It Snowed

snowflake

It snowed this morning.

With its whipped grey sky
I remember fragile flakes
resting on his silken black fur,
heavy breath rising to
mix with the day’s offering.

I welcome blessings
of sky and land, heartbeat
and smiles. I walk on
ice slick sidewalk and
remember flakes alight
on my outstretched palm,
for just a pause,
before their exsistence
fades and I am left
gaping, ready to receive
once more.

What I Didn’t Know

moon2.jpg

 

What I didn’t know is that there must be a fall.
Not the one when leaves twirl to the ground,

a carpet of jewels as first chill fills the air. Nor
one where a catch sends me to earth’s surface

bracing against unforgiving ground. There is
the fall as I reach for something, planned

and seeded and bloomed, then poisoned
with ego, a duo walking two paths, not one.

Not those. No, not those. When I let all fall away,
open my hands and allow them to rest by my side,

clean out my heart, make room for nightfall
to fill in crevices, except for that one simple flame,

yes, there, so small I almost miss it, the Flame that is
always there when I let my worry and fear just sit

until my eyes adjust, I slow my gait and breathe,
and I begin to feel the warmth of that tiny
flame

growing, I allow it to seep out from every fissure for I
am broken open, no longer in control. It is there to light

my way, the way I continue on without map, without grasp, in
trust. I come to the precipice, nowhere else to go, no turning

back, toes curled over the edge, and I push off, leap, and there
is the fall into the arms of Spirit whispering I am enough.

 

Minotaur

minotaur

 

The boy hadn’t spoken since his twin
had gone.

One would never know they were twins. She was tall, willowy with short cropped hair of every shade of purple she could concoct. Her fingers were elegant and held rings with stones in shades to match. Her clothes were an amalgamation of flowy gauzes and soft worn cottons, belts of woven wools, and usually one or two scarves tied just so. All in colors of violet or plum or lilac. You get the idea. Her hazel green eyes were the perfect garnish.

And ballet slippers. Not just flats with hard soles and a small heel, but real soft pink ballet slippers. She wore them in rain, as well as snow. Her toes got cold and wet. It was her way of knowing she was still alive. Keeping in touch with what was real.

He was just plain. Medium height. Medium weight. Brown eyes and hair. Brown clothes and shoes. He was much like a bush of witches broom. When they were together, she was the bloom to his branches. He didn’t mind. From the time in the womb he swaddled her with his arms. They had pictures. He just a mass of twine, she a blossom of light.

When she left, he stopped using his voice. When she was there, he spoke through his arms and legs, she giving him the right turn of words. It was the only way for him to thrive, through her in order to speak. She gave him courage and always helped make his words become sweet as fudge. Without her he sounded like cauliflower, just a bunch of off-white, globs of mumbled up noise. So he stopped using his voice.

His job at the botanic gardens was to carry and empty liquid waste buckets from ponds and waterings. He loved his job. In what other job would you get to walk around such beauty all year long? Rows and rows of flowers, bed after bed of vegetables. Trees and orchids. Rock gardens and alpine moss. His work hours were before visitors arrived. Then he returned just before guests left for the other half of his day. He loved quiet.

His favorite spot was the garden with the Minotaur statue. It was bronze, a pretty kind of brown, strong and shiny. The Minotaur didn’t have to talk to others to know what it was about. One could just look at the Minotaur and know its power. And that’s what he did, for hours.

He would hide so as not to be seen until it was safe to come out after the last workers left and the gates were locked for the night. He would make his way down the tabby path being careful not to be in the open. He wasn’t even sure he needed to hide. Most people never saw him anyway. When you are medium at everything and the color of branches, no one notices much.

He would sit under the statue and stories of the Minotaur would flow into his mind. Sometimes when there was a full moon he would lay down on his back feeling the bumps and edges of the shells underneath him and watch the moon as Minotaur stories played across it as if it were a movie screen in the sky.

Then he skedaddled before the early morning crew arrived. He made a stop at the coffee shop and picked up two coffees with cream and one pastry to share as he told the night’s story to his twin. She smiled and corrected his grammar and giving him the perfect words. Which he would remember to perfection, ready to be told again and again and again.

