Arc

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She opened her right palm and rested it on the rock, opened to the sky. Her left hand placed two stones inside.

It was a new year, with lots of twos. Twenty twenty. She was two, her own being with one other. He was large and black with eyes that reflected what was inside her, two eyes that glistened, twin stars. Castor and Pollux. And he was her twin. They did everything as one.

They walked here, together, into the trees where the stream flowed small, almost unnoticed. But noticed by those who needed it. She needed it today. The quiet. She was glad to have this space in the middle of a place that housed people on top of people and cars that ran the streets all hours.

But this space was hers right now. His head in her lap.

She curled her fingers around the two stones. She wanted to feel their roughness. She wanted to know their story. Their way to this place, like hers must have been round-about. Or maybe they were always there waiting for her.

Wasn’t that how it was? Someone or something always there waiting. Waiting to be what they were supposed to be for the one they were supposed to be for. So while they waited, they just were. Doing just what they were supposed to do.

 

The arc of the new bridge
spanned the thoughts of the young one
who knew its power.
Not because of something she was told,
but something she knew deeply within.

She wanted to build bridges.
Elegant ones,
although she didn’t know that word yet
in her five-year-old existence.

But she knew bridges were strong
and could take you over rough water.
Or over another road going another direction.
Or lift you high enough to see the mountains
and the plains,
if you could look both directions at once.

She knew this.
All of this in her five-year-old existence.
It would take courage
to move Earth to make the mounds.
And big trucks and large shovels.
It was a job for big machines.

But it also took a pencil
and a piece of paper
to draw the lines.
And isn’t that all that matters.
Isn’t that where it all begins,
with a line.
One elegant line
to take you forward or
around
or above and to the side.
And you are in control.
And you can do it.
And if you make a mistake,
no matter.
You just continue,
a sort of start over.
Because no one really knows,
and it doesn’t matter anyway.
And you find that,
eventually,
you create the most elegant
and beautiful life
with twists and turns
and mistakes
and glorious vistas
all with one pencil,
a line,
by listening to what
you know deep within,
not told.
Make the space
To listen
To do
To be
Just who and what you are.

And she marveled
each time they drove over
that arc
that bridge
that took them into town.

She opened her hand and placed the two rocks on the ground. 

He sighed and grumbled that he had to move to make way for another of her inventions. But he did. And this time it would be different. She had made the room to listen. 

She took her finger and starting at the two rocks side by side, she drew an elegant arc.

Author’s Note:

Driving to a new writing group this morning I was taken aback by the beauty of a bridge I had crossed over many, many times. The arc it made and the grace it carried in just being took my breath.

Stepping into a new year with 20-20 vision, as one participant described it, gives one a new lens in which to look through.

The Place Where I Stand

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The Place Where I Stand, acrylic, 40″ X 30″, Lex Leonard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreement has rarely been the mandate for people who love each other.
Pádraig Ó Tuama

They were siblings. He, an innocent bystander between the two.

His leg was sore. When he sat, the hindquarter opened. Not his usual strict attention on a “good” sit. A deep puncture quickly healed over. Just a day ago open. Today, as if nothing happened, today he runs. My Bean, Benny the name he carried to us. I call him Bean, My Bean. He is smart and joyful, pulls me into his world. Me in hesitant agreement.We walk twice a day. He eats, gnaws a chew stick, plays ball, all on his own terms, of course. 

Together, in amalgam, we wander.

 

She is here this morning. Sun behind us.
She, just past full, bright white against light blue veil
rising above houses, trees, soon to exit in Sun’s arrival,
She leads us.

Do you notice, the lights in the sky,
or is your nose tethered to the ground,
scents and sniffs guiding your being?

I walk both above and upon.
Moon rise, Sun set.
Crows and clouds.
Leaves and roots.
Snowflakes drifting and
ice slicked by melt
then frozen through night’s chill.

What do you know?
Who was here…who came and left.
Their essence. Invisible now. You know.

Do you hear ravens?
I know you hear airships.
Rumbling trucks take away
that which no longer serves.
Barks and howls, near and far.

