froze, then looking around she saw no one but the tall shadow just stayed next to her never moving. She moved a bit to the side and the shadow didn’t follow…so dark and still like a puddle of muddy water. She lifted her foot to step on the darkness assuming it would move away but it didn’t budge…and the world turned black as she blacked out.

A girl in a peculiar uniform dragged her feet into the school hallway not sure where she was supposed to go. Students were whispering and shuffling their feet, not daring to talk too loud and have their voices recognized or for sure, they’d feel their ear being yanked so high, they’d have to jump up on their tiptoes to follow their martyred ear at the stubby, cruel hands of Sister Mahoney. The girl was not aware of this sister but she recognized the fear in the students’ faces.

She crept up quickly but quietly up to the second floor where the seniors of middle school had their classes. She thought she’d be safer upstairs where it was quieter but still walked in a trance like state. Her hesitant steps up the stairs were met with stubby fingers on her ear pinching and pulling hard!

“Now, sweet Stella O’Donnell, what might be your excuse this mornin’, eh? Have the Sisters of Immaculate Conception been deprived of the fact that Stella Mary O’Donnell was detained by the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary, now?” she snarled and pinched harder, the girl’s ear turning white, drained of its blood.

“I’ve no excuse, Sister” she whimpered, “unless losing track of time as justification. I’m…I’m sorry, my sister. I seemed a bit lost this morning.” For some reason she was aware of sisters and convents and the words just rolled off her tongue so naturally. She did not realize, however, if you pleaded for mercy Sister Mahoney enjoyed being cruel to “her” girls.

Sounds of running feet of another person came behind the girl. “Please Sister, you must stop…Stella is expected in the Mother Superior’s office…we are already late…come now, Stella.” Sister Mary Mona put her hand on the girl’s shoulder and the other on Sister Mahoney’s stubby hand so she would let the child go…relieve that tight cruel grasp. As those stubby fingers slackened only slightly, she leaned into Sister Mary Mona, whispering thanks to Amma, her goddess who looked out for her. But who was Stella, she asked herself… “I must look like a girl named Stella.” She shrugged her shoulders, “Oh well, better to have a name and a life now after all these years of walking in darkness…”she thought.

“But, but…she arrived in the building late so even if she did have an appointment with our blessed Mother, I see no reason to dismiss this serious offense!” Sister Mahoney insisted.

“Ah but she wasn’t late, my sister, I saw her at the other door near the office and it was locked,” she looked down at the girl, “I’m so sorry for the confusion, luv. Now come along, we can’t have our blessed Mother wait much longer.” Sister Mahoney looked a bit nervous at that thought and let the child go.

The two walked quickly down the stairs towards the front office as Sister Mary Mona crossed herself whispering, “Forgive me, Lord, for my lie,” and rushed along with her arm around Stella’s shoulder.

“Now then, Stella dear, I’ve asked your teachers to relieve you of morning prayers and the first period so I could have a talk with you.” The girl was still stunned at the welcome intrusion, rubbing her ear that was starting to swell, pounding with pain…she new she’d soon have an ugly bruise. But even the pain was a welcome after all these years of dark nothingness. Thank goodness she still had long hair to hide any scars.

“I don’t understand,” she stammered. “What have I done wrong to be away for so long from my classes and who is Stella?”

“Oh my!” Sister Mary Mona gasped, “did Sister Mahoney hit you behind the head again, dear? You seem to have lost your memory again…oh dear, dear…this is not good…I had such good news for you too. And I wonder why you are wearing this old uniform. Were you playing dress up with your mother’s old school uniform?”

The girl looked down at her long grey skirt and ankle high leather boots. She was dressed in the the convent’s uniform worn twenty years ago. “Oh my,” she thought, “I must be in the same town, same life just a generation later. Oh dear, Amma, please don’t make my family the same. At least I won’t have grandfather as my bedfellow.”

