Chocolate Rain

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Chocolate Rain

He had chocolate rain in his hat.
From where it came, he did not know.
It should have dribbled down his face
when once he put it on.
But it stayed inside
on top of his head
awaiting rains return.

She made chocolate footprints through the kitchen
from stomping in the rain out of doors.
It shouldn’t have been that way,
But in the end, chocolate rain
is much better than mud any day.

The chocolate bar was torn in two
so both could share.
Chocolate was late in arriving on the train.
They thought they missed their chance.
But it came.

She held the chocolate tightly in her fist.
It warmed and ran through cracks
that could not be sealed.
Some was lost.
No, all.
She refused to release her grasp.

……….

Leave your hat on the chair so it can be seen but not heard heard you coming through the grove when all was want and tired tired eyes closed against the light light rolling into the pond frightening the ducks ducks who have an auspicious way remaining afloat on waves waves holding you up so you can see past the shore up the hillside to where we stood stood still in moonlight waiting to dance wildly under the sun sun laughing at the genius of our tricks tricks raining down the hill chasing away while calling us back back to you and me standing in chocolate rain

……….

A drone soared above open space
chasing the lady with her dog.
She didn’t see it.
He knew it was there.
A sounding swarm of bees chasing.
So she crossed the street to get away.
The street where teenagers
ran in front of them one night
to light a firecracker
timed perfectly.
She always held his leash tightly
so as not to lose him.
And she didn’t.
But she cursed them,
two teenagers
who laughed at their trick and her and her dog.
She cursed.
Neighbors turned on lights.
Opened doors.
Shrugged their shoulders
to the cursing old woman and her dog
and two teens running away.
When she returned home, she cried.
What would have happened
if she held held the leash lightly. 

But a leash was a noose for, oh, so very long,
keeping her in step.
Making sure she was following rules.
A leash is a harness keeping her from falling,
keeping her safe from mistakes.
The leash makes it all okay….

Loosening the leash,
dropping the leash,
gives freedom that comes with fear.
Discovery can be painful if you let it.
giving over,
dropping the leash,
cutting it away,
the only way to be.

And the dog,
well, the dog was a good boy.
And he, too, made his own decisions.
He had always been happy to be who he was.
Now more happy that she was who she was
after dropping her leash.
Cutting it away. 

Oh, she still walked him with a leash because,
well, because, there was still a bit of fear
in losing something she loved,
even though she knew, in the end,
she could not control that either. 

Sun came home and left once more.
Moon sailed over them at night
and pillows tucked in their heads
with dreams and snores. 

The two lived,
walked side by side
knowing the precious gift
each one gave to the other,
knew that it was this
that mattered most.

Memories will always be there,
if you want them.
So will those you love
because time is not a real thing.
Only some thing we imagined. 

And when we walk on
to where we will next be,
we will find another leash,
or maybe not.
Choose to pick it up.
Or maybe not
and remember to just be,
see who we are
and be. 

And maybe there will be firecrackers,
teens who like to play tricks,
hats filled with chocolate rain,
neighbors who shrug,
and lights that flicker. 

But there will always be you.
For energy is neither created
nor destroyed.
It just changes form.
And how can one argue with that
in this glorious present moment
that is eternity.

……….

And she chose the time of the sun rising to leave. Just as the star of night began its descent behind the trees, she turned and there sun’s arc claimed the horizon. It was time. Before her sat six bags. She would choose three to place into her basket.

She knew of her journey beforehand, although there was no decided beginning or end point. It was six cycles prior that she would gather and arrange the al that was gathered on squares of paper made from bark that she beat with a stone to soften the fibers. Under each new moon she would hold each item for that particular square and invite it to the journey. Then she would fold the ends over and around so none of the precious cargo would slip away before its time. Then she would tie with with with a cord woven from grass cut from the bank of the trickling stream. She continued this way each new moon until there were six packages. And it was time to depart.

Under the final new moon before Sun began its rise, she chose three of the six bundles and placed them Into her basked, leaving three behind for her return. If she did return. 

She would follow the stream until it coursed into a river which led her to the sea and there would be two boats from which she would choose one.  

She was no good at this. Her time was spent alone since her beginning. Her mother
passed as she was born. Her father she never knew. She lived as the women before her lived. Away from people in discovery of her ancestors. 

And because of this, she was never really alone by the stream in the trees. She always found companionship, if she looked and waited, asked permission or invited, and listened.But here by the sea, where everything was new and asking to be discovered, she felt very alone. She knew it was for the best and she was determined to move ahead without too much worry or sadness for what she left behind as the women before her did.