Together we divine our world,
pace ourselves through days of
grizzled knee and tender hindquarter,
innocent bystanders…

mo sheasamh ort lá na choise tinne
You are the place where I stand on the day when my feet are sore.

 

. . . . .

Author’s Note:

There is magic in community. There is an understanding,  agreement not always necessary.

Our Afternoon Writers met this morning. Our prompt from an On Being with Krista Tippett interview with Pádraig Ó Tuama, Belonging Creates and Undoes Us. In an attempt to widen our scope of what and how we write, I’ve been searching for new types of prompts to inspire us. Some of us, myself at the top of the list, kept falling into what we have always written – same style, same characters, same storylines. 

Change is difficult.

Today I brought a paragraph from Tippett’s interview:

Pádraig Ó Tuama: Agreement has rarely been the mandate for people who love each other. Maybe on some things, but, actually, when you look at some people who are lovers and friends, you go, actually, they might disagree really deeply on things, but they’re somehow — I like the phrase “the argument of being alive.” Or in Irish, when you talk about trust, there’s a beautiful phrase from West Kerry where you say, “mo sheasamh ort lá na choise tinne” — “You are the place where I stand on the day when my feet are sore.” That is soft and kind language, but it is so robust. That is what we can have with each other.

What surprised me is that several writers wanted the opening sentence. I was aiming for the quote on place.

It worked.

Our writing stretched us, gave us room to explore something new.

And if you are a poet or simply love poetry, here is a new podcast that will begin soon. Take a look. I’m excited. Poetry Unbound. And while you’re at it take a peek at Tuama’s Corrymeela Community.

Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern.jpg

Pleopeltis polypodioides (syn. Polypodium polypodioides),
also known as the resurrection fern, is a species of creeping,
coarse-textured fern native to Africa.

They braided seeds into their hair
not for show, but hidden,
not to be discovered,
bringing homeland with them
boarding ships they knew nothing of
crossing oceans never to return to their Africa.

Memories survive long periods
with just a little telling
to resurrect their life
to grow again through word spoken
to those who never knew

They arrived, some with star maps
from desert skies where once their feet
planted onto homeland
never to return, but remembered
through lines and dots, remembered
through scanning the night
for something familiar.

There is a wisdom,
a knowing in action
a way to preserve that which
would be lost, an honoring
for those to come connecting

those to the past.

I reach back to learn from where
my ancestors came, their
customs, their stories,
ritual, a part of my DNA
not realized

I know of
violas and sweet alyssum
bees tended and golden nectar
caravan travel spreading words to heal
salt thrown over a shoulder

My mother heard voices, saw ghosts
they said she was crazy
she didn’t know her homeland
she didn’t know her stories

I wish I could ask her now
I wish I could resurrect her
from the box
inside the marbled floor mausoleum
and our homeland

 

The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long
periods of drought…However, when just a little water is present,
the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect.”

 

Author’s Note:

I am very honored to have my poem, Resurrection Fern, included in The 2019 Poetry Marathon Anthology. It is always a unique experience to write a poem an hour for 24 hours straight.

There are some lovely poems from poets around the world included in this year’s journal. Take a look and join us next year!

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Color of Woman

My journey into Intentional Creativity© began almost two years ago. It seems impossible that I will now become a Color of Woman certified teacher along with my certification as a Red Thread Guide.

Someone who never picked up a pencil to draw or a paintbrush to paint, I found a passion that combined with my new found self.

I liken my new self to sitting on a lovely, perfectly balanced little three legged stool. One leg grounding me in Passage Meditation. The second leg grounding me in shamanic practice. And now, the third leg opening portals on the canvas to move through intention, to weave a red thread to create, and connect.

Below are a few photos of my initiate book. Some friends expressed the wish to purchase it. So it is now set up to explore and purchase, if you are interested, from Blurb.

In the coming months you will see more of my poetry and painting. I will have the originals for sale as well as prints and a card line. I will be offering workshops to spread the beauty within through discernment and discovery using my three legged stool!

