Nana

Nana

She sat on a chair by the window
like a small stone Buddha,
immobilised by the bully
that spread its greedy paralysis
over one side of her frail body.

I sat at the piano, played
“Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam”,
faltering notes enough to draw
virgin miracle tears slowly
down her tired, wrinkled face.

I went away, school trip abroad;
when I came back she had gone,
swept away with enormous
brush of relief, no trace but
faint stains of ageing and
weary walking stick.

I watched the sun, pale and cool,
determined rays penetrating
the window where she would sit
day after lonely day, waiting
for her time to shine.

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48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dfb
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:04:09

    Christine, this is fantastic! This has a ‘raw edge’ about it to my mind, a very honest and moving recollection. I like your descriptions, the imagery of the buddha, and the feeling that somehow life isn’t everything, that death can be a ‘relief’ and how we really do leave so little behind. ‘Funnily’ enough, I used to go to buddhist classes for a few years and one of the sayings was something like, ‘when you’re alive, life is everything; when your are dead, death is everything’. Statement of the obvious? Sometimes we forget it. Not sure this will makes sense, but this is a very fine poem!

    Reply

  2. Linda Willows
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:04:21

    beautifully done, reads like an “echo”, I love it, Linda

    Reply

  3. belfastdavid
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:15:53

    I think this is one of your most powerful poems.

    Different in its style and content to those you have been posting recently and thereby proving what a very good poet you are.

    I hope to see more of these in the future (hint, hint!) 🙂

    Lots of love
    David
    xoxox

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:23:22

      Thank you very much David!

      No pressure then!!! 🙂 🙂

      Thank you for gently shoving me to post something a bit different. I’m not sure about the others yet!!:)

      Lots of love

      Christine

      xxx

      Reply

  4. journeyintopoetry
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:20:13

    Hi David, Thank you very much.

    Yes your comment re the Buddhist quote does make very much sense. I once thought about exploring Buddhism; I never actually did so maybe it’s not for me or I wasn’t ready or I was just in a place searching for “something” I don’t know but it still has a lot to say to me from what I have read.

    I wish I had given her more of my time but I was 16…

    Christine

    Reply

  5. Ina
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 14:34:27

    Hi Christine,

    What a lovely surprise! This was the poem you sent me some months ago I think and I loved it very much, I still do!
    I am glad you published it now, I was starting to wonder what happend to it ! 🙂 It is terrific, full of love for the grandmother you had and who passed away when you were not there…
    The sun pale and cool, and determined rays describe so well the feelings of loss of a dear person,

    You are a very good poet! 🙂

    Love and a big hug! 🙂
    xx

    Ina

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:38:45

      Hi Ina,

      I thought you would remember this one! I ran it past you while I was teetering on the edge of WP still not confident enough to do it! So thank you for reading it then and now!
      You have been so encouraging for me thus far along this new path and I thank you for that very much 🙂 🙂

      Enjoy England and the seagulls and maybe the cafe on the pier!! – oops sorry I mean Herring Gulls 🙂

      Love and hugs

      Christinexx

      Reply

  6. Caddo Veil
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:14:06

    Oh Wow–this is heartbreaking and beautiful. I know I should be glad she’s gone on–no more suffering, waiting–but I miss her, and I realize I didn’t even know her. Very well done, Christine. God bless your day abundantly.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 22, 2012 @ 16:44:13

      Thank you Caddo, for this heartfelt comment.

      She was a very difficult person to know and could come across as quite stern but after she had the stroke I got to know her better and she was always putting in her request for that particular hymn; I think she was desperate to become that “sunbeam”. Well she well and truly is now and she shines on me.

      Love

      Christine xx

      Reply

      • Caddo Veil
        Feb 23, 2012 @ 01:58:50

        That makes it all the more precious–I’m not familiar with that song, would love to hear it. Hey, I think you know already, but I’m officially notifying you that I’ve nominated you for the Mrs Sparkly…Award! And may I say, I’m just so blessed and happy to know you?!

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 23, 2012 @ 10:02:08

      Thank you again Caddo!

      Yes I am aware of your nomination ! I acknowledged it on your post and once again I thank you so much for it!!! It’s a true honour and so encouraging for me. It urges me to continue when faith in myself starts to diminish, which is quite often.

