Color of Creation

Color of Creation. Acrylic on canvas. 24″X 36″ Lex Leonard Artist.

Black of moonless night
We meet ourselves
Our grace, our wisdom

Red of blood
Poured upon the land
Giving life, feeding Earth

Yellow of morning sun
Rising new
Warmth and clarity

White of blinding light
Eyes adjust to acknowledge
Accept, transform

Green of Mother Earth
Tree of life
Sustaining all

We are colors of Creation
Weaving a web of intersection, 
connection

We are Sacred

We are One

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Author’s Note:

This painting and poem was inspired by my work with From Allies to Abolitionists and Emancipation Theater in Denver, CO.

When I Die

Attribution unknown. Please contact me if you know the photographer so I may give proper credit. Thank you.

I don’t want chemicals
Flowing through my veins
I don’t want to be kept
I want to be consumed 

I want mushrooms
To grow from my palms
Open in reverence to sky

I want my skin 
To compost
Into Earth to feed roots
To grow new life

I want my bones
To dry and crumble
And ride with wind
To places 
I’ve never been

When I die
I want to go back
To where I started
Be who I was
Rest and
Begin again

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Author’s Note.

I was so taken by this image. I do not know the artist who took this photo. If you do, please message me and I’ll give them appropriate attribution. Image and quote found on Facebook – “The corpse of a boreal raccoon, with mushrooms growing from the palm of its paw, like a bouquet of flowers from beyond.”

Unintended Opus

My grandfather kept bees.

When he was old and done with shoe repair,
a farmer gave him a piece of land
on which to keep his bees
in exchange for his bees’s workin the farmer’s fields.

And when my grandfather came home
from a day with his bees,
it is the scent I remember.

It’s not the same
as opening a jar of store bought
refined honey.

It is a deep rich smell of honeycomb,
filled and emptied,
sweet,
intoxicating.

I close my eyes and I feel my grandfather’s joy.
And know my Polish ancestors’ approval.
I taste his golden elixir.

Nothing
like
store bought.

And that scent,
oh, that scent,
drills deeply into my soul.


I once visited an art gallery in Denver.
I walked into the door and
was transported into that soul space
where bees create
and my grandfather stewards.

An artist birthed an unintended opus in beeswax.

I stood for a very long time
as close as I would be allowed
just breathing.

Breathing in my grandfather’s memory,
being the beekeeper’s granddaughter
honoring him and the bees,
and the artist who would never know this ritual.

Today,
I unwrapped the packages
containing waxed cloth.
Bees waxed cloth, not vegan,
but kinder to the earth than plastic.

These will wrap our homemade bread
to keep them fresh.
With a hint of my grandpa.
And I breathed in that scent,
rich and soul pleasing.

And I sneezed.

And continue sneezing
as I sit and smile
at my grandfather
as he smiles back.

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Author’s Note.

Another opus to my grandfather and his bees as it appears in journal issue #12 at Wormwood Press Media.

Globeville

Globeville.

Born and raised

Next to the corner of 45th and Washington Street

In the back of my father’s TV repair storefront
Once the storefront to my grandfather’s shoe and
Radio repair shop

Grandparents from Poland and Yugoslavia
Building Holy Rosary Catholic Church
My father in the first 1st grade of Holy Rosary School
Me in the last 7th grade before the Bishop shut us down

Across the street from the Platte River and the Slovenian Home
Where wedding celebrations lasted days
And Santa came to give us plastic net stockings
Filled with stale candy and hopes of toys under our tree

Across the street where the woman, who left her son
With my father’s mother to care for because she couldn’t
Any longer,
That woman who stepped into the freezing Platte River
to lay down for the last time,
Her son safely held in a family of nine,
One more welcomed without question
Because my grandmother understood 

Across the street from the bus stop
Number 16
That would take me on Saturday mornings
To the Paramount for a cartoon and movie
And candy from the candy shop next door
And a walk through Woolworths
Dreaming of adding another ceramic horse
To my collection
Dreaming of the Stockshow and cowgirls

Across the street, then across the river
The Coliseum where I would ice skate
Watch the Rodeo
See the Circus
And the Monkees, my first concert

Along side of I70
Exit ramp feet from my front door
On the other side and through the underpass 
Tunnel
To school, my friends, the pool, and ball field

Across the street from the river 
That would overflow its banks
Days before Father’s Day 1965
Filling our basement with muck and water
To the top
And ruining my mother’s wedding gown
One once destined for me
Dreams drowned

In the dirt and gravel in my father’s
Parking lot were stones
Glittery and pink and gold and beautiful 
My hands picking the perfect ones
And, eventually, the EPA digging
Up the dirt in the yards of the homes 
Because of contamination 
But not ours because we were a “business”
Even though we lived thereAnd in my forties the
retro peritoneal liposarcoma
That would grow in my body
Because of the industrial poison
Floating down on me and my friends
And family

And angels surround us, 
We, the ones from Globeville,
A place forgotten long before
People now who are forgotten, too
It is just the way
Of the people of Globeville
The immigrants who came

To forget their homeland
To make a new one and then
Move away again
To forget
To leave behind their
Sweet little homes
Groomed yards and white fences
With candytuft and violas 
Planted in their lawns
Left to the industrial waste
Leaving it to those who have even less
And are now forgotten even further 

And the dreams of Globeville
Eaten away by the consumption 
Of progress
Forgetting the eyes and hearts
Of those who loved
Tended bees
Made potica
Prayed and played ball
And cradled the son
Of a woman who took
Her last breath
Filling her lungs with
The Platte River
Filling her skirts with
Ice water dragging her below and
Taking her away
From her beloved Globeville.

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Author’s Note:

Photo collage, Globeville, by Lex Leonard.

Poem and imaged appeard in journal issue #12 in Wormwood Press Media.

Finally, It Snowed

Finally, It Snowed

There is a certain light 
that comes with snow,

               an illumination.

Not sharply outlining individual design,

                                           minute detail, but

a larger realization of shapes and planes,

                          long winding paths,

                                      rectangles of roofs.

In snow there is a luxury of the roar now muted,

that bows and dampens

                           as chinks and chasms fill.

There is required stillness,

                                               at least for a while,

to realize the vast beyond, 

           the vanishing point…

…even if it’s just illusion, 

                                      snow piles,

gently bestowing time to rest.

In snow, fires lay down,

                 at least for a while,

to pause voracious appetites.

In balance of the opposite,

            there is room for another lens, point of view.

If only for a moment…

                                       …in snow,

we realize the other side of grand intention,

and know, in balance, 

         we evolve.

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Author’s Note:

From Journal Issue #11 at Wormwood Press Media.

Arc

She opened her right palm and rested it on the rock, opened it 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 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 two stones 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 made the room to listen. 

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

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Author’s Note:

I am honored to have my story and painting published in Issue 8 of Wormwood Press Media Journal.

Here I Am

Thank goodness for National/Global Poetry Writing Month. Or as we know it, Na/GloPoWriMo.

I realized that April is at my doorstep and I must get ready. It was then I realized I hadn’t been here in a very long time.

I broke my arm in late October closing day of the art exhibit. My last post. Then my seventeen year old computer decided it was ready to retire.

All has been addressed. Arm healed and I can type and write and carry things again. And I have a new computer. So I will be doing a few posts to record some of the work I have done while I was gone.

And I can’t wait for April 1st.

Many blessings,

Lex

(she, her)

PS I really hate what has happened to my blog since I’ve been gone. Maybe it’s time for an update here, too. I can’t seem to find how to change the font or how to add images. Oy. 🙂