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Poetry Breakfast

Serving a little poetic nourishment every morning. Start your day with our new expanded menu. Poems, of course, are our specialty. But we will also be serving a fuller menu that includes poetry book reviews to feed poets' and poetry lovers' souls.

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death

The Final End to Poetry Breakfast and the Passing of a Dear Friend

Christopher Vaughan
Chris taking me out to the diner.

I know it comes as a shock.  But Poetry Breakfast has come to its final end.  I had planned on posting a fitting farewell and explanation this past Sunday, but instead I found myself writing an obituary for a beloved friend.

We’ll start with him, Christopher Vaughan.  He was the one who introduced me to Emerson’s essays and spent countless nights sitting beside me drinking coffee while I wrote poetry.   I never imagined writing his obituary.  Many of us, his good friends, where close to his parents.  One friend, John W. was like a second son to them.  But his mother and father passed a few years back.

As for the rest of Chris’ family, well, we don’t know or understand what they are going through.  We only know that they refused to allow friends to any services and have even refused to publish an obituary.

It’s been difficult for the many dear friends Chris had.  And he had many.  He was a character that words couldn’t even begin to describe.  Loyal, true, loving and sometimes a little crazy.  Anyone who met him never forgot him.

Without the opportunity to go through the traditional services and grieving process, we set up a memorial site for Chris through EverLoved.  I was tasked with writing the obituary being the writer that I am.

I welcome you to visit the site.  Give your love and condolences to his dear friend John and to all his amazingly close friends who are grieving right now.

Chris was diabetic and on dialysis for several years before passing away from kidney disease.  On his memorial page we have arrange it so donations can be made to the American Kidney Fund.  They provide financial assistance to those on dialysis.  It seems best to honor Chris by having his passing help other to live on.  Even a small donation of a few dollars would mean so much to those of us who just lost an irreplaceable soul.  Knowing the loss of his life can give life to others matters greatly.

UPDATE:  You all must have said a lot of prayers for us.  The family is now “welcoming friends” to attend the burial.  Thank you for all the love you sent us.

 

Okay, now on to the passing of Poetry Breakfast.  There comes a time for all things to pass.  I’ve taken breaks and put the journal on hiatus before.  But I know now, it is time for me to permanently move on.

I’ve been honored to receive your poetry submissions and I am humbled to know that you let Poetry Breakfast be the journal through which you shared your work with the world.

I wanted to write more about closing Poetry Breakfast, but my words for the passing of things, of someone, have all been used.  Poetry Breakfast will remain online with the poems archived for as long as I can afford to keep the site up.

I want to thank Sarah Russell for ending our journey on the perfect note.  The last post was a review of her book I lost summer somewhere.  In that review the final poem to grace Poetry Breakfast appeared.  That poem, by Sarah Russell, is called “The Cottage” and its last lines are:

“Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.”

The words bring tears to my eyes, thinking of cleaning up our morning coffee cups and crumbs.  And knowing it is time now for me to find a new garden to grow.

Thank you to everyone.  We had a good long run.  The kitchen is permanently closed.  Go tend to your gardens now.  Grow.

Love Always,

Ann

Inevitability – A Poem by Teresa McLamb Blackmon

Inevitability
By Teresa McLamb Blackmon

Waiting for the spotted dog beside me
to be gone, skinless bones buried
under yard trees in perfect grass
we mow and mourn.

Waiting for the father down the road
to finish his fit, at 87,
draped in a flag, tagged out
as if in a game of catch.

Waiting for endings of all beginnings
to wrap our lives in
garments whole and safe as armor,
shielding from the naked chill of loss.

 

 

About the Poet: Teresa McLamb Blackmon is a retired high school English teacher who spends her time on the farm with adoring animals. She graduated from NCSU in 1984 with a MA in English. She graduated in 1995 from NCCU with an MLS. Her poems have been published in “Toasted Cheese,” “Absinthe,” “The News & Observer,” “Poet Lore,” Nochua Review,” “Cellar 101 Anthology,” “From the Edge Review,” “Floyd County Moonshine,” “Main Street Rag,” and “Olive Press.”

Resurrection by Nina Bennett

Resurrection
by Nina Bennett

The first Easter after Dad died
I waited for him to come back to life.
I sat at dinner, silence broken
by klink of fork against china,
swish and crackle of ice
as I stirred sugar into my tea.
I tried to ignore the whispered hypocrite,
you don’t believe in the resurrection
.

I am responsible for my father’s
death. I’m the one who implored
the ICU doctors to convince my brother
it was time to forgo life-sustaining treatment,
to explain that our father now existed
in a realm we could not access.

First child, oldest daughter,
I’m the one who rested my head
on Dad’s chest, strained to hear
his fading heartbeat, pressed my fingers
against the once-pulsing artery in his neck,
pushed the call button and told the nurse
his final exhale was at 5 p.m.

Nina Bennett is the author of Forgotten Tears A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Requiem, Tipton Poetry Journal, San Pedro River Review, The Summerset Review, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Broadkill Review, and anthologies such as Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS. Nina is a contributing author to the Open to Hope Foundation. www.transcanalwriters.com

Reunion by Kenneth P. Gurney

Reunion
by Kenneth P. Gurney 

The dead who came
and visited me last night in a dream
were people I had not thought of
in at least twenty years—
most of them I knew from college.

As happens in dreams
they did not speak to me
even though many opened their mouths
as if to say something
and it was all like a puzzle
I had to figure out,
just as our relationships
when we were younger were a puzzle
that we worked out
over late night beer
or early morning coffee.

After waking from the dream
and the visitation of the dead
I wondered why it was this night
they chose to visit after so long a time
and I was relieved that so many
I long ago called friends
were absent from this visitation,
although I had not heard from them
since graduation.

 

Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA with his beloved Dianne.  He edits the anthology Adobe Walls which contains the poetry of New Mexico.  His latest book is This is not Black & White.  To learn more visit  http://www.kpgurney.me/Poet/Welcome.html

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