Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Memorial Day, 5-31-10

On Memorial Day

I stare out at the waves,
Pounding toward the shore,
Memories come unbidden,
Of the love we had before.

It seems like just yesterday,
We’d lie close in the sun,
And light a warming bonfire,
When the day was done.

We’d dance beneath the stars,
You held me close to you,
We talked for endless hours,
Of the things we hoped to do.

It seems like just yesterday,
We didn’t have a care,
And, if things were not perfect,
We really weren’t aware.

We knew that we would marry,
But you first went off to war,
And, then I got the telegram,
You were coming home no more.

My heart was filled with sorrow,
And so many mourned as well,
For the heroes of our country,
To whom we bid a sad farewell.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.

On this Memorial Day, I think of my own family and its military connections.  My mother met my father, Lt. Charles F. Henesy when he was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA toward the end of World War II.  We went by troop ship across the Atlantic at the end of the war and my brother was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1947.  My parents divorced in later years but my mother remarried another Army officer who retired as an Infantry colonel after serving three tours of duty in Viet Nam. 

I remember that, during those long absences, my mother would write to my stepfather every single day.  Once during each of those deployed years, she would eagerly pack for a one week trip to Hawaii where the two of them would have a brief reunion and a tearful farewell.

I, in turn, married an Air Force Lt., Ed Smith, who was stationed at Hanscom Field in the Boston area ( my stepfather - the Army colonel - said he would try not to hold that against me ).  He is the father of my firstborn, Shawn, who has been an Air Force reservist ( now a Tech Sgt ) for over ten years.  Shawn is now deployed to Germany for a few months - he went the week before his brother's wedding and had to miss his best man duties.

I am proud of my family's service to our country and proud of all those men and women who choose to make the sacrifices inherent in becoming part of our Armed Forces.  Theirs is not an easy task.  They must be away from those they love, endure vigorous training, put their lives in danger, miss the birth of their children, bear hositility, frequently from their own citizens, so that we can enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted.  On this Memorial  Day, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and pray that God keeps you safe and returns you, without harm, to the country you serve.

I, also, have many dear friends who have served in the military.  One, in particular, has been close to me since I was sixteen-years-old.  Warren and I met when I took judo at the club at Ft. Benning, Georgia, one of only a handful of female participants.  He was a second degree brown belt from Hawaii, the son of first generation Japanese parents.  He went to Viet Nam three times, at least, once, in Special Forces.  After retiring from the Army, he went to work for the Honolulu post office, also retiring from there.  In all the world, there is not a better or more loyal friend.  I have seen him over the years, in Hawaii or at various places I've lived ( not often enough to suit me, though ) and I cherish our forty-nine years of friendship.

Last, but not least, we must not forget the families of our Armed Forces.  They, too, make huge sacrifices and I applaud and thank them for their generosity to our country.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brown Shoes, Magpie Tale #16, 5-29-10

Brown Shoes

Miss Annie knew most folks in town,
As she strolled about in shoes of brown,
Her hair pinned up in a heavy braid,
By afternoon, it never stayed.

She visited families, in greatest need,
Those with too many mouths to feed,
She got them food stamps and housing, too,
The usual things social workers do.

She always had a kind thing to say,
Even on the coldest, wintery day,
Her case load numbers were very high,
But she saw each one, never batting an eye.

Her trademark brown suit was known to all,
She always wore it when she came to call,
Her matching brown satchel, overflowed,
Full of goodies which she bestowed.

One day, her heart could beat no more,
A neighbor found her on the floor,
Clad in her suit, with a smile so sweet,
The worn brown shoes, near her feet.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.

I am participating in Willow's Magpie Tales, a wonderful creative writing meme. Come join us!

Friday, May 28, 2010



Each time you scream in anger,
And send me hurling to the floor,
I tell myself I’m leaving,
And this won’t happen anymore.

Resolve fades with the daylight,
And the brightly streaming sun,
Then you kiss me gently,
And I know that you have won.

What makes me stay beside you?
You, the cause of so much pain?
Mea culpa, mea culpa,
Is your insincere refrain!

One day, you’ll find me gone,
For this is not a decent life,
Filled with worthless apology,
And never ending strife.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poor Purple Pansy - Flash 55 Friday, 5-28-10

Once a pretty purple pansy,
Now you look forlorn,
Some creepy crawly critters,
Have made your petals shorn.