“I just needed to have a talk with you to get to know you a bit more. Mother Superior has noticed your grades are well above all your peers, and she wanted to recommend you to a new programme for next year. It is an International Baccalaureate giving you an international college diploma that will make you eligible for free scholarship to several universities around the world.”

The girl just stared dumbfounded.

“Now shut that mouth, dear, for our blessed Mother may regret her choice.” And off they went to Mother Superior’s office.

The girl whispered softly to herself, “My name is Stella and I am smart. My name is Stella and I am blessed. My name is Stella, my name is Stella…”

© Oliana Kim 2014/11/08


étoile brillante
libre et scintillante

shining star
free and shimmering
far…light years away

© Tournesol

Written for Tale Weaver Prompt 33 Shadow People at Mind Love Misery`s Menagerie. Thank you, Yves, for this amazing prompt…again!  And Happy Birthday!! Oliana

autumn fruits (free verse)

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Springtime I see budding life
Keen to peek up through the sky
blossoms thrive in summertime
butterflies feed on sweet nectar
berries, fruits, honeyed by nature
make ready for a long winter’s stay
petals wilt and leaves change colour
autumn ends with colour splashes
before falling to their sleepy end,
vines turn red and golden shades
winds then move them to their last stage…
so what a shock! I’m filled with joy
on my way to work today
to see these fruits hidden away
waiting for the leaves to fall
to show off their sweet humble states
barren of leaves of any shade
yet berries hanging on display
inviting finch and chickadees
autumn feasts on those cool days.

© OK 2014/11/08

I have no clue the name of this vine that bears fruit in late autumn in our cold climates. I’ve searched a little but not much luck. So if you know the name of this vine, I would appreciate it. Next spring I will take photos when the leaves and flowers start growing to get the spring and summer shots…for now I only have October and November photos.

daybreak (tan renga)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

I reread this beautiful early morning haiku and felt bad that I had not written a more classical haiku with a softer ending that makes you think…a little. I don’t know the names of many birds, most flower and trees. So honestly, Carpe Diem DOES keep me on my toes…haha…and even before that reading many of Georgia’s poems has taught me a little more each day.

I looked at that photo Chèvrefeuille posted with those lovely shiny droplets hanging from the branch and wrote another completion. The only thing I was missing was the name of a bird that IS still here in Quebec, Canada during late autumn and winter months. So I searched again and found this lovely video about winter backyard birds in Canada. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Well, I actually learned a think or two…again (grins).

Credits: Raindrops on a branch…

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butterfly gala (haibun)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

What an opportunity I am often faced with at Carpe Diem to learn more about nature. I am interested in herbal medicine and when I see such pretty flowers that have these qualities, my curiosity gets the better of me.  Searching a bit further I wanted to find places closer to home or at least in North America.  I was pleased to discover that many have named this Boneset Eupatorium japonicum flower after an American from New England, Joe-Pye who used the plant medicinally for helping people with typhus fever. In addition to its medicinal properties, both the flowers and seeds have been used in producing pink or red dye for textiles.

It is a lovely addition to any garden especially if you want to attract butterflies who love the sweet nectar of these flowers. They grow from 3 to 10 feet tall! If you…

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daisies for life (tanka)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

© Clr August 2014

Daisies are my favourite flower for reasons I have shared in the past. I relate to this flower in so many aspects. It is not especially stunning compared to so many other exquisite floras but it is still attractive and strong. Multiple petals show many facets of my personality…and still many to discover over a lifetime.

