What Do You See? – A Poem for Hélène Vaillant

If words were clouds
Hers would be soft and comforting
The kind you see on brisk autumn afternoons
As Golden leaves fall around you.

If words were water
Hers would be in a bathtub
With bubbles that smelled of eucalyptus and mint
Clearing the mind for the wisdom that came with a well lived life

If words were a picture
Hers would be a garden painted in the style of Monet
With a mother and child the brightest of the flowering blooms

If words asked a question
Hers would be, “What do you see?”
And she’d let me answer
With interpretive imagination
And poetic passion

Hélène Vaillant is a blogger who I started following because of her “What Do You See?” Weekly Challenge. She would post a picture as a prompt and Challenge is to write poetry/prose about it. I found her through one of the other blogs that I follow and was instantly taken by the beautiful pictures she posted for the Challenge as well as the insightful poems Hélène wrote. As I started to comment and engage with Hélène on her blog, she started to comment and engage with me on mine. Her comments were always thoughtful and caring with just the right amount of wisdom added.

I found out recently (from Jordy at Jordy’s Streaming) that Hélène had passed away. I don’t know how old she was or what she died from although she had mentioned that she wasn’t feeling well a few months ago and wouldn’t be blogging for awhile. I did know that her husband had passed away just a few months before she did. I also knew that she had a special devotion to the Virgin Mary, specifically, the Madonna and Child. I had even taken pictures of various sculptures of the Madonna and Child during a trip to the Met in NYC thinking I would send them to her when she got back on her blog.

As of today, Hélène’s WordPress blog has already been removed. This makes me so sad. I wonder what happened to all her poems, all the poems bloggers wrote for her prompts, all the comments and memories contained within her blog. I found this article from Fandango that speaks to this loss (Thank you, Jen Goldie for directing me to it).

I hope Hélène knew she had touched so many people with her words, prompts and comments. I will always remember her gentle heart and kind, wise comments.

Rest In Peace, Hélène.

©️ iido 2019

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23 thoughts on “What Do You See? – A Poem for Hélène Vaillant

    • You’re welcome! Thank you for your post. It is quite sad when bloggers disappear. Sometimes, I don’t think writers realize how many people they touch in their writing. Maybe they base it on likes but even the 1 person who liked your post may miss you when you’re gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: #FOTD- Flowers for Miss Helene – Culture Shocks

  2. Lovely poem! It also reminded me of this one:

    “If I could write words
    Like leaves on an autumn forest floor,
    What a bonfire my letters would make.

    If I could speak words of water,
    You would drown when I said
    “I love you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a beautiful tribute, Irma. You have touched upon everything that made her such a wonderful person. Though I never responded to her ‘What do you see’ prompts, I always loved to read various posts written for her prompts. She would leave very insightful and thoughtful comments on my posts. I admired her sense of humour.
    She is being missed. Thank you for this. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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