Orange Cough Syrup

In the basement of Woolworth’s 5 & Dime,
my fingers trace the shape of a white glazed horse,
pink feathered mane, rose rhinestones glued
to fuchsia felted pillion, gold rope bridled.
A perfect foal. My rider’s dream
on Sixteenth Street and Champa.

When I was seven the Saturday bus delivered me
from Gus’ Gas Station. Past the Platte River where
industry’s waste was shlepped downstream.
Over a bridge to dodge tracks of trains.
Then ousted me onto the one way streets
of Downtown Denver.

The Paramount Theater, my first stop,
a darkened cavern with closing credits
lighting my way. I always was quick to grab
a left center seat before the next show.

At movie’s end, a stroll past windows dressed,
The Denver Dry’s and Nuesetter’s dolls, all
perfect women in pill box hats and pearls.
Endpoint – my soda fountain finale.

Mother gave me ‘a little extra,’ a treat to buy
the pony enchanted within my dreams.
My choices, each lined up next to the other,
in colors matching dispositions unaltered,
blue was for boys. Yellow too bright.
Purple only given slight consideration.
Orange, the flavor of my winter cough syrup.
And red annoyingly sat on my best friend’s dresser.

I wonder if I, too, am just a category on a Woolworth
shelf? What I do, what I say never altered. One type
to be counted on, always the same without fail?
Am I only understood because I am pink,
never more than a Woolworth tchotcke?

I want to believe God is more creative than that.

I want to believe I am more, not bred to fill one slot
on a five and dime shelf just to be easy for others.

I like to think I can be orange one day,
even if I don’t like orange cough syrup.

I like to think God takes much delight in me
as I hand two dollars and fifty cents plus tax
to the cashier for the red one, the color
of tiny cinnamon dots that stain as they melt
in my fist on summer vacation.

 

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Author’s Note:

Sonnets. Oh.

I was lucky to take a quick class on sonnet writing this past weekend at Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop. It was taught by Kim Addonizio. She was wonderful. I was inspired…again.

Oh, I try and try to work with poetic forms. I know I will grow as a writer if I stay focused and try. I try. And fail miserably. It just does not make sense to me.

My dear friend who attended the workshop with me suggested I steep myself in reading one form for a while and I will begin to understand. This is the plan. A book of contemporary sonnets.

The above poem is NOT a sonnet, or even tries to be. It is, however, inspired from a book gifted to me by my dear friend: The Poet’s Companion – A Guide to the Pleasure of Writing Poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Amalgamation

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And Old Rock Man
titling to sleep, slack jawed,
eyes hallow, blue lichen
dotting rims and ridges,
I hear him laugh while years
speed as he attends, baked
under sun, iced with snow,
quenched in spring drizzle

Open palmed, eyes closed,
I feel the patter of your elfin
droplets yield their kisses,
then race to become more than I
can grasp, finally a watercourse
running through my fingers
unable to bear your presence

While braggarts and buffoons
hold court on stages
dealing fear to anyone
who will take the draw

But you and I ask,
seek and find the open door
where you and I and Old Rock Man
dance under skies harboring
moon’s extravagance and
stars’ wildness as rain
washes us away

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Author’s Note:

 

These weeks roll on.

And I wonder what the outcome of this political season of fear will produce.

But there is always hope, tenderness in the smallest of gestures.

In the madness of this week I was presented with a gift. There was a sweet and gentle apology that maybe it should have been more colorful and soft, maybe sparkly. But what was given is rough and worn, aged with wisdom.

It holds ancient stories.

It’s been a while since I’ve regularly visited Sunday scripture readings. For this Sunday I again find that the words surround me with pain and fear, all of that which I chose to leave behind. But as I dig through, I find the much needed balm. Maybe the simple voice that needs to be heard through all the words, the words that declare we are sinners. Within peaks out the real nugget. From Sodom and Gomorrah to transgressions and uncircumcised flesh all the way to the final test and selfishness, somewhere within all that hurtful dressing, I find the wisdom of our ancient but ever present shaman, Jesus.

I must open my heart enough to set my agenda aside and simply ask for what I need. When I ask, I surrender myself. I depend on Someone else. I wash my hands of trying to do it all, to be perfect. I let down my guard, release ego from its post, relax into Spirit’s arms. And once I am there, with a great deep inhale filling my lungs to capacity and then blowing out my designs, I make room for truth. I clear the smoke to be able to see.

I am loved, always have been, always will be.

I don’t need the facade of dressing up. I don’t need the filling of my ego’s bottomless cup from other sources or even with my own deeds.

I am simply enough.

Rough and worn and a bit ragged, but wiser for the wear. And stories to tell, ancient and wonderful.

May you reach to the ancients
for our Wisdom, digging
through the trappings
to find our Beautiful Mystery.

May you reach into your heart
for there is our Light shining
to illuminate our way together.

