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Christine Tsen

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Books by Christine Tsen
Hair's Breadth
by Christine Tsen
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Please click on the title "Hair's Breadth" for the song. My mother is holding me in the picture. I miss her. I just miss her. So much.

Hair’s Breadth


I close my eyes in breaking silence


I have lost you

To life’s sacred circle

The pain by increments increases

Then recedes

Until a long cry breaks through its encasement


I hear my own voice surfacing

Mourning sounds that, having dried all at once

Gather in villainy stolen lullabies

So many planted acorns

Exemplified by your being

As you sang your birdsong through time’s changing colors 


And I hold my face


To vapor ever rising

To what used to be water lapping on the bank

Flowing as rivers do

Before that distant nagging increase in drumbeats

Grew close ever closer

And the music became slow

So slow

Silencing you, my mockingbird


Deep shadows now outline my eyes

Two lockets of your hair embrace my finger

Gentle strands tracing your farewell

Around and around

You must be here somewhere

In this circle, this ring of life and death

Your life just a hair’s breadth away.




© 2011 Christine Tsen.  All Rights Reserved.








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Reviewed by Jeff Mason 2/8/2015
Still and always... I stand (ovation) in awe of you! Genetic... and spiritual interplay maybe? Certainly, you were instilled by them (your mother and father)... and their spirits remain, strong and fortified, by the legacy they've left in you. Any parent or sibling of yours would be (should be) incredibly proud (of you) and of the heritage that bequeathed you to this world. You've crafted an immortal remembrance. Your mother cannot be forgotten for, after all, you are a part of her; and she is (always) a part of you. -- Jeff
Reviewed by Diana Legun (Reader) 10/3/2012
Rocks may melt and seas may burn; so deep the song, so deep your words. Never really gone. -- Diana
Reviewed by Elizabeth Russo 10/14/2011
I am so very sorry for your terrible loss, Christine. May the pain lessen for you more each day. Such heartfelt expression, written beautifully, so meaningful. ~Best to you, Elizabeth
Reviewed by David Hightower 9/3/2011
Christine - Lovely sad poem. Love your metaphors and images, especially,

So many planted acorns

Exemplified by your being

As you sang your birdsong through time’s changing colors

and the wonderful closing lines:

Two lockets of your hair embrace my finger

Gentle strands tracing your farewell

Around and around

You must be here somewhere

In this circle, this ring of life and death

Your life just a hair’s breadth away.

Reviewed by Kate Burnside 8/17/2011
As you sang your birdsong through time’s changing colors...

Two lockets of your hair embrace my finger
Gentle strands tracing your farewell
Around and around
You must be here somewhere
In this circle, this ring of life and death
Your life just a hair’s breadth away.

... The life and lifelong ministry of your mother's love and care is wonderfully portrayed in the words of this most beautiful elegy, Christine. What could be more perfect than to portray her influence as birdsong, that most pervasive of soul-soothing sound that is never far away from each one of us.

Your final stanza is richly visual and emotive: the circle, the hair, the closeness. Makes me think of a bird's nest, somehow, which is perhaps fitting as well as comforting. May this necessary path of grieving be hallowed by her life's song, lighting your way towards the dawn of a new tomorrow, no more than a breath away. Bless you, Christine. This, as always, is awesome writing. xx
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart 8/17/2011
Brought my tears, exquisite.
Reviewed by Axilea MU 8/13/2011
This is a wonderful poem Christine, very inspired! Here, words and emotions are in perfect symbiosis. Life's circle is meaningfully present in the structure of your writing and so beautifully expressed in that last line that contains all the distance, while underlining the closeness.

Reviewed by John Domino 8/13/2011
Dear Christine,
You expressed your heartfelt feelings in an incredibly tender manner like a bird that just lost a mother. But your poem is on the top ten, you sing out and many in the den can feel your pain. I for one can relate with the loss of my grandfather. Yes, he and I were one in the spirit. It has been thirty years and I still talk to him and still hear his voice as clear as a bell. He has guided me throughout my life and I am a better person because of him. He was 90 so he had a full life. But I think of him daily especially when it comes to decisions. What a treasure he is, what a gift! So deep inside me my grandpa lives! You will always have your mom deep in your heart and soul and you will be a better person because of her. Take comfort, yes her spirit is within you and that is something that you can treasure forever.
Peace, love and blessings,
Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G 8/10/2011
Sad to know this!
I don't think I read your heart writes! This was astounding Christine! :) YOU* have such a way with words and I bet music too, YES, they coincide beautifully!
May you be BLESSED Lovingly with the lords spirit and your mom's, every time your thoughts take you to her! Sending you warm caring thoughts and prayers DAILY and to your family too! YOU are in my thoughts! HANG IN and write/sing it ALL OUT! Great therapy for a wounded heart/soul!

YOU write beautifully! and touch deeply!
May your mothers gentle loving spirit live through YOU!
Blessings and Hugs, SHEE God Bless!
Reviewed by Douglas Bentley 8/9/2011
Heaven's closer than anyone can comprehend!
It's just an open door away.
Who knows
There also maybe windows
Reviewed by Sheila Roy 8/7/2011
Mesmerizing, Christine. Your metaphors always draw the reader deeper, to look beyond the glass. I like the sense of her being around you in the last stanza. I'm like-minded. They're never far. Hugs,
Reviewed by Inspire Hope 8/6/2011
Powerful and heartfelt Christine ! May Abba Father's presence surround and comfort you on everyside, for He is the God of all comfort ! My deepest sympathy to you and your family...I will lift you up in prayer each day from now on....prayer changes things ! Thanks for sharing and your compassionate loving heart ! What a rare and precious gift you have been Blessed with ! Truly Abba Father will bring you through this difficult and trying time.....the loss will one day become bearable !

