Join me at GraceTable. I saved a seat for you at the table.
When I was a small child, my mother made certain I called my godmother to thank her for the gifts she gave me. Aunt Francis always gave me a piece of my silver pattern, her generous gifts a bit lost on me at the time. My stomach tightened up like a rubber band ball as I picked up the phone to call her each and every July, after the birthday gift arrived. I stalled and delayed, until Mother prompted me one final time to make that call.
Aunt Francis had a severe speech impediment. It manifested itself with long periods of silence between words. (Join me at GraceTable for the rest of my post.)
Once upon a time I recorded a poem on SoundCloud. Sharing it here with you as I consider going back to record more of my poems there. It is a unique challenge to hear one’s own voice. Reading the words. Stumbling down through the lines and words as if they are a bit unfamiliar And yet it brings another dimension to the art form.
Bravely sharing in hopes that it connects, resonates and touches the listener in some small way.
(Click the link below to listen. And click the tab at the top of the home page here to receive my newsletter. Mailing to subscribers today. I promise to tip toe in. Not make much extra noise. Join me there. It is quiet. “A Quiet Place For Words”
Happy New Year to all,
The Blackbird Stole My Poetry And Other Lame Excuses
I dreamed once in a daydream, not resting under indigo back-lit sky.The scarlet winged blackbird came to visit me. An awakening. Unwelcome.Unannounced. The visit was a robbery of unfinished words, my art.
Every poem left abandoned, in embryonic stages, wet ink pen lying in repose, by the paper’s side, was carried off by my feathered enemy. Fowl dressed in red and black. Colors of his uniform for war. And I, my own worst enemy.
I cannot blame him. For abandoned art remains fair game.
I cannot hold him to account. He saw that I was sleeping, not attending to my work.
But I must thank him, properly. For while he could have released them, into a angry wind. He chose instead to drop them off for me to start again.
The shreds of paper would have served him to line his feathery nest. But instead they floated back to earth in billowing down-currents and landed by my right side.
The blackbird gives a second chance. Waking me from sleep. In gratitude I offered him a seat. We’re here now beak to cheek sitting in soft repose. At my windowsill. He no longer dressed for war, but in tones of of papal royalty. Restorer of the second chance.
I dreamed once in a daydream. I found again lost poetry.
The Nursing Home Place Where Life Circles Round and People Cry
It has the word farm in its name making it sound like a rural utopia
Window frames hold mountainscapes in their crosshairs
Norman Rockwell comes to mind until I wake up
She screams like a child in the throes of night terrors
She cannot escape her past
We cannot escape her
We sit in a puddle of her past tears
She is gone but I can touch her
I would leave but the one I love lives here
The food has turned to mush
I remember the jars of baby food
Hers and mine
The circle of life comes to mind
She hated cliche more than I
But show me where the circle may be broken
And I will choose my words more carefully
The rocking and mumbling form the soundtrack of their lives
The hallmark of this place is The Hallmark Chanel
And you can’t measure the height of irony
All the happy endings, screen upon screen
Every love story that was ever written
Punctuated by Walmart commercials crossing the t’s
And January Toyotathon’s dotting the i’s
As every story is neatly sewn up
God get me out of here
For the love of her and all those to her left and right
I simply cannot leave
Weeping is my leaving
I lie when I tell her my tears are happy
She is confused by them
For the love of all that is decent I cannot lie, I cry
(And stretch the truth about the happy tears
There is a co-mingling, of truth and falsehoods)
Right along with the rest of those in the circle
When death stares you square in the face
Even the blue ridged mountains cannot console a grievous soul
Who came to visit
Refused to leave
Refuses to entertain the thought of entering this reality, as if she would have a choice
We can mute the boob tube
But not the continuous coming and going
Of givers of care
And diapers and sippy cups for octogenarians and nonagenarians
We leave with all the passion of a foxhole conversion
Committing to the next visit
Dragging our pain right out the heaving swinging door
Into the chill of the night
Free as a new parolee
Free to love from far away
Free to leave the circle of life and death
Into a world where people cry