Haibun Monday
For dVerse Poets we are writing a haibun based on a lesser-known painting by Van Gogh. For more information about this poetic form, please visit dVerse Poets Pub, where you will meet many talented poets of all ages, experience and taste. As for the title of the poem: ‘postliminary’ is the opposite of ‘preliminary’ – something that occurs after the fact.

Post-holidays, post-weekend, the party’s over, the curtains drawn.
Sweep floors, fold laundry, sigh over undone homework and chores. The clatter clutter glitter mutter of video games on a loop and on sufferance. I don’t want to be the mother that forbids. I don’t want to be parent with the unpopular principles, old-fashioned moans, the terror reign of rules.

I dream of a walk in autumnal country fields, swish-detour through the leaves. I dream of a time when you sought my company, when ‘Mama’ was spoken without reproach. Our laughter mingling, our hands meeting, grubby faces to be kissed. Tell me of your hopes, your fears, the mere dull niggle of the everyday. Debate a book, a film or life, open up your eyes and mind to breathe in all, to question but love. In front, the distant hum of the village, fattened to post-prandial languor. To the right the church tower is but a squiggle, the bell tone playful not grave. Ahead of us a horizon I want limitless and full of sunrays for you.

Like the fields we stretch
away to gold and gray. Look –
how near how far the change!

Saint-Paul-de-Mausole-Vincent-van-Gogh (1)

46 thoughts on “Postliminary”

  1. Oh, this is beautiful, Marina Sofia! Metaphorical, but also a very real depiction of the changes we have in our relationships with our children and, therefore, ourselves. Also it’s a great study on this painting. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I actually woke up at 4 a..m. this morning and worried for an hour or two about the changing relationship with my children, so this came out of it… Sadly, I am still very much a confessional poet at times.

  2. This isn’t a format I’ve come across before, but it’s quite lovely – very impressive!

  3. Ah. Totally understandable. I could read it from the perspective of my mother. Such things are natural. Somehow, we tend to grow distant from each other along the way.
    Beautifully written. 🙂

  4. This brought to mind my relationship changed with my parents through the years. And How glad I am it changed back to friendship, love, and trust in my mid-30’s. From a child’s point of view I say to you, just keep loving us mom and always be there. We won’t stray too far and if we do, we’ll be back and it will be better than ever! Absolutely lovely write.

  5. I feel this change, when children metamorphose into alien beings of grunts and computergames… not having children of my own, but being an observer, it could be quite comical… mostly it transform into camaraderie of adulthood… growing up is painful

  6. A country road less traveled
    where air sings.. and wheat
    touches a grain
    inside.. connecting
    Nature’s church..
    a soup
    of loving

    Cold Hard
    chaliced machines
    Kill this.

  7. Such a very real snapshot into your life, into the emotion that captures the ever-changing landscape of all our relationships. It seems like that process of letting go is an on-going thing…chronic pain in a way. The haiku works well. (Sleep tight tonight!)

  8. Well, this takes me back to when my daughters were teens. I had an idealized hope of what our mother-daughter relationship should be like, but……well, you know the routine. Sigh. There were some rocky times, but the sun eventually did shine ahead on the horizon. I liked the haiku. Indeed ‘how near how far the change.’

  9. Love the swish detour of the leaves…..we walk and share the same journey our parents did, and those will after us, but it’s all new in the present as they grow, experiment, change, leave, drive, love and play..and we watch and hope and teach the best we can….kudos for this emotional write!

  10. Don’t we all want these things, the complicated becomes simple again. I specially love the nigggles, squiggles and full sunrays of love in the second stanza ~ You captured the crux in the haiku succinctly ~

  11. when ‘Mama’ was spoken without reproach.
    Our laughter mingling, our hands meeting,
    grubby faces to be kissed

    So much to be shared together with the children that time and space pass fleetingly by. A family together is always at play even in sadness. Wonderful write Marina!


    1. Thank you, it does seem to ring a bell with others – I should be glad I’m not the only one who fears/feels saddened/and yet rejoices in this moment…

  12. I love how much you wrapped into this, yet kept the flavor of the image in the forefront throughout. Children grow and change and life circles around, and it’s always hard. You did such a beautiful job of showing that.

  13. Ouf! This took me back to my children when they started pulling away as nature has it, when I became the mom who didn’t know everything; the push/pull. When they get older the start worrying about their parens 😉 I can feel the love of a mom so much in this beautiful haibun.

      1. If it’s any consolation, my son once told me in his mid twenty’s he felt safer and stable when there were boundaries. They don’t need a buddy or friend, that they can get always, but they will only ever have one mom. If they react, it’s because you are doing your job right:). You want them to question and not just listen out of fear. Imagine my high five 😉

  14. I think every parent on the planet can relate to this. When your children get to a certain age (teenagers) they will naturally start to pull away and want their independence. But now I’ve seen that there is an ebb and flow to our relationships and an evolution that brings distance and then can bring us together again. This made me a little sad because it reminded me of a painful distancing. It’s tough being a mother!

      1. I really hope so too, Marina Sofia. There was a time when I had to be very, very patient with an adult child of mine and it ended with us being closer than ever. I’ve always thought that being a mother was one of my greatest blessings and one of the most difficult and saddest. I wish you the very best.
        Gayle ~

  15. Nice write on the evolution of a parent’s relationship with his/her child(ren). Of course, the hope is that the relationship will be strengthened once the kids mature a bit 🙂

  16. I like the path you took with the prompt…and oh, how I can empathize with you. I think that recognizing the shift is half the battle. It truly is hard to adjust to the changing needs of our children as they mature. There is a difficult passage, but as they emerge, it turns out to be amazing in a whole new way. Been there.

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