Many blessings and much gratitude,

Lexanne

COW Cover.jpg    COW BACK.jpg

 

 

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Chocolate Rain

Chocolate Rain.jpg

Chocolate Rain

He had chocolate rain in his hat.
From where it came, he did not know.
It should have dribbled down his face
when once he put it on.
But it stayed inside
on top of his head
awaiting rains return.

She made chocolate footprints through the kitchen
from stomping in the rain out of doors.
It shouldn’t have been that way,
But in the end, chocolate rain
is much better than mud any day.

The chocolate bar was torn in two
so both could share.
Chocolate was late in arriving on the train.
They thought they missed their chance.
But it came.

She held the chocolate tightly in her fist.
It warmed and ran through cracks
that could not be sealed.
Some was lost.
No, all.
She refused to release her grasp.

……….

Leave your hat on the chair so it can be seen but not heard heard you coming through the grove when all was want and tired tired eyes closed against the light light rolling into the pond frightening the ducks ducks who have an auspicious way remaining afloat on waves waves holding you up so you can see past the shore up the hillside to where we stood stood still in moonlight waiting to dance wildly under the sun sun laughing at the genius of our tricks tricks raining down the hill chasing away while calling us back back to you and me standing in chocolate rain

……….

A drone soared above open space
chasing the lady with her dog.
She didn’t see it.
He knew it was there.
A sounding swarm of bees chasing.
So she crossed the street to get away.
The street where teenagers
ran in front of them one night
to light a firecracker
timed perfectly.
She always held his leash tightly
so as not to lose him.
And she didn’t.
But she cursed them,
two teenagers
who laughed at their trick and her and her dog.
She cursed.
Neighbors turned on lights.
Opened doors.
Shrugged their shoulders
to the cursing old woman and her dog
and two teens running away.
When she returned home, she cried.
What would have happened
if she held held the leash lightly. 

But a leash was a noose for, oh, so very long,
keeping her in step.
Making sure she was following rules.
A leash is a harness keeping her from falling,
keeping her safe from mistakes.
The leash makes it all okay….

Loosening the leash,
dropping the leash,
gives freedom that comes with fear.
Discovery can be painful if you let it.
giving over,
dropping the leash,
cutting it away,
the only way to be.

And the dog,
well, the dog was a good boy.
And he, too, made his own decisions.
He had always been happy to be who he was.
Now more happy that she was who she was
after dropping her leash.
Cutting it away. 

Oh, she still walked him with a leash because,
well, because, there was still a bit of fear
in losing something she loved,
even though she knew, in the end,
she could not control that either. 

Sun came home and left once more.
Moon sailed over them at night
and pillows tucked in their heads
with dreams and snores. 

The two lived,
walked side by side
knowing the precious gift
each one gave to the other,
knew that it was this
that mattered most.

Memories will always be there,
if you want them.
So will those you love
because time is not a real thing.
Only some thing we imagined. 

And when we walk on
to where we will next be,
we will find another leash,
or maybe not.
Choose to pick it up.
Or maybe not
and remember to just be,
see who we are
and be. 

And maybe there will be firecrackers,
teens who like to play tricks,
hats filled with chocolate rain,
neighbors who shrug,
and lights that flicker. 

But there will always be you.
For energy is neither created
nor destroyed.
It just changes form.
And how can one argue with that
in this glorious present moment
that is eternity.

……….

And she chose the time of the sun rising to leave. Just as the star of night began its descent behind the trees, she turned and there sun’s arc claimed the horizon. It was time. Before her sat six bags. She would choose three to place into her basket.

She knew of her journey beforehand, although there was no decided beginning or end point. It was six cycles prior that she would gather and arrange the al that was gathered on squares of paper made from bark that she beat with a stone to soften the fibers. Under each new moon she would hold each item for that particular square and invite it to the journey. Then she would fold the ends over and around so none of the precious cargo would slip away before its time. Then she would tie with with with a cord woven from grass cut from the bank of the trickling stream. She continued this way each new moon until there were six packages. And it was time to depart.

Under the final new moon before Sun began its rise, she chose three of the six bundles and placed them Into her basked, leaving three behind for her return. If she did return. 

She would follow the stream until it coursed into a river which led her to the sea and there would be two boats from which she would choose one.  

