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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - A Big Black Boot & Bottle Rockets Press (Haiku)

August 10, 2017

Tags: Poetry Friday, haiku, poetry, bottle rockets press




Greetings, Summer Poetry Friends!

I hope your season has brought fun in the sun and freedom to linger over late sunsets.

We've had a good summer over here on the coast, with a week of vacationing at the beach late last month with our visiting kids (& their dogs). I missed long walks on the beach, though, and proper frolics in the waves, as I've been trying to keep my Achilles tendon (what's left of it) in one piece since early June. It's the one I ruptured seven years ago, and for all those years until now its been fine - until an "overuse" injury sent me to my neuromuscular massage therapist/PT. (I still have to see her because of a neck injury three years ago, but that's another story.)

Anyway, she suggested the dreaded black boot. I evidently tossed the one I had before when we moved, so I had to go purchase one. I'm not in it every waking moment; I also wear an ankle brace when I have to drive, etc. - but it's been a couple of months of soaking in Epsom salts and icing and such. Soft sand is the worst for tendons and muscles, so I wore the boot clunking down the boardwalk and onto the beach, with one kitchen-sized trash bag inside as a liner and two on the outside. That actually worked to keep out sand, by the way.

One reason I'm recounting all this is because it was inspiration, as it were, for a haiku just published in the brand new issue of bottle rockets:


years later
my Achilles heel
still just that



bottle rockets, #37, Vol. 19, No. 1

If you don't know bottle rockets, it's a well respected print journal of haiku, senryu, & short verse published by Stanford M. Forrester, whom you've met here before! In addition to the journal, he also offers specialty letterpress printing services through Wooden Nickel Press. (His books are gorgeous.) Click here for more information about both.

Now, it's hard missing a big black boot, and I've actually high-fived similarly attired perfect strangers on the street in recent weeks, or at least exchanged knowing nods. Not all challenges are front and center like that, however. Did you read Tabatha's thoughtful, kind post about "invisible illnesses"? Here's the link if you missed it. I was also touched by the comments, including Margaret's, who reminds us that you might meet a cancer patient and not know it from that person's appearance.

My own wonderful mom starts chemo for colon cancer next week, after a successful but intensive surgery last month. Her attitude and faith are strong - I don't know if I could be so positive myself in her shoes! She's taking everything as it comes and responding in inspiring ways. My folks live in Orlando, and most of the rest of my family members live in neighboring counties.

I want to drive down and be with her for some of those treatment weeks (she's scheduled for a six-month course), so I've extricated myself from some volunteering, namely, the Regional Coordinator position for the Haiku Society of America. I'll still be a supportive cast member in the wings. I'm grateful that one of our generous members and oh-so-talented poets, Michael Henry Lee, has stepped up to take over.

And I'm grateful for Tabatha's insights, reminders, and open heart.

And speaking of Margaret, I just clicked to see that she is rounding up Poetry Friday today at Reflections on the Teche! Thanks, Margaret. I do love this community so!

Comments

  1. August 10, 2017 9:17 PM EDT
    Three bags and a boot! That sounds like quite a production, Robyn. I'm glad you had fun anyway.
    Congrats on being featured in bottle rockets! I'm going to click through to learn about br/Wooden Nickel Press in a sec.
    Sending hugs and prayers to your mom and you. She sounds like an impressive lady. xo
    - Tabatha
  2. August 10, 2017 10:09 PM EDT
    Great haiku, Robyn! We New Englanders are familiar with boots and plastic bags, except we need them to keep dry in the snow.

    All the best to your mother. I hope her treatments cause little disruption to her life. It will be good for you to spend time with her, and it will be a comfort to her.
    - Diane Mayr
  3. August 10, 2017 11:26 PM EDT
    Thanks, Tabatha, all around - and for your inspirations! Best wishes to your daughter and you all, too. XO

