Creeping Sadness

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – “Mono no Aware”  (posted by Toni)

All of us are seeing the year slowly die. This brings me to a Japanese phrase – mono no aware (moh noh noh ah wah ray) which means, a wistful sadness at the passing of things. This includes leaves falling, the first frost, the ending of a relationship, the ending of an era, or death. The Japanese believe in a concept of mujo – change. All things change and are constantly changing.

I would like you all to write a poem about change – not the full blown depression but the subtle sneaky sadness that hits us sometimes. The “wistful sadness”


Each time a hill grows higher, and I try to climb
to the top, hoping to release grief on the way down, I am winded
more quickly, discouraged, more easily.

A year of deaths, illnesses and tears is coming
to an end. Autumn ashes skirt the trees,
and I keep aging.

sycamore sprouting
tiny red leaves, climbing vine–
vanishes to bare bark

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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24 Responses to Creeping Sadness

  1. kanzensakura says:

    Wonderful. Sara the haiku is beautiful. I know how you feel about this past year. Too many deaths, too many suicides. “Autumn ashes skirt the trees….beautiful image. Thank you for posting to my prompt.


  2. I am thankful there is nature as balm for our sorrows. It does sound like a hard year, Sara. We gather sorrows as we age.


  3. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    That hill just keeps getting bigger – oh I love how you played with this – and age and time – and how life keeps moving forward whether we like it or not!


  4. There’s a feeling of resignation in this, which can gradually change to acceptance.


  5. trishwrites1 says:

    Poignant and beautiful Sara


  6. Jim says:

    I like the allegory of the ever growing hill. I am glad you told of hope, the downside.


  7. Kerry says:

    I love the haiku, and can certainly relate to a bad year coming to an end.


  8. Marian says:

    Ack, I really feel this. Time, aging… weird.


  9. this is one of my favourites – full to the brim with feelings and not a surplus word in sight


  10. Helen says:

    Lovely writing, Sara. My special needs son spent the better part of 2018 in and out of the hospital, multiple surgeries, surviving septic shock. Out of the deep forest today, looking forward to a better 2019.


  11. Yvonne says:

    Why are those hills getting harder to climb? I guess I see myself here as another year comes to an end.


  12. Oh the aging measured in deaths and in how the hills are growing… the change is inevitable but hard to bear (especially in the fall)


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