You’ve delighted many,
With your smiling pretty face,
But you and all your neighbors,
Are feeling much disgrace.

You sadly wilt before us,
I wish you peaceful rest,
So mercilessly the slaughter,
Victory for the garden pest.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy
All rights reserved.

If you would like to tell a tale in exactly 55 words, post it and go and tell the G-Man

My poetry book - Life's Journey by Carmen Henesy - is out on Amazon

( Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well )

"S" is for Snapdragon - Alphabe Thursday, 5-27-10

The snapdragon is one of my favorite flowers.  Today, as I made my rounds in Pacifica, California, I saw their cheery countenances all over the place - in front of businesses, gracing small ocean front cottages, in more formal plantings of expensive residences.  I got out of my car, with my ever present trusty camera and took a few photographs.

Antirrhinum is a genus of plants more familiar to us as  snapdragons. This name arose because it is reputed to look like a dragon whose mouth opens and closes when the side of the flower is squeezed ( creating a snap ).  This is why it is a favorite of children who love to play with them.  Adult supervision is important, however, because all parts of the plant are toxic! 

Snapdragons are annual plants in cool areas but they are self seeding and will come back year after year.  There are dwarf varieties as well as varieties that grow to two feet.  They come in most colors but blue.  Snapdragons prefer full sun and are excellent for bouquets and cut flowers.





All photos are the property of Carmen Henesy and may not be reproduced without her permission.

I am participating in Jenny Matlock's Alphabe Thursday.  Check there for more wonderful posts!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Fishy Story - Magpie Tales #15 - May 25, 2010

Alissa sat quietly at the back of the old country church while the priest said the funeral Mass.  There was hardly anyone present, no one she recognized except Alfredo's wife, Rosaria, who cried quietly.  She hadn't been back to Rossville in fifteen years, since the death of her own
mother.  As the priest droned on, she was caught up in memories of the past.  How many nights had she snuck out of her house, terrified, as her drunken father beat her mother.  She would often cry herself to sleep at the Sanchez house and go home the next morning after her father went to work.  Her mother would always make excuses for him.

Though Rosaria and Alfredo were struggling to survive on their little farm, they were always happy to see Alissa and  welcomed her to their table.  Alfredo taught Alissa how to fish in the creek on their land and, many nights, they would feast on trout they caught.   Rosaria taught Alissa to knit and do needlework and sew, things in which her own mother never had an interest.  When she finished high school and went away to college in New York, she felt sadder to leave the Sanchez family than she did her own parents.  They thought she was ridiculous and
"high faluting" to go away just because she had been awarded a full scholarship to Parsons,
The New School for Design.

Outside the church, Rosaria saw her and crumbled into her arms.  "Oh, child, I am so happy you
came.  It means so much that you are here.  Please come home with me because there is a
box Alfredo wanted you to have."

Alissa went with Rosaria to the cemetery and then to the farm.  While she made tea, Rosaria went into the parlor and brought back a sturdy box.  "This is for you," Rosaria offered.  Alissa took it and, looking inside, saw it was full of little silver fish. 

"Oh, my gosh, these are little fishing lures.  There must be five hundred here."  They both laughed.  "I don't know why Alfredo kept them.  He kept saying he was saving them to fish with
you," Rosaria said.

Two months later, Alissa's summer fashion collection debuted.  The highlight and most talked about items on the NY runway scene were amazing pieces of jewelry designed by Alissa Wright, incredible necklaces, bracelets and long dangly earrings composed of brilliant Swarovsky crystals and shiny silver fish.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sundays in My City, The Japanese Tea Garden, 5-23-10

Sundays in My City, The Japanese Tea Garden, 5-23-10

San Francisco's Japanese Tea Garden has the distinction of being the oldest Japanese garden in the United States.  It was originally built  as the Japanese Village for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition.  Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant, was officially appointed caretaker in 1894 and remained so until 1925.  He continued to live at and maintain the gardens until forced into an internment camp in 1942 with other Japanese Americans.

The introduction of fortune cookies to the United States was made in conjunction with this garden.  There is a tea house on the premises serving green teas and other beverages and a selection of Japanese confections.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, admission is free, if you arrive  by 9AM.

Recently, Joanne Olivieri ( Poetic Shutterbug, author of "Nameless Faces," a new book of poetry ) and I took advantage of the free admission on a Friday morning and had a wonderful visit, armed with our cameras.

