Sunday, October 23, 2011

A ghostly haiku, death and dreams ...

 A Dream

Surrounded by mist ...
A specter with ashen skin.
Yearningly I reach ... 

Submitted for Haiku Monday which this week
is being hosted by Aunty Belle over at
The theme is 'ghost'.  If you want to participate,  head
on over there.  The deadline is midnight Monday.

Here are the 1st two haiku that I wrote before I came to the one above:

Flaky ashen skin ...
A ghost of a smile. I reach ...
My brother recedes.

Surrounded by mist ...
A specter with ashen skin.
I reach. He recedes ...

      I used to have a brother.  He was a handsome devil as you can see from the photo above.  He had a way of looking and smiling at the ladies that would make them melt into his arms.  This is not a fabrication.  I have witnessed this spectacle several times. On these occasions, all I could do was to exasperatedly roll my eyes and shake my head.

     My brother quite unexpectedly passed away in Germany during the mid 90s.  I just happened to be visiting with my oldest son (4 at the time) and Mr Foam.  Needless to say, arranging for a cremation and a memorial service with my grieving mother was not what I had planned on doing during our visit.

   I dream about people whom I've been close to for quite a while after they pass on.  I dreamed about my brother as well.  These dreams always took place in our hometown in Germany.   They were not scary or unusually surreal.   I would find myself either walking down our street or doing something in the apartment we grew up in.  My brother would appear out of nowhere with a peaceful smile on his face. I was always rather startled upon encountering him and would greet him with a "Da bist du!" (There you are!)  He would never answer.  I would curiously notice that his facial skin was dry and flaky.  Sometimes I would reach out for him after which I would either wake up or he would disappear.

   There was only one dream which was a bit different.  It was the last dream I remember dreaming of my brother.  In this dream my family, mother, in-laws, heck, anybody I knew not dead at the time were all flying away on vacation.  And by flying I mean flapping our arms over the land to some unknown vacation destination.  My brother was there too, except he did not join us.  He flapped off into the opposite direction.    I tried to get him to join us, I called out to him ... beckoned .... he looked back, smiled and flapped on over the big blue sea ... as his arms got longer and longer and longer ...

      In my childhood I would have similar dreams about my father who would silently beckon me to join him.  The setting was different: a dirt road and a deep, rutted, muddy red clay ditch in Mississippi.  I could never quite make it over that dern ditch though.   This particular dirt road and ditch actually exist.  I see them each time I go down to MS.   The ditch is barely a ditch anymore though.  I know I'll be able to make it when the times come ..... when I'm way ancient of course ... I better be way ancient or I'll be pissed ...  and there better be a foamy beer waiting for me on the other side ...

PS:   I haven't dreamed of my aunt and uncle who have just passed away.  I figure they are too busy visiting their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren .....

PPS:  I don't specifically recall dreaming about my brother surrounded by mist.  He certainly did have the ashen, flaky skin though,  specifically around the beard area.  (He was clean shaven in the dreams).  This is just for my memory record.


Fleurdeleo said...

Oh, gosh, what a story! Beautiful picture and haiku. I know that was a hard situation.

Shrinky said...

Such a hard loss to bear, and how loved he is, and always will be. I hope some of these dreams are comforting? Your Haiku is hauntingly sad (hugs)..

Aunty Belle said...

Oh Chile', your sense of loss is really comin' through. These Haiku is weighty wif' feelin'--as good Haiku should be.

I'se glad to be introduced to yore brother. An' know a little bit more about yore chile'hood.

von LX said...

The haiku are haunting. The backstory makes them even more so. Thank you for tell us about these things.

moi said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Tough stuff. But a lovely haiku.

DeepBlue said...

Sometimes I wish I could "wake up" in my dreams for a while and explore and meet the people who live there...

Beautiful haunting haiku!

foam said...

Hey Fleur! Thanks. Yeah, it was hard but it's been so many years now. Hard to believe.

He was loved but he also annoyed the living crap out of me at times too .. :) We had our share of sibling issues but also many good times. Who knew that aunty belle's haiku theme would stir up memories of dreams long ago?

Aunty Belle,
Thank you. You were a muse with your ghost theme for me this time around. It would have never otherwise never occured to me to write about these dreams .. :)

Herr von LX,
You are welcome. I'm going to have to pop on over to see how you are fairing in Berlin!

Yes, it was tough. I wish he could have been around for my mother's sake, but that was not in the cards.

Me too! Thanks for popping in for a visit. Here's a hug back at you..