    Hi, Diane - Ha! Definitely not much snow down here. Stanford is in Connecticut, so he probably knows about boots. ;0) Many thanks for the kind words & wishes.
    - Robyn Black
  4. August 11, 2017 12:34 AM EDT
    Sorry for the news of your mother, Robyn. Best wishes to her, and to you, too. It's hard to be far away so glad you can be there with her some of the time. Congrats on the publication, but considering you've regained a black boot, it's like the haiku is coming along with you! I'm sorry for that "trying" tendon, too, but glad you did make it onto the beach.
    - Linda Baie
  5. August 11, 2017 9:03 AM EDT
    Robyn, that poem is FABULOUS! Very YOU, my dear. :) And if anyone can work a boot, it's you. Sorry you're having to deal with that. And sending love and healing to your mom... that is a tough thing and such a rollercoaster... you will be a blessing to her, I am certain. Sometimes we have to step away from things... you are exactly where you are meant to be (wisdom a poem gave me recently!). xo
    - MARY I LATHAM
  6. August 11, 2017 10:29 AM EDT
    Nobody wants the dreaded boot, but you are making the most of it, including haiku. Life gives us poetry, doesn't it. Cheers! -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/
    - Christie Wyman
  7. August 11, 2017 11:19 AM EDT
    Cancer is the absolute worst. :-( I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. My father was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. It's just the worst. Thankfully we have poetry to help us express ourselves and find some comfort in these difficult times.
    - Jane @ Raincity Librarian
  8. August 11, 2017 1:02 PM EDT
    I hope for the best for your continued healing and for your mom. I missed Tabatha's post, so I'm going back to find it. Lovely haiku, too.
    - Kay Jernigan McGriff
  9. August 11, 2017 1:08 PM EDT
    Many thanks, Linda - appreciations for all the good wishes. And haiku DO come right along with us, and before and behind, I think! ;0)

    Irene, thank you, my friend. I've been thinking of you, and not at all surprised you've been busy gleaning wisdom from poems. XO

    Cheers to you too, Christie - thanks! Agreed - where would be be without poems?!

    Hi, Jane - so sorry to hear your father is facing cancer. Wishing him, and you, the warmest of wishes and patience and stamina and peace. Poetry definitely helps!

    Thanks, Kay - and glad you're meandering back over to Tabatha's. I need to spend about a year over there drinking up all the great posts I've missed...!
    - Robyn Black
  10. August 11, 2017 4:33 PM EDT
    I'm so sorry it's still bugging you but it does make for a great haiku!
    - Liz
  11. August 11, 2017 4:36 PM EDT
    Also, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It sounds like she is handling things amazingly. Sending healing thoughts to the both of you.
    - Liz
  12. August 11, 2017 5:01 PM EDT
    Hi, Liz - Ha! Thanks. ;0) And thanks for the kind words re. my mom - she's not bigger than a minute but she's tough. (And I'm, well, prone to silly injuries.)
    - Robyn Black
  13. August 11, 2017 6:53 PM EDT
    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. but I'm so glad you're able to be with her during some of her treatments.
    Congrats on your haiku publication--it's perfect!
    - Molly Hogan
  14. August 11, 2017 7:05 PM EDT
    Hi, Molly - thanks so much for coming by! And much appreciation for the kind words & thoughts. :0)
    - Robyn Black
  15. August 12, 2017 6:40 AM EDT
    I love your haiku, Robyn, but am sorry about your heel issues. And I am sorry to hear about your mother. Hope all goes as smoothly as possible for your mother in the coming months. Sending you both well wishes.
    - Catherine @ Reading to the Core
  16. August 12, 2017 6:59 AM EDT
    Done the boot and, as Diane mentioned, donned bags for snow. Not fun, but what's the alternative?
    Glad to hear that you can be and will be there for your mom. They have given (and continue to give) their all to us! She will enjoy having your support and good spirit.
    - Donna Smith
  17. August 12, 2017 8:45 AM EDT
    My hubby burst his achilles and had it reattached thirteen years ago. He's been boot-free, but you are giving me a chill with your description. He wants to climb the 4,000 (mountains over 4,000 feet high in NH). I want to see him do it. Good for you for applying bags rather than not going to the beach.

    Love the haiku, by the way. You are so good at them.
    - Brenda
  18. August 12, 2017 8:54 AM EDT
    I'm so glad you're going to get to spend time with your mother. And I love your haiku. Those Achilles heels that we all have...
    - Ruth (thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com)
  19. August 12, 2017 10:57 AM EDT
    Thanks, Catherine - those well wishes deposited! Much appreciated.

