Sunday Snow

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Headstones are wearing winter caps
Trees weighed down by yesterday’s snowfall
Have branches bowed to the ground
Honouring one very rotund squirrel
Happily munching on oats for the deer
In the early Sunday sunshine.

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Where You Are

I cannot see you where you are
Hidden far within your mind
Somewhere in the maze of
Tangled neurons and ganglions
Tip-toeing into vacant spaces
Where rational thought,
Speech and conscious movement
Used to be.

I cannot see you where you are
Tiny, pink upon a bed
I’ve seen in glimpses from
My daughter’s phone
A couple of thousand kilometres away
In a room well minded
By her grandsons
I’m not there but that’s okay
I know what we had.

I cannot see you where you are
Calling for momma, reaching out
Nearly one hundred years
To love gone by that never ends
And I am thankful that
Somewhere in there she still feels
Her mother’s love ‘cause
That’s what it all comes down to
Doesn’t it?

I cannot see you where you are
In my mind I reach out and
Hold your hand and say
I am with you always mom
Where ever you are
Where ever I am
The spirit knows no limits
The soul is never ending
The truth resides within our cells.

I cannot see you where you are
On this Thanksgiving Day
So I say:
You are always in my heart
Much as I am in yours
And for this I am forever
Thankful.

Even though
I cannot see you
Where you are.

(c) Catherine M. Harris, 7-Oct-2018

Magical Mysterious Moe

An orange face peers out
From a hole in the wall
Where were you my boy?
Where did you go –
Oh there you are
Looking for mice between
Ceiling and floor in the
Basement closet and
Somehow you found a
Way up from the top shelf
Through a broken tile
How did you get in there
Anyway
My magical mysterious Moe.

Everyone’s a friend
Cranky visitor cat
Giant Black Lab
Timid Tall Bengal Cat
Strangers who come to the door
Bosses with wide shoulders to jump on
Kids selling cookies or
Asking for Hallowe’en candy
No problem there
He could sport a purple cape like
The best of them and wear it proudly
Our magical mysterious Moe.

He would sit on a sofa near the
Bottom of the skinny stairs
Yet at the end of my climb
There he would be
Laying comfortably at the top
I have no idea how he could do that
And yet he did
This magical mysterious Moe.

He could purr away any ill or pain
At 528 Hz and suitably kneaded
I could drift off knowing
I’d been at least healed at a
Soul level
By magical mysterious Moe.

So it doesn’t surprize me
That on a long Easter weekend
When vets offices were closed
And snowbanks were blocking
A favorite catnip spot in the garden
He spent it close by me in the living room
Beside a fire warm and comfortable
He seemed to feel fairly well on my birthday
Then slipped away in the first clap of thunder
Of 2018 when nobody was looking the next day

And

I know someday soon these tears will
Turn back to smiles for our
Big marmalade mischievous man
But forgive me if
I just can’t get over
The suddenness just yet –

You Magical Mysterious Moe.

 

(c) Catherine M. Harris – April 2018

The Ashes

Thinking of lives in containers
Of souls trapped in bodies
And dreams left undreamt
When I hold these
Cold boxes
Plastic doesn’t suit you
You never were that.

I have your ashes
Caught in two containers
Cloaked in black velvet
Waiting.

Someday I will
Take you to the place
Where I was born
Far away Europe
Far away spirit
And I will see
With grown up eyes
The place where I
Breathed my first breath
Here I will leave
Half of your ashes.

Someday I will discover
Rome in Italy where
You sang in the streets
Young and carefree
You fell in love
And left a piece
Of your soul
Here I will leave
The last piece
Of you.

If ever I go
If ever I go
If ever I go

Across the oceans
That rest at my feet
And land on your shores
That far away
Some day
Dream.

(c) Catherine M. Harris, 17-Mar-2018.
To dad.