Sowing more seeds has allowed me to have daisies for life…children and grandchildren and it all starts with that first born. At that time I thought I would never have enough love to spread…I remember how much I loved my godchild before I ever had children and it worried me a bit. “Is it possible to love a child more than that or as much?” I quickly saw that it was certainly possible and when I had my second child, the love was still in abundance as there is more…

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fleur d’automne (haiku)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

Carpe Diem

yawning blossoms sigh
whisper tender lullaby
through an autumn wind

fairies chant
chorus of yellow flora
sweeten pleasant dreams


fleurs béantes soupirent
chuchotent une douce berceuse
par un vent d’automne

fées chantent
refrain des fleurs jaunes
sirotent des beaux rêves

© Tournesol 2014/11/07

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cunning owl (tan renga)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

Georgia always has such amazing early morning verses you can see at Bastet and Sekhmet blog with colourful tales and beautiful poetry and her exclusive Waka blog. Our host at Carpe Diem has chosen one of her haiku for this week`s tan renga challenge.

early morning
silence before the rising sun
raindrops on a branch(Georgia)

Here is our host`s completion:

early morning
silence before the rising sun
raindrops on a branch(Georgia)

on the deserted beach
I greet the sun with joy (Chèvrefeuille)

I can’t seem to do this one justice with beautiful completions I have read this morning from others and can`t help think of Georgia’s fondness for humour. This is my humble attempt:

early morning
silence before the rising sun
raindrops on a branch(Georgia)

night owl lurks cunningly
mouse, his bedtime snack     (Tournesol)

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Happy Birthday, my son!

At this time 36 years ago, I was in my 5th hour of labour. I had no clue this would get more intense…it would be unbearable but such as it was on the birth of a first born…our son. At eight in the night my best friend and I were giggling excitedly at the fact they were only 20 minutes apart and I could talk through them… “Piece of cake!” I thought. Father to be was playing a game of hockey with old-timers and we watched half-heartedly a film between contractions.

As I went to bed at midnight, I slept and did not want to worry father in case it would last days on end. But they say when it wakes you up, it is REAL, and it did! I’d sleep at the head of the bed and soon wake up at the foot! Yep, it was getting pretty real and contractions getting closer so by seven in the morning, I made a cuppa tea . Contractions were now every 5 minutes and I could no longer talk at that time, so I woke up father and said, “C’est temps, mon pite…nous devons aller à l’hôpital.

So unsure and apprehensive, we piled into the car and each time I reached 5 minutes, I would cringe and start panting. By the time we arrived, father still was not sure…so he parked in the lot and made me walk a long way. Stopping now and then, cringing on the way, he would sing thinking he was funny, “I can`t get no Contractions”. Surely Jagger would not have laughed.

It was eight in the morning, twelve hours had finally passed and by noon and six minutes, our first born, our son peeked his head. Such a perfect and big baby at eight pounds was he. After seven years together, we had our lucky seven with two thumbs, eight fingers and ten toes.

Happy Birthday Olivier!

© OK 2014/11/07

Dear Emma,

I could go into some details of my end of week thoughts but this rant below tells it best.

it’s midnight
my sunset time
seeing as I work late
so often at any rate

the end of a week
the end of a shift
long call detained
me for tonight once again.

thoughts of suicide
hopeless despair
yep, among other things
strife beyond compared
surprises me each time
every call so unique.

almost fifteen years
I’m still caught
in floods of tears
feel compassion
of course
feel empathy
but what always astounds me
is the resilience
of these youths

such determination
despite abomination
they’ve endured for too long…

love for that parent
they harbour
in spite of apparent
faux pas and abuse
one always wants
the love of lost parent
who so often was absent

Do you remember
when you were a teen
imagining you may
have been adopted
or switched at birth
cos how could these
be your parents?!

Do you remember wondering?
why you had the red hair
in a family of brunettes
and the milkman was ginger?
such questions do linger…

Do you remember hearing your mom
say “I should have had an abortion”?

did you ever hear a mom say
go ahead I’ll watch while you die?

or another who said,
your dad asked for paternity test?

how loving and encouraging
these parents passed the quiz
of ignorance and cruelty
words imprinted on the souls
of their young, facing harsh reality.

parents assume
that their role
is a right when in fact
it’s a privilege
they’ve abused
time and again.

marked their child
for a while
sometimes a lifetime
time to heal
such harsh words
broken bones
and black bruises
heal faster than these words
cruel words that cut deep
into the heart of their souls.

