Looking at Bad Mothers

Disapproving gaze
Angry clouds and lashing wind
Whips me with cold rain
Leaves me in the freezing dark
Shuts out Spring as punishment

Mother Nature is not a very kind or gentle parent. She doesn’t have much if any sympathy. If she were a person, she’d be that mother that would lock her kids out of the house and not let them back in until it got dark. She would be that parent who when you had a skinned knee would jerk you to your feet and scream at you for being clumsy. This week she has been flat out abusive! We had temperatures in the single digits with wind chills in the negative double digits – and I’m not saying a balmy -10ยบF. No, no, no. I’m talking about a brutal -25ยบF where it hurts to take a deep breath. This week so far has been the kind of punishing weather when a brisk trot from the parking lot takes only 7 minutes but by the time you can see the door your hands are numb, your nose is so cold it hurts, and you can’t feel your toes.ย  Tuesday we had freezing rain that coated the world in a thick layer of ice. Sparky was sent home from his library job and the university cancelled the evening classes. It took me double the time to drive home but on the bright side I didn’t end up in a ditch or in any fender benders (like so many others along the way)! I’m wondering if it is possible to be emancipated from Mother Nature’s parental control. I can’t take much more of her punishments and abuse. Is there a CPS case worker following up on her antics? Has anyone else reported her as a bad mother?!

The above poem is a Tanka – a Japanese form that incorporates a haiku (5-7-5 syllable count per the English system) with a waka (2 lines of 7 syllables each) creating a stanza of 5-7-5-7-7. This is akin to the Renga, a collaborative Japanese poem where different people take turns writing 5-7-5 and 7-7 repeating until the desired length is achieved. Generally 3 people is the minimum number of collaborators and 20 is the maximum but it can be done as a solo project…

35 thoughts on “Looking at Bad Mothers

  1. Ha! Great description of that witch. She’s been a tad bipolar around here, too. BTW, I do enjoy your creations via poetic forms. I find the various structures fun as well, although I haven’t done much with them in my own writing since I retired from teaching creative writing–my students used to love the challenge of them. And I always wrote alongside of them.

    Like

    1. Thanks! You are probably a better judge than I. I am my own worst critic. A long time ago a fellow writer urged me to just post them and then if I still wasn’t satisfied to do some additional edits. I was worrying them to death with endless revisions…

      Like

  2. Nature challenges us to work as she does. How many lessons do we need? In reality, Mother Earth hates imbalance. She is the quiet after the storm and the proud mother of all the creatures who survive another day. We are then worthy of her eyes.

    Like

    1. If I am worthy then why is she torturing me and trying to kill me with freezing temps and sideways precipitation?? Wait! You are talking about Mother Earth. I was referring to her evil sister Mother Nature!!

      Like

  3. I think climate change is adding to Mother nature’s “anger,” causing the extremes in the weather and her day-to-day mood swings. One day, it’s 40 degrees F and melting, the sodden ground like a sponge. The next, it’s below zero, downright bitter with the wind chill, and dangerously slippery. Your extended metaphor comparing Mother Nature and her heavy-handed discipline with that of a mean human mother are apt, perfect fodder for your Tanka. Just reading it made me feel cold and sad, harshly and unfairly punished. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    1. Thanks for the compliment Joan! I’m so sorry you can relate. The change in the weather patterns are a chill reminder that climate change is real and global warming will lead to wildly divergent temperatures and weather phenomena.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m happy to say, I don’t feel your pain. That said, you have my sympathy. It’s the flip side to having two days in a row of 115 degree afternoons when you need potholder to open the car door that’s parked in the sun. I think we had two weeks of temperatures almost 110 last summer. Hang in there. You will be boasting of fine weather in a couple of short months.

    Like

    1. Hehe! The grass is always greener… I had the discussion tonight with Sparky whether he prefers a warmer climate or the extremes of the seasons. His response didn’t surprise me – he prefers cooler over warmer. You can always put on more layers but once you are stripped down naked you are done.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. The term polar vortex has started to be bandied about. I really hope we don’t have weeks on end of these below zero temps… I am considering buying another space heater for the computer room as the old one is kaput.

      Like

        1. And we are in for even harsher weather. They have cancelled classes due to the cold (predicting a high of -13 and a low of -21 but with the wind chill it comes out to -25 to -48).

          Like

            1. So far they haven’t exaggerated! Our little space heater is trying to keep the bedroom warm but we’ve got the extra blankets ready… Now is when I miss having a dog to warm my feet!

              Like

                1. We are maintaining at 64 which is where we normally keep it when we aren’t home but the thermostat is set at 70. Most of the house is cooler than that (2 bedrooms are closed off… We are prepared for the worst with lots of blankets and some hand warmers.

                  Like

                  1. Its 1 degree feels like -13 where we are. The truck is maintaining 70 degrees with the front heater on high and the sleeper heater on low. Loading and heading south where its suppose to be warmer

                    Like

  5. Never really thought about the kind of ‘mothering’ nature gives us. Makes one feel even more grateful than usual for having a mother who broke the firm lessons of the universe into digestible chunks with love, patience and caring. Thoughtful writing in this poem!

    Like

    1. Thanks for the delightful and thoughtful comment! I wrote this post so long ago that I had to go back and re-read it! Glad you and I both had good and loving mothers. Sometimes I think I am the only one – if you read any FB posts and even posts here re: mothers – but I know there are more good than bad and more loving ones than uncaring ones… Glad you are going back in the archives and enjoying past posts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those with positive experiences usually don’t have a need to reach out as much as those with struggles maybe. Unless they are privy to the personal journeys of those that struggle, and feel for the ones it impacts, and want change.

        Like

        1. I do think it is human nature to complain – and those who have had terrible experiences (in any area of their lives) tend to let the world know. Seems we are much more parsimonious with praise as opposed to criticisms.

          Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s