Friday, August 16, 2019

Using Our Words

I was fourteen when poems started pouring through me. An English teacher encouraged me, and submitted some work for me. The one critical comment that came back was "I hope you arent going to be the kind of poet who glories in being obscure." I never forgot it.

That comment may be why I have so rarely bothered submitting my work. I think sometimes critics think they must always be critical. I get far more gratification from sharing my work online and am grateful for those who take the time to read it.

I was taught that feedback should always be respectful and constructive. Words have the power to uplift, or drag someone down. I keep in mind that a person is putting his heart out there, along with his words. I can almost always find something positive to say. If i read something that disturbs me, i simply scroll away without comment.

I keep in mind that someone who uses words harshly is likely coming from a place of inner pain. If  directed at me, i try using kindness in that instance, and find a point i can empathize with in what they say. I like living in a world that is kind. It pains me that there is so much unhappy rhetoric going on these days in the media. It drags our spirits down. Out in the big world, toxic rhetoric is having its hey-day.

In our community, i value that comments are usually supportive and affirmative. We have own little world in here. We can keep it a kind one.

For Magaly's interactive Moonlight Musings.

At the End, Only Earth and Sky

We are born in a whoosh of water;
gasp in our first breath, then we cry:
water, essential, from our very first day.

Through the Sacred Medicine Wheel
I journeyed,
dipped my toes in a magical sea,
soul thrumming with the song of the waves.
My sign, my element, my spirit's home:
Mother Ocean.

Above, the sky, the vast expanse,
curving over all -
the great blue bowl of ether.
Underfoot, the earth, brown and humble
and mothering.

I bow to you, Sky, I sing with you, Wind,
I dance in the rain, laughing,
the rush of raindrops on my face
cleansing my spirit,
washing all negative energy away.

When I am clean,
when the Great Bowl Above grows dark,
I creep homeward,
settle beside the fire,
remember the winking stars,
the wheeling seabirds,
the many rivers and beaches
I have loved,
all the beauty gracing 
this span of time
that is still mine.

In memory, 
my grandmother's long, white finger
points at the glass of water
on her bedside table
as she lay dying.
"The dead always ask for water,"
she had told me, and it is true.
Water: a single tear rolling down her cheek
as we said goodbye.

To the earth I bow, in gratitude,
in homecoming.
It waits to receive me, in turn,
when that final moment comes,
when I will become one
with All That Is.

First, there is water,
at the end
only earth and sky.

I re-worked a poem from 2015 for my prompt at Real Toads: Messages From Water.

And sharing with the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, fine reading every Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dream Makers

Book Wall - La Catrina

Dream makers, dream breakers,
It is almost a revolution.
In this city of bones,
there is a darkness more than night.
Wild horses  race the wind; angels take flight.
It is rough country for the dark child.

But I dream after the darkness,
along the edge of America,
silent honor will finally
raise its head.
We will reclaim the country
that used to be us.

Fighting back against the
dark wind of hateful rhetoric,
we will rise and shine. Our kindness
will transform the landscape
as we take
the long road home
to the centre of
our collective consciousness,
and become the society
we are meant to be.

For Margaret's cool prompt at Real Toads: using ten book titles in a poem.

It is amazing that one person's hate speech has unleashed so much darkness. It has crossed the border into Canada; racist and violent incidents are occurring that never did before in such numbers. I pray for change in 2020. Someone strong enough to turn this tide of inhumanity and intolerance around.

Wow. Now I am watching Joni Mitchell in Both Sides Now. She is singing:

We are stardust.
We are golden
And we've got to
Find our way
Back to the garden."

Yes. We do. We want to. So we can.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Does Anyone Remember Uncle Chichimus?

"Where's the stick?" my sister asks her pup
in a high, squeaky voice,
and I am transported back in time
to when she was six years old,
with long, blonde ringlets,
and we watched Hollyhock
(of the high-pitched voice)
and Uncle Chichimus
on tv after school.

It was a gentler time.
There weren't many channels.
There were no remotes.
There were regulations
to make sure tv shows
didn't offend peoples' sensibilities,
or corrupt the children.

I picture my grandmother's horrified face
if she watched television now.
Now the nightly news offends,
and the leaders of the world
are corrupt and mad.

Zoey brings the stick
up from the river.
"Good girl," says Hollyhock.

We go home.
We don't turn on
the news.

For Sumana's Midweek Motif: televised.

I remember the family watching Father Knows Best on Sunday nights, followed by Ed Sullivan. Sigh. I wonder how today's children hang onto hope, with all they are bombarded with in the media. I hope they do. There is still so much beauty around. But Hollyhock and Uncle Chichimus wouldnt get the ratings any more.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Last Star of the Morning

Traveler walks like a moving tree,
like a wind-whisper, singing,
like the breath of dawn.

Traveler is a part 
of the landscape;
she carries with her
a corner of the sky.

Traveler rises with the morning sun.
She is always walking towards
the next sunset.

There is the last star of morning
on her shoulder.
She wears the first star
of evening in her hair.

The moon is her mistress,
a songbird flies from branch
to branch beside her,
and a wolf-shadow
her every step.

An old one from 2011, re-posted for the Poetry Pantry at Poets United, where you will find many beautiful offerings every Sunday morning! Come join us!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Begin Again

My great-grandson a dozen years ago,
with my sister's love-bug, Lukey

This poem
woke up this morning
to a new day.

It looked around
and saw much
to foster despair.
But we are alive
at this moment in time,
so this poem decided
to live today
the best it knows how,
while there is a today
in which to live.

This poem
is grateful
that we get another chance
every morning
to begin

Thursday, August 8, 2019


When you shine,
you light up
the space around you
the way a sunflower,
turning its face to the sun,
makes us happy
as we pass by.

There are dark clouds.
There is turmoil.
There is pain enough
for three planets
on this beautiful
blue-green orb.

But your smile
and your good heart -
your hand reaching out 
to help spread kindness
all around -
makes a difference; it
brightens up your little corner
of the world.

If you shine,
everybody's going to shine.

for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: Queen Lizzo's song "If I'm shining everybody gonna shine."