Berm

Image by Lex Leonard

Boots.

Prints
in snow
edging berm.

Stepping off, or a
return to what was, will not be?

I search for answers
in spring, not
fall, but
flight.

Free.

Author’s Note:

Oh, I like this form.

Today is Day Seven of National Poetry Month and Na/GloPoWriMo. The challenge was to choose between two forms –  the shadorma, and the Fib.

I chose the Fib because of my exploration last year with the Fibonacci spiral exploration with Intentional Creativity and painting.

There are multiple ways to approach with expansion using syllables. I chose the medium challenge – 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and back again, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1. What fun!

Window Closed

Night Window. 24″X18″ Lex Leonard.

She flew into the window closed
my attention drawn
to the thud then flutter
dove escaping squirrel

A change of course but
no loss in flight
protectress of her nest
neither pleasure nor pain 
to be acknowledge

Simply survival

In spring there is a frenzy
to brith, bring new life
protect

There is no time for pleasure or pain

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Author’s Note.

Day Six of Na/GloPoWri Mo.

Today’s Challenge – “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.Holly Lyn Walrath.

Most Of The Time

Most of the time….

It is too effortless to accept,
When sun shines upon me,
Accolades, and assume they are richly deserved. 
The sole proprietor, only myself.
Oh, so important.
Oh, so honored, the only one crowned but
(I live in darkness most, of the time.)

How I walk tells my story,
Shows true self, not in words, but in action.
Should I devour praise
In one big gulp,
So none is left behind? Hoarding so others 
Cannot warm their hands, see their path?
(But I live where I only see darkness, most of the time.)

Longing for sun I must remember 
Her light is for all.
She shines upon us as one.
My burdens not greater,
Honors no more important than another.
Oh, the freedom of releasing ego, letting go,
(So I can live freely in darkness and under sun.)

Leaving behind selfdom,
Insisting on stillness to allow the
Withering of greed and fear and anger,
I can finally
Be
There freely and
(I don’t need to live in darkness, most of the time.)

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Author’s Note:

Day Five of Na/GloPoWriMo gave us s form. “This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem.” There were more ways to fit the shape, but I didn’t use those.

I also used one of the suggested poems: I Knew a Woman by Theodore Roethke.

Painting by Lex Leonard. Sitting With Moon. Acrylic on watercolor paper. 18″X24″

One Hundred Twenty

In those years
when we are lulled
by the hint
of what will be

     no longer of
     what can be

we must be reminded
to be those things
of everyday life

tamping the queasiness

no longer to ferment
those whispers 
farming them into
something where

anger is unavoidable

Remove the mask
allow the god-seed
to take root

requited

in your 120th year

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Author’s Note:

Today is Day Four of Na/GloPoWriMo. I missed writing my poem yesterday, but I did do my cards. So today I combined my writing with Day Three.

My words: queasy, lull, ferment, requited

Today’s prompt: I used a photo of mine instead of the suggested  @SpaceLiminalBot.

These are my cards being held in a sweet little origami box my hubby made for me.

Journey

Journey. Acrylic on watercolor paper. 24″ X 18″. Lex Leonard.

There are doorways

not made of wood
or stone

or branches of trees
crossing their arms
twining together

But liminal space

A place unknown
where steps decide trajectory

define what is to be

Space where nothing resides
else it be blocked
unusable
un-purposed

Yet a place
where eternity
kisses your cheek

takes your hand
and whispers

“Welcome.”

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Authors Note:

Day Two of Na/GloPoWritMo.

Today’s inspiration: The Road Less Taken by Robert Frost.

Order Deranged

It is not order that must be kept

Not a knee on a neck, or hands cuffed,
Yes, Ma’am, No, Sir
Line straight, sit down!

Let us take the auger and bore a hole deep into that insanity,
Release possession demonic of that order
A coma therapy crying out to be awakened

Let us derange that kind of order
Lest we make the entire world mad

Let us welcome the March Hare in April
And Alice’s spring in fall
Make room for the lunatic

Yes luna-tic

Let us derange the square dance, the reel, the waltz
And foot it under the moon
Lunatics 
Moonstruck with one another

Lets us derange cracked sidewalks
Hot asphalt, turf and lawns on arid land
Land meant for sage
Land for sweetgrass
Our bare feet growing roots
So deep, we talk to trees

Let us derange the practical
Tear to pieces the canvas
To become the preposterous

As I look into your eyes
And see you, me

After the raving madness of that order deranged

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Author’s Note.

Order Deranged. Acrylic/canvas/pencil/ink on watercolor paper by Lex Leonard.

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.