She could always return if she wished. But what would be the point of that? The decision was made. 

At the shore she look to the boats. The one on the left it would be. She was left handed as much as she could be, although many things called to her right. Today it would be the left. 

She reached into her basket and removed one package. She gifted it to the man in the boat who would row her to the left sailing ship. It was then she realized she wouldn’t have enough packages to pay for her return. One for the rower. One for the captain. One for the new rower on the other end. And nothing left for the return.

That was how it was supposed to be. Nothing to fear. She would know what to do as truth would reveal itself.

She had never stepped onto a boat. It rocked more than she thought. Just as she felt herself leaning too far over the end, he reached out his hand and she grabbed it to steady herself. 

A stranger to help. Imagine that. 

She didn’t have to do this all alone. 

His hand was large and chocolate brown with lines deeply modeled into his skin. Some would say wrinkles. She saw roads to many journeys and much experience. 

He hand was firm and safe. All would be well.

……….

How could you lose it?

I didn’t. It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

It was her lilypod. How will we ever find another?

We don’t need to find another.

What will we tell her?

Exactly what I just said. It was there. And then. It wasn’t.

She’s not going to believe you you know. She thinks you hate her and that you would do anything to anger her. And this will definitely anger her.

No it won’t.

What?

It won’t make her mad.

Yes, it will. 

No. It won’t.

How can you say that? It was her lilypod. She loves it more than chocolate rain. She is going to be furious.

It was there. And then, it wasn’t.

Her lilypod. Her precious lilypod that appeared one day when she was so very sad.

It made her happy.

I know. 

Say it again. It appeared one day when she was sad.

It appeared one day when she was sad.

And.

And what?
And it made her happy.
And that’s all that was needed.

 

 

Author’s Note:

We had a visitor in town and I had the honor to write with her! Cj Prince took us through her writing practice. 

First, we each wrote one word on a slip of paper. These would be used for each delve into words.  

For five minutes we wrote using the first drawn word “chocolate” and in only short sentences. Then we shared.

Another word, “grove,”  was pulled from the pile and this time we wrote for ten minutes “chaining.” The word we ended with, we would begin the next sentence. We shared.

Next, we wrote for twenty minutes stream of conscious writing. This is not stopping your pen or fingers from moving. If you can’t think of anything to write, you just write anything until it begins to flow again. You don’t stop no matter what! The word was “my drone.”

Our next long write – 15 minutes – we pulled tarot cards. We used these in the writing. We could use the meaning of the cards, the images, and/or any mix. They were the Hermit, the six of rods, and the three of rods.

Our finale was a five minute quick write of dialogue with no attribution – meaning we didn’t delineate between the two speakers. Our word was “lilypod.”

Today I took some time going back and editing and coming up with this piece. I delight in it as I do Cj. I am blessed.

And all on the full moon.

Pull

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I feel that pull again
simplify
stop gathering
breathe
rest

You see I’ve worked my time

I’ve played the games
I wanted to be noticed
Seen, acknowledged
Let people know I know what I’m doing
Manipulate my life into what I think I want
Control the outcome, control everything

When that ends
there is peace
a quiet to hear
frogs, yes, frogs
I’ve never heard before

When that other stuff ends
I reside in what has been given
Wet sidewalks after spring rain
Running brook that last week was dry
Mother Tree, always
Ravens who now come when I am present
Deer scat in the middle of suburbia
A moon so bright it wakes me up
Snow so deep with sideway winds
our aspen takes its last bow
Squirrels to taunt my Bean

And yet I continue to gather
stuff, new now
paint brushes, canvas
ads for collage
containers, easels
stones and bells and candles
and statues and rattles and drums
and crystals and scarves and
journals and meetings
and Zoom calls
all blessings, yes
yes
yes

But..

My space gets smaller
inside and out
tighter, less room to breathe

I’ve worked my time.