© OK 2014/11/07

Stella`s envy


© Clr 2014

© Clr 2014

Stella took the long route to school since she left extra early and had time to walk through the park.  Watching the squirrels scurry up the trees made her smile and the pigeon’s squabble over the leftovers of last night’s revellers, a few fries and a hotdog bun.  She sat down to eat her muffin she’d grabbed when she ran out this morning to avoid her step-father and noticed a father pushing his little girl on the swing.  Her giggles echoed through the almost deserted park and her father’s voice sounded so soothing. How she envied the life of that little girl, to be so young and innocent with a father who acted like a real dad.

© OK 2014/11/06

Found this a great occasion to continue on this story: Light Years Away

Five Sentence Fiction – Envy

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist.

This week’s word: ENVY

Lillie McFerrin Writes

blanket of blossoms (haiku)

The first time I ever saw carnations was when my grandfather died. I was six. He had been chief of police in our small town, so the viewing was at City Hall. So many people, so many carnations. I still don`t like the smell of carnations in funeral homes. The powerful scent with hundreds of carnations in one room seems to rob a room of air…making it hard to breathe.

pink, red, white blossoms
curly petals shaped in a cross
faintness drapes me

bourgeons blanches, rouges et roses
pétales crêpés forme une croix
malaise m’enveloppe


blanket of carnations
draped on shiny oak
adieu GrandPapa

housse d’œillets
enveloppé sur chêne luisant
adieu Grand-Papa

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem

nightfall lifts despair

© Clr '14/10/06

© Clr ’14/10/06

plodding in grey mire
nothing to be found
dark dense quagmire
doomed pursuit nowhere bound

daytime’s aches transcend
yearn for comfort… calm
precious nights ascend
like a healing balm.

rising dawn misleads
mocking taunts deceive
raw deception bleeds
losing faith, just can’t believe

daytime’s aches transcend
yearn for comfort… calm
precious nights ascend
like a healing balm.

days end with a veil
multicoloured tones
magentas  prevail
sun sets … dead end zones

daytime’s aches transcend
yearn for comfort… calm
precious nights ascend
like a healing balm.

nightfall layers the soul
twilight offers solace
respite in the darkness
finally time to rest.

daytime’s aches transcend
yearn for comfort… calm
precious nights ascend
like a healing balm
night lifts all despair

© OK 2014/11/06

breath (tanka – free verse)

Heeding Haiku with Ha at MIndLoveMisery’s Menagerie

nose holding cool air
lips parted expel, heart pounds
ears are drumming
listen only to the breath
mind spins finally shut down

feel the blood
rushing through my body
inhale cool hair
through cleared nostrils
exhale whooshing through my lips
feel the beat…my circulation
rushing blood flow  slowing down
mind spinning in larger circles
breath in
breath out
hear the noise
of hydro
fridge belches
freezer roars
laptop hums
breath in
breath out
mind can finally focus
no more ruckus
quieting mind
in good time.

© OK 2014/11/06

Written for MIndLoveMisery’sMenagerie – Heeding Haiku with Ha – The Art of Breathing

escape is a treat (haibun)

I believe we find means to escape from reality when we are very young. The child who daydreams or an expression I always use to be “in the moon” (dans la lune). It is being in the “zone”.

I started at a very young age doing this…just drifting off into my world…I was Marilyn Monroe or Dale Evans, I was Lois Lane flying off with Superman over tall buildings. As a teenager, I started listening more and more to music but did not escape so much to listening to it…dancing was my escape. If the music was right, my body seemed to move smoother…so that would be Motown…good R & B.

It was when I got married and no longer went to dances or parties that I started buying albums again. We had a music room and I would spend hours listening to music. Perhaps that’s why my children are so musically inclined, they heard music and swayed with their mother’s movements since they were in my womb.

