Happy Mother’s Day to all people who have had a mother, are a mother, have a ‘surrogate’ mother or family or have been/are a ‘surrogate’ mother or family. Yes, I know this is current date is really for celebrating in the UK. Or at least for me, a UK citizen, it is. France, where I live, doesn’t celebrate their Mother’s Day until June– and my sister and I already said we would celebrate it in June too as we’ll hopefully both be seeing my Mum then, but with all my Mum has done to support me in the last couple years I thought she deserved another celebration as well. I wouldn’t be anywhere without her.
With that being said, as this is a Writing and Food Blog (or at least that’s what the front page now says), I thought it the time to share some more poetry with you– this time Mother’s Day themed.
Maria’s Mothers’ Day
I carry daffodils down
A winding path
Followed by calming cotton-wool clouds.
I leave behind a blue wave of cheerful sky
And wander towards
Grey stone slabs on crispy grass
Watched over by grey faces
Peacefully glaring over
You’re here somewhere,
On this day I’m told
Belongs to you.
The daffodils are wilting in my
Vice grip. The stems bleeding
Into my pale-white palms.
My face is grey
As I search for your name
I’m told belonged to you.
All I picture when I think
Of your name
The rain starts crashing down
Onto the gravel of the path
As I reach the dark decaying stone
At the far left. Unloved, untreated
With ivy clinging to your memory.
I rub my hand over the fading
Name and breathe.
It’s your day, which we’ve never shared.
But my life is grey.
My life has fallen squarely into grey…
And if it’s all in grey,
Adding more wouldn’t hurt.
I lay the daffodils on the top of
Your slab and rub my hand over the crudely
You couldn’t afford more;
You couldn’t afford this
But Dad wanted you to have
Something. Even though
He would never come to see it
For himself. He wanted your name
In bold letters on
A grey stone.
A single tear is washed away
In a flood of rain
Crashing onto my skin.
For the first time in my life
Words I’ve never said,
And you never had the chance to hear.
And whilst the world celebrates a day
We never had the chance to have
I sit and watch
The water hit the ground
And shoots of daffodils
NOTES: Maria is a character in a fantasy story I’m working on (slowly). This poem sees her visiting her mother’s grave for the first time after losing her father to prison. When I want to get to know characters in my stories I often write poems from their point of view. Try this with your own writing if you’re stuck in a dead space not sure who your characters are or where to go– you can use any style, free-style like this or rhyming, or more strict poetic forms like limericks, sonnets etc.
I Know It’s ‘Mother’s Day’
Aunt Jessie says I look just like you.
I have your nose,
And your smile.
She tells me I look just like you
But I can’t believe her.
She misses you too much to trust.
Aunt Jessie says you had a love for theatre
So I tried to like it too.
Until I was twelve, I never admitted
How much I truly hated it
Because I wanted to be like you.
Aunt Jessie says we would have been close
If we’d spent our lives together.
We’d have been happy to see each other get older,
But she also says I get my temper from you
So I don’t know if we wouldn’t
Have just fallen out
Over something dumb.
Aunt Jessie tells me about you everyday
Even though I’ve begged her to stop
Because I don’t want to know how you were
Or how alike we are
Or how it could have been,
Because I’ll never get the chance to know you
And instead I have her…
And so today, when she wants me to remember you
With no memories beyond stories,
I hope you’re okay, Mum, if instead
I choose to celebrate her
For all the love she gave you
And continues to give to me.
Mum, is that okay?
If it wasn’t, Aunt Jessie told me, you would always say.
NOTES: This was my Mum’s favourite poem of this selection. Again, Aunt Jessie and her niece (speaking in the poem) are characters in a series of fantasy space-themed children’s stories I’ve been working on for years (currently looking to get the first of the series published). One thing that’s hard to balance with the main character is that she’s not always the nicest character. She is very argumentative in nature and can be perceived to be quite lazy, though it’s mainly fear of a destiny she doesn’t want or feeling a lack of control. Despite their problems though, her Aunt Jessie feels more like a Mother to her than her Mother has ever done because all she knows about her mother is through stories. Still, she feels she has to ask permission to celebrate how much her Aunt has done for her on what should be, according to her Aunt, her ‘Mother’s Day’.
