Monday, November 26, 2018

Queue Up




painting by Linda Mears.


Queue Up

“There are no queues on the extra mile.”
--Anonymous.

Every month we mark our calendars, connoting
every holiday, birthday and appointment--when
the cleaning girls are coming, and the home care
nurses, and the yard crew, and when the Pub calls
for more poetry. These reminders often trigger
waiting, though anticipation can season and mask
the waiting, making it more tolerable and less
inevitable.

In the womb, we cannot wait to be born. In life, we
convince ourselves that we are not just waiting 
around to die, dreading the arrival of old age,
infirmity and disability. We distract ourselves with
divers projects, trying not to dwell much on our date
with death. We are blessed not to know our actual
death-day, and we train ourselves not to notice the
constant presence in the shadows, our personal
reaper, our companion through the portal.

Post-life, we are waiting for the gala reunion beyond 
the veil, and the life review, and the plans for the
future. Of course, if it is true that time does not
exist over there, death would have brought us the
end of waiting. We will be left with only the doing.

If some trees live for
centuries, they must enjoy
celebrating life.



Glenn Buttkus

Haibun

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub

21 comments:

° said...

"our personal
reaper, our companion through the portal.

Post-life, we are waiting for the gala reunion beyond
the veil"

I love this section.

~strawberry volcano

Grace said...

Best not to know exactly when death will finally arrive. Love this part too and calls for reflection: we train ourselves not to notice the
constant presence in the shadows, our personal
reaper, our companion through the portal.

brudberg said...

I think to some extent we know that we are just waiting to die... actually I felt it much more when I was young than today when I'm older... maybe we just forget... but we know somewhere that every minute brings one minute closer.

tonispencer said...

I am living and will continue to live until the sun stops shining. I love the haiku at the end of this. It is wonderful.

Frank Hubeny said...

I like this description: "constant presence in the shadows, our personal
reaper, our companion through the portal."

Sabio Lantz said...

Dark but realistic. A sad testimony. Yet all too real.

sarah said...

Maybe we shouldn't spend so much time waiting.

indybev said...


A pragmatic approach, Glenn, and well put. I've suggested to my children my epitaph should be "What's Next?"

Dwight L. Roth said...

Love your haibun. We are all waiting... I call it hurry up and wait! Love the haiku. Century old trees... that is a long time!

Frank J. Tassone said...

Elegantly stated! Eloquent prose complemented by a gem of a haiku! Beautiful write!

Gina said...

reminders trigger waiting, that is a tangential thought

Vivian Zems said...

Death...the end of waiting. I sure hope so!

D Avery said...

Yikes the end of waiting. I liked the tree of the haiku, the tree of life.

Unknown said...

This one sounded a little glum, my friend. Waiting can be so tedious, and when winter strikes, the waiting for better weather feels endless. Take care.

Imelda said...

Your writing is elegant and I like its philosophical underpinnings. Its lines are sobering but so is life if we really think about it.


~ Imelda

A Reading Writer said...

such depth in your haibun. indeed life is all about waiting.

Kim M. Russell said...

This is so true, Glenn, and yet so depressing that we can’t wait to get there, wherever that is. You say that ‘In the womb, we cannot wait to be born’. I can remember, as a child and a teenager, being desperate to be an adult – and when I was, wondering why. The part that chimes with me is:
‘We are blessed not to know our actual death-day, and we train ourselves not to notice the constant presence in the shadows, our personal reaper, our companion through the portal.’ And yes, trees seem to have the answer.

Jane Dougherty said...

As soon as we understand that all we are hurrying towards is death, we start to try to slow the clock down.

rob kistner said...

Whoa Glenn, this really was impactful. Your writing that we do not know our death day stirred a very vivid memory for me. On Friday, April 14th, 2017 at about 2:30 AM, my heart stopped beating. Fortunately I was in Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, recuperating from an angioplasty. They revived me and later that morning they implanted a pacemaker, so I get a do-over on my death day. I now live on borrowed time, for which I am exceedingly grateful, as I get to spend every additional day with my family, and most especially, my now 5-year-old grandson - the love of my life. I now know he will remember me when my final death day comes . Had I passed that night, there is a chance, at 3 years old, he may not have had a clear memory of me. But he and I have a solid active bond now. He is a bright young man. His clear memory of me is the thing for which I am most thankful. I had a heart episode just last month, but I have come to peace with dying. I no longer hold it at arms length trying to look the other way. I have brittle diabetes and progressive congestive heart failure, so death will likely come quickly when it does, for which I am grateful. I live with a moderate dgree of ppain, but I pray i never have to suffer a prolonged painful death, if things head that way, I will choose death with dignity. And a full rich goodbye to my family. Sorry I rattled on here Glenn, but you sruck a chord and it resonated. Love you bro. It is so nice sharing poetry with you again. I,think the ladt time was our mutual love affair with Tess Kincaid... what a woman. Peace...✌🏼

Christine Irving said...

Like the haiku - I think so too!

lynn__ said...

Insightful post, Glenn, and a great read! Truly, it is a blessing to not know our date with death...but wise to be aware of its certainty.