May you reach to another’s hand,
join the dance with those
who have gone before on a path
well worn but resplendent and
wide enough for all.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Happy Full Moon Blessings,

Lexanne

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Amalgamation Choir | Live at the Library – Ksenitia tou Erota

In Your Light

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When I look at you
delicate unfolding
there is more, always more
a breath of flight
alights unseen until
I exhaust what I only
choose to see

You unfurl not in
beauty as I would define
not in softness but
in strength until I move to
see more deeply
beyond what I think
You are there, also

In wind I
watch you bend
air passes over me
through me
fills me with grace
until all I can do
is bend myself
to the ground
in reverence

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From Your hand 
sky to dust
air to earth
rain to sea
Your face passes by
each moment
an invitation to be
held in delirium
if I choose
intoxication
over pride

May I
launder my soul
in Your clemency

May I
rush into Your arms
cowardliness relieved
of its stand

May I
be the Joy that is me
Your gift passionately
entrusted

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Author’s Note:

Je suis epuise.

Before this line came across my Face Book page from Huffington Post earlier in the day I wrote:


 “I am exhausted. The killing, the violence, vicious and unsympathetic politicians, lost souls who don’t know how to love themselves so they wound others – I must step away from this or drown in the mire. We must move forward in love – love all – even the vicious. It’s the only way out of this. There is no separation. We are all One. Until we put down our own wants and needs and demands to have it our way, we won’t see that we must release into the unknown with trust and love the beautiful souls we are so we can see that Light in others. There is no other way. Put down fear, hatred, condemnation, anger, the smugness we Americans seem to think is our right. There is nothing to “win”, no need to be the “best” or “right” or  “number one.” Be love and sweetness even when people say you are crazy. You aren’t. You are simply following the root command – love one another. Period. And your ripple will join others. And the world will change.”

Until we truly see the beauty in the world and know, really know and understand, that it is within us, we will continue to harm others as we walk through our day. From small quips, to manipulating others, to killing someone because they don’t believe what we believe, the world will continue to turn this way.

Instead, look deeply inside yourself. Blow away the smoke. Spirit awaits you. Forget the books, the mentors, the words, words, words, words. Put down the study. Still yourself. Listen to your Heartbeat. It’s the same one inside ALL of us. Do no harm to yourself, and you will not be able to harm others.

Amen.

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smoke
choreographed by MATS EK
performed by SYLVIE GUILLEM e NIKLAS EK

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en pointe

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I watch her rise
stillness in breath
held without fail
lift entrusted
free as if ground nor gravity exist
deeply rapt within her belief

as my garden grows
released to its wild self
sweet peas braid delicate arms
around iris faded
flowers of sun gold reach
unbound while white trimmed
daisies sway underneath
each melding into the other
no circumscription set

I am not given to order
or rule, I am made for feral beauty
I wish to voyage with you as equal
each of us rising to the sun
witness rays given in time
each in our own time and liturgy
welcome wisps of wind
consider kiss of raindrops
knowing all is right
as long as all
are fully honored,
you and I and All

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Author’s Note:

I have a strong urge right now to turn off the news, shut down social media, and hide away until it gets better. It is tempting to close my eyes and say, “Enough, I cannot take it any longer.”

Then comes the phone call and I realize I cannot hide. More tests are needed. I have been given a pause. Again, I don’t know why I am spared and not others. I do not have breast cancer. In those dark moments of this long week I was able to stand still and strong knowing to hide is not the answer.

 

May we fill the world
with our stillness
so strength is gathered
and ready when needed.

May we fill the world
with a touch so gentle
that pain is eased,
even for a moment’s rest.

May we fill the world
with something beautiful,
so Beauty is remembered,
not forgotten in smoke and haze.

May we not hide,
but stand tall, stand still,
as hopeless as it may seem,
we are a mighty ripple in the pond.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

 

Munay,

Lexanne

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Sting and Alessandra Ferri: Ageless Grace

Bowl of Sand

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In quiet of morning pause,
growling its mission,
the recycling truck moves
steadily toward our house.
Benny snoozes secure
somehow knowing
there is no worry.

I went one day to the edge
of big water flowing in from
the sea, like sky turned
upside down, I couldn’t
tell if I stood on land
or in clouds.

It is all perspective,
a matter of turning in
to realize the angel-winged shell
or five-ordinaled star,
the bubbly huntsman
or petite pebble configure
myself into the Mystery.

Upside down or inside out,
not growling nor in slumber, 

at edge of ocean
I am hushed 
as tides
brush my feet,

a gentle nudge to affirm
my Heartbeat sanctuary.

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Author’s Note:

I have a bowl of sand from my recent trip to the Seattle area. In it I keep the shell of the lightest purple. And a stone of black spiraled with white. I don’t know how it was formed, but am in awe of its simple beauty.

Puget Sound. I call it “big water.” It’s technically not the ocean, but it is. Just like I am not technically Spirit, yet I am. The Mystery.

e.e. cummings was one of my favorite poets when I was young, mostly because he went against convention. I guess I’ve always been a quiet, stubborn rebel. And he used whimsy. Most of which I really didn’t understand when I was young, but laughed anyway. I love to laugh.