There is freedom calling

Freedom that asks just to sit
Not mediate
Not journal
Not journey
Not chant
Not sing
Not pray

Just sit
Listen
Be grateful

I’ve worked my time

It’s time

In Simplicity…

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Under deep night sky
where Moon persists in her rhythm
shadowed by Earth’s indulgent round
I stand barefoot
a simple act of reclamation

In this candor I reclaim myself

To honor Earth and all her beings,
above, below, and upon

To restore my body
And allow what I need
Releasing that which does not serve

To restate my possessions
In care and release and
Bring in only what is cardinal

To retrieve my beauty
And give my hands to Creation

To rescue my joy
And dance and sing, drum and make love
And sit with others to know all stories

To restore stillness
For rest and truth
For bridsong and voice of the Divine
And cries of those who call for harmony

In simplicity
I reclaim my being
All that I was
All that I am
All that I will be
Collapsing into matter that is me

In Memoriam

PoppyandFlag

On this day for those who gave their ultimate,
May we honor their gift, respect their bravery,
And continue to uphold all that which they
Selflessly secured.

May we continue to keep safe the place to kneel in protest
For that which needs to be understood,
for that which needs mending.

May we continue to honor the water of our land and
Keep safe its flow of life and those who stand strong against
The tide of greed and destruction and hatred.

May we beat our weapons into plowshares so our
Children are safe wherever they may wander,
Hold dear to all life without profile of
Spirit, race, age, or endowment.

May we open our arms to those who reach to us
For compassion, aid, and make room for lives and families
Who are weary and seek rest, safety,
But also bear their own gifts to share
Being perfectly created as are we.

On this day may we champion and honor
Those we remember for their duty and sacrifice,
Through our benevolence and humility,
Through our gratitude and joy, through our tolerance,
And in our love, care, and compassion toward all beings,
Creatures, plants, and all matter and elements.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’m back!

Oh, dear friends. This spring has been a whirlwind. Since January I’ve been in training to become certified as a Red Thread Guide with the Intentional Creativity Foundation. A trip to Hawaii and one to Sonoma has kept me busy writing and creating, but not for the blog. And on top of it all, I am retiring from a full time first grade teaching position in just two weeks.

So for the next few days I am going to post some of the work I have been doing so you know what I’ve been up to.

Thank you for remaining faithful….

I will begin with a little project I am currently working on. It’s called Creative Sprint, May 30-Day challenge. Yesterday we were challenged to select a photograph, painting or a picture from a magazine and extend the image beyond its current frame or edges.

I used one of my own photographs of the crows on one of my doggie walks with my Bean. And I used PicMonkey to “extend the image.”

 

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Bones

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To see the bones of lava,
The real bone,
You must have sand

When lava bears itself to sun
Pushes through Earth
To journey toward an unknown end
Kisses ocean and
Creates a new existence,
It’s not easy

Heat, where nearness may cause death,
Steam, if breathed too deeply, might suffocate
Yet, on its own, it endures
Moves towards a new
way, a way of being,
that must release
the heat of its fervor

Settled,
As journey completes,
Then comes rest

Time to cool in ocean’s
Caress, smooth it’s roughness,
Polish sharp places of brokenness
Giving way to gentle touch,
Patience, and presence

As shards round,
Creases weave and wave
Wisdom tells its story,
Sand listens
Dusting gratitude,
And lava becomes land.

 

Author’s Note:

I attended a retreat in Hawaii a few weeks ago. It was led by Amber Kuileimailani Bonnici. It was called Creativity Unleashed 2018. Through Intentional Creativity we delved deeply into ourselves to learn more, release more, and, for me. learn a bit about painting and Shiloh Sophia‘s 13 step intentional creativity process. I am also training to be a Red Thread Guide.

It was an overwhelming few days as I had to squeeze it into my school schedule. But every minute was a treasure to be mined and celebrated.

One morning I had intended to play with our watercolor set in my journal, but we stopped on the way to the hotel at Magic Sands Beach and this poem happened instead.

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MyPainting

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Creativity Unleashed 2018 Participants – Photo by Lacy Johnson Rootness

Beautiful Hand

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Man with a Newspaper, Eugene Ivanov
Czech Republic, Saatchi Art

She opened her zebra striped backpack and shook the contents onto the floor. She gave the backpack one more good shake. It plopped to the floor.

Thank god.

She thought she had forgotten it. After stuffing the other miscellany back into the pack, she grabbed the last item with her right hand and slipped into the big patchwork pocket she had sewn into the left side lining of her coat. She glanced quickly around as she stood up and jerked forward as the bus began moving.

Good. No one noticed.

She probably should have waited until she was at the back of the bus in her seat. But her stomach churned but when she remembered a turquoise flash of color as she walked out her front  door of the flat. Her heart was beating, fast. It beat faster and faster at the thought of the forgotten item left on the side table and she sitting there in the middle of everyone without it. Deep down she knew they would want it, even though they probably didn’t realize it. She couldn’t let them down. So she stopped in the middle of the aisle as she walked toward her seat on the bus and dumped everything out.