I remember when I was pregnant for my son, we had a music room in our new home and I played Doobie Brothers a lot in 1978. When he was born, he had colic and I would put on that album and he recognized the music. It would soothe him.

Water of course has always been a part of my life. I am a water sign, born in March and perhaps that is one reason but I grew up by a river and raised my family close to another river. The river relieves me of my pent up emotions as if I could allow my feelings to float away with the current or my rage crash with the rapids. I see water as healing rather than an escape.

During tense times, when I was upset or angry, I could just slip on my headset and I could feel the tension lift and gradually dissipate. There were periods that I may have escaped in journaling or reading as well. When I divorced, I started going out dancing again and for several years that was my escape. I remember the man I was dating for a longer period mentioned, “You are miles away when you’re dancing.” Well, if the music was right, I usually was miles away.

Reading has always been a good escape in certain periods of my life. When my father died ten years ago, life changed a lot. My daughter had a lovely boy that same year; my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia the year after.  And soon after she was placed in a nursing home.

I had not moved back home yet and it was difficult coping with worry far away. Rather than reading a novel every couple of weeks, I devoted every free moment reading. A break at work, and I was reading, weekends, I would shut myself up in my condo and just read and when I moved back to Montreal it completely consumed me. I couldn’t wait to get home and escape in another world. I would go to our public library and take out at least half dozen books for me and bring my grandson and he would choose several too. He would ask me, “Nana, why do you read so much.” And I would just say, “It’s my private movie in my head that I can turn on anytime I want.” He would fall asleep with a book in his hands…I still see that image in my mind’s eye. (sigh!)

The year before blogging I was reading at least 3 to 4 books a week and then I discovered writing again! I replaced my reading obsession with writing. What I noticed that writing did more than reading was it is not just an escape, it helped me work through difficult emotions especially with the work I do. We don’t always realize what stories stay in our subconscious. I started writing dark poetry and was shocked to see how I felt less weighed down. And so I learned another means of avoiding compassion fatigue.

Chanting or praying is another means of escaping although I have not mastered that yet. I have noticed chanting when driving in heavy traffic on the streets of Montreal calmed me enough to avoid road rage…yes, we are a pretty aggressive bunch of drivers here, but I learned to curb that a bit.

I suppose if I had to take off on an island for weeks or months at a time, I would be content as long as I could write, have a few good classics to read and perhaps there I would master my meditation and chanting.

Escape to me is not running away from but running to …treating myself.

© OK 2014/11/21

© Clr '14

© Clr ’14

river rapids
swallow turmoil
flood me with grace

floods me with grace
melody of a cardinal
just for me.

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem

poachers (haiku)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

fiery outburst
notoriuous for
a mother bear

poachers slyly
lure her cub with honey
in their van

in their van
through rough roads to sell the cub
nearby toxic zoo

© Tournesol ’14

3WW – Fiery, Notorius, Toxic

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escape (haiku)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

There are several ways to escape from the rat race, busy days and worries.  Depending on what time I have available will determine what I do.  Speed walking, cycling or sitting by the lake, the river or allowing the river rapids to drown my thoughts and worries away, they all can do wonders, the latter is my favourite.

One does not always have the time or opportunity to get out, however, nor does the climate permit this.  But, I can always depend on music. And that is what I am doing tonight at my work break…no problems on my mind…just me and ivory keys.

relaxed heartbeat

ripple of ivory

my sanctuary

© Tournesol ’14

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brush strokes (haiga)

Originally posted on Tournesol dans un Jardin:

light of setting star
brush strokes blend
on blue canvas

passionate artist
showers radiance
on blue canvas

sur toile bleu
artiste passionné peint
pluie rayonnante

artist turns in,
sky blends into twilight
brush sleeps thru the night

© Tournesol ’14

Carpe Diem

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