    Hi, Donna - I'm sure you rocked the big black boot! Yes, I'm so fortunate to have a very awesome mom, and glad I'll be able to travel back and forth. (Achilles willing!) ;0)

    Good for your hubby, Brenda! Cheering him on from the "lowcountry." When mine ruptured, there was one teeny thread still intact, so I opted for months of rehab instead of surgery (knowing one wrong step & my doc would be meeting me in the ER). It did heal all right but took the better part of a year. I'm just trying to avoid that place on the spectrum again! :0!

    Ruth, thank you & appreciations - and that last part is the truth!!
    - Robyn Black
  20. August 12, 2017 3:13 PM EDT
    Oh rats! An unfair injury to be sure. I love your intrepid venture to the beach wrapped in plastic. I would do the same. Thanks for the rec. I love the title!
    - Linda Mitchell
  21. August 12, 2017 3:30 PM EDT
    Thanks, Linda - I should probably pay more attention to pesky things like "limits"... ;0) And, bottle rockets lives up to its catchy name!
    - Robyn Black
  22. August 12, 2017 4:44 PM EDT
    Robyn, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It's such a hard thing to watch a loved one go through. When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, she was braver than I'd ever seen her right up until the end. As for the Achilles tendon, I'm right there with you. I injured mine a year ago, been through PT, and the pain just keep coming back. My doctor recommended a night boot (similar to the black boot), but I can't sleep in that monstrous thing! I wish you well and rapid healing. xo
    - Linda Kulp Trout
  23. August 12, 2017 9:46 PM EDT
    Just adding one more comment to your extensive list, Robyn. A black boot leads to haiku magic-how wonderful! It is wonderful that you will be able to support your mother during her chemo sessions.
    - Carol Varsalona
  24. August 13, 2017 1:29 AM EDT
    I applaud your perseverance with "the boot," it's probably a welcome relief to head over to the beach. Fun haiku, hope your achilles heel, heals up soon for you. Thanks for the link to bottle rocket, pretty catchy cover too. So sorry to hear about your Mom, spending time together is a healing process for all involved. I did this with my dad before he passed last year.
    - Michelle Kogan
  25. August 13, 2017 7:30 AM EDT
    Taking time off to be with your mum is the right thing for you and her. I hope it is a special time. And be encouraged - because tough cancer is a horrid word and disease, but there are also many stories of hope and healing. I'll be praying for you both.

    Your haiku is lemonade from lemons. Made me laugh - though I can hear your groan!
    - KatApel
  26. August 13, 2017 8:22 PM EDT
    Hi, Linda - I am sorry about the loss of your mom to cancer. My best friend went through that not long ago with her mother, whom I loved dearly too (the cancer had moved to her lungs).
    Arrgh re. your Achilles too. I think I tossed out my night splint along with the boot from before - or if I did move them here a few years ago, I don't know where they ended up! Take care and keep your chin up. (Mine did get better after that serious tear several years ago, but it took over a year and lots of rehab before I was really back to regular mischief.)

    Hi, Michelle - I've been pondering heading back over to the beach; the water would feel so good, but I'd have to trudge ever so carefully through the sand to get there.
    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. So sorry to hear that you lost your dad last year. I imagine that time spent together was precious indeed.

    Hi, Kat - many thanks. My mom has an amazingly positive attitude, and she grabbed onto the good odds for recovery that her doctor gave her. We both appreciate your prayers!
    Always happy to share a lemons/lemonade chuckle, especially with such a wit as yourself. ;0)
    - Robyn Black
  27. August 14, 2017 7:37 AM EDT
    Such a storyteller, you are; what a fine title for a post, what a way to demonstrate, without telling us you're doing it, how haiku takes a folksy, detailed personal story and strips it right down to a universally pointed observation. Love. Good luck and healing vibes coming to you and your mom, Robyn.
    - Heidi Mordhorst
  28. August 15, 2017 7:51 AM EDT
    Oh, Heidi - you know how to make me smile! Thank you for your wonderful way with words & for the good wishes. You've been on my mind & I need to hop over to your juicy little Universe & check in!
    - Robyn Black

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