She was no good at this. Her time was spent alone since her beginning. Her mother
passed as she was born. Her father she never knew. She lived as the women before her lived. Away from people in discovery of her ancestors. 

And because of this, she was never really alone by the stream in the trees. She always found companionship, if she looked and waited, asked permission or invited, and listened.But here by the sea, where everything was new and asking to be discovered, she felt very alone. She knew it was for the best and she was determined to move ahead without too much worry or sadness for what she left behind as the women before her did.

She could always return if she wished. But what would be the point of that? The decision was made. 

At the shore she look to the boats. The one on the left it would be. She was left handed as much as she could be, although many things called to her right. Today it would be the left. 

She reached into her basket and removed one package. She gifted it to the man in the boat who would row her to the left sailing ship. It was then she realized she wouldn’t have enough packages to pay for her return. One for the rower. One for the captain. One for the new rower on the other end. And nothing left for the return.

That was how it was supposed to be. Nothing to fear. She would know what to do as truth would reveal itself.

She had never stepped onto a boat. It rocked more than she thought. Just as she felt herself leaning too far over the end, he reached out his hand and she grabbed it to steady herself. 

A stranger to help. Imagine that. 

She didn’t have to do this all alone. 

His hand was large and chocolate brown with lines deeply modeled into his skin. Some would say wrinkles. She saw roads to many journeys and much experience. 

He hand was firm and safe. All would be well.

……….

How could you lose it?

I didn’t. It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

It was her lilypod. How will we ever find another?

We don’t need to find another.

What will we tell her?

Exactly what I just said. It was there. And then. It wasn’t.

She’s not going to believe you you know. She thinks you hate her and that you would do anything to anger her. And this will definitely anger her.

No it won’t.

What?

It won’t make her mad.

Yes, it will. 

No. It won’t.

How can you say that? It was her lilypod. She loves it more than chocolate rain. She is going to be furious.

It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

Her lilypod. Her precious lilypod that appeared one day when she was so very sad.

It made her happy.

I know. 

Say it again. It appeared one day when she was sad.

It appeared one day when she was sad.

And.

And what?
And it made her happy.
And that’s all that was needed.

 

 

Author’s Note:

We had a visitor in town and I had the honor to write with her! Cj Prince took us through her writing practice. 

First, we each wrote one word on a slip of paper. These would be used for each delve into words.  

For five minutes we wrote using the first drawn word “chocolate” and in only short sentences. Then we shared.

Another word, “grove,”  was pulled from the pile and this time we wrote for ten minutes “chaining.” The word we ended with, we would begin the next sentence. We shared.

Next, we wrote for twenty minutes stream of conscious writing. This is not stopping your pen or fingers from moving. If you can’t think of anything to write, you just write anything until it begins to flow again. You don’t stop no matter what! The word was “my drone.”

Our next long write – 15 minutes – we pulled tarot cards. We used these in the writing. We could use the meaning of the cards, the images, and/or any mix. They were the Hermit, the six of rods, and the three of rods.

Our finale was a five minute quick write of dialogue with no attribution – meaning we didn’t delineate between the two speakers. Our word was “lilypod.”

Today I took some time going back and editing and coming up with this piece. I delight in it as I do Cj. I am blessed.

And all on the full moon.

Watermelon Mallow

Watermelon Mallow

Watermelon Mallow© Lex Leonard, collage done in PicMonkey

 

 

The coal train meandered by.

Wheels clicked. 

Locking her eyes on the rail she could see an occasional spark. 

It was hot.

Mallow grew alongside the route. Yellow orbs too delicate to be there opening their souls to the sun. Yet, there they were.

She leaned back against the tree that also somehow survived surrounded by dry brittle grass and weeds. Curling ends beggared of water from the last spring rain.

The train continued on.

Closing her eyes to barely a squint she was able to merge the spinning wheels until it looked as if the train was floating on some kind of magic heat rising above its rails, making it stand still. All that iron and power just floating motionless.

In each window was a face looking at her, just staring as if they had something to tell her. A wistful look. A veneer of gloom. There was fear. Anger. Each mask holding their story that somehow was hers now.

