Keepsakes

Trinkets retained,
samples of penmanship, photographs, and
items once associated with
those now gone.

Snapshots in time, preserved in the
inanimate, the trifling, the
discarded. Things to be cast aside by
the unknowing, which carry meaning in
their motion through time.

Memories made tangible
call to mind moments
so easily lost.
Those of us,
left behind,
cling to the last scraps we still have;
awaiting the day we
are reunited.

by Erik Shinker

Rosary

Counting down the beads of
a worn, wooden rosary; the
tangible reminder of the
faith of Our Father,
who art in Heaven.

Reciting each Hail Mary was
a verbal flagellation, the torn
flesh of my grief dropped in
dripping, bloody strips;
soaked by my own tears.

I am dragged down by
the reality of your
absence, your
loss, your
Death.

by Erik Shinker

And All the World is Gray

In 2017, at the celebration of my grandparents’ 60th anniversary, my uncle Mark asked what it was that they wanted their children and grandchildren to learn from them; my grandpa answered:

“The most important thing, no matter who you are, is not to be prejudiced as you grow up. Mind your elders. Be friends with everybody. You want love and friendship and that’s the way I am. I hope my kids and their grandkids find someone and they treat them how I treated Monette.”

I typed those words into the notes app my phone, trusting auto-correct because my sight was blurred by tears similar to those I have while typing this now, and was glad that my uncle had asked that question even though it alluded to the day that my grandparents would no longer be here with us; for Richard Diaz, my grandpa, that day has come.

IMG_7456.JPG Continue reading “And All the World is Gray”

Not to Dwell

It is best not to dwell on what
could have been.
Focusing on potential
passed on
does no good.

Look around; the world is still
beautiful in spite of
your pain. The sun
still shines, people go about
their days and though it may seem
callous at first, take comfort.

You are not alone
in this and all things.
The ones you love, who
love you, who
cherish you, are
here.

You have lost,
(perhaps more than the rest)
but
you have also
gained.

Feel the sun’s kind caress as it
kisses your shoulders; smell the
soft scent of
budding flowers; hear the
busy buzzing of bumble bees in their
never-ending need for nourishment.

Life goes on, and though pain is near
someday it will be far again. So
be weak if you must, lament the plans
we made, and cry in anguish against a universe
so unfair as this. It is earned; it is
yours by right.

But, remember that
Life goes on;
and it is best
not to dwell.

by Erik Shinker

A Song for Marilyn and George

It has been ten years since my grandfather passed, and I cannot help but wonder at what he would think about how far I have come. So much has changed since I last saw him, and I can only hope I have walked a path similar to that which he wanted for me.

Perpetually Past Due

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

View original post 2,000 more words

A Song for Marilyn and George

Grandparents seem to fall into one of two distinct groups: they can be unknowable entities that we are forced to visit through obligation; shriveled creatures who seemingly live on another plane of existence as relics of times gone by. Or, they can be loving mentors that support us and willingly give sage advice; human teddy bears who want to see us succeed in life and look forward to our accomplishments. I have been lucky enough to have the second type on both sides of my family. My maternal grandparents are still living to this day; this is my remembrance and tribute to the two no longer with us.

Continue reading “A Song for Marilyn and George”

A Monster Calls – Review

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd

Illustrations by Jim Kay

Published in 2011

Pages: 205

Genre: Children’s literature, fantasy

“The monster showed up just after midnight.”

While this may seem a cliché way to begin a tale about a monster, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is anything but. Conor O’Malley is plagued by nightmares; more specifically, he has a recurring nightmare filled with wind, darkness, and letting go of someone’s hand which forces them to be swallowed by darkness. In the wake of this nightmare, a monster appears outside his home and says that it has been called there by Conor. What follows is not a happy tale (those involving monsters seldom are) but an emotional adventure into the crushing weight of guilt lain upon a young soul. Continue reading “A Monster Calls – Review”