The Shine Journal - The Light Left Behind

Journeys Through Grief and Beyond

Offerings From Irena Pasvinter

Widows' Sonnet



They went away, and we've been left behind,
Awaiting in a queue to follow suit.
When we depart, who knows what we shall find,
If we rejoin them in this last pursuit.
Don't blame us for demise of our husbands.
We had no word in who would stay or go.
We just obeyed as frozen autumn grass bends
Beneath the deadly weight of sudden snow.
Our life goes on to wander for a while
Along the track of duties, kids and friends;
On brighter days we even get to smile,
But pain is there and sorrow never ends.
Don't ever envy fate of widows staying
To savor life amidst undying pain.


My Father's Stars

I had no need to learn about the stars --
You knew them all, your wondrous stellar friends.
The maze of constellations' fancy scars
You traced like lifelines on celestial hands.

For poets and dreamers nothing is too high
To notice, study, ponder, touch, rejoice...
Stars danced above us in the endless sky
Bewitched by quiet music of your voice.

Tonight I glanced above at Northern Cross
(The rest are hidden from me since you’re gone)
And piercing silence of unrelenting loss
Cut through the web of life that must go on.



Mushroom Fever



Leaves whisper their crackling song,
collapsing beneath our high boots.
Forest glows with the last smile
of autumn, sipping the sunshine.

Snakes hasten to savor the warmth,
spread out along sunny patches.
We wander in search of mushrooms,
peer into rugs of moss and foliage. 

You find some glorious fungi, I
trudge in your wake, nursing my fear.
"Stamp hard on the ground," you say,
"Snakes will hear your steps and move over ."

You make staffs for us from dead branches.
"Knock in front of you, the more noise
the better." I see you're not afraid
and I trust you. More fine mushrooms.

Back home in bed, eyes shut, I still
see the forest: endless swirls of foliage
whirl in my head, snakes, mushrooms,
moss, leaves, leaves, again and again.

Even now, through swarms of events,
through towering piles of years, I
still sense this surge of mushroom fever,
smell the catch inside our baskets.

Father, how simple it was - stamp hard
and the snakes will crawl off the road.
That's why you loved the forest, I guess.
Urban jungles are not so straightforward.

Perhaps you're still wandering there,
a thread of your spirit must have
stuck in the forest branches, far away,
on the other side of the planet.

Good bye, father. Farewell, mushroom fever.


Irena Pasvinter
divides her time between software engineering, endless family duties and writing poetry and fiction. Her stories and poems have appeared in online magazines (Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction, Bartleby Snopes, Madswirl, Camroc Press, Fiction 365, Rose & Thorn and others) and in Poetry Quarterly. Irena brags about her publications at Contact info:

Contact Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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