Tuesday, December 5, 2017


image from amybarickman.com


“Fish and visitors stink in three days.”
--Benjamin Franklin

We visited frail Miss Lucille
on her 90th birthday, honoring her
request to attempt to renew her
expired Driver’s License.

The line was hours long at the DMV,
a typical bustling state office;
my wife stood in line for her--
when it was finally her turn

She requested a folding chair.
They were kind to her, but
refused to renew her driver’s license.

She had expected that result,
but you could see her disappointment.
She passed away three days later.

Neruda Sonnet

Since my mother-in
law died, I just don’t feel like
visiting Texas.
At ninety, she was much more
than only matriarch; much.


In my home, we have
portals; visitors appear
at very odd times.


For most of my life, I have enjoyed both visiting
with friends and relatives, and welcoming them
to my home--but ill health has trumped sentiment
and reduced practiced candor & civility to ragged
bursts of crankiness.

We are expecting all three daughters and eight
grandchildren to our home for Christmas. My 
latest bout with my immune system has placed 
nails in my mattress, stones in my innards, and
barbs in my belt.

Hordes of arachnids 
become visitors during
winter; fantastic.


Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

Loving your responses to the prompt, Glenn! I've always thought the Franklin quotation was an apt one! Too often we overstay our welcome or our abilities -- IE those who hang on too long at the job or house guests who eat everything in sight and then look for more on their final morning! :)
I do admire Miss Lucille's optimism and determined spirit! And oh my yes....it seems to me that there is a very different sense to describing an entry point in a home as a door versus a portal. Portal-boppers seem to pop in....door visitors seem to come more announced.
As my Aunt Flo used to say (she was a retired Commander in the Navy and worked with Admiral Nimitz), "growing old is definitely not for sissies." So sorry that ill health is with you...hoping all those Christmas visitors will pitch in and also make you smile :)
The final word in the haibun's haiku "fantastic" is perfect irony! Yeah...that's just perfect!
Great responses -- loved 'em all! Thanks, Glenn.

brudberg said...

What a great write on the different visitors... especially that wry humor in the last one. I hope you cope with those nails in the bed Glenn... and that spring come soon.

Vivian Zems said...

A plethora of forms, so elegantly written. I hope your christmas goes well despite the discomforts.

Frank Hubeny said...

I liked the poem about Miss Lucille and the tanka about having portals in one's home the best.

tonispencer said...

You humor in this is outstanding. Poor Miss Lucille. I can imagine that she passed away after not having her license renewed. They should have just given it to her.

MNL (Cactus Haiku) said...

illness is rough. hard sometimes for healthy folks to understand the side effects of illness -- not just the physical pain and exhaustion but also guilt for not being able to do what once was easy. Hope things go well for you this Xmas and you enjoy their visit.

Sabio Lantz said...

Nicely penned Glenn. Amidst the shit, you keep the humor, the art , the self-deprecation and some perspective. I wager the kids, grandkids and all recognize it. Best wishes.

annell4 said...

I enjoyed each piece! I hope you will enjoy all visitors this holiday.

annell4 said...


I tried several times to send you a response to your comment: Glenn I am a visual artist, and one thing that is important to me, is, to fill the page. I can’t imagine painting down along just one edge? (All though sometimes I do.) Thank you for your comments.

Yes, love is the answer, and if you don’t have it, give it. It always works.

So I am not able to send you a response the usual way?

Gina said...

i enjoyed reading about the different types of visit you have done and also anticipate, nostalgia and hope mixed with dry humour, lovely writing!

purplepeninportland.com said...

I love the forms you chose, and Miss Lucille. I wish you better health.

Kathy Reed said...

In our family, we try to maintain the three day rule!
Get well...I am sorry to read you are worse for the wear, but not enough to impinge on your insightful writings.✌️