      It’s a lovely hymn, more a children’s one I think; I also used to play it quite a lot at the Sunday School where my father taught – we were quite a team, though I told him always to choose simple ones! I never rated myself as much of a pianist but nobody else would do it!!:) I’m not so sure you would like to hear it if I sang it!!! 🙂 🙂

      I, too, feel blessed to know you

      Christine xx

      Reply

  7. granbee
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 20:29:48

    Reminds me so much of playing my grandmother’s upright piano across the wall from my great-grandmother sitting in her windowside chair with her walking cane at the ready! She gazed out to see those awaiting her. She told us about them. She glowed when she spoke out of her myraid wrinkles.

    Reply

  8. Dennis N. O'Brien
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 21:00:15

    Very nicely written.

    Reply

  9. Betty Hayes Albright
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 22:26:03

    Christine, this is so touching and beautiful! You’ve brought the reader into the poem to see the essence of “Nana” – and what she meant to you, as you played her favorite song on the piano.
    And I would echo what others have said here – it’s like you’ve come full spiral onto a new level of powerful words. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 23, 2012 @ 10:33:28

      Thank you so much Betty!

      One of my good friends on here who nudged me or I would prefer to say “shoved” !! 🙂 did me a favour by suggesting I try something a bit different and this is a poem I wrote at the back end of 2010 so I thought I would “test the water” with it. But being the only one I feel anywhere near at peace with at the moment this has given me something to think about and work on!!
      Thank you for your encouraging words – I need them more than ever now!! LOL 🙂

      Love

      Christine x

      Reply

  10. Becoming herself
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 07:28:33

    I’m so glad you took the plunge and started to share your poetry on WP, Christine. This poem is so moving and so vivid – it’s amazing that you can write this way about something that happened so long ago. Some experiences just seem to stay in the present. The association of Nana with a Buddha is so evocative, not only visually (the reader immediately sees her!) but also suggestive, to me, of the wisdom of the old that is often not shared before their death (sadly) and then lost when they die. We all have to learn our own wisdom, I suppose!

    The first stanza is just brilliant.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 23, 2012 @ 10:37:47

      BH,

      This is a beautiful comment and once again I want to say how encouraging it is for me too.

      The fact that you could “see” her in this is a great compliment and I really keep hold of all the encouragement because at the moment my confidence isn’t quite sturdy enough to hold me up on its own if that makes sense.

      Thank you again

      Christine x

      Reply

  11. gonecycling
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 09:50:48

    Oh, this is FANTASTIC, Christine; so many powerful images, such vivid description, and all the different emotions surging and swirling like a big ocean current underneath it all. My grandmothers lived to be 96 and 99, so I only lost them quite recently, but both were in residential care for the last few years of their lives and this poem brings back so many (not always comfortable) memories. +1 to everyone who rates this one of your best poems yet – I think you’ve tapped something very important here; maybe a new stage of the journey is about to begin. Many congratulations. N.xx

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Feb 23, 2012 @ 10:45:05

      Nick,

      This is a wonderful piece of encouragement for me and so I say a big “thank you”!.

      At the same time it’s a bit scary but good for me too.

      David is the one who “shoved” me and I am grateful to him too; he knows that getting too nestled cosily in a comfort zone wouldn’t do me any favours!! I’m very good at comfort zones. And it was only a matter of time before he did this – I just wasn’t expecting it yet!

      So thank you again for these lovely words and I will keep on plodding!:)

      Christine x

      Reply

  12. The Background Story
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 13:41:43

    This is beautiful and sad. Ah life is a cycle and time spares no one.

    Reply

  13. bardessdmdenton
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 20:11:59

    The heart, the word-play, the music and observance in your verse gets stronger and stronger, Christine.

    I absolutely love this one. It tells a story…of life and death…in a small yet very large way.

    One of my favorite parts is:

    ‘when I came back she had gone,
    swept away with enormous
    brush of relief, no trace but
    faint stains of ageing and
    weary walking stick.’

    And yet so much left behind…

    Reply

  14. journeyintopoetry
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 12:47:32

    Thank you Diane!

    I am so very much encouraged by your comment.

    As you can probably see from my replies to the others I am not exactly brimming with confidence in myself. Will I ever be? I don’t know. I always feel that what I write sounds lame compared to others; it helps me to say this, I’m not just saying it to bring myself down, it’s just how it is!

