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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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.

Gentle Landing

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Gentle landing

Water hardly detected it presence,
only a perceived pressure.         

Natural to its course
it integrated the ever so tender caress
in artistry, replica of peaceful agreement.

Voracious search for ownership, purpose,
to examine only if one chose.

It wasn’t a brick of clay dropped into the day,
just an existence deeply rooted, without roots.

Not a temporal smirk flirting
but a seeing through the glass.

mute

unencumbered

float

Author’s Note:

This from Systhesis/A Collage Journey with Jenafer Joy at http://www.inspiriediquiries.com – Lesson Four – Word Spelunking

awakening

Awakening

aroma rose from the white china cup


balanced on the palm of her hand sans saucer
the porcelain was thin thin
enough to almost see through
definitely enough to know the level of liquid

 

ah yes coffee
the most important meal of the day

 

the ethereal rose through the kitchen carried on morning birdsong up the stairs curling round the corner into the bedroom where his head just his head emerged from an avalanche of white down covers and pillows almost as see through as the china cup only softer not as smooth the cotton had its eccentricities small bumps along each thread that made it interesting unique different yet altogether the same

 

it’s all in the game

 

she would arise ridiculously early in the dark
she posed her body still in front of the opened window waiting waiting
for bird far away calling her to alarm
before sun rose
before moon faded gaunt then thinned into blue sky brightening

 

when she heard the purling it meant the end of another day a day to put in the books as one more tumbled open the elapsed cracked broken crumbled into delicate shards of what was that exact moment bird announced the dawning

 

they knew
stupid deaths
the frightfully funny game

 

fog of coffee
settled into his nostrils
a smelling salts awakening him from stillness
he would be startled breathe deeply
eyes cracking open one at a time
one gift to keep him from
over reaching over reacting over doing anything

 

it’s not hard when you’re smart and beautiful

 

as cup balanced more birds joined until a chorus loud she felt protected circled by so many mamas and papas organizing their day around their babies she was the baby of her family and this was her deepening into day

 

it’s all in the game

 

bounding run down stairs
a grab of the backpack with one hand
a catch with the other the apple that had been perfectly balanced on top
he was gone with the slam of the door

 

no problem
have fun

 

and
she
bent
down
down
to pick up fragile shards of the china cup
that was once filled with aroma of awakening

 

no problem
have fun

. . . . .

Author’s Note:

Wednesday brought our writing group together once more. Our prompt challenge was to bring anything for a prompt. So these were the lines shared to use as we wished. Happy writing.

Ah yes, coffee. The most important meal of the day.
They knew. Stupid deaths. The frightfully funny game.
No problem. Have fun.
It’s not hard when you’re smart and beautiful.
It’s all in the game.

 

For the child before STEM who will be forgotten

STEM

 

If you think it only happens in schools
It happens outside, too
After almost all the children have gone home
Near the playground
A gun in the hand of a teen

For the child who will be forgotten
For many reasons
For the child who doesn’t have the press
A life still lost
A life still mourned by a family who does not
Know why it happened
The night before more mourning

It happens so many times a day and we
Look the other way
Words of sorrow flow
Prayers are offered
Condolences given

And it continues
And life goes on
And no one will do anything
But sigh
Shed a few tears
Offer a few sweet words of hope
And then forget until
Tomorrow
When it happens again

Forgotten
in less than twenty-four hours
The other child who died
At the hand of a gun

Author’s Note:
A teen’s life was lost last night near Independence Elementary, less than 24 hours before the STEM shooting. Another teen with a gun. Just 21 miles away. A world away.

And for all the others we will never hear about…