I Love You

I love you.
Say what you will about me
I love you.
Say what you think is my truth
I still love you.
Tell me things that aren’t true
And it’s all about me
Yes, I love you.

Nobody knows anyone completely
That’s not possible.
It’s easy, oh so easy
To take what people say or think
Or to twist things known and surmised
Into something else and apply them.
I love you.

Tell me you won’t be my:
Mother
Father
Sister
Son
Daughter
Lover
Coworker
Friend
Acquaintance
Stranger
Because of whatever you think
You know about me or
How I think
Okay.

I don’t understand,
But okay.
I love you.

Everything I do for anyone
I do for their best interest
Understanding that:
I have a family
I have a life
I have dreams
And most importantly
What goes on behind closed doors
Are privy only to those that are there.

You may think I’m a fool
Or selfish or crazy or weak
Whatever.
I love you.

Cut me off
Force me to cut you off
From unkind words and actions
Okay, I understand.
I may not like it,
But I understand.
Still, I love you.

And that’s all
You need to know.

Catherine M. Harris © February 2018

Children of the Snow

New Brunswick New Years week
Snow falling hurricane style
Nor’easter they say – it’s just
White and swirling and
The flames on the log in the
Woodstove dance to the
Music of Leonard Cohen playing
In surround-sound from a
Tribute concert and I’m alright
Now.

Thoughts of when I first heard
These words come back in
Snap shot glimpses of my children
My daughter holding a snow globe
Up to the falling snow and wishing
Her grandpa could come home
Angels in the snow
Ice skates on a polished
Mississauga rink.

Son on skis up and down a
Pakenham hill flying free
In goggles and bundled against
The cold and snowshoes on
Trekking to the ice caves where
A small troupe of Cubs and
Tic Tac and I curled up in
Sleeping bags while the ground
Shook from an earthquake
That we survived cold and wet in
Parc Lafleche Quebec.

Seems I blinked and suddenly
I’m in my 50s boldly going
Forward on my own and
Those days seem so long ago
And just like yesterday
So for now I treasure
Those small moments
Warm percolating
Back through time
Each of us in our grown up
Far flung spots in Canada
We
Children of the Snow.

©January 4, 2018 Catherine M. Harris
All rights reserved.

#MeToo – A Poem

Hidden memories, buried darkly
Best not to ponder over, just move on
That’s what I grew up with.

Little girl me who said she was a tomboy
Two unknown young men
Attempted something to a friend and I
We were six or so.
They didn’t really get to try
What I think they wanted
Before we got away
But I saw enough to know:
This is dangerous.

Later on, modelling was my thing
Dreaming of acting, it all went well
Until I was told I’d have to be nice
To clients so I asked what that meant
I was told it was do what they want.
Thanks but no thanks said I and
That was the end of the modelling career.

Buses have been places
To stand on guard
From hands on my bum to
A hand on my thigh
Not a nice way to go home at
The end of the day.

One going home meant
Being followed by a stranger
From the elevator –
I ran and got in the door
But he kept trying to break in
The police could do nothing
Eventually they said I
Must be making it up
Because he was always gone
Before they got there.
I moved.

How about the stranger
In a store who
Asked a question
Then copped a feel?
The clerk told me they’d
Call the police.
Don’t bother I said,
I know how that goes.

One gigantic boss took a photo then
Pushed me into a filing cabinet
And grabbed my boobs and
I froze, terrified.

Another coworker liked to
Grab a cheek as I walked
Upstairs in front of him.

Another thought a Christmas hug
Meant a kiss and shoving a tongue
Down my throat.

Yet another gleefully told me
Of the wonderful dreams he had
Of me.
In detail.

Those are the ones at the top
Of my head.

If it’s any consolation this
Has died down a bit
Since I’ve gotten older.

Sadly just reading all the
#MeToo posts I’m sorry to say
No, it most definitely
Has not gone away.

Here’s my small voice to the pile.

(c) Catherine M. Harris, Nov. 3, 2017