Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Yad Vashem – Remember

Stolen name replaced by number,
Savaged soul and broken heart.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Blind eyes outside in darkness.
Dead souls dismissed the unthinkable.
Stolen name replaced by number.

Raising from the ashes,
Pledging nevermore.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Yad VaShem, the vault of memory,
Yad VaShem, the ground of tears.
Stolen name replaced by number.

Shoah: families, children.
Here named, remembered, mourned.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Faces pictured in the silence.
Tears cried forevermore.
Stolen name replaced by number.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Yad Vashem – Remember

Yad vashem
Yad vashem

Stolen name replaced by number,
Savaged soul and broken heart.
Hell, a people to encumber.

Blind eyes outside in darkness.
Dead souls dismissed the human face.
Stolen name replaced by number

Rising from the ashes,
Pledging nevermore.
Hell, a people to encumber

Yad VaShem, the vault of memory,
Yad VaShem, the ground of tears
Stolen name replaced by number

Shoah: families, children.
Here named, remembered, mourned
Hell, a people to encumber

Faces pictured in the silence.
Tears cried forevermore.
Stolen name replaced by number
Hell, a people to encumber

Copyright Joann Nelander

(experimental Villanelle)

Lost in the Fifties- Another Time, Another Place

Remembering the Seasons of My Soul

Old year passes,
Becoming yet another ghost,
Withered as leaves,
Crumbled, and carried aloft
By winter winds,
Too soon scattered
By the breezes of Time.

Is it truly spent,
Dead and long forgotten,
Living but in memory?
May not reflection
Call it from the grave,
Uncover the gain
Hold it fast
To live again?

How has its many waters
Blessed thee and me,
As sacred signs?
Will it, as muse, retain a power
For its having been,
And then no more?

What saints and angels
Sent my way,
Colored its day?
In sorrow,
Who came to hold my hand?
In joy,
Who shared my hearth?

Were there hugs, and smiles,
And laughter to tilt the scale of grief?
Can kisses and embraces be resurrected,
That fires of love be stoked
To warm and blaze anew?

Has my thanksgivings
Been recorded in the pyre,
Written in the embers now glowing
As tiger eyes flashing from the ash.

Years come, doomed , too soon to go,
But let them not hurry
To a crypt without a wake.
Drink the happy wine of memory,
Sip, as the seasons turn.
Contemplate and savor
The seasons of your soul.

©2011  Joann Nelander

Pearl Harbor survivors reunite in Hawaii to mark 73rd anniversary of attack | Fox News

via Pearl Harbor survivors reunite in Hawaii to mark 73rd anniversary of attack | Fox News.

More than a dozen Pearl Harbor survivors, each more than 90 years old, gathered in Hawaii this week to share stories as they marked the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese attack that killed 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers.

The gathering has been called the last meeting for the USS Arizona Reunion Association – comprised of the remaining nine survivors of the USS Arizona, a battleship that sank in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.

But Louis Conter isn’t ready to talk about the end.

“I don’t think this is going to be our last. … We’ve still got time to go,” said Conter, 93, of Grass Valley, Calif. “We’ll be back out here no matter whether the rest of the crowd can make it or not.”

“I feel very proud of them and I think they’re like a national treasure and when they say that they were the Greatest Generation, I have to fully endorse that,” Col. Robert Brooks, whose father, Eddie Brooks, was a Pearl Harbor survivor, told KHON2.

“I don’t think this is going to be our last. … We’ve still got time to go.”

– Pearl Harbor survivor Louis Conter, 93

Donald Stratton, 92, of Colorado Springs, Colo., was one of the few survivors of a gun director in the forward part of the ship. More than 65 percent of his body was burned. Stratton was hospitalized for more than year and then was medically discharged from the Navy.

He re-enlisted a year later. “The good Lord saved just a few of us,” he said.

During a private event Sunday, the men will toast their shipmates, drinking from replicas of champagne glasses from the Arizona. They will share a bottle of sparkling wine that was a gift to the survivors association from President Gerald Ford’s visit to Spain in 1975.

The men arrived at the Pearl Harbor visitor center on Tuesday to military salutes, music from the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Band and photos from tourists. At the news conference, they reminisced about memories of the attack.

“I learned something about faith,” said John Anderson, 97, of Roswell, N.M., recalling that he had just gone to church services and was heading to breakfast when someone said they saw the planes coming. He became teary-eyed as he discussed his twin brother dying in the attack.

“It’s always like yesterday when we’re out here,” Conter added.

The survivors on Tuesday also watched a live-feed of a dive along the Arizona’s sunken hull, which still holds the bodies of more than 900 of about 1,177 men who died on the battleship.

Ashes of 38 survivors are interred there.

National Park Service Historian Daniel Martinez, moderating Tuesday’s discussion, seemed overcome with emotion when he announced that Arizona survivor Lauren Bruner, 94, of La Mirada, Calif., last year signed paperwork for his intentions to be interred there. Conter plans to do the same, he said.

“It seems like after a while nobody pays attention to them anymore, after about five years,” Bruner said of his decision not to be buried in a cemetery. “I hope a lot of people will still be … coming over to the Arizona and we’ll be glad to see them.”

via Pearl Harbor survivors reunite in Hawaii to mark 73rd anniversary of attack | Fox News.