Each death I encounter is a loss that carves a permanent notch on my heart.  Like the scars on a child’s knees each notch tells a story. The story of a person I once knew or whose path I briefly crossed.  Some lives were long and lived well, but others were cut far too short. It is the lives cut short that are the hardest to bear…most especially when the death is self inflicted.  

Yet, I am learning to seek out nature when I find the sorrow too daunting.  While I never find answers and only sometimes solace, nature calls me to be present…present to both my sorrow and my joy.  I am still learning how to carry both.  Perhaps in time, I will also learn to bear each loss with a modicum of grace and gratitude for their time here no matter how short.  ~c.h. 



Birdsong ~ c.hause

The phone chirps

As if bearing happy news

The cheerful alert 

An affront to the words 

On the screen

“Killed himself yesterday”


Outside the window

Sunlight spills across

My winter gray yard

Rendering brown grass

Golden with a hope 

I no longer feel


I put on my coat 

To walk off the sorrow

Or just carry the questions

In the rhythm of my gait

The sun warms my body

but not my soul


From barren branches

Birds offer a mantra

A sweet call and response 

I peer into a tangled tree

Hoping to glimpse

The sirens pulling me still 


I close my eyes. 

Tipping my face to the sun,

I savor their song

Like a pebble tossed upon water

Thoughts ripple beyond me

In ever widening circles


 My eyes open again 

To the same winter gray world 

Yet I am lifted

Not above, but through

I pause and turn

To carry the moment home.