Sunday, April 12, 2009

In Memoriam-Kathleen Flowers

Altar for Kathleen on our mantle
On this lovely Easter spring morning, our dear friend and neighbor Kathleen Flowers left this earth. Kathleen was an extraordinary poet and being full of light and love. We are grieving along with so many people whose lives she touched. She leaves her adoring husband Howard, her mother, father, sister and brother, nieces. She taught kindergarten in the Spanish language immersion project. She touched the lives of so many children and parents who also adored and respected her. In just a few short minutes the poetry show on KUSP will be devoted to her. I chose one of her poems from Call It Gladness, her publication from the 2008 In Celebration of the Muse Chapbook Award publication. Here is her poem In These Five Remaining Days.

In These Five Remaining Days

After Hafez

In these five remaining days, I see
I've spent my life bellowing like a mule,
feeling broken beneath a burden
that was mine to learn to carry
or the weight of another's I could not ease.

In these four remaining days, the robe,
that has been my body revels in
its own unraveling. Inside, a hummingbird
hovers, half-inside a flower, then zips
away, stitching the sky with iridescence.

In these three remaining days, I am still,
knowing what ripens below, soon breaks
through the duff, finds some light-
a rose-colored mushroom, quietly
glistens in the redwood mist.

On this, the second to last day, I ride
a riptide out to sea, find myself
fixed again to the ocean's umbilicus.
Rocked upon her heaving breast, I taste
the briny tears we share, let go my thirst.

On this, my final day of living,
with every last breath, I make a plea
for the chance to hold aloft a hundred more
burdens, a friendship to sip, a forest to sit in,
singing thank you, thank you, thank you!


barb cabot said...

Even those that do not know your dear friend grieve her loss. Her words are from a beautiful place deep within her special soul. She is flying now.

Susan McDowell said...

What a beautiful tribute; so sorry for your loss. I'd never heard of her but now I'm haunted by that poem. Thank you for sharing with us.

Joan McMillan said...

Thank you for posting this poem. Kathleen was briefly in my writing group, though she could not often attend due to her courageous fight with cancer. I cherish the precious handful of time I had with her, regretting that there was not more from this lovely, rare individual

Frances Cherman said...

I was so sad to read about Kathleen’s passing. I've published a tribute to her on my Facebook page. I hope you can view it.

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