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April 7, 2011

The Craft of Expression

One of the delights of language is how words hold multiple meanings within and how the connections among those meanings create a meaning in themselves. Take the word, craft.  This one word embodies an art form or skill to  practice and a vessel to set sail in.

When my sister died, more than one person instructed me to think of a ship sailing into the horizon. Just because you can no longer see it, they said, does not mean that it does not continue its journey.  So, too, must those of us our loved ones "leave behind" continue our journeys.  And, as we make our way through the unfamiliar territory shaped by absence, one of our refuges is, indeed, a craft.

April is National Poetry Month in the United States, and during the month of April, you are invited to send a poem that you have crafted, regarding the loss of a loved one, or a situation of loss, such as war, disasters, etc.  (Some days all you need to do to feel invaded by a sense of loss is watch 15 minutes of the news.)

To bridge us from East to West, I will begin our month of poems with the Haiku series I wrote after my father died. An excerpt from the series was published in The Distillery.


Ysabel de la Rosa

The room’s emptiness
chokes me with its thick silence.
Motionless the air

The blue shirt folded,
the briefcase by the side door.
When will you be home?

This world makes no sense.
The old refrigerator
has outlasted you

Love is the decree
that entitles me to say
you left too early

The ancestral shrine
has grown another portrait.
More deeply, I bow

And remain until
I, too, become a gone world
with you somewhere, There


Photo by Robert W. Jackson


  1. I'm learning to get along, I think. I'm also becoming a fan (again) of the demanding brevity of forms like haiku, tanka, et al. Without the release of poetry, I wonder if I could get along. (Both reading and writing.)

  2. Dear JLC: What an important thought: The release of poetry. I agree. Without it, I don't think I could have gotten along or gotten through many an event in life. Thank you for visiting the blog!