Much Love,
Reviewed by Jon Willey 8/5/2011
Christine, the circle of life is nothing if not certain. The initial bite of grief is all that has left me and others that I have discussed the loss of a parent with. The memories endure until will no longer are of this earth. You will miss her no less anytime you think of her. You will find that you will just not become fixed on her memory almost every moment as you currently are. It is almost four years for me now. This is my experience, it will not ease your pain one iota. Perhaps it may offer some measure of understanding for what we all experience. These are the moments that grip our souls and try our beliefs. I bid you love and peace my dear friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 8/4/2011
I am so, so sorry.

Heartbreaking as it is, the poem is bound to lift the spirits of every person who is lucky enough to read it. Your mother would be so proud.

Wonderful, wonderful tribute.

xOx Phyllis xOx

Reviewed by dan Rosenhagen 8/2/2011
Such a tender and beautiful feeling Christine. It is good that you took the time to express this and share your grief. My mother has been gone for 5 years and this poem is a calling to her as well, if I may. I always say this; To share our joy is twice the joy, and to share our pain is half the pain. Thanks for sharing yours Christine.
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone 8/1/2011
Christine, she is there with you, holding you so tightly that you will be protected forever. Nothing can destroy a mother's bond. You are so lucky to have such good and solid memories of her. Keep her close and please remember, Amber always tells you to breathe....
I love you, dear spirit sister, now don't grieve for her death but embrace her life's memories. You are doing what you must do in order to accept her passing into another beautiful world where there is so much joy and peace and love.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 7/30/2011
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 7/30/2011
As you sang your birdsong through time’s changing colors...

A beautiful line, Christine...a beautiful memory.

Thank you, and bless you, for sharing.


Reviewed by jude forese 7/30/2011
your a lucky person to have known your mother and can share her memory ...
Reviewed by Chip Bergeron 7/29/2011
Let your last line be your consolation...

Chip Bergeron
Reviewed by Joy Hale 7/29/2011
Your loving words strike a deep cord in many of our lives; to have a mother that resides in your heart always, that was such an intricate part of your life is a treasure far beyond the price of rubies. Store your memories of your mother in a jewel case, to be taken out when you need the shine of your mother's warmth and glow. Very special read. Joy L. Hale
Reviewed by Ken Colonsay 7/29/2011
Very accomplished tribute to your mother. And you just dabbling in verse? Dabbling with skill.
Reviewed by John Flanagan 7/28/2011
Palpable loss, Christine, expressed
with admirable control and in admirable style.
May healing come soon.

Reviewed by George Carroll 7/28/2011
Great poem expressing the deep loss of one who was so loved and so dear. I am so sorry for your loss.

Reviewed by Vivian Dawson 7/28/2011
I can visualize the strings of this melody playing in your heart!
You have the magic of a maestro's excellance as your poetry wafts the air for all of such intricate emotion!!

Lady Vivian
Reviewed by Lonnie Hicks 7/28/2011
Just lovely Christine. Your heart and your genius for laying out true emotion for others to share has been never better.
There is such a thing as emotional genius and you have it.
Reviewed by Morgan Merriweather 7/28/2011
the waves of grief are unpredictable and strong.....tsunami style. ~ Morgan
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 7/28/2011
A lovely sentimental tribute. I am sorry for your loss Christine.
Reviewed by Laura Fall 7/28/2011
A beautiful and touching poem as I am so deeply sorry for your loss Laura
Reviewed by D. Vegas 7/28/2011
Christine, Grieving is a process we all have to go through
one time or another. Sorry to hear of your mother's passing.
Remember all the good times, it helps ease the pain.
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 7/28/2011
I feel your pain, Christine....anyone that loses their mother understands this heartwrenching ache that triggers tears at random. Your pain will ease, little one, and you will remember her with smiles and a warmth that feels just like her arms around you....I promise....

Hugs & Love,
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 7/28/2011
Beautiful words about your mother and your anguish and purity of the pain as you grieve for her. They say it will get better with time, and it probably will, but not the unimaginable loss, that will never get better, nor should it.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/28/2011
You must be here somewhere

I believe they are here, when we remember them.
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 7/28/2011
VERY SAD, VERY BEAUTIFUL POEM!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Felix Perry 7/27/2011
The pain of losing a Mother, especially one who we are close to is one that lingers long after the casket is closed and the final prayers are said. I think it is true that the length of mourning, not the public mourning of funerals but the inner mourning that only we feel in our hearts lasts until the joyous memories that we shared erase those final sad ones. I lost my mother at a very early age...over 25 years ago and there is seldom a day that I don't think of her in some way...but it is always with the knowledge that I was so fortunate to have such a wonderful person in my life even if only for such a short while. My sympathy goes out to you Christine and this poem is indeed a fitting tribute to one you will always hold dear...
Reviewed by Mark Lichterman 7/27/2011
Circle of life, Christine. These words you wrote are touchingly beautiful. Sad, though, sad for you and for all loving children of loving parents.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 7/27/2011
How beautiful as you keep her within your heart and remember the closeness and fondness that is inherent with mother and daughter. Loving memories...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Christine Alwin 7/27/2011
Christine, This is so amazingly beautiful, "stolen lullabies" how precious you have them :)...she is at peace, the suffering is here on earth...(I will call you !)
Reviewed by Janna Hill 7/27/2011
Your words, accompanied by the song make me reach for a kleenex and a sweater - even in this heat. Beautiful Christine. Be comforted.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/27/2011
Soul-reaching in depth of emotion and meaning awakened, Christine. I truly empathize. Love and best wishes to you,

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