Apr 16 2016

a simple morning song

of new growth, old sun

rising through the miracle

of spring’s verdant dawn

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A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 16
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today is off-theme, because grandbabies.

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Mar 24 2016

burning brightly in the
forest of glass houses

There are so many way in this life to have your heart broken,
so many days that feel like a too-hard struggle
in a battle already lost.

And yet
the world keeps spinning,
the babies keep smiling,
the flowers keep blooming,
the birds keep singing.

If perception is everything,
reflection is nothing.

A mirage of reality.

The bowl in my hand is clear glass and heavy.

What I see is the flame of forgiveness.

A vessel, cradling my heart.

Light, made tangible.

I hold on.

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Feb 23 2016

on the morning
of the falling pink moon

she walked to the end of a drive half frozen
and stood beneath the tallest tree

a single crow announced her presence
in a tone of calm resentment

and the smile on her face grew wider
than the patchwork quilt of magic

wrapped around
one fragile

shoulder

in the pine
the mockingbird whistled

cat-call face-small arbitration
filling the air between them

earth moved by tender greeting
recognition repetition new rendition

as the wind attempted to whisper-woo
a smear of color from the bone

of each white cheek

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Join us over at dVerse Poets where we are honoring the passing of Harper Lee
with a prompt to write a narrative poem.

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Feb 18 2016

let me think

I spend hours each day doing nothing but thinking of things I should be doing. Because February is a time-thief and I forgot, yet again, to lock those oh-so-precious hours away somewhere safe. I forgot because February is also a memory-thief, and a whine-maker.

And my body refuses to do anything but semi-hibernate.

My mind burrows deeper into the cocoon of warmth, refusing to venture out unless there’s sun. Unfortunately, February and the sun are barely acquainted, even though I am forever inviting them to come for tea, sit at the table, get to know each other better. I even make cookies. But somehow wires always get crossed and they show up separately, alone, too late or too early, and me, my tea, and the table watch snow fall and birds struggle and ice form. And, of course, it’s all beautiful, because otherwise, how could we survive?

By now you can tell I have nothing to say, really. Words spin through my mind in a storm of tease, and mostly, I ignore them. I have things to do, or rather, things to think about doing. I cook and eat, sleep and read, work and build fires. I leave my house more often than I used to, because there are people I love to help care for. I do that at least. Care.

It’s Leap Year. I wonder how it is that we couldn’t somehow manage to add that extra day into June, or October? Still, an extra 24 hours is always something to celebrate. Also, it will be the last day of February, so there’s that.

Also, there’s politics. Everywhere I turn, there’s politics. I have so much to say that I just keep quiet. It’s a parade (charade?) I can’t look away from. Mother Nature seems so tame in comparison.

And look, the sun is shining. Through super-cold, frostbite-inducing, blue-as-ice air.

I’d better go enjoy it while I can.

Perhaps my face will freeze in a smile, or at least something that resembles one.

I wouldn’t want to frighten the lion.

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Feb 16 2016

ice storm

winter rides through

on a white

white
horse

promising mud and wet

ever afters

i stand in the rain
and the cold

runs rivulets

down the hollowed out
hollow
of my back

arching
with forgotten
electricity

as i grow a mask
(transparent carapace)

made from sky and hours
and the fallen echo
sound

of grey hooves

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Dec 12 2015

sugar-coated

can be a good thing

 

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Oct 1 2015

pressing flowers and saving grace

Some days you have a story that isn’t yours to tell. The words add up and bobble around inside your head, bouncing off the boundaries you’ve put in place to keep them corralled. Silence fills the room like a big grey blanket. Everything is muffled, charged with static, covered over with the possibility of fog.

Today in one of those days, and all I can do is think about the ways we save each other in this life. The ways we save ourselves. The tiny little things that heal hearts, or sew them back together with crooked sampler stitches. Smiles and soup and hugs and listening. Being there.

Love is always messy and unchartered. And we are always finding our way together, bumping blindly along the path that stretches before us.

And the questions rise. How do you fit a whole life into a box?

The memories we have become a knot too complicated to untangle. We can only pull out a strand here and there and watch as it dangles. That day, that night, that violet neatly placed between the pages of a bible. Remember when? Heartache and happiness all mixed together in a jumble of once was. Love holding it all together like glue.

Suffice it to say that all we have is our story. Some of them are big and broken, some are smaller and demure. I am learning to cradle each one in the palm of my hand. Delicate petals dried and tucked away between pages that smell of time’s passing. Bits of hope gone dry and brittle, but saved, just the same.

Cherished.

And there it is, the dust of grace, gathered in the seam.

Some days you purse your lips and blow that dust back out into the world. Other days, you close the book back up again, ever-so-gently.

For safekeeping.

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Sep 5 2015

the long goodbye

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told

through wind

and sky

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Jul 9 2015

the undeniable loss
of refusing to open

The word I sort-of picked for this year was open. And it’s a word that’s served me well, a quiet, pleasant reminder to keep growing, always.

And lately I’ve been thinking about words (okay, I admit, I am always thinking about words) as labels. We have good ones and bad ones, but that varies depending on who it is that’s applying them. We can call ourselves old or fat or lazy or any number of things, but when someone else does it, we are hurt, or offended, or outraged. We also test this theory by calling ourselves positive things, goddess and badass and guru and warrior, things that pump us up and make us feel good (or better) about who we are.

But they’re all labels. Definitions. Closed books that allow the rest of the world to see nothing but the cover, even if it is one we drew ourselves.

I want to see what’s on the inside. We’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but we do. I want to crack the spine and hold the pages open. I want to read every sentence.

I recently acquired a new label: Grandma. (One I love and am happy to claim, by the way). But when I ran into acquaintance and told her the news, she said something about how we were going to have to think of a better word to call it. And then I wondered why. Because I am a grandma. And a woman, and a wife and a mother and a runner and a gardener and a writer and a photographer and a poet and a housekeeper and a business owner and a laundress and an accountant and a cat box cleaner-outer. Labels.

I am an amalgam of labels.

We try to peel off the ones we don’t like, and pretty up the ones we do, adding scrolls and graphics and big bold letters. We wear those proudly, and the rest we try to hide, under clothing and posture and presentation.

But here’s what I say: Release them all. Refuse to let them stick, refuse to be defined.

Be a new word every minute. An ordinary word, an ordinary minute, a real, alive, breathing, changing, blossoming word.

Keep them guessing. Keep yourself guessing. Hold your arms wide open, and let the petals fall where they may.

Set your story free on the wind.

Watch where it goes.

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Jul 2 2015

clouds

clouds, storm, poetry, calm before the storm

backlit by storm
and the magic of timing

there is never a moment of silence
something somewhere
is always rumbling

and i learn to take peace
in the pauses

there is never a pillow
of sweet dreams
everafter

but rather

this reality
of storm and sunshine

creeping in
on stealthy paws

and we sit
together

stare each other
down

from the comfortable
distance

between us

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