The Bundle

Our writing group met this week. Silliness was afoot. This is what we needed so desperately this week. Thank you, Thursday Afternoon Writers, for help keeping me sane.

My opening line chosen at random: “Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing

All of us were challenged to use these words: Ire. Spellbinding. Small. Advantage. Trickster

 

The Bundle

“Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing.

I started the poem over and over for the last hour and a half. It had devolved into this:

“Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing.

Spellbinding words? Nope.

I could feel ire building. Usually, I can come up with something, but today was not that day.

I was writing at the coffee shop next to the park. I sat by the window even though it was cold outside. On top of that, the door opened every few minutes to blow its arctic breath across my back. I have no idea why I didn’t move. I guess it was in the stars that this would be my place for the day. Prophetic? Maybe.

It snowed the night before and there was fog. How could there be fog? Wasn’t fog supposed to happen when it was warm and then moisture and then some cold? The weather app said it was going to be forty degrees. Right.

“Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing.”

There is was again. It was like a bad song you can’t get out of your head. You know when you pass the preschool and they are singing about a llama in pajamas and then you end up singing about that llama and its pajamas all day long? And the librarian shushes you, and the lady in line at the grocery store gives you a weird look, and you wake up in the middle of the night and take a shower to hoping to wash that llama in pajamas right out of your hair and down the drain? Yeah, that kind of song.

“Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing.

My nerves were getting a bit frayed and my third cup of coffee wasn’t helping.

The door opened again but this time a strong wind blew it all the way open, and what looked like a small brown bundle about the size of a large garbage bag rolled away from the opening into the street.

What was that? The door shut slowly. No one was standing there to open it or shut it. Did that thing open the door? I watched the bundle.

A car slid around it in an attempt to avoid it and ended up hitting the bench across the street. I could only sit there looking out the window and watch as if the wind had frozen me solid. People ran from the surrounding shops and some trudged through the snow from the park toward the bench, then past the car to where the bundle sat. They almost completely encircled the bundle, which now was motionless in the middle of the road. Luckily, I guess it was luck, people left an opening on my side so I had the perfect viewing of the small brown bundle.

A woman was helped out of the car.  She seemed okay as she stumbled towards the bundle, but it was the bundle everyone had their eyes on. First, it started to wiggle. Then an arm, then another, stretched themselves out from the rounded blob. As if they were on springs, two legs popped out and stretched just as the arms had done. We all just stared, even the woman from the car.

At last a head curled up from the top of the small bundle. It looked up and now it  seemed to resemble a person. Rolling from side to side until it righted itself, it stood up and walked back to the door of the coffee shop.

No one said anything. I couldn’t see its face. I could only make out a long scarf that was wrapped tightly around the neck and head leaving a slit for two small eyes. They peered at the door. Mittened hands and booted feet hid anything else that would have given us more details as to what was inside the small brown bundle.

It waddled with a slight limp. Someone ran to the door to hold it open and with a bit of a nod of thanks the bundle entered the coffee shop and began to look around. The bundle had a purpose, looking for someone or something it knew it needed to find.

As the head swiveled around stopping for a slight pause at each person, heads lined up along the outside of the window staring in at the bundle, steaming up the glass with their moist warm breath and freezing it into a frosted pane, eventually hiding their faces behind a curtain of patterned ice crystals.

The bundle turned with what seemed like straight legged stomps and its slitted eyes rested on mine. Mine!

Did I know what creature lurked inside the three foot brown bundle? Did it know me? Would this trickster take me on a journey to places to where I had never dreamed?

I watched as heads peeled themselves away from the window and went about their day. A police car pulled up to aid the woman and her now crunched front end. And as I turned back to find where the bundle has situated itself, there was no one left inside the coffee shop but myself, one barista, and the small brown bundle.

I was still seated as the bundle waddled up to the empty chair at my table, pull it out with its mittened hand and heaved itself up onto the seat, standing on top of the brown hardwood with brown booted feet.

I noticed I was holding my breath. I think I was afraid to breathe. I let it out and as I inhaled once more I watched as it’s eyes watched mine. The mittened hand began to unwind the rainbow colored scarf from around its head and neck.

Wait a minute. Had its changed colors since it walked into the warm? Wasn’t it brown when it was outside? I noticed the rainbow hued painting hanging on the wall behind what was once the small brown bundle, now a rainbow hued bundle. Was it my imagination, or did it do a chameleon thing and change to match its surroundings?

The scarf was long, longer than one could imagine. It unwound again and again and again until it was a heap on the floor almost as high as the tabletop. All that was left was a head covered in a rat’s nest of dirty golden hair, still with just a slit for the eyes to look through. The small rainbow bundle’s mittened hands made an opening through the hair where its mouth should be. In the stillness of the the coffee shop where I had once found solace to write, the bundle cleared its mucousy throat.

And what sounded like a voice that had not been in use for a long time, maybe forever, scratchy and tiny, came the words that had haunted my day,

“Sing, lover, sing!” How embarrassing.

Circles

Mother Tree

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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.

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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.

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

I am thankful for…

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My feet
to step on Mother Earth
connecting me to her
and all that grows beneath
and rises above to meet the breath of day.

My lungs to breathe in Life.
My eyes to watch Moon
cycle in remembrance of
my fragility and fiercness.

My skin
to touch the Sun’s warmth in my heart
and know his fire burn to ash
when I must begin anew.

My nose to smell lilac and rose, pine and rain, and doggie breath.
My ears to hear crow and whispered wind, roaring waves,
and
the deep stillness of You within.

Lips and arms to hug and kiss you…
my love, my Bean, my dear sweet friends,
the children of this Earth,
each and every one of you.

You.

…..

Happy day of gratitude and joy.

May compassion be the way for this day
with gentleness and love for all – even the hard ones.

Munay. Aho. Amen.

Lexanne

Sleeping Giants

 A New Mexican Thanksgiving Suite

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In slanted light of falling sun
golden prairie settles.

Stalwart mesa shades its face
as piñon round and sagebrush knurled
lift their prayer in dusk’s sweet stillness.

And giants sleep into the night.
The Ancient Ones, who rest and dream
through dawn and day until
the time they raise their head
to welcome us back home again.

Fog

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He sniffs the damp fence post, a reveal of who came before.
Deciding all is well, he leaves his mark
and we continue on.
Fog sneaks in behind us, a foreshadowing of storm.
We will not venture out into early morning falling flakes,
only because I fear ice that lays waiting to surprise,
A turn of seasons offers its own perspective,
leaving its mark for me to decipher.