Friday, October 06, 2017

Poem : : First day of School Vacation

These little people
who have been
like the walking dead
for months on end
as the school days
droned on and on
Barely able to put
feet on floor
Groaning
in the glare
of the light
when Mama comes
to wake them up,
Are squealing
and bumping
and giggling
and building
and whumping
in the pre-dawn
hours of
the first day
of school vacation.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Poem : : My Feet Use to Be

My Feet Used to Be

My feet used to be
Bare and free
Calloused and agile
Gauging the bark
and strength of the branches
as I climbed.
Sinking into the soft red clay
of the well-worn path around the lake,
in spite of the carpet of pine needles,
gallantly thrown
like a cloak over a puddle.
Expertly avoiding the crabby crawdad
under the rock
who did not appreciate two giant invaders
into his watery domain
Quick stepping
on the hot black tar-top road,
softened by the sun
so my indented footprints
were left behind.
An advance scout
Sent out
test the strength
of some cobbled together invention
made by kids with too much time
and too little building experience
on their hands
Now they are prisoners
of age, injury, fitness goals, work, and propriety
Swathed and suffocating in cotton socks
and always shoes
My feet remember
how it used to be
to breathe


Monday, June 26, 2017

As the Day Ends

In the click of the lock as the day ends
In the hum of the a.c. outside
In the thrum of the mower that the neighbor uses at 9pm as if that is the perfect time for firefly lit yardwork
In the woosh and spin and click of the hookup of the dishwasher that is
An anachronism in this kitchen made for the 50's
In this house made for the 20's
In the stones that hold 100 years of time in the history
of earth and death and grass and Hackberry star seeds
To the rhythm of the breath of sleeping babes
Who dream and become old men and old mothers
In the passing of the sun and the moon as it grows fat and lean
In the seasons and the years and the lifetimes that this place
Held and lost and held and lost until this moment.
My bare feet on these creaking boards, once trees, once seedlings, once acorns,
Once one hundred feet high on the limbs of their mother
Carried here.  To now. Where the mint takes root in the glass on the sill
And the van beeps as I double check
And the lock clicks as the day ends.

Monday, March 13, 2017

An Invitation to Beckon the Lovely - the passing of Amy Krouse Rosenthol

I am typically not a fangirl, but I was and will always be a fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She died today. Amy was a writer, an essayist, a film maker, a mother, a wife, a finder of magical and beautiful things, an encourager of others to find their magic and beauty. I watched her film, read her books and like a total nerd, wrote her a letter

She wrote me back. We didn't agree on where bowls should be racked up in the dishwasher, but in all things serendipitous, beautiful, and so unexpected they seemed magical, we each found joy. Me, because she pointed it out for me (and many others) and got my head out of my own crazy, lost in baby-land, navel gazing and her because she was a perpetual optimist who had her eyes wide open and searching for it. I strive to be like that. She made things. She did things. She gathered other makers and doers to her side without fear or comparison (or the paralyzing self doubt I am plagued with) and I watched her in wonder. They made things together. 

When I read her post in the NYTimes about her husband (a dating profile of sorts in hopes that he'd find love after she was gone), that was when I realized she was passing out of this world and I sobbed like it was news of my best friend dying. I had to go to bed early. I was a wreck. For a virtual stranger. But that was the way she invited people in. To know her through her writing. To make them laugh, and think, and wonder. I am grateful that she was here as long as she was. I am grateful that she shared so much of herself and encouraged others to beckon lovely. 

In honor of her, I will do as she asked and beckon the lovely into my life.  To look for the magical, romantic, serendipitous, silly and beautiful.  To open my eyes and live more deeply in gratitude.  And when I forget, as inevitably I will, I hope that you, my community of lovelies, will walk beside me and lift my head up to see the sun rise.  I will do the same thing when it is you who cannot look up from putting one foot in front of the other.

Thank you, Amy, for all that you brought to this world.  You will be sorely missed.








Her movie
Her Books
thebeckoningoflovely website has been taken over by some insanity.  Don't go there. 
whoisamy.com is much better.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Lack

I didn't know we were poor until it was pointed out to me, with sneer and disdainfully curled lip, topped with perfect blond curls and giant grosgrain bow, that I always wore the same dress to church. 

I didn't know we didn't have what others thought we needed because I had the wild woods, the endless Texas sky, a creek to dig toes in mud, and a library so full of everything I could ever want to read, (I wanted to make it so no one else could check out books and I would go A to Z and read them all.  If others checked out books, how would I know what I missed?), 6 playmates, logs and leaves and forts and trees, a lake and a flat bottom skiff and shiny brass hooks to catch those 'sucker fish' with, with the night crawlers dug from the leaf beds, where the long, tar-top driveway curved and ran to grandma's house.

I learned while my sister worked her first job to buy nicer things than my parents could afford so she would feel like she fit in.  And she permed her hair and her eye lids turned a shimmery blue to be like those other 90's teenagers.  I learned when the kids around me asked if I had worn those jeans yesterday.  I had.

I learned when I saw your house and realized that mine was different.  That there was a hole in the floor, where the only thing between me and the chickens underneath the trailer was a green shag carpet.  It bowed there and we jumped over that spot between the living room and the kitchen.  And the thought of you coming over and knowing that about me, made my insides roil like a nest of rattlesnakes. 
 
My three haven't learned.  And we haven't lacked.  Until now.  When the job goes and the money dwindles and the roil comes back.
.
I am gloriously grateful today that a trip to buy new Storm Trooper shoes for a gift is all the birthday he needs.  He hasn't discovered it yet.  The Lack.

And this I know to be true, even if I don't manage to live there, The Lack, no matter how much we have or buy or give or fill up with 'things' and people, it will never go away.  There will always be someone with more and will I compare or will I be content?  Will I envy Disney and nicer, bigger houses and vacations and fancy mini-vans?  Have I given the illusion that I have transcended the envy of 'stuff' but still envy bodies, and beauty and youth, and relationships and compare my inside to your outsides (and Facebook feed)?
Or will I close my eyes and find quiet in the lack?
Can I find quiet in the din of this noise in my head and this twisting roil of rattlesnakes, that's true name is Fear of being known and rejected?
Can I get by with filling my eyes with envy instead of the peace brought by the lack thereof?
Or can I live here? In the Lack?  And hand over my worries and fear and just be content?
Sweet Lord, I hope I can.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dust if you Must - Poetry I like today

Dust If You Must


by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture, or write a letter,
Bake a cake, or plant a seed;
Ponder the difference between want and need?

Dust if you must, but there's not much time,
With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;
Music to hear, and books to read;
Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there
With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;
A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,
This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,
Old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go (and go you must)
You, yourself, will make more dust.

Text Source

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Poems I like today

I am grateful for the internet.  The eternal source of poems that may have been forgotten, lost in obscure books long out of print.  Instead they are fresh and real as the day they were written, there in front of me.  I may need to look up the obscure verbiage or antiquated language, but I CAN do that.  So here are a few.  Found (in part) in the introduction of The Inquisitor's Tale Or, The Three Magical Children and their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz (Illuminated by Hatem Aly)

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.

 Text Source and to hear it read aloud

 

As I Walked Out One Evening



As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   ‘Love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

‘The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

‘In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

‘Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver’s brilliant bow.

‘O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you’ve missed.

‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour - (Love this line!)
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on. 

Text Source
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