I love living in the city. No one pays attention to you. Weirdos do strange things all the time and no one wants to get involved.

So no one saw what she hid inside her coat. No one glanced up. Everyone’s nose was in a phone or tablet or Kindle. There was even one person with a newspaper, an actual newspaper, in front of his face. She decided to sit across from him. With that amount of coverage, he’d never see what she was going to do next.

Hahaha.

She laughed but quickly covered her mouth so she wouldn’t be heard. There was no reaction.  Nothing stirred from behind the newspaper.

Good. He didn’t hear me.

It was an odd sight. As she looked closer at her seatmate, she noticed the newspaper was upside down. As a matter of fact, it was a bit yellowed and crinkly and the front of it had a headline about the fire from two years ago.

Yep. That’s a two year old newspaper. What’s that all about?

It was his left hand she noticed next. His fingers were long and slender. There were no rings or no signs of any ring ever being on the fingers. His hands were wrinkled but his nails were immaculate. They were buffed shiny and filed to perfection. There were perfect little slivers of moon at each tip. But as she looked closer the slivers weren’t all the same size. A crescent started with the littlest fingernail and they grew larger with each finger. She couldn’t see his thumb, but she was almost positive it would be a full moon. She glanced to the right hand. It was gloved.

That’s odd.

Back to the other hand she marveled at the grace of his hand. It seemed kind and wise. It was a beautiful hand.

Wow. I bet he never bites his nails.

She looked at hers. There was a hangnail she missed earlier in the day. She bit it off.

That’s better.

Pure white stiff cuffs ringed his wrists. They were spotless and crisp. They were a little large, but she remembered her grandfather’s shirts. He had long arms and need special shirts tailored to his length. And they always seemed to make their way out from under his jacket sleeves. Her eyes continued up his arm.  A dark suit started where the cuff met the sleeve and worked its way up and behind the newspaper. She traced back down. A sparkle caught her eyes.

Yep. He has cufflinks. Wow.

They were gold with large sparkly red stones.

Could those be real rubies?

Her eyes looked up above the newspaper and saw only the top of his hat, a man’s hat. A business man’s hat like her grandfather’s. It was dark black, rounded on top with a thin black ribbon running around it. She couldn’t quite see the rim, but it had to be a bowler. It bobbled as if the hat was reading the paper and reacting to upside down news that was two years old.

I better get to work. We’re getting close.

They were sitting in the back, the last seats. Her back was blocked by the plexiglass wall covered with transit information. The man and his newspaper would cover the rest.

Quiet now, Claire. Don’t let anyone see.

Outside the window transformer lines clicked by. They were getting close.

Claire reached inside her coat and pulled out the item that would make all the difference. She carefully bent her head down. She glanced down the aisle and could see the tunnel looming. She didn’t like the dark and was sure the others in the bus would appreciate what she was about to do for them.

Her fingers knew exactly what to do. They slid the neon wig into place and with a push of a hidden button in the seam near her ear it began to glow an electric blue just at the perfect time. The bus faded into the tunnel and with rush hour traffic clogging the roads, the entire back of the bus would be lit up for the next ten minutes.

It’s crooked.

What?

The man with the beautiful hand and bowler hat didn’t move the paper. But in the neon light Claire could now see two glowy eyes looking at her from holes that had been carefully sculpted in the two-year-old yellow newspaper at exactly the perfect spot. They could not be seen in regular light, but in her neon glow she could see that the man with the beautiful hand and bowler hat could see everything that was going on.

She adjusted the wig.

Thank you.

You’re welcome?

Claire stared at the holes and tugged on it once more.

Too much.

What?

Too much.

Oh. Okay.

Another slight tug avoided frustration on the part of the man with the beautiful hand and bowler hat.

That’s better.

Thank you?

You’re welcome.

No one noticed Claire’s neon glow from the back of the bus.

No one notice the man with the beautiful hand and bowler hat.

And that’s what happens in the city.

Author’s Note:

Thursday Afternoon Writers met this afternoon. Tonight we each added words to our prompts and each of us wrote with a unique set of words and opening lines.

My words: Zebra.  Frustration.  Turquoise. Transformer. Neon wig – electric blue.

My opening Line: She opened her backpack and shook the contents onto the floor.

And I found the perfect image simply from a Google search!