Peacock walks around the cars,
Proud of its strut as it heads inside
The farm. Tiny feet follow,
As happy as the Pea is proud,
Guided by a gentle hand
To see what lies inside.
The rabbits wiggle noses,
The sheep take chase
And play with the Tiny Feet
Whilst the Guide laughs.
The Goats come along hungrily
Searching for purchased food
Or coats, shoelaces or any other
Thing that they can nibble.
Tiny Feet cries as a Kid eats her food bag,
Afraid she’s killed it
By allowing it to do what it was already planning to do.
The Peacock struts by again and Tiny Feet
Smiles, taken by the Guide to see
Charlie, the great, grand horse
Waiting to see them and whinny.
They gather into his wagon
And laugh as they bump, bump down the path
Almost running over the Peacock
Who looks less happy
With the carthorses hooves.
The honeysuckle sways on
As the memory swarms
And settles in Tiny Feet’s happy head.
NOTES: This one was specifically written for my Mum, as it’s about her own Mum. When I was younger I would always call my Grandma ‘Grandma Cockel’ and I found out a few years ago that none of my family ever knew why, including my Grandma. Really, there was a simple answer. When I was very little I called Peacocks: ‘Cockel’s’ . Every time I would visit my Grandma, or at least from what I remembered, we would visit a local farm open to the public. In the car park there was a peacock that would walk around the cars, not having a care in the world about the likelihood of being run over. So, my Grandma, to my small self, became Grandma Cockel because I associated her with the farm where the first thing you would see was the ‘Cockel’. It may have also been the beginning of my love of animals. RIP Charlie the Horse– I miss you, buddy.
Mother’s Day Memories
An electric saw cuts through
The meat of the moment,
The sound reverberating
Around the house
Whilst the grey stack of steamers
Sit atop the hob
Full of gems from the ground.
Gravy salt sat next to a warming pan
Of water whilst Yorkshires
Rise in a wrong-county kitchen,
Remnants of love from
A person before.
Drinks poured from a living-room
Cabinet, politely dripped into
An odd, colourful
Assortment of collected glass cups,
Coffee waiting at attention
For the end of the meal.
Potatoes steamed and slammed
Into an old Pyrex bowl,
Mixed with a pool of margarine,
The cook smashes for gold.
Cakes for dessert
Prepared by machine
Someplace far away
And brought home
Followed by fudge to entice
The kids and the grown-up kids
And lead them back home…
At Grandma’s house.
NOTES: I couldn’t write Mother’s Day poems without writing one for my Dad’s Mum. Unfortunately, she passed away early this year and so it was my Dad’s first Mother’s Day without her. I knew my Dad’s Mother a lot less than my Mum’s Mother, so I only have certain connotations with her. The main one I have is, every time we would visit, we would be going for a Sunday Dinner (I maybe saw her a few times a year). For lots of people in the UK and Britain, Sunday Roasts are a regular thing once a week, but for me they were reserved for when we visited my Grandma because my Mum didn’t like making or eating them. For me, my memories around Grandma are all based around food– from the Yorkshire Pudding recipe she inherited from my Grandad I never knew– to her use of Gravy Salt instead of Granules and immaculate mashed potato (none will rival them for me). And every time I see fudge I immediately think of her as it was another thing I only ever had at her house. So, whilst I didn’t know you very well (and you certainly didn’t know me very well at all), thank you for everything, Grandma. I brought some Gravy Salt home in your honour.
Thank you for reading, if you do, and I hope you had a good Mother’s Day or will in the future when one comes around for you (or Mother’s Birthday, if you have no Mother’s Day). You may have noticed a change recently with my site– and you would be write. We have now officially become The Literary Onion again, and our site has hopefully become more organised and understandable. You can now find Food in the food area, and Writing in the writing area. Unfortunately, since the chance in site name, the site isn’t getting as much traffic as before (possibly lack of uploads, so I again apologise for that– depression sucks). Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.