Anonymous said...



you are *so* tuned

and you know that i do believe
we can sometimes touch the other side through our dreams, even if tenuously -- am touched by these beautiful descriptions of yours

my own are not nearly so poignant and usually involve spurs, a three foot tall hooker, and, well 'nuff said

i do love this post, foam

× × ×


foam said...

i had no idea you liked your hookers that short. oh! err .. never mind .. i'm sure there is also a riding crop involved .. (blushing here)

and maybe we can touch the other side at times in our dreams .. i like that thought.

Anonymous said...



chickory said...

that is fascinating. your dream and your memory of it -of all of them. i wonder; could it be so that on the time space continuum he remains imprinted - or is it a misfire of brain wiring (or designed!) that memory manifests as experience in your sub conscious. really good haiku, Foam. Very dense.

dianne said...

A beautiful and touching post Foamy dearest, I thought all three haikus were lovely.
Thank you for sharing this with us, it is difficult to write about the people we love and whom we have lost.
It is nice to dream about them and recall the places where they have spoken to us in our dreams, it is a comfort and makes the separation more bearable.
Hugs and love to you.
xoxoxo ♡

foam said...


oh, i wouldn't be surprised if several of my brain synapses were misfiring at regular intervals. as far as the time space continuum.... interesting thought, especially since neither my father or my brother had any notion of dying at that particular time in their lives ..
my brother was 34, my dad 40.

thank you so much. It is nice to dream about them if the dreams are pleasant. I do know that it is also our minds way of dealing with loss.

Jean said...

I've often wondered if those dreams aren't partly them trying to reach out to us, as well as us remembering and healing.

Terrific haikus, Foam.

May your dreams be comforting.

puerileuwaite said...

The ladies melt in my arms too. But only ones from Iceland.

..................... said...

Thank you, Jean..
I normally do not remember my dreams, but for some reason I remembered these. I hope you are well!

..................... said...

You must be one hot pug then!

goatman said...

Sorry, I am not into deadlines!

Nice blog though, very thoughty.

..................... said...

I'm not into deadlines either and only play when inspiration strikes. It's fun and I like haiku.

I don't have a thoughty blog since I try very hard to think as little as possible. Perhaps I slipped up..

Thanks for coming by to visit. I'm trying to figure out on whose blog I've seen your avatar..

Boxer said...

I thought I left a long comment here earlier in the week??

This post got to me; I lost my beautiful brother (in law) in 1999 and I often dream about him.. and when I do I wake up feeling oddly OK... I miss him less at those moments. What a horrible thing for you to have gone through and I'm so, so sorry. Beautiful post and Haiku. And photo. xoxoxox.

foam said...

Hey, that happens to me all the time. I figure we write and forget to hit the publish key for our comments.
I am sorry to hear about your brother in law. It is hard when folks pass, but especially hard when they are so young.

Anonymous said...

En dröm

Omgiven av dimma ...
Ett spöke med askgrå hud.
Längtansfullt jag nå ...

translated to swedish I very much like this haiku

This was a very touching blogpost. Dreams are so real when we dream, what else can we say about the awake life?

foam said...

Ohhhhhh .. my haiku translated to Swedish!!! Thank you! You should have heard me just now reading it out loud like a German (who can't speak a word of Swedish) would do. How do you pronounce the 'a' with that little circle on top?

I'm glad my dreams are usually more interesting than my real life ... I'd bore myself in my sleep if I dreamt about my real life.

Anonymous said...


Carol said...

Dear Ms. Foam,

I have come to visit and to apologize and to thank you.

Firstly, the apology and thank you. SOMEONE must have turned on comment moderation on my blog, and since I have not blogged nor gone to blogger for 7 months, I didn't know that you had sweetly visited me until TODAY! Thank you for the sweet notes that you left me and I sincerely apologize for not responding. I didn't know... :-(

Thank you for sharing your experiences regarding your dad and your bro and your dreams. A very beautiful post. For whatever reason these types of dreams come up, I find them fascinating and somewhat comforting. The haiku is perfect.

Happy to read you again!

foam said...

Has it really been 7 months? Wow! Where does the time go when you are having a soso time? :^)
It's good to see you and don't worry about the comment moderation thingy.
Thanks for dropping by for a visit!

HLiza said...

Your brother was a good-looking guy! My mom said if we don't meet the ones who had left us..that means they're in peace and have no business to come back..I asked her this because I had never met my grandma or my aunt in my dreams, I really want to actually. I think it's good you got to meet your brother, no matter why and how the dream will look like. Sometimes we long to see them!

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