Memorial Day, D-Day, the Hyatt, Loved Ones Gone, redux

Continuing some re-postings from holidays and other important days on the calendar. These two batches go together well, and I’m following them with a third one on the Hyatt tragedy’s 30th anniversary, and a fourth about loved ones gone. I know I do better with humor — or at least that’s what the muse usually brings me — but I’m proud of all of these.

Memorial Day, May 30, 2011

Headstone and bouquet
Flowers watered by the tears
Of those who survive

We honor duty,
Bravery, courage — and pray
For an end to war

They served and they died
Deserved more than medals for
Sacrificing all

They defended us
Our homes, our lives, our freedom
Stop to remember

We owe them this now
To live life to the fullest
And to work for peace

Headstone in the grass
Only one moves in the wind
But both wait for us

D-Day, June 6, 2011

D-Day. On duty:
Radio Man 2nd Class
John Hack, U.S.N.

Dad played his small part
Never talked about it much
Maybe in Morse Code

I’m glad he waited
Till after the war to be
A hero — to me

Nothing second class
About how he loved us all
And worked for our good

He lived quietly
Died the same way, enjoyed life
The way a dad does

Memorial Day,
As it should, each year honors
Those who died fighting

D-Day let’s toast too
Those who survived and came home
So we could be here

Hyatt haiku, from July 17

30 years later
It still seems like yesterday
The night the sky fell

The loss still stunning
The terror still real, and still
No answers for “Why?”

Life goes on — for some
For others it ended then
We recall, regret

Death comes to us all
Few get to choose how or when
In sorrow, we learn

From Sept. 1
Haiku for loved ones gone.

We don’t think we could
Love them more; somehow we do
After they are gone

Yet they’re never gone,
Not really; their souls echo
Louder than the flesh

In our flesh they live
In our memories never die
And help us go on

How do they still know
What we need? And how did they
Leave their best behind?

It’s all a mystery
But of all the mysteries, this
Is one of the best

Sept. 11, redux

From the 10th anniversary, and the day after.

Sept. 11

Some say change takes time
I say it’s always instant
What is, then is not

And what’s gone echoes
Fading to a whisper or
Rising to a roar

Fire, blood, twisted steel
Crashing planes, falling bodies
Seared in memory

Unspeakable loss
Heartbreaking heroism
Echo, re-echo

A wound that won’t close
Can seem so immediate
Despite passing years

Someone you love gone
Missing forever, some piece
Of you lost for good

A decade passes
For you was it a second
Or eternity?

Sept. 12
Day after haiku

America stops
And honors the memories
Of thousands fallen

America stops
Exhales fear, suspicion, hate
Inhales courage, strength

America stops
And all faiths pray together
One country, one peace

America stops,
Reflects, resolves that love, hope
Mark the next decade

Americans stop
And link arms in unity
Show that we still can

Americans stop
Can we start moving again
As one great nation?

It was a fine day
But just one day. This new day
Demands all we have