This was his real job. He was the keeper of stories. It wasn’t just Minotaur stories. He gave voice to those who couldn’t speak. There was the little alabaster girl in the cemetary on a bench with her dog who placed its nose so lovingly on her lap that he couldn’t ignore their stories. Or the green patinated frog that crouched on the steps of Mrs. Patmos’ house regularly calling out to be heard.

There were so many stories to remember to tell.  Now that she was gone, how was that going to work? How would he find his voice again?

 

 

Author’s Note:

Thursday Afternoon Writers met today at the Denver Botanic Gardens. In addition to a lovely time of sharing, and delightful and amazing writing, the surroundings were an inspiration. I do need to say there is no Minotaur statue there. But there should be. There is a “Liquid Waste” bucket in the cafe.  And there shouldn’t be. At least not within sight. 🙂

Our prompts were taken from a writing prompt generator and we each put a word into the pot:

My opening line: The boy hadn’t spoken since his twin had gone…

Our group of words: cauliflower, witches broom, elegant, fudge, Minotaur, skedaddle, tabby, liquid waste

Certainty

Certainty.jpg

 

There is a certain kind of beauty in unwashed windows,
windows that reach so high I can only get to them

once in a very long time, oh, I still see out
when sun’s angle allows which gives me reason

not to tend to the common task, keeping it
for another day, a day when there is less to do,

a day when more important things have been tended.
But when clarity is diminished as sun shines its eye directly

confusing view, when looking out becomes staying in,
disorients need for accuracy, rests in shapes and shadows

that whisper through, no compulsion for definition,
just a gentle telling of story, a compassionate perspective,

not by smoke or fog, nor snowfall, but years of life
leaving only breath as it passes on conceding spaciousness

between that which I cannot change knowing all remains
secret to my interference until sun presses on

and glare is gone and I see once more that which was obscured.
There is a beauty in not seeing leaving certainty behind.

Circles

Mother Tree

mothertree2

 

Circle One
Mother Tree whose roots wind below
next to stream and under playground,
tall with branches lifting sky,
rough bark protection against all that is harmful.
And her eye, where branch once connected,
now sit stones placed by me,
an eye that sees and from which drips
water of her being, tears of joy,
of pain, of love as needed.

In all seasons standing tall and strong
bending in wind, there for me always,
soft padded ground as in great redwood forests,
a playground for innocence.

I am welcomed, at home, at peace, I am enough.

Circle Two
I want to learn to speak the language of Mother Tree,
the one who stands strong and bold,
yet allows season storms to pass.
She bears the burden but doesn’t break.
She abides to show me movement round her,
but she, she listens. She shades.
She grows deep roots to hold to Earth.
She feeds the world with herself without noise,
without moving, without having, without collecting,
just being. She speaks the language of ancestors past
and those who will come, without saying a word,
just being who she is and how she has been created.

Her language has no words, I listen and learn from her.
I learn from her just being – her bark, her leaves,
her roots, her eye, her branches,
her compost made from what falls away to nourish new growth.
She is stalwart, yet flexible. She comes from the past and
will live in the future, not as this one tree,
but growing new from her wisdom.

Circle 3
Mother Tree in me knows that I am whole.
I come from the past and I will be eternal.
Her branches grow through my trunk and into my arms,
in all of me…me, and I touch the sky.
Her roots go down my legs and through my feet
and I am grounded not just to topsoil,
but deep below and far and wide my roots will grow.

I, too, am strong, no need to prove.
I can be rough to protect, yet soft inside to cradle.
I can see with compassion and wait,
listen and be there for the innocents
who come to me, including myself.
I can welcome and give rest.
I can be the maypole dance of celebration.
This is Mother Tree inside of me.

This I notice…
I am connected to all and all to me.
I am perfect and have no need to prove myself.
What I am and what I do, is all that I need.