The alarm on her phone buzzed. 

The end of the train passed and she watched the last face, gentle and perfectly framed in the back window, fade away.

The walk back to the abandoned house was through the old fields that once held crops to feed hungry bellies. About an hour’s walk from the tree would find her feet planted on the porch. The paint, if there ever was any, was long faded away. Only an ashen grey lingered.

This was all hers now. The house. The land of anecdotal crops. 

The railroad held the only easement between her and the next homestead, also abandoned.

She didn’t want it. 

She was of water and ocean and floating. She was of horizon that met sky where sun and moon each in their own time would rise and fall. She was of sea wind that carried story.

She was not of this place. Or at least she didn’t think so.

The man at the gas station had given her a watermelon. She had no idea why or where he had gotten it. But she was glad it was waiting for her on the table. 

The inside of the house was decorated with spider webs, dust, and time. 

The table wobbled but she was sure it wasn’t from neglect. It had been made that way. She propped it up with a flat stone she found near the fireplace. She traced her finger around a small indentation. It was a perfect fit. 

She was hungry and tired. And thirsty. 

There was only one way into that globe of pleasure. On the ledge under the once glazed window that looked out to the railroad tracks was another stone. It was slightly larger than her hand with a carved point on one edge. It had to have been carefully chipped and formed for its purpose. There was a swirl with a line that would sit next to her palm. This, too, was intentional.

Raising the rock above her head and holding it with both hands, she brought it down with all her might into the center of the watermelon. 

It cracked……

The sidewalk. The burning asphalt. The push. The crash. The blood spatter across her jacket. There were screams and everything blurred, sounds, people, hands pulling her back in slow motion like the wheels of the train. Only she was the motionless object, floating above him. 

Or rather, what was left of him…

 

. . . . .

 

Author’s Note:

It is always sacred time when our writing group meets. There were nine of us today at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Our warmup write morphed from a practice I learned in a class at the Denver Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

We each started with a small blank piece of paper. We were to write one quick sentence on it describing something we experienced that morning. The trick is not to think too much. Not to try to be cleaver or descriptive. Just write. We passed the paper to our right and wrote one word that came to us about the gardens. Passed again – one verb. Passed again – another word. Passed a last time – an emotion. As we gathered our drinks and settled, we could chose which prompt paper we wanted to write from. It is our rule that you may use a prompt or not. Let it inspire you. Or not. I took the one that was left:

They waited as the coal train meandered sleepily through the crossing.

mallow     locking     watermelon     wistful

Thank you, dear friends. You are AMAZING!

Resurrection Fern

Resurrection Fern.jpg

Pleopeltis polypodioides (syn. Polypodium polypodioides),
also known as the resurrection fern, is a species of creeping,
coarse-textured fern native to Africa.

They braided seeds into their hair
not for show, but hidden,
not to be discovered,
bringing homeland with them
boarding ships they knew nothing of
crossing oceans never to return to their Africa.

Memories survive long periods
with just a little telling
to resurrect their life
to grow again through word spoken
to those who never knew

They arrived, some with star maps
from desert skies where once their feet
planted onto homeland
never to return, but remembered
through lines and dots, remembered
through scanning the night
for something familiar.

There is a wisdom,
a knowing in action
a way to preserve that which
would be lost, an honoring
for those to come connecting
those to the past.

I reach back to learn from where
my ancestors came, their
customs, their stories,
ritual, a part of my DNA
not realized

I know of
violas and sweet alyssum
bees tended and golden nectar
caravan travel spreading words to heal
salt thrown over a shoulder

My mother heard voices, saw ghosts
they said she was crazy
she didn’t know her homeland
she didn’t know her stories

I wish I could ask her now
I wish I could resurrect her
from the box
inside the marbled floor mausoleum
and our homeland

The resurrection fern gets its name because it can survive long
periods of drought…However, when just a little water is present,
the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to “resurrect.”

 

Author’s Note:

This is my poem from Hour #7 which was to listen to a song and write from it. Resurrection Fern by Iron and Wine.

I am honored that this poem was selected to appear in the 2019 Poetry Marathon Journal to be published later this year.