    Thank you for continuing to encourage me, it means so much

    Love

    Christine x

    Reply

  15. Francina
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 13:00:38

    Very lovely poem, Christine. Vividly written so as reader I could see the picture you draw.

    Ciao, Francina xx

    Reply

  16. journeyintopoetry
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 13:06:43

    Thank you Francina,

    This s a lovely comment and much appreciated

    Christine x

    Reply

  17. Fergiemoto
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 23:49:47

    Very moving and exquisite. It left me choked up it was so poignant.

    Reply

  18. Thomas Davis
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 00:38:13

    Christine, I believe your powers as a poet are increasing. The portrait you paint here is delicate and powerful both at the same time. Nana in all of her complexity, caught up in the passion of the ending of life through a favorite hymn, comes through with clarity and a shining. This is really good work.

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:50:07

      Thomas

      Thank you so much for this lovely thoughtful comment. You know how much I value your feedback.

      I’m sorry it has taken so long to reply to you but I have had severe ‘flu for two weeks and it knocked me out completely.

      I hope you continue to recover from your surgery and any subsequent treatment; you are in my thoughts very much.

      Christine x

      Reply

  19. andy1076
    Feb 25, 2012 @ 17:22:19

    Beautiful Poetry 🙂

    Reply

  20. tikarmavodicka
    Feb 26, 2012 @ 02:27:31

    Hi Christne,

    Oh my this poem is so very beautiful in the delicate manner you’ve told your grandmothers story.
    It’s moving, a little haunting and bittersweet.
    I don’t really relate to this as more empathise. I never knew my actual grandparents. I had a “Grandma Anne” as a very young child, but I was too young to appreciate her contribution in my life. My only true experiance is as an adult through hubby’s grandfather. I felt very blessed to know him and was very moved by his passing so I could imagine growing up with a grandparent could only make having known them even more profound.

    Your poem leaves me with a quiet sense of reflection and a gratitude. Life is fragile, but I feel in the memories we celebrate it’s strength and tenacity through those who in some way shaped our lives.

    Thank you for sharing this. I agree with others, you have a great talent and it most certainly shines brightly in this poem.

    With much love
    (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
    Tikarma
    xoxoxox

    Reply

    • journeyintopoetry
      Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:54:12

      Tikarma,

      Thank you for this lovely comment. I am really sorry for the delay in replying. That ‘flu certainly got the better of me!!

      David has been encouraging me to “branch out” a little with my poetry so I am having a go, but I will probably keep leaping back into my comfort zone! LOL 🙂

      Much love and
      (((BIG WARM HUGS)))
      and I can’t wait to catch up
      with your blog!!!

      Christine xxx:)

      Reply

  21. Jane Thorne
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 16:25:46

    You go from strength to strength with your poetry Christine and you have certainly raised your bar with this one…I love it and it reminds me so much of my Great Granny…lots of love and hugs to you xxx

    Reply

  22. Jane Thorne
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:33:56

    Christine I have passed the ABC Award on to you because you are lovely and I love your blog..love, Jane x Here’s the link … http://wp.me/p1l7Si-xU

    Reply

  23. Francina
    Feb 29, 2012 @ 15:04:17

    Dear Christine, I have pass this award on to you.
    Please click on the link for more info.

    http://seasonspoetry.com/2012/02/29/mrs-sparklys-ten-commands/.

    Just a token of my appreciation for your poetry.

    Ciao, Francina xx

    Reply

  24. Jane Thorne
    Mar 02, 2012 @ 13:08:49

    Christine I wanted to give you the Sunshine Award because you bring bright sunshine into my life … http://wp.me/p1l7Si-yk Love to you xxx

    Reply

  25. Thomas Milner
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 00:23:09

    very moving & stylish poem, Christine; congratulations!

    Tom Milner

    Reply

  26. Jane Thorne
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 10:44:58

    Dear Christine – I have passed the Beautiful Blogger Award on to you because you are a beautiful blogger…my love to you x http://wp.me/p1l7Si-yF

    Reply

  27. Dennis N. O'Brien
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 10:58:41

    Well done Christine – Nice poetic tribute to your Nana.

    Reply

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