Weekend Showcase: ‘Life, Well-Lived’ by Stephanie Brennan (Poet and Writer)

11 Apr


Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.



Stephanie Brennan


Life, Well-Lived


It started the day before Christmas.
I dreamed of Santa’s reindeer.
I woke to the sound of hooves tip-toeing on the roof.
I was afraid, knowing that no one fears Santa or Rudolph,
or Donner or Blitzen.
Everyday it comes closer; an army of shadows advance
as the sun drifts toward the horizon.
On some days you can hear the sizzle of the sun falling into the sea.
The light is doused.
April now, Spring. Look around.
360 degrees of renewal, new life burgeons.
Pale green buds appear, a sleight of hand, on the grapevines.
It’s funny, how we talk about… life and death.
He’s eating, we say, but not so much as he used to.
It won’t be long now.
A friend in yoga class said exactly that about her father.
I say exactly that about – my cat.
Of course a father ought to be grieved over longer,
differently, than an animal. Shouldn’t he?
I did not grieve for my father for more than a day or two.
What else is there to say about that? It speaks for itself.
Were I to talk about my mother the story would evolve and grow
in the same way the buds become leaves, and the grapevine cascades
like Rapunzel’s hair.
Twenty years dead, and still I grieve.
And my cat?
I cry, not for the cat, but for myself.
I whine and thrash for all the years the cat was by my side.
Decades – a blur in a fast-moving car.
Most years the cat and I lived well.
(What does it mean to live your life well?)
Our adventures were pure and varied.
We danced to our own tune, in our own tempo.
Companionable companions.
Sure, I could adopt another cat, but I cannot retrieve
the well-lived years of my youth.
I cannot conjure my mother back from the dead, or save this cat, again.



Stephanie Brennan lives among the redwoods and fog in Sonoma County, California. She’s been writing fiction for many years, some of which may be found online at: People Do Things With Their Lives. Recently she has ventured into poetry having fallen in love with the tanka and haiku writers on Twitter. She finds the online community of poets an invaluable resource for learning and support. Her recent publication credits include: Poetry Nook, Bright Stars 1, and Bamboo Hut. Find her short Twitter poems @tantamount2, and her poetry site: Restraint Unfettered.

You can see more of Stephanie’s poetry here in a collaboration with artist Deborah Sheehy for our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Loneliness Collaboration.


On Monday (7th)  there will be an ArtiPeeps Update. Do come back and take a look.

If you’d like to have a Weekend Showcase or take part in a collaboration do get in touch via the contact form on the What’s On page or by @ArtiPeeps. Thank you for your interest.


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