Sin

Beyond the leaning trees there is a place
To lay my head on strains of angel songs.
No gentle strumming there. Fiery throngs
await the victor’s prize, His blazing grace.

Beyond the leaning trees I reach to brace
Myself from fluttering wings of black swans
Rising to the sky in rapture. Their psalms,
Once promising plumed escape, now erased.

Beyond the leaning trees of war I do
Not strive for safety, just sanctuary to
Harbor my soul. My salvation, His breath
Of life. An offering of morning dew
To quench the burning sins I once knew.
Beyond the leaning trees
but never beyond His breadth.

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Author’s Note:
“Trees” is this month’s theme at Every Day Poems. Thursday’s challenge was to use “Beyond the leaning trees” as the opener, repeating phrase, or ending. I chose all three and mixed it with sort of a sonnet.

The Artist’s Way

I was in third grade. It was an upright purple piano. Actually, the piano came into my life with a turquoise tint and an “antiquing” bronzing that some creative person thought would make it look, well, like an antique.

My parents sent me off one Saturday morning on my bike to my cousin’s house. It was May and my birthday was right around the corner.  While we were peddling around town, my parents convinced a friend to drive my father to pick up my birthday present, the piano. An uncle and another friend gladly helped knowing that a case of Coors would be waiting at the end of the ride.

My surprise was almost spoiled when my cousin, who was always getting me into trouble, convinced me to ride my bike farther away from her house than allowed. It was there a pick up truck hauling a turquoise piano and three men sped by us. But we didn’t notice them and I was happily surprised later that night. The piano was soon painted purple, still my favorite color, and three years of miserable piano lessons followed.

But this is not my story of creativity, even though my parents’ wished for a talented daughter to serenade them into their old age. The story of my creativity lies a bit in the purple paint, but mostly in the words I used to describe it to my third grade teacher.

I always loved to create. I made May altars by decorating my statue of Mary with plastic flowers and crepe paper and candles. It’s amazing that I didn’t burn down the house. I make jewelry, plant gardens, and design and build costumes. I didn’t realize that I was a writer until recently. This realization came to me at the age of 55 when I remembered my purple piano.

It was the nun in third grade who squashed my creativity in writing. I was excited about the purple piano. I remember writing a story the very week after its arrival about a little man who lived in the piano. Finally, I had something to write about.

Sister Mary Whatever called me to the front of the room and in a whispered voice made sure that I understood there was no little man living in my purple piano. She wanted to assure me that this couldn’t happen. I assured her that I knew he wasn’t real. I assured her that it was just a story.  She told me never to write about him again.  I didn’t.  And I didn’t write much at all after that. I only produced what teachers demanded of me using outlines and following formulas.

Until now.

Thank goodness that I am an elementary school teacher who became disgruntled with the ways we are “supposed” to teach children how to write. I searched for a better way to teach and found it.  I am grateful to the Colorado Writing Project and Karen Crawford who not just opened the doors, but the floodgates.

As I look back I realize that Sister Mary Whatever was probably concerned about me because of my mother’s mental illness. At the time I wasn’t aware that others knew about her. I now, of course, realize everyone knew and Sister Mary Whatever was just trying to protect me.

It is inspiration from Tweetspeak Poetry, Every Day Poems, L.L. Barkat, Lyla Lindquist, and crew that feeds my writer’s soul. It is also through books like Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and those who share their thoughts and lives in the book club that encourage me to revel in God’s inspiration and just be who I am.

And I am a writer.

A Poetry Party

Last Thursday night I participated in a poetry writing party. It happened on Twitter and twenty-nine people participated in one form or another. It was sponsored by Tweet Speak Poetry and some amazing poets were present. I was humbled to be in their company.

The writing commenced on the hour with a prompt and each participant tweeted as inspiration well up in us. The creativity lasted for exactly an hour. I never thought I could last the entire time. I was afraid to start. But once I let go and realized how much fun it was, I didn’t want to stop.

The next step can be seen at Tweet Speak Poetry where the tweets from those participating have been woven into poems. And seeing these, I was again inspired.

Below you will see my original tweets in the order I wrote them over the hour.

The last piece below is my sculpting of my tweets into a “final” piece.

My Poetry Tweets As They Happened
I spring on heel wings on tips of blossoms
Shouting to be heard over the din of bursting blooms
She called my name over the ages and the stories told but never heard
And the little pink feathers laying one upon another make me smile
A key to open a lock rusted long ago
freeing my hand to turn, open the iced pink memories
savoring the lush, swallowing the sweet, gulping despair
Lost in want and waiting for the hummingbird
rushing towards a sunset of creamsicle smiles
make no more room than the space we fill with our delight
a daisy chain chained to eternity
it is not gone/it is there under the faded pink blanket throw away the pieces left, the mess/find my hand
sugared ice cracking off my face and hands reaching
a citrine sun burning our skin
smoothing their points, polishing to perfection
sapphires are for kings, lapis for emperors/give me sand to make a glass so clear I can see the stars
So take my hand and we will sing/walking with dragons/ dancing with Homer/ laughing in the blue
The actor will whisper the last words and we will stand
and laughing with Aphrodite
Release the dragon painted in pink forgetting the sugar frosted claws and lay down the tender lute
I like gravy with my biscuits.
Crumbs of simplicity tumble from my lips
.
.

Crumbs
I spring with heel wings
on tips of blossoms
shouting to be heard over
the din of bursting blooms

Lost in want
waiting for the hummingbird
savoring the lush
swallowing the sweet
gulping despair

She called my name over the ages
stories told but never heard
little pink feathers
laying one upon another

They are not gone
under the faded pink blanket
throw away the pieces
the mess
find my hand

Make no more room
than the space we fill
with our delight
a citrine sun burning our skin
rushing toward a creamsicle sunset
dancing with Homer
rejoicing in the blue

Sugared ice cracking
absolving hands reaching
a key to open a lock
rusted long ago
hands turning
freeing gentian memories

Sapphires are for kings
lapis for emperors
give me sand
I will fashion glass so clear
we can touch the stars
smoothing their points
polishing them to perfection

The actor will whisper the last words
and we will stand
a daisy chain chained to eternity
laughing with Aphrodite
crumbs of simplicity tumbling from our lips

You can also follow me @leximagines on Twitter.


Poetry

Eyes closed and shallow breath
I feel the words, sweet words
As they trickle out and down my face
Bold and together
Standing one beside the other

And in the enchantment
Clasping hands
Like dancing dandelion seeds
Leap, aiming for the abyss
Onto the desolate wan page

Blooming in the gentle breeze
They slip through my fingertips
Leaving their mark, their brand
With no expectation
but release from my embrace
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.
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Author’s note:

Tonight my inspiration came from Every Day Poems on Pinterest. What fun. I wanted to challenge myself and use all the words, but I got caught up in the poem. Isn’t that how it goes? I have such a short attention span.
The words that were suggested are listed below. The ones I used are in bold.
Words, sweet words
Bold
Aim
Candy
Creativity
Togetherness
Bloom
Layering
Enchantment
Expectation
Dandelion seeds
Poetry
Confectious