 

Author’s Note:
I am taking a wonderful course this Solstice hosted by Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici called Woman Un-Leashed. It is a free on-line retreat featuring some of the most wonderful goddesses to bless this earth. The above poem came from work with Mary Reynolds Thompson who took us through three circles of self.

What a joy to be able to move through this season in a deeply creative way that speaks to my soul.

mothertreeB

Bye Bye Love

There was a full moon that night. There was always a full moon now.

It began simply enough.

Who knew that moving the kitchen table, just a slight angle so she could look out the window, not one direction but three, would make the difference.

There was a new table cloth, too. After thirteen years, she was ready to look out from a different angle, a new light.

Yes, new light. The moon was full that night ushering in the Solstice, the turn of the wheel to a new year.

It was dark when she returned home to her new angle to the world. She took solace that after this night, light would grow again. Her feet hurt and her lunch bag was not to be found. She remembered setting it down at the bus stop. Her half-sandwich which she saved for dinner, half an apple, too, gone.

She had little energy to muster. All she could do was crack open the kitchen window and sit at the table to look out. First left. Then right. Finally, settling on center as a small glow above Hank’s house caught her eye. She didn’t move. For the next hour the wheel turned slowly as the moon in her fullness rose above the house, trees silhouetting a figure. Crow kept her company this evening.

The moon was full that night.

“Hey! Rosewood! Where ya been?” A voice bellowed out of the dark. With ruffled feathers, crow rose above the tree top and disappeared as the tall, lanky figure emerged.

Rose let out a sigh. The evening would now be given over to Hank. And his beer.

“Hi, Hank.”

“Mind if I rest for a few?”

These were words of ceremony.  First, Hank announcing his arrival. Her reply. Then his request, which no longer waited for approval.

Rose opened the door and Hank made himself comfortable.

Rosewood.

Each time Hank called her that, her feathers ruffled a bit. It’s not that she didn’t like Hank’s nickname for her. She just didn’t like his bold intimacy. He inserted Rosewood into their conversation the first time they met. Usually, nicknames were shortened versions of a cumbersome title. Rosewood was complex and stronger than just Rose. She never knew a Rosewood. She was named after her grandmother, an nostalgic name, a soft and feminine name. But it made her feel old and vulnerable. Rosewood suited her.

Hank took a sip from his beer and set it down on the table. He was gruff, but funny. He stayed too long most of the time. But he would do anything for her, if she just would ask. But she never asked.

Tonight with the full moon, she wanted to bathe in its glow. Alone.

“How are you, Hank?”

From behind him, Hank pulled out a bottle for her. He placed it just so in front of her as if he was presenting her with an award. It wasn’t a beer, but a clear liquid in a lovely bottle. Blue lettering in cursive. No graphics. Elegant. Hank enjoyed a bit of gin, too.

“It’s the one I told you about. Leopold’s Summer Gin. Batch #2. The one with that flower…immortal?”

“Oh, yes, immortelle, helichrysum.”

“Yeah that’s the one. I told you I’d find you a bottle. There aren’t anymore left in town. It was a small batch. I got the last one.”

She and Hank were an odd couple, if couple was the right term. He was as much of a connoisseur of beer and an occasional gin as she was with herbs in her garden. Who would know that the two would cross and make sense? But they did.

Hank turned on Pandora. He knew what Rose liked but always started with his channel.

“Bye bye happiness. Hello, loneliness. I think I’m gonna cry…” trailed out of the speakers, through the kitchen window following the trail of the moon as it made its way across the sky and back down again. They sipped gin straight with a bit of ice and talked for hours about nothing, but mostly about everything that made them two of a kind…

And yet, so separate that Hank gathered a blanket and gently covered Rosewood curled up on the couch as he locked the door behind him.

There was a full moon that night. There was always a full moon’s glow for Hank and Rosewood.

 
Author’s Note:

Our writing group met last night. We had new members join us and our prompt master was more than masterful.

My luck of the draw’s image and opening line was: There was a full moon that night; there was always a full moon now.

IMG_9377

I do not have an attribution for either images or the prompt. If anyone knows, please let me know!