Poems Dedicated to the Angel Hero

During the last few weeks, I poured over notes from a class I took about social media in hopes of finding ways to publicize my memoir Angel Hero. But the time it took to try and hoist myself up the social media ropes left me with little time to return to my daily writing routine.

Except for my blog posts, I haven’t managed to fill the creative writing void that loomed large after my book was born in April of this year. My normally mellow Pisces nature evaporated and I felt like a fish flopping on hot beach sand.

Fortunately, my writing friend Alice offered to scoop me up in a net and toss me back into the ocean. “Oh, yes!” I bubbled. “I’m ready to take the plunge!” Jumping as high as a land-locked fish can jump, I landed in her online poetry forum where members write a poem every day, and post it, and comment on each other’s poems. A nice thing about creating poetry is it doesn’t require a big investment of time; not like writing my book. I could dash off a poem and still have time to try and take a step up the social media ladder.

On the poetry forum, I learned about some short forms. Haiku: three lines with five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables. Tanka, which adds two additional lines of seven syllables each to the Haiku form.

I posted the following Tanka inspired by Vic in my memoir. After reading the poem, one of the poets in the forum wrote: “I like poems about or in the voice of people who populate our books in order to get started writing, but this lovely lament of a Tanka is perfect. Maybe it should go in Angel Hero’s Dedication page?”

Well, it’s too late for that, but I’ll post it here in hopes you’ll enjoy it. This Tanka’s for Vic. It was my great good fortune to know him.


Carrying a Torch Tanka

Torch burns blood red for

blue-eyed Vic, green heart light grieves

his golden sun set

too soon, he spun me around

upside down, fear lost, love found


This second poem is dedicated to Vic as well. I wrote it after I had a happy dream about Vic and the other fire folks I worked with so long ago.



I loved a kind man; funny, brave,
too soon his body filled his grave
his wild, free spirit came to me
and whispered, “Dear, eternity

will never kill my love for you,
I live and grow and so will you
when your sweet form is laid to rest.
I loved you better than the rest

and so this gift I give to you:
your deathlessness will see you through
the trifles others label strife—
you have, my dear, eternal life.”

He’s gone, now free from earthly ties,
I know the spirit never lies
I chase the blues away from me
remembering, “Dear, eternity.”


Comments about the poems?