That’s my delight in poetry by ghosts of the past. It takes time to mature and understand them. However, they are always there waiting for me to realize that whether I stand on ground or in clouds, they are there for me to see more deeply the more hush I allow.

Just like Spirit.

Aho,

Lexanne

 “Ghosts, right, have nothing to say to us,
Obsolete. Gone. Not so.”
– Natalie Merchant, Leave Your Sleep

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and        

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

                     – E. E. Cummings, 1894 – 1962

Lada and the Moon

Every so often our writing group meets. Yesterday we sat under the bliss of morning air while a mother duck and two ducklings wandered by. Flowers bloomed around us as we feasted on food that filled our bellies and communion with one another that filled our souls. I am so full of gratitude to have these women in my life.

It was my turn to bring the prompt. I work from images. I write a movie in my head with each poem or musing I pen. It’s who I am. Maybe because I am an actress or a child who sees the world in bright colors and story. I brought images from which each of us chose one. Then each of us offered a word that we had the option of using or not: sweet, suspicious, shadow, clumsy, ice, monarch.

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Lada and the Moon

Moon rested between the split of rock. Sweet sadness poured into the stream below. Lada wiggled her toes in the dripping as she ached for Moon and its tears of a clumsy affair gone awry. It was a shadow of her own.

The night cast its spell around Lada hiding trees and blooms, rocks and fractures. All that formed were sounds or scents – hoots and musty rose, bright eyes and scattering stones. She was safe, a monarch in this place of solitude interrupted only by that which wasn’t seen.

Moon’s bright face shielded all but the sorrow.

It was a cycle, her cycle, one she understood. Under dark Moon before the silver crescent kiss began to appear once more, there was always chaos in Lada’s life. It was as if they waited for the deep dark to come out and play.

Play was too easy a word. No, not play. Under dark Moon life released prisoners to do their deeds, revel in their piracies, prick her until she bled.

This was all she knew of dark Moon, suspended until silvered light issued its shape once again. She learned dark time was time to be still. She learned to watch, not jump. She mastered protecting herself, mostly. It was a hard study. She usually remained suspicious under dark Moon, at least until this last round.

Then, mostly, as the delicate sideway smile of light entered the new course, Lada could breathe more deeply. Her shoulders would drop, her jaw loosen. Hope and new ideas would grow more freely each fertile night. Her stride became smoother and in sync with afterlight music. As Moon grew fuller like a woman’s belly filled with life, she could sing again and smile. Moon’s luminous glow accorded to her once more, Lada overflowed with joy and danced her purpose under full-blessed glow.

Until now.

Tonight was different. Caught up in her exuberance, Lada forgot. She entered dark Moon time unguarded. And now full Moon rested between rocks, dripping its dream into the stream.

Lada could only watch, listen to Moon’s loss while her toes dabbled in moon-glow tears. An ice story she knew much too well.

Between

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I am filled with You
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two realms inhabited
between water and air,
dreamtime waxes
and wanes, I am
replete in You.

I am filled with You
bounded by moon and
sun, in balance
of wisdom and Light.
Within I trust
both pitch and blaze,
I know I am in You.

I am filled with You
as rigid crumbles into
softness, compassion
and forgiveness fill in.
I am calm in your cradle,
held tight in dear repose
under Your stars and roots.

In gratitude I see
through my heart,
not eyes, no longer
lost in appearances,
a portal opened.

I bless you, myself, 
and all around
to wake up Beingness
that flows through all,
the pathway back to You.

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Author’s Note:

 

Coming home.

I understand that allowing Spirit to flow through me is the gift. When I struggle to find the right way or the right ministry or the right worship, I am lost in appearances, veiled in confusion.

I am a portal, a way for Spirit to enter the world. When I release and allow flow without attaching my harness, I am given to the world as a gift. I am not in charge. I fall away when I try to take control.

Art is my passion – writing, photography, imagery in all forms. The photos here are always mine unless I give attribution otherwise. I love to create. Right now I am filled with words and joy of PicMonkey and an iphone camera. I watch dance and hear music that lifts my soul. Theatre brings Spirit alive through real people saying words of writers, a deep ceremony.

I do my work even if there is no audience, because Spirit is always here.

And I don’t have to be “good” at it, afraid to share that it’s not perfect. I share because it is what I do and don’t need to worry about judgement. It is what I am.

Share freely of yourself. You are the gift Divine. Let go. Release. Let Spirit live through you. All is good, so very good.

 

May you sing with morning birds,
filling air with newness.

May you dance with dragonflies,
gilding sky with prisms of light.

May you speak with bees,
words of honeyed sweetness.

May you live in Spirit
opening your heart
to grace and sureness
that we are all One.

And dream this world into being.

 

Aho. Munay. Amen.

Lexanne