Pagodas at the Japanese Tea Garden

 Willow reflection in pond

The Taiko-Baishi Drum Bridge from the 1894 Exposition

The teahouse

Meija era (1868–1912) large bronze lantern

Japanese maple

In 1949, the S & G Gump Company of San Francisco, gave a large bronze Buddha to the
garden.  It was originally cast at Tajima, Japan in 1790.

Purple iris and fern

Sundays in my City, brought to you by Unknown Mami

. Check her out and other fabulous shots from around the world!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Brenda Photo Challenge, 5-22-10 - FLOWERS

Oh, my goodness, when I did my post after midnight this morning, I had forgotten all about the Brenda Photo Challenge!  I've never participated in it before and this month's theme is flowers!
Of course, as usual, I left things to the last minute.  I do have a few flower pictures so I'm going to post now though I'm not at all sure how to get it in....

The Butchart Gardens pictures, I've posted before.

Saturday Thoughts, 5-22-10

I am so excited to finally have "Life's Journey" done.  It is already available at the createspace store (  )  and I'm told that it will be on Amazon by the first of June.  Now I can focus on some other tasks that have been woefully neglected, what with Alex's wedding and finalizing my book.  At the top of my list are goals to go through the vast amount of papers that I've accumulated over the past ten years ( I finally bought a shredder ) and get rid of those that I don't need and to clear out closets and to clean out the garage.  There is no question that a move to smaller quarters is imminent, perhaps in the next few months, and this is long overdue. 

To say that I am a pack rat, a term bestowed on me by my son, Jeremy, is true.  I have boxes of forensic articles that I hesitate to put in the garbage can.  In reality, I don't think I will return to actively work in nursing but a part of me hates to part with this wealth of resource material "just
in case."  It is my connection to a life that meant - and still does - so much to me.  As I take down each notebook, memories of the conference attended, assail me and I recall the late nights, sitting up till the wee small hours, sipping a glass of wine, involved in heated debate with colleagues, over the merits of one digital camera over the other and other similiar topics.  Folders with grade school drawings by each of my sons tug at my heart strings.  Yet, when I ask if they would like to keep any of these things, they look at me scornfully, with no sentiment whatsoever and say to me, "Mom, toss it!"

I've gone through hundreds of envelopes of photographs, from the past twenty years, and easily disposed of half of them.  Anything blurry gets dumped as do meaningless faces from all my cruises, tablemates I don't even remember, double prints that I always meant to send to people, now I don't even remember who the people are!  I still have more that I need to clear out.  My trash cans are getting filled with my life...or so it feels.

I've tossed textbooks from my nursing school days, over 45 years ago.  I kept one medical surgical nursing book, just for the the heck of it, even though the procedures in it are so obsolete.  The treatments we did back then are not even correct anymore.  Some, we've learned, actually did harm, rather than good, to patients!

I hung up all the paraphanalia that was on my treadmill so now there is no excuse not to get started and to try to lose some weight.  I want to fit into some of my nice clothes.  Then I can get rid of some of the clothes in my closet.  I have, at least, four different sizes.

Here's a photo of me, as I exercised today. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Life's Journey - Flash 55 Friday, 5-21-10

Life's Journey - Flash 55 Friday, 5-21-10

A dream of mine,
At last come true,
A book of poems,
Long overdue!

I never thought
I’d get it done,
But it moved along,
Once I’d begun.

A lifetime’s worth,
Of thoughts in rhyme,
Experiences gathered,
Over time.

Memories triggered,
As I wrote,
At times, a lump,
Felt in my throat.

Done at last!

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) 2010 by Carmen Henesy 
All rights reserved.

If you would like to tell a tale in exactly 55 words, post it and go and tell the G-Man
At the age of 65, I've finally fulfilled a lifelong dream. Nothing like taking one's time, right, but as the saying goes, better late than never! Life's Journey, my first book of poetry, is available at It will also be on in about a week to ten days.

Life's Journey

Poems about the things that have been important to me in my journey through life, some humorous, some sad, some that may have meaning to you as well.

If you order it, regardless, let me know, since they do not notify me individually who buys it. If you'll send me your home address via email or the private message section of facebook, I'll send you an autographed sticker to attach to the inside. Also, if you like the book, whether you buy it from Amazon or the createspace store, I'd appreciate it if you'd write a review.

Many, many thanks. This is so exciting for me and I must thank Joanne Olivieri for all her help in making this possible!